We love sharing our wines and our favourite parts of our beautiful Kangaroo Island. Our blog shares our team's favourite ways to get the most from your visit when you're exploring Kangaroo Island. And of course we like to share the latest news and wine reviews with you too!
Wine lovers across Australia & the world are seeking more sustainable and health-based eating methods. And the trend extends to wines, with sustainably grown, organic and vegan wines becoming more in demand.
For many people, whether vegan, vegetarian or just trying to eat more plant-based meals, it can be a new challenge to match their favourite wine with plant-based dishes.
We're proud that all The Islander Estate Vineyards wines are sustainably grown, and our entire wine range is 100% vegan. So, we're sharing tips for matching our wines to vegetarian and vegan dishes.
All wine combines grapes and yeast (wild/naturally occurring or added). However, traditionally, animal-based products derived from eggs, fish, or dairy have been used to clarify and filter wine to create the clean, bright wines consumers love to drink. Vegan wine producers like us seek alternatives like bentonite clay to achieve the same result without using any animal products.
The fundamentals of wine pairings apply regardless of your diet. Here are some overarching guidelines we like to follow:
Tasting Notes: Tropical fruit, citrus, herbal notes & sea spray with middle palate texture.
Drink it with:
- Asparagus & pea risotto
- Spring grilled vegetable skewers
- Spinach & feta stuffed mushrooms
Varietal Range The White Chardonnay
Tasting Notes: Peach, nectarine, melon, toasted nuts with refreshing acidity & a long finish.
- Creamy mushroom and garlic pasta
- Vegan Caesar salad with cashew dressing
- Butternut squash and sage pasta
The Enigma Skin Contact (orange wine) Sauvignon Blanc:
Tasting Notes: Passionfruit, lime zest, ripe citrus, and herbal notes blend with savoury/sour secondary characteristics and tannins.
• Vegan Thai green curry with tofu and vegetables
• Zucchini noodles with vegan pesto
• Vegan sushi bowls with marinated tofu and seaweed
Semillon Sauvignon Blanc:
Tasting Notes: Preserved lemon, apricot, citrus & tropical fruit with a textural palate.
Quinoa salad with fresh herbs and citrus dressing
Grilled corn on the cob with lime and chilli
Marinated Tofu Poke Bowl
Wally White Oaked Semillon
Tasting Notes: Textural & elegant, lemon curd, vanilla custard & a mouth-watering natural acidity.
Cashew Alfredo pasta with roasted vegetables.
Bell peppers stuffed with wild rice.
Tasting Notes: Strawberries & cream, peach notes & a light leesy grip add complexity.
Watermelon and mint salad
Vegan Caprese salad with tomatoes, basil, and vegan mozzarella
Strawberry and rocket salad with balsamic glaze
Grilled vegetable pizza
Tasting Notes: lack fruits, spice, vanilla, mocha, hints of liquorice & tobacco leaf.
Vegan paella with assorted vegetables
Eggplant and chickpea curry
Vegan Tapas platter
Tasting Notes: Spicy cherries, vanilla oak & hints of leather. Mid-weight with fine-grained tannins.
Vegan margherita pizza
Ratatouille with polenta
Spinach and vegan ricotta-stuffed shells
Fresh tomato basil bruschetta
Old Rowley Shiraz/Grenache:
Tasting Notes: Plush & elegant with raspberry, boysenberry, lifted florals, vanilla & clove oak.
Dolmade's stuffed with rice and herbs
Roasted red pepper and walnut dip with pita bread
Vegan lentil and vegetable curry
Eggplant & Chickpea Tagine
Tasting Notes: Red fruit, cherry, cranberry & raspberry with earthy notes, good acidity & a rounded palate.
Mushroom red wine risotto with shaved parmesan
The Investigator Cabernet Franc:
Tasting Notes: Blackcurrant, plum & mulberry, dried herbs & fennel. Lean with super fine tannins & a composed structure.
