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Vic's food and wine symphony

The right food with the right wine creates an explosion of flavour, like the crescendo of a symphony.

Here Cellar Director and Foodie-Extraordinaire Vic Williams pairs wine styles with their ideal food partners.

Order a straight case, the reds mix, the whites mix, or the mix of both and recreate Vic’s dishes at home.

BLEASDALE LANGHORNE CREEK MERITAGE 2017


Chop together garlic, parsley, rosemary, thyme and lemon zest and mix with grated Pecorino cheese and soft breadcrumbs. In another bowl mix whole mushrooms with lemon juice, two chopped anchovies, olive oil and a splash of brandy. Season, then combine all the ingredients. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 200degC, then remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Tear a ciabatta loaf into chunks, toss with pepper and oil and bake on a tray for the final 15 minutes. Serve the mushrooms on top of the bread and sprinkle with more fresh herbs.

ABBAZIA VINO DOLCE MOSCATO N/V


This delicious low-alcohol mouthful of pleasure is perfect with any fresh fruit, but goes particularly well with strawberries. Get a ‘sweet and sour’ thing going by sprinkling halves with a judicious amount of icing sugar and really good Balsamic vinegar.

CA’BOSCARI SALENTO PRIMITIVO 2015 


Eggplant is one of the most popular vegetables in Puglia, and each local ‘nonna’ (grandmother) has her own favourite recipe. One of the simplest and most delicious tops halves with a tomato sauce spiced with chopped chilli plus a generous amount of grated cheese. Baked until the cheese bubbles and browns, it is usually served with a simple green salad.

ASPIRING FLATS CENTRAL OTAGO RIESLING 2017


It’s on the sweet side of medium, but the lovely acid balance enables this stylish white to sit happily alongside just-cooked mussels. Sacrifice a splash for the pan, add a little Japanese mirin for extra sweetness and steam them open. Strain the cooking broth over the top to serve.

ESK VALLEY HAWKES BAY THE PREACHER MERLOT/CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2016


Merlot-dominant wine goes well with chicken, particularly if red wine (this one, or something lesser) is used for cooking. Brown chicken thighs in oil, then remove. In the same pan, sauté thickly sliced onion and chopped garlic until slightly softened. Place the chicken back in the pan along with a cup or so of red wine and a splash of water. Cover and simmer for 20 or 30 minutes, then stir in a few seedless red grapes, halved.

HAWKESBRIDGE MARLBOROUGH GEWÜRZTRAMINER 2017


Rich and spicy, this beautifully exotic wine is the ideal partner for pork spareribs. Marinate them in light soy sauce, Chinese Shao Hsing wine (or dry sherry) and a few drops of chilli oil, then deep-fry. Serve drizzled with a sauce made by simmering two tablespoons each of sugar, rice wine vinegar and water just until the sugar dissolves.

FINCA-MONICA DOC RIOJA TEMPRANILLO 2017


Spain’s famous chorizo sausage is on a roll – more than two million kilograms of them were exported in 2018. One of the most delicious ways to enjoy it is with pasta, in a dish called Macarrones con Chorizo, which combines thick slices with macaroni in a chilli-spiced tomato sauce.

LITTLE GOAT CREEK ORGANIC MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017


Save this upfront little number for the asparagus season. Snap the spears and trim to an equal length. Boil until just tender and serve topped with a soft-poached egg, shaved parmesan cheese and extra-virgin olive oil.

NEW EDEN EDEN VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2015


Cool-climate Cabernet has a minty edge that makes it a natural partner for lamb flavoured with this classic herb. Roast racks pink and cut into one and two-chop sections. Interweave the bones and stand on end to form a three-chop ‘tower’ for each serving. Add chopped mint to the pan gravy and drizzle over the top.

MISTER HAWKES BAY CHARDONNAY 2016


Hot-smoke deboned, skin-on salmon over tea leaves, uncooked rice and a little brown sugar. Break into chunks and toss with sliced avocado, rocket leaves, chopped hazelnuts and diced red capsicum, all dressed with lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil. Yum!

VASARELLI VINEYARDS FAMILY RESERVE MCLAREN VALE SHIRAZ 2016


It has to be Italian! Make meatballs from lean minced beef, finely chopped red onion, crushed garlic and fresh parsley, all held together with breadcrumbs, a beaten egg and grated Parmesan cheese. Soaked and chopped Porcini mushrooms will add a worthwhile flavour kick. Brown the meatballs in oil and serve as finger food.

PONDER OLIVE GROVE MARLBOROUGH PINOT GRIS 2018


Create a salad that combines leaves of baby Cos lettuce with thinly sliced pears and roughly chopped walnuts. Toss with a dressing of lime juice and extra-virgin olive oil, plus a little sesame oil. Serve with cheesy toast fingers or topped with just-cooked prawns.