When drinking wine, its culinary pairing often has the ability to completely change the experience.
As a general rule of thumb, red wines should be served with dense, protein-rich foods, while white blends are ideal with lighter dishes such as fish and vegetables.
Vintage Cellars have revealed their ‘go-to’ guide to discovering the perfect wine pairing for every meal.
Aspiring sommeliers should enjoy a glass of Marsanne with grilled barramundi, or a Pinot Noir with Peking duck pancakes.
Barramundi with lemon butter sauce is best paired with Marsanne
BARRAMUNDI WITH LEMON BUTTER SAUCE
This delicious and nutritious meal, with a slightly bitter taste, is ideal with a medium bodied white wine, such as Marsanne.
Marsanne, a rare grape variety with origins in France, has a smooth texture.
Dishes that contain sauces with cream and butter are ideal, as they mirror the characteristics of the wine.
Best paired with: Tahbilk Marsanne
CHICKEN SCHNITZEL WITH BUTTERMILK SAUCE
To enjoy all the flavours of this comfort food, it’s perfect to serve with a medium bodied white wine such as a glass of Grüner Veltliner.
Pairing: Chicken schnitzel is best paired with a medium bodied white wine, such as a Grüner Veltliner
A dry white wine, Grüner Veltliner contains notes of lime, lemon and grapefruit, along with a herbaceous edge.
The crisp flavour is a perfect match with rich meats such as chicken schnitzel and can act as a palate cleanser.
Caitlyn Rees, head sommelier at Fred’s and Charlie Parker’s, told FEMAIL that while serving white wine straight from the fridge makes sense during summer, allowing the wine to ‘warm’ slightly can actually improve the flavour.
‘Serving white wine too cold makes the tannins and acidity appear stronger, and you can lose the complexity of other flavours,’ she said.
Best paired with: Nepenthe Wine Makers Selection Grüner Veltliner
This signature Italian dish is ideally served with a lighter white wine, such as a Pinot Grigio, due to its heavy egg and cheese-based sauce.
A versatile, crisp dry white, a glass of Pinot Grigio features primary fruit flavours of lime, lemon, pear, white nectarine and apple.
Caitlyn suggests taking in the full aroma when you sip a glass of white wine.
Italian delicacy: Spaghetti carbonara is ideally served with a lighter white wine, such as a Pinot Grigio
‘When you sip the wine, you want to move it all over your palate because different parts of the mouth detect sweetness, bitterness and other flavours differently,’ she said.
‘Note the weight, the tannins, the acidity, sweetness, alcohol and flavours.’
Best paired with: Squealing Pig Pinot Grigio
This popular meal is best paired with a heavy bodied white wine, such as a Chardonnay.
The rich buttery centre of a Kiev dish is perfectly matched with an oak-based Chardonnay, as opposed to a lighter Chardonnay with tropical fruit flavours.
Heavy bodied: Chicken Kiev is best paired with a heavy bodied white wine, such as Chardonnay
Best paired with: Henschke Tillys Vineyard Chardonnay
Pad Thai is an ideal match with a medium bodied white wine, such as a glass of Viognier, as the acidity in the blend is able to break down fattier food.
The flavours in Viognier can range from tangerine, mango and honeysuckle, to vanilla with spices of nutmeg and clove.
Best paired with: Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier
Thai cuisine: Pad Thai is best paired with a medium bodied white wine, such as a Viognier
What are the temperature recommendations for different wine blends?
* Full-bodied reds (Bordeaux, Napa Cabs, Shiraz, Zinfandel): 17-19 degrees
* Lighter-bodied reds (Burgundies, Pinot Noir, Chianti): 14-16 degrees
* Light, young and fruity reds (Beaujolais, Merlot): 12-14 degrees
* Full-bodied whites (Grand Cru Burgundies, Chardonnays): 12-13 degrees
* Rosé, Semillon, Viognier, Sauternes: 10-12 degrees
* Riesling, Verdelho, Vintage Champagnes: 8-10 degrees
* Dessert wines: 7-8 degrees
* Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Non Vintage Champagnes, Ice Wines: 6-8 degrees
THAI GREEN CURRY
This warming dish is best suited to a medium bodied white wine, such as Gewurztraminer.