Lentil and mushroom burgers
Grilled portobello mushrooms with a balsamic glaze
Vegan shepherd's pie with lentils and vegetables
The Cygnet Shiraz:
Tasting Notes: Blackberry, liquorice, anise, menthol, cedar & savoury tannins.
Spicy black bean & corn chilli
Vegan pasta puttanesca
The Independence Malbec:
Tasting Notes: Malbec's full-bodied structure & firm tannins with black plum, blackberry, cocoa & sweet tobacco.
• Vegan Argentine empanadas with vegetable filling
• Black bean and corn salad with cilantro lime dressing
• Vegan chilli con carne with kidney beans
Penneshaw Beach Bar
A little piece of Greece islands in Penneshaw. The Penneshaw Beach Bar pop-up team knows how to bring all the vibes. It's the cafe, come ice-cream stand, and bar by the sea that the Dudley Peninsula needed. Perfect for grabbing a bite before heading to the beach & an ice cream cone afterwards. Open every day except Tues 7am-3pm. Middle Terrace, Penneshaw
Mooncake at Kangaroo Island Source
Local icon chef Kate Sumner has opened her private kitchen on a hill just outside Penneshaw with stunning views for her new summer venture, Mooncake. Serving up modern Asian cuisine & cocktails, weekends over summer. Whether you want to call in for an afternoon drink & a serving of spring rolls or stay for an Asian feast, it is the new must-do dining experience on the island's east end. Bookings: https://mooncake-1699484844.resos.com/booking
Kangaroo Island Wool at Cygnet River
After several years of hard work on their custom build facility, our newest neighbours on the Cygnet River Artisan Trail are open & running at full steam. They have been championing local wool for many years. Their new venture will bring visitors to KI in touch with our agricultural heritage with wool garments handcrafted on-island from the sheep to the lucky wearer. Book their fantastic immersive tour to really get under the skin (or wool) of our island's agricultural story: https://kangarooislandwool.com/
The Enchanted Fig Tree
Gastronomo at The Enchanted Fig Tree experience at stunning Snellings Beach on Kangaroo Island’s North Coast. It is one of South Australia’s most memorable dining experiences from the moment you arrive. You will be invited to venture through the leafy entrance of a majestic old fig tree before it opens into a collection of natural ‘living’ rooms. Each space is decked out with stunning table settings ready for you to experience a magical feast of the senses. Open this season for lunch & starlit dinners, the season runs from 8 November 2023 until 4 April 2024. Bookings: www.gastronomodining.com.au
Sunset Food & Wine
Kangaroo Island foodies are doing a happy dance that Jack Ingram & Vanessa Chu are reopening the east end’s icon restaurant for the summer season. A modern bistro focusing on local produce, Sunset Food & Wine combines stunning views overlooking American Beach, a killer wine list & elegant dishes that are a work of art. The season runs from 15 December until early April. Bookings: www.sunsetfoodandwine.com
Walk this Way
In a milestone in the recovery of Flinders Chase National Park from the devastating 2019/2020 bushfires, The Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail and Kelly Hill Conservation Park have reopened their doors to visitors, offering a chance to rediscover the island’s stunning natural attractions. Go for a visit this summer to experience the beauty of the island and learn about its ecology and geology. https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/parks/flinders-chase-national-park
Southern Ocean Lodge
We've been on a journey of recovery with our friends John & Allison, Managers of Southern Ocean Lodge 2.0 since the 2019/2020 bushfires. It's been a privilege to assist them with planting & regeneration days. They, in turn, have helped us with our vineyard rebuild. So, we were so excited to see their enormous task of rebuilding South Ocean Lodge completed with its reopening in early December 2023. And we're proud to have our wines stocked in the guest suite mini-bars and served as the arrival bubbles. If you have the opportunity to treat yourself to a once-in-a-lifetime experience, this is it. https://southernoceanlodge.com.au/
All about it: Our popular sparkling honours the wines of the Champagne region in France. Made in the same 'Méthode Traditionnelle', we blend cool-climate Chardonnay & Pinot Noir with a 'liqueur de tirage' to generate a second fermentation in the bottle. We age the wine on the lees for seven months before disgorging to build texture, body and a super fine bead.
