Australian wines are often criticized for not partnering well with food--their up-front, fruit-driven personalities aren't considered ideal for nuanced dishes, whereas wines with more subtle flavors and brighter acidities are thought to be ideal. Personally, I never drink the stuff, but it is fun to break out of the mold once in a while.
In Kiawah over the weekend, with two other couples, we dined one night at Jasmine Porch, the casual restaurant in the Sanctuary resort. The menu has lots of seafood--shrimp, crab, bass, tuna--along with regional accompaniments such as fried green tomatoes, rice and beans and okra. My usual go-to white for seafood is a Riesling or white Burgundy--but I decided to throw caution to the wind and instead ordered the Henschke Sémillon Eden Valley Louis. Many of the seafood dishes had fruit or other slightly sweet accents, and I figured a fruit-driven wine might do the trick. The Sémillon turned out to be ideal--with its creamy texture and bright citrus flavors, it worked wonderfully with my blood-orange glazed sturgeon and my wife's peach tea-infused tuna.
Instead of seafood, a few people in our party went with the pulled pork, another low country specialty, and so I needed a red for the table as well. Again, I went the Aussie route, with a John Duval Entity Barossa Valley (100% Shiraz). The wine was slightly sweet and all about fruit--not the kind of thing I would normally drink, but exactly what I expected. With the sweet spice and lightly smoky notes of the pork, though, it was a hit, a real crowd-pleaser of a wine.
Aussie wine with food--who woulda thunk it? But both wines were excellent examples of their respective style, and while I might not personally prefer them to other wine styles, a good wine always has its place at the table.
Bob Brack — Canada — October 2, 2006 4:46pm ET
Colin Haggerty — La Jolla, California — October 2, 2006 10:17pm ET
Jeffrey Ghi — New York — October 3, 2006 1:06pm ET
Dan Rote — lancaster, pa — October 3, 2006 7:07pm ET
Roger Cabot — nantucket — October 3, 2006 10:29pm ET
James Molesworth — October 4, 2006 8:03am ET
Alton D Trawick — Sammamish, WA — October 4, 2006 1:40pm ET
Rick Klotz — Lake — October 6, 2006 12:44pm ET
Paul Wright — October 8, 2006 11:48am ET
Hugo Stabio — Argentina — November 23, 2006 9:40am ET
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