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How to expand your wine knowledge

NEW WINES: cellar director at Cellarmasters, Christine Ricketts.
NEW WINES: cellar director at Cellarmasters, Christine Ricketts.

MOST seniors, just by way of their age, have reasonable wine knowledge, but it is easy to get stuck in a rut, to order the same wine just because you know it.

"It's convenient to drink something you already know, but the world of wine is vast and wonderful, so you should definitely challenge yourself to try something new every once in a while," cellar director at Cellarmaster Christine Ricketts said.

Althugh Shiraz, Cabernet, Sauvignon Bland and Chardonnay still top Australian wine sales, there's a myriad exciting wine varieties on the rise.

"The most popular alternative wines in Australia are made in Mediterranean style, such as Sangiovese or Nero d'Avola. They tend to be food friendly with beautiful textures and refined flavours, so they are definitely worth trying," Christine said.

If you like Sauvignon Blanc...

  • Go for a Friulano. Friulano (formerly known as Tocai Fruilano) is a grape variety most famous for its role in the white wines of Friuli, north-eastern Italy. Friulanos range from light and crisp to richer and full-bodied, but tend to be fruit-driven.
  • Food pairing; Friulano is a versatile food wine, pairing well with antipasti, fish, and poultry.
  • Wine to try: Fabric Wines Mornington Peninsula Friulano 2017

If you like Cabernet Sauvignon....

  • Go for a Malbec. Malbec is a full-bodied red wine that grows mostly in Argentina. Known for its plump, dark fruit flavours, smoky finish and robust tannins, it will give your favourite Cab Sav a run for its money.
  • Food pairing: This robust red wine holds up well with dark meat poultry, roasted pork, and leaner cuts of red meat.
  • Wine to try: Stonyfell Regional Langhorne Creek Malbec 2016

If you like Chardonnay...

  • Try Macabeo. Macabeo is a versatile, Spanish white wine grape and is used in still, sparkling dry and sweet wines - just like the Chardonnay grape. When served as a table wine, Macabeo tends to have quite neutral, fresh flavours and is low in acid, so it makes for easy sipping. If you prefer an oaky Chardonnay, try Chenin Blanc.
  • Food pairing: Pairs well with savoury dishes with herbs, such as pesto pasta, frittatas or pizza.
  • Wine to try: Divinis Macabeo 2016

If you like Grenache...

  • Try a Mataro. In fact, Mataro and Grenache are often used in wine blends together (and make up for the GM in GSM wine), but Australian winemakers in predominantly South Australia have started to produce very fine examples of single-variety Mataro wines. Just like Grenache, Mataro is a medium-bodied wine with rich and spicy dark berry fruit flavours and firm tannins.
  • Food pairing: Mataro is a great match for duck, and the tannins in the wine make it the perfect pairing with barbequed red meats, char-grilled Portobello mushrooms or meaty sausages.
  • Wine to try: Teusner Riebke Mataro 2015

If you like Shiraz...

  • Try a Shiraz Sangiovese. The blend of these two varieties - which can shine on their own -is just pure perfection. Shiraz brings the dark chocolate, plum and spice flavours, while Sangiovese tempers the rich juiciness of the Shiraz, and adds fresh, red cherry flavours with a touch of savoury. The result is a smooth and elegant finish.
  • Food pairing: Perfect with an array of foods but cured meats in particular.
  • Wine to try: Stefano De Pieri Shiraz Sangiovese 2016

If you like Pinot Noir....

  • Go for a Nero d'Avola, Sicily's most famous red wine - and it certainly deserves the spotlight. This medium bodied red wine tends to have lovely red berry aromas with earthy and meaty flavours. In other words, if you like a Pinot Noir, you will love a Nero!
  • Food pairing: Roasted and grilled red meat and meaty fish such as tuna.
  • Wine to try: Stefano De Pieri Merbein Vineyard Nero D'avola 2017

Topics:  ann rickard entertaining wine and food


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