On the nose: Lemon tart, baked apples, white floral and citrus zest
On the palate: Nashi pear, white peach, grapefruit, brioche
On the finish: Fine, elegant acidity and creamy texture.
We'll be drinking it with: You can't beat sparkling with Kangaroo Island Oysters at their plump best after the cold winter oceans. The yeast notes and acidity perfectly complement the rich, salty oysters.
All about it:
The White Chardonnay is our 'House Style' wine created by Jacques Lurton to complement our Estate Range of premium wines. Leave behind all your perceptions of heavily oaked chardonnay. The White is a modern Australian style with just a touch of nuttiness to add complexity to the fresh & clean style.
On the nose: Peach, apricot & melon
On the palate: Slightly toasty with peach, nectarine, melon & toasted nuts.
On the finish: Textural with fruit sweetness offset by subtle acidity, leading into a soft lingering finish.
We'll be drinking it with:
We love it with a roast or BBQ chicken cooked over flame. If you're heading outdoors, pair it with a Quiche Lorraine, a soft ripe brie or a picnic Caesar salad.
All about it:
Who doesn't love a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc when the sun is shining? Like all our wines, we use a restrained winemaking hand with our varietal range Sauvignon Blanc. All the classic varietal characteristics with an elegant finish to complement rather than overwhelm your spring dishes.
On the nose: Passionfruit, lime zest, citrus, sea spray.
On the palate: Ripe citrus, tropical fruit, a light herbal note & middle palate texture.
On the finish: Fresh, crisp acidity & a long finish.
We'll be drinking it with:
A delicious match with fresh herbaceous Asian salads (or Vietnamese bahn mi), oysters, BBQ spring vegetables & soft goats' cheese.
All about it:
Wally White defines our old-world meets new-world wine style. Crafted from Semillon, fermented & aged in French oak, it is rich, textural & elegant.
On the nose: Lemon rind, white peach, vanilla & slight smokiness from the barrel fermentation.
On the palate: Rich & textural with notes of lemon curd & vanilla custard creaminess on the mid-palate, complemented by a zesty, mineral finish.
On the finish: An elegant finish with a hint of spruce from the oak and a cleansing lick from the natural acidity.
We'll be drinking it with: Roast pork belly or creamy seafood dishes.
All about it:
Our Rose has become our most popular wine, crafted in Southern France's Provence region style. Pale salmon in colour, elegant, delicate, dry & dangerously easy to drink.
On the nose: Sherbet, strawberry, honeydew, rock melon.
On the palate: Strawberries & cream, peach notes with a light leesy grip adding complexity.
On the finish: Bright fruit gives way to a dry, clean finish with hints of acidity.
We'll be drinking it with:
A glass after work with French charcuterie like a pot of rillettes & a soft goat cheese would be heaven. Tuna or salmon sashimi, a classic Nicoise salad or fresh prawn all work beautifully.
All about it:
Italy's most planted wine variety and the pride of the Tuscan regional wine Chianti, Sangiovese is a sensitive soul, changing its character to reflect its growing conditions. It's a variety that genuinely expresses regionality.
With all the hallmarks of a classic Italian Sangio, this wine has inviting vanilla oak notes supported by subtle red fruit & hints of leather. Medium weight on the palate, full of flavour & texture with spicy cherry, plum, mocha & fine-grained tannins on the finish.
On the nose: Red cherry, dried herbs, anise, dark chocolate, leather & vanilla.
On the palate: Medium weight, spicy cherries, plums, mocha & sweet oak notes.
On the finish: Classic varietal savouriness and fine-grained tannins.
We'll be drinking it with:
Sangiovese is our go-to for antipasto platters & pizza nights. It's also a perfect pair for vegetarian dishes, especially tomato, red peppers & grilled vegetables.
