Everyone says to live like every day is your last. While it isn’t always practical to swap work with play, there are some smaller steps we can take when wining and dining that leave us feeling content with great company, a full belly and satisfied taste buds.
To guide your next dinner party menu we have compiled a list of five stellar drops that you simply must share with your guests. So put these bottles down on the shopping list for your next get together.
Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvignon
This beauty from Margaret River in Western Australia is truly an icon, setting the bar for this style of wine and this grape. Long lived, dense, layered and complex, this is a Cab Sauv to have with your next leg of roast lamb with all the trimmings. Better still, it’s a bottle that will age well over a decade or so. It’s certainly worthwhile collecting an extra bottle to stow away in the cellar.
If you’re not back on the Chardonnay bandwagon just yet (and trust us, you certainly should consider it) we recommend seeking out the Toolangi Chardonnay from the Yarra Valley. Toolangi is one of the pathfinders in the Chardonnay resurgence showing wines of restraint, yet judicious wood expression and potential for time in the cellar – if you can leave them alone that is! A perfect pairing for this Chardonnay would be whole baked snapper with fresh lemon and a bowl of crunchy fries. It might not be great for the waistline, but the flavour combination will be well worth the treat.
Paul Osicka Shiraz
For Shiraz drinkers, Paul Osicka is a must. As one of the original Heathcote producers, the wines of Osicka are truly timeless. Heathcote is the biggest expression of red wine styles in Victoria, yet they still offer an element of complexity and delicacy that other regions can sometimes overlook. When you’re preparing to host dinner party guests find a good butcher, cook some steak served with roasted and marinated capsicum and decadent pommes mousseline to best enjoy and discover this delightful drop.
RieslingFreak No. 4
For the ultimate refreshment and perhaps to show a side of Riesling you’ve previously missed, RieslingFreak No. 4 is a great place to start. Produced in tiny quantities, the wines of John Hughes pay homage to Riesling which some may argue is the greatest white grape on earth. It offers thrilling acidity and filigree fruit expression, and is both compact and dense at the same time. Pair this with a simple and elegant white fish sashimi or a dozen of your favourite naked oysters. You could even drizzle some Riesling onto the oyster before you eat it.
Arras Brut Elite NV
If bubbles are your thing then you simply must drink Arras. Across the board, the sparkling wines of Arras are considered the very pinnacle of Australian sparkling wine production and the Brut Elite NV is nothing short of wonderful. Whilst these wines are perhaps a stylistic jump from the boney, ultra-fine wines of Champagne, they define Australia and more specifically Tasmania as another destination for quality bubbles. Now sparkling is often the drink of choice at the beginning of the evening, but a bottle like this one makes it a dinner party centrepiece. Pan seared pork loin first marinated in ginger and soy, served with wok tossed greens and a side of steamed rice is clean, crisp and a simply beautiful pairing.
This selection of five top wines only skims the surface of the great expressions of place and grape in Australia. Once you have crossed these off your list, not only will your cellar be well stock into the coming years, but you can then move on to try even more amazing wine – best shared with family and friends over a meal, of course.