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Oct 19, 2017

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A Night In
by Staff
Magazine Issue: AUS/NZ Issue Two

When not swanning around Tuscany, perusing markets for fresh produce with a camera crew and three weeks holiday, we're actually hungry people with about two hours and twenty bucks to spend on dinner.

We pulled together four experts to test-drive a bunch of wines with a range of typical take away dishes. Serving the usual take-out suspects and a selection of easy to get wines, we then asked what goes.


Toby

Jane

Kate

Matt
THE PANEL

Toby: Our resident superchef and well-travelled taster of all things fine.

Jane: A frightfully talented chef from Melbourne's traps and even some of the city's finest restaurants.

Kate: Wine X contributor, beer writer and Junior wine Jedi. As we eat Kate's probably studying for her Master of Wine program. That or drinking beer.

Matt: A man who knows his wine and loves his food the combination of which he believes makes him as expert.

DISH: FRIED CHICKEN

PICK: T'Gallant Imogen Pinot Gris 1999, $19

MATT: The overall structure of the wine worked really well with the hard task of getting through the skin to the chicken.

TOBY: The wine conquered the task of cutting through and overpowering the deep fry taste.

PICK: Evans and Tate Cabernet/Merlot 1999, $19.85

MATT: The laws of food and wine matching say that this match would be like marrying your sister - not good. Depending on how it's done of course, chicken doesn't usually go as well with such a heavy wine. But in this case it works and begs the question, is KFC really chicken?

DISH: NODDLE STIRFRY: COMBO OF PORK, BEEF, CHICKEN, LITTLE CHLLI AND VEGIES

PICK: Platypus Play Canungra Vineyards Semillon/Sauvignon 2000, $15

MATT: The wine is super simple -- clean, crisp and fresh, with minimal acidity which helps to not fire up the chilli in this dish.

TOBY: Fresh, clean drop with low acidity kept those spicy flavours in their place. Keep in mind that acidity in wine can amplify spice in food.

PICK: T'Gallant Imogen Pinot Gris 1999, $19

KATE: Rich lusciousness of wine goes well with the chilli.

PICK: Evans and Tate Cabernet/Merlot 1999, $19.85

KATE: The sweetness of the wine brings out the sweetness in the dish. Surprisingly good.

DISH: THAI GREEN CURRY CHICKEN WITH STEAMED RICE

PICK: McGuigan Traminer Riesling 2000, $9

MATT: The low acidity and spicy smells and flavours of the wine work really well to enhance the aromatics of this dish. The touch of residual sugar on the palate balances the coconut beautifully.

DISH: ONION RINGS

PICK: Platypus Play Canungra Valley Semillon/Sauvignon 2000, $15

KATE: This one brings out the caramelised onion flavours and washes down the grease.

JANE: The creaminess in the yummy wine matches well with the sweet, caramel, crispy, onion rings.

DISH: TOBY'S KIT TACOS SUPER HOT SAUCE

PICK: Charlotte Street Shiraz/Chardonnay/Cabernet 1999, $16

MATT: This was a strange blend of varieties, but it goes well. But then so would anything liquid after that ridiculously hot sauce we soaked the tacos with.

KATE: Soft and sweet, but not too much. This was a nice juxtaposition of flavours.

TOBY: Too much hot sauce. I'd rather drink milk.

DISH: TANDOORI FISH

PICK: Brown Brothers Gewurtztraminer 1999, $15.95

MATT: Low acidity in the wine balanced and matched the tandoori fish exceptionally well.

DISH: POTATO CAKES AND DIM SIMS

PICK: Andrew Garret Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon 2000, $14

MATT: The super high natural acidity in the wine cuts through the batter in the food. Flavours in both the food and wine in this case are pretty simple -- so they work well.

DISH: HUNGRY JACKS WHOPPER

PICK: Evans and Tate Cabernet/Merlot 1999, $19.85

KATE: This one was a little odd. The sweetness of the oak in the wine brings out the sugar in the bun. It's a food and wine match that's usually applied to matching desserts -- except that neither food nor wine was dessert.

JANE: Sugar and spice and all things nice. The berry and cassis flavours and the delicious sugar-loaded buns went great together.

DISH: PIZZA FRANCOISE SPECIAL - THE LOT

PICK: James Estate Merlot 1999, $15.95

MATT: The pizza is a virtual swamp of flavour: hot, spicy and oily. The sweetness in the wine works surprisingly well with the pineapple. Italian wine made from sangiovese would also be good -- the dry tannins would help to cut through all the oil.

TOBY: This wine, when drunk with the mixed flavours of pizza, came across as rather sweet, which strangely enough, matched the pizza.

DISH: TANDOORI MEAT

PICK: Rosemount Estate Grenache Shiraz 2000, $12

KATE: No reason, just 'cause it was nice -- the sweet fruit in the wine combats the spice of the tandoor. This is a case of wine contrasting well with the food.

DISH: SUSHI

PICK: Brown Brothers Gewurtztraminer 1999, $15.95

JANE: A little bit of acidity helped with the texture of the sushi. It needed to be a gently combination so the wine didn't overpower the soft flavours and textures of the sushi.

DISH: TORTELLINI WITH CREAMY SAUCE

PICK: Rosemount Chardonnay 2000, $15

JANE: The sauce on this pasta was like clag -- thick, rich and really difficult to get through. A really rich chardonnay was the only thing that would work with this.

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