All about it:
A European approach to this classic blend brings Shiraz & Cabernet Sauvignon together with elegant restraint. Power and structure abound in the Cab Sauv, with Shiraz adding softness & elegance.
On the nose: Notes of pepper, eucalyptus, toasted vanilla, cedar & baking spices.
On the palate: Cherry, blackberry, a hint of charry oak and leatherworking beautifully with the fleshy fruit.
On the finish: Classic varietal firm tannins are balanced with acidity by a deft winemaking hand.
We'll be drinking it with:
A classic pairing to chargrilled meats makes this your warm-weather BBQ companion.
All about it:
The first release of our Estate Range Malbec since 2016 & it's worth the wait.
On the nose: Toasty oak supported by aromas of leather, blackberry, dried herbs & spices.
Rich & layered.
On the palate: Dense & dry but rich with dark fruit flavours.
On the finish: Powerful tannic grip with natural acidity helping to retain elegance through the long finish.
We'll be drinking it with:
Slow-roasted beef rib or shoulder of lamb cooked over coals.
"A 60/40% blend from South Australia; hand-picked, destemmed, pumped to tank for settling, the semillon fermented in new French puncheons, the sauvignon blanc tank fermented, both parts using cultured yeast; matured for 12 months in barrel and tank, no mlf. Absolutely awash with flavour, ranging from citrus to exotic tropical notes. Yale Norris winemaker." Reviewed by: James Halliday, August 2023
“Machine-harvested, hand-sorted; very good colour. Fragrant bouquet and a complex, medium-bodied palate with cherry all-sorts: red, black and spiced. Overall a very good wine. Finely milled tannins the icing on the cake.” Reviewed by: James Halliday, July 2023
"Hand-picked Kangaroo Island fruit, destemmed, pumped to tank for 24-hour skin contact. A counter-intuitive wine, with Old World experience. Despite fearing the worst, it isn't phenolic, perhaps the cultured yeast is the sauvignon blanc clone isolated, not genetically manipulated. It's a wine with superior mouthfeel. Yale Norris winemaker." Reviewed by: James Halliday, July 2023
"Ultra-pale partridge eye. Jacques Lurton had primary responsibility for this wine, underlining the skilled balance between wild strawberries and forest nuances sneaking up to a mouth-cleansing finish. Ideal for Chinese cuisine."
Reviewed by: James Halliday, June 2023
“30% extended maceration post mechanical harvest late April. Matured 5 months in French puncheons (30% new). The crimson-magenta hue is striking. Positively juicy, with black cherry and plum fruit; tannin extract minimal. Altogether unusual wine, and it would be interesting to buy 6 or so bottles and track its development over the next 5 years or more.” Reviewed by: James Halliday, December 2021
"A playful sparkling in name and deed - Petiyante is a nod to the French word for bubbly. Lemon tart, baked apples, white florals and citrus zest is a good representation of the island's cooler climate. Bright on entry, the grapefruit and sherbety lift melds well with a sense of fresh-baked bread. Fine and steely."
Reviewed by: Jenni Port, February 2020
"A brilliant purple sheen is an enticing introduction to this smart, young Shiraz grenache. Softness is the key here together with a discreet, still emerging personality. It has a way to go. Pepper, spice, blackberries and red earth aromas. Deliciously ripe palate with dark cherry, black fruits and grenache violets and confection. Tannins are firm. Bottle age is a must." Reviewed by: Jenni Port, February 2020
"Estate-grown bush vines, hand picked and sorted, berry by berry. Wild fermented in 1000L ceramic eggs; left on skins for 8 weeks for conclusion of mlf, thence matured in French demis (25% new) for 24 months. Still holding a crimson edge to the hue, it is a beautifully made wine with silky tannins and fruit freshness, the oak playing a nigh-on unseen hand. One glass insists on another."
