(They call it “Shiraz” in Australia and “Syrah” everywhere else but it’s the same grape variety) While quality generally increases with price, the best value wines are likely to be found in the $15-$20 price bracket. If you like softer reds choose a Shiraz/Grenache blend.
The old rule of “red wine for red meat” applies here. For lamb and beef I recommend full-flavoured, gutsy reds like Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz (Syrah). That includes blended wines such as Cabernet Merlot and even Shiraz Cabernet.
This assertive dish needs a wine with plenty of flavour to match its spicy intensity. I have chosen a great value Marlborough Riesling for its attractive mix of lime, apricot and mineral flavours as well as its suggestion of sweetness that matches some sweetness in the dish.
Buy as much sparkling wine as you can afford in November and December – it will never be cheaper. Watch for advertised specials and shop around. Ask about discounts on case lots of wine. Serve all sparkling wine in long, thin champagne flutes – the
While Pinot Noir is a great partner for turkey, the best examples tend to be too expensive for this column as I try not to be too elitist. Having said that I cannot resist featuring this very attractive and well priced Central Otago Pinot Noir that just happens to make a great match with Turkey Breast with Walnut and Craisin stuffing.
Keep a tasting notebook to record the name, price and pleasure factor of each wine you try. Invite a few friends to each bring a bottle of Chardonnay (or any popular wine type) for a serious sipping session where you can compare the wines. Join
“White wine with white meat” is a pretty useful guideline. I strayed from it in this case because the bacon has quite an assertive influence on the dish. I have chosen a moderately light and savoury red with appealing berry flavours that tend to highlight the garlic and rosemary influence in this rich dish.
Keep all wine leftovers, including red wine, in the fridge. Warm up your refrigerated red wine in the microwave (approx. 30 seconds in full power). If you plan to drink half a bottle of wine in one evening, carefully pour half the opened bottle into
Glasses make a big difference – buy the best that you can afford When buying expensive glasses check to see that they are dishwasher proof – in my book life’s too short to hand wash glasses White wine glasses should be smaller than red wine
When I plan to pop a cork or click a screwcap for a mid-morning meal I always choose a light, fresh and fruity wine with a relatively low alcohol level. Bubbles add a useful tactile dimension while making the wine taste even fresher. Here are a few of my favourite matches.