A German white wine, the exotic flavour makes it a better pairing with Thai or Indian food, as opposed to basic fish and vegetable dishes.
Best paired with: Arthur Metz Gewurztraminer
Flavour: A Thai green curry is best paired with a medium bodied white wine, such as a Gewurztraminer
SPICED CHICKEN WINGS
This popular finger food is ideally served with a medium bodied rosé.
Rosé typically includes notes of lavender, thyme and rosemary, and is versatile enough to match most meats.
Best paired with: Angove Nine Vines Grenache Shiraz Rose
Light and fresh: Spiced chicken wings are a perfect match with a glass of medium bodied rosé
PEKING DUCK PANCAKES
Peking duck pancakes, an iconic Chinese delicacy, make a great duo with a light bodied red wine, such as a Pinot Noir.
Pinot Noir is the perfect match for duck, while richer full-bodied varieties are ideal with steak.
Caitlyn told FEMAIL the ideal temperature red wine should be served at.
‘The highest temperature red wine should be served at is 19 degrees, and if it’s a lighter-bodied red, 15 degrees is ideal.’
Best paired with: Le Chat Noir Pinot Noir
Asian delicacy: Peking duck pancakes are best paired with a light bodied red wine, such as a Pinot Noir
MUSHROOM AND MASCARPONE RISOTTO
With its often heavy base, this comforting meal goes hand in hand with a medium bodied red wine, such as Pinot Noir.
Pinot Noir features a wonderfully heady perfume and red berry flavours.
Best paired with: Brancott Estate Marlborough Pinot Noir
A household favourite, this Italian delicacy is ideally served with a medium bodied red wine, such as a Sangiovese Shiraz.
Sangiovese Shiraz and tomatoes are a classic combination, making spaghetti and meatballs the perfect match.
A glass of the red features notes of red plums, cherries, blueberries, blackberries and figs.
Best paired with: Some Young Punks Squids Fist Sangiovese Shiraz
Popular dish: Spaghetti meatballs ideally served with a medium bodied red wine, such as a Sangiovese Shiraz
RIB EYE STEAK WITH CHILLI SAUCE
This hearty dish is best paired with a medium bodied red wine, such as Merlot.
Merlot is better suited to steak than a Cabernet Sauvignon, as it’s smoother and rounder in flavour.
During the warmer months, Caitlyn said that for those reds that are not kept in a temperature-controlled room, she will bring the temperature down before serving.
‘I will chill wine in an ice bucket for 10 minutes, to help it cool down a little.’
Best paired with: McGuigan Black Label Merlot
MOROCCAN BRAISED LAMB NECK
This slow-cooked casserole is suited to a heavy bodied red wine, such as Tempranillo.
Tempranillo is a full-bodied red which hails from the warmer climes of Spain.
When young, the wine has fresh and fruity characteristics, and with age, the tobacco and leather flavours become more enhanced.
Packed with flavour: Moroccan braised lamb neck is perfectly paired with a heavy bodied red wine, such as a Tempranillo
Best paired with: Earthworks Barossa Tempranillo
AMERICAN STYLE BBQ RIBS
This Southern-style dish complements a heavy bodied red wine, such as a Zinfandel.
Primary flavours of Zinfandel include berries, plum and licorice.
Heavy red: American style BBQ ribs, full of flavour, are ideally served with a glass of Zinfandel
Best paired with: Cape Mentelle Zinfandel
LAMB SHEPHERD’S PIE
A hearty and filling dish that goes well with a medium bodied red wine, such as a Cabernet Merlot.
The blend suits fatty and hearty meats perfectly, making it an ideal match for a comfort meal.
Best paired with: Rolling Cabernet Merlot
Comfort food: A shepherd’s pie is best paired with a medium bodied red wine, such as a Cabernet Merlot