Reviewed: James Halliday, December 2021
"Hand-picked, destemmed into demi-muids for wild fermentation, 20% skins return, maceration continued until mlf complete, the wine drained and the skins and stems passed through the hand basket press, matured for 2 years on lees in demi-muids. Jacques Lurton has always loved cabernet franc, and this spicy red-fruited wine, plus its diamond dust tannins, shows why." Reviewed by: James Halliday, February 2019
"Organically managed estate bush vines, hand picked, destemmed and and whole-berry table-sorted. Wild-yeast fermentation in used 600L demis, mlf completed before the must is basket pressed and gravity racked to new 600L French demis for 24 months' maturation. The quality of the oak is clearly good and is still to pull its head in, but will certainly do so as part of a long future. It's an elegant wine and already attractive, with more in store as the oak diminishes.”vReviewed by: James Halliday, December 2021
"Hand-picked bushvine vineyard, destemmed into demi-muids for wild fermentation and extended maceration on skins until mlf completed, the juice run off and the skins pressed in a hand-operated basket press, blended after 2 years in demi-muids. An extremely complex and powerful wine with black fruits, spices, oak, tannins, earth and sea spray moulded into a single flame of flavour."
Reviewed by: James Halliday, February 2019
"Hand-picked fruit, destemmed, table-sorted then barrel fermented in seasoned 600L demi-muids; left 5 weeks on skins, matured 24 months in new 600L demis. Deep crimson-purple hue, showing no sign of age. An alluring, expressive bouquet with licorice, polished leather, eastern spices, dried plum and earth all calling out. The palate tucks in behind that array, giving substance and cedary oak tannins on the long, perfectly balanced finish.”
Reviewed by: James Halliday, December 2021
Kangaroo Island is Australia’s only Geographically Indicated small island wine region. Located off the coast of South Australia's Fleurieu Peninsula with the wild Southern Ocean to the south, Kangaroo Island combines a mediterranean climate with a strong maritime influence.
The dominating ocean influences moderate the temperature, making it significantly cooler in summer and warmer in winter than other South Australian wine regions. This allows for a long, even growing season and an excellent balance of sugar and acidity in the grapes. Being an Island wine region, these maritime conditions are unique to Kangaroo Island.
Kangaroo Island offers a diverse range of wine styles to explore. This wine region covers an enormous area of 4,400 km2 (10 times the size of McLaren Vale), with just seven wine labels producing across diverse sub-climate zones and soils. Unlike more intensely planted wine regions, vineyards on Kangaroo Island are surrounded by vast tracts of open farmland and native vegetation, each with its unique terroir.
As a young wine region, different approaches and winemaking experiences also drive diversity. Some of the region's labels were established by farming families with generations of agricultural experience on Kangaroo Island, who diversified into wine, learning and experimenting along the way. Other wine labels were established by experienced winemakers bringing their expertise from other regions nationally and internationally.
When Jacques Lurton, a sixth-generation winemaker from the famous Lurton family in Bordeaux, visited Kangaroo Island in 1997, he instantly recognised the conditions similar to both Bordeaux and Languedoc regions where he had grown up in France. He decided Kangaroo Island would be the place to establish his own Australian wine label and found the perfect property to grow and handcraft wine that would put Kangaroo Island on the world wine map.
The first grapes planted on Kangaroo Island were classic Australian varietals, such as shiraz, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and chardonnay. As winemakers with different expertise gravitated to the region, more interesting varietals were planted, like savagnin, arinto, albariño and tempranillo.
Having worked with an array of varietals throughout Europe and South America, Jacques chose to introduce varietals like cabernet franc, malbec, semillon, viognier and sangiovese to his vineyards on Kangaroo Island to create unique cool-climate expressions unlike those he has produced elsewhere in the world.
The Islander Estate Vineyards blends European elegance and finesse with Australian creativity. Using European varietals, equipment imported from France and many traditional 'old-world' winemaking techniques, our hallmark is elegant cool-climate wines that take their inspiration from French heritage but are creatively crafted and uniquely Kangaroo Island.
The Kangaroo Island wine region offers a personal wine-tasting experience. There are no "mega" wine complexes. Each cellar door is small, rustic and unique. This allows for a customised experience where you can get to know the winemakers and learn more about the winemaking process.
