(Editor’s Note: This is the third of a three-part series on
Australian wines. Fire up the barbee, pour a glass, and enjoy.)
Australia vintners make a wine for every meal and every occasion.
Although Australian cuisine is delicious – filled with fresh
seafood, native spices and Pacific Rim flair – you certainly don’t
have to eat Australian to drink Australian.
Here are varietal-by-varietal ideas for matching Australian
wine with anything you might want, whether it’s French, Italian,
Japanese or American…
-CHARDONNAY is lean and elegant or rich and full, depending on
the region or the winemaker. Pears, citrus and honey are terms often
used to describe Australian Chardonnay. Fish makes a great match –
grilled or broiled with fresh herbs, particularly tarragon.
-Americans have yet to discover, in large numbers anyway,
SEMILLON, which is Australia’s favorite white wine. It’s used for
blending, but on its own it can be a standout. Aged, it’s prized for
nutty flavors and complexity. Young, it is tropical, aristocratic and
less oaky than Chardonnay, making it ideal for shellfish, chicken and
other white meat that is seasoned with ginger, lemon or fragrant
Oriental spices. Semillon also produces excellent dessert wines.
-SHIRAZ is Australia’s most popular red wine. It’s a full-
bodied, fruity, deep wine that has a peppery aroma and spicy flavor.
Enjoy Shiraz with grilled red meats, roast lamb or vegetables
seasoned with Asian spices, garlic and lots of herbs.
-Australian CABERNET SAUVIGNON isn’t usually as tannic as its
California counterparts or as earthy as the French renditions.
Generally, it has more of a berry-fruit component and a smoother
finish. This is the wine for beef, traditional stews and smoked meats.
Australia also makes luscious MERLOT, distinctive
PINOT NOIR, herbal SAUVIGNON BLANC and dry, spicy RIESLING.
For everyday enjoyment, try Australia’s favorite blends:
SEMILLON-CHARDONNAY or SHIRAZ-CABERNET. They’re ideal accompaniments
to sandwiches, main-dish salads, pastas and pizzas.