The Islander Estate Vineyards Tasting Room was designed to be deliberately intimate and pared back. It offers beautiful rural surroundings with decks and lawns to enjoy a platter and a bottle of wine. Our staff's personalised experience and knowledge will ensure that your wine tasting is an unforgettable experience.
One of the best ways to get a feel for a new place is to meet the locals, learn about their stories, and get insider tips on the best spots to visit. A hosted wine-tasting experience is a fantastic way to spend one-on-one time with locals.
Our team at The Islander Estate Vineyards love sharing their favourite spots to enjoy wine on the beach, at sunset, and where to picnic each season.
Makes approx 24 arancini
This recipe is a great way to use leftover risotto if you have it on hand, if not, use the recipe below to make a simple risotto from scratch.
1.25 litres (5 cups) hot chicken or vegetable stock
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
20 gm butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
250 gm Arborio rice
150 ml dry white wine
100 gm finely grated parmesan (2/3 cup)
Truffle & Smoked Fontina Filling
100 gm Smoked Fontina Cheese cut into 1cm cubes
15 gm fresh black truffle, finely grated
3 eggs, lightly beaten
75 gm plain flour, seasoned (½ cup)
100 gm fine dried breadcrumbs (1 cup)
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Aioli (homemade or store bought)
Shaved fresh truffle
Pipe half a teaspoon of aioli on each arancino & top with a fine shaving of fresh truffle
Serves 4 as a main course or 6 as an entree
1.1 kg floury potatoes (Desiree are a good choice)
1 ½ cups plain flour
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
White Castello & Truffle Sauce
1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
2 tablespoons (30 ml) butter, divided
2 shallots, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup (240 ml) dry white wine
1 cup (240 ml) whipping cream
1 cup finely grated Parmesan
150g White Castello cheese, cut into small pieces
1 x 45-50 gram
1 x 45-50gm French black truffle (or substitute with preserved truffles in oil)
Salt and pepper
Fresh chives, chopped, for garnish
In its second year, the Gutsy Kangaroo Island 2023 festival will take place from June 8 to June 12. A winter celebration of the determination and brilliance of the Island’s producers. With nineteen events scheduled over five days, including the June long weekend, the Island is set to be bustling.
Kangaroo Islanders defy the odds, always, whether that be the distance, the weather, or the isolation, to craft their product, and the stories to be told about how they achieve this, are incredible.”
Join us for a unique experience exploring two of the world's luxury products Cabernet Franc and Truffles, with the beauty of Kangaroo Island as the backdrop.
This intimate event begins at our Tasting Room with an educational masterclass on Cabernet Franc, one of the world's most elegant wine varietals. Enjoy a museum tasting of The Islander Estate Vineyard's flagship wine, The Investigator and discover what inspired Bordeaux winemaker Jacques Lurton to grow it on Kangaroo Island.
Then stroll to Kangaroo Island's first fledgling truffle orchard & meet owner Enzo Di Lalla for an exclusive insight into the dedication required to grow and harvest this coveted luxury food.
To wrap up the event, we will pair the two delicacies with a selection of rustic truffle dishes prepared by Kangaroo Island Source served stand-up fireside at the Tasting Room.
General Public Ticket price is $150.00 per person
Our Discoverer's Wine Club Members are offered a special ticket price of $99.00 for themselves & 1 guest.
The Food: Salmon is the perfect make-ahead entree or canape for any party. The acidity in the Pétiyante pairs perfectly with the richness of salmon. Of course, we recommend you cure it with the fabulous Kangaroo Island Spirits gin. Try this recipe for Gin Cured Salmon with cucumber and lime.
The wine: Our traditional method bottle-fermented sparkling Chardonnay/Pinot Noirs, Pétiyante is beautifully balanced with fine, elegant acidity and creamy texture, balancing the fruit flavours. Classic Champagne-like brioche notes on the nose and palate with a super fine bead with hints of nashi pear and white peach leading to a long, crisp, elegant finish.
The Food: Crispy pork crackling surrounding tender, juicy pork. Porcetta is a crowd-pleaser at Christmas. How good does this Portennos Christmas Porcetta with Chimichurri via the Sydney Morning Herald look? To really showcase this spectacular dish you need just the right wine, with enough richness to complement the pork but great acidity to cleanse the palate, luckily we have just the thing!
The Wine: Wally White Semillon is our Flagship white wine with a cult following. And for good reason. Handpicked Semillon is barrel fermented & aged on lees to create a sophisticated, textural wine with notes of lemon rind, lemon curd, white peach, hints of vanilla, creaminess on the mid-palate, underscored by a zesty, mineral finish and mouth-watering natural acidity. Pork is a heavenly pairing for this stunning wine.
The Food: Elegant, delicious Christmas entertaining doesn’t always mean slaving over a hot stove. Our friends at Les Deux Coq make the most delicious range of authentic French charcuterie we’ve come across outside France. A quick stop at their Adelaide Central Market stall or website gives you everything you need for the most delicious meal that pairs perfectly with a chilled French-style Rose.
The Wine: One of our fastest-selling wines, The Rose honours the classic Provence style of southern France. Light in colour with a focus on elegance but full of flavour and texture. Flavours of strawberries and cream, even some peach notes with a light leesy grip add complexity to the delicious freshness. It’s dry, fresh and dangerously easy to drink.
The Food: Pairing wine with Turkey can be a tricky affair. You have the white meat with some richness and gaminess, but often, wine matching is about the sides, which are more robust in flavour, like stuffing, gravy and roast vegetables. Red wine can be a delicious pairing if the tannins don’t overwhelm the dish. That’s where the elegance and delicacy of Bordeaux-style blends Bark Hut Road hit the perfect note. A fantastic complement to the flavours in this Turkey with Sour Cherry stuffing and pickled cherries recipe.
The Wine: A classic from our premium Estate range, Bark Hut Road is one of the first wines Jacques' released on Kangaroo Island. This elegant Bordeaux-style blend offers firm tannins, natural acidity, blackberry and sarsaparilla notes at the darker end of the fruit spectrum, and oak notes, vanilla, and coconut.
The Food: The ultimate luxury dish for a special occasion, a rare beef fillet coated in pate & mushrooms, baked in pastry. If there’s ever a time to dedicate this much love to a dish, it’s at Christmas. Chef Gordon Ramsay has made Beef Wellington his signature dish, you can try his recipe here.
The Wine: If you’re preparing a dish like this, then only the very best wine will do. The Investigator Cabernet Franc from our Flagship range is the perfect foil for the richness of the dish. With elegance and structure, the variety’s classic leanness and firm brooding tannins will complement perfectly. There are loads of savoury and herbaceous notes, with balance and a composed structure across the palate.
The Food: What’s Christmas without a Ham as the centrepiece? After hours of tender-loving-basting, this showstopper should be served with a wine to match. If you’re looking for new ham glazing ideas to spice it up this year, Australian Gourmet Traveller has collected glazing secrets of Australia's best Chefs.
The Wine: When pairing a wine with ham, it's all about the glaze, which most often has a sweet element to counteract the saltiness of the ham. Glazes tend to work well with medium-weight wines with plenty of acidity and bold fruit. The Cygnet Shiraz from our Flagship range is often referred to as Christmas in a glass – steeped red and blackberries and baking spices complement the spice of the glaze. This highly-rated shiraz shows just how elegant the variety can be.
The food: The day after Christmas is time to cog back and relax. Backyard BBQ, thongs and sandy feet. No need for a recipe here. Whatever you’re having on the BBQ, from steak to burgers to sausages, our cool climate Sangiovese is a great all-rounder. Try it lightly chilled for a warm weather red.
The wine: Our varietal range, 2022 Sangiovese, is the ideal wine for BBQ meats. It's medium-weight with plush red fruit notes, spicy cherries, vanilla oak, hints of leather and fine-grained tannins on the finish.
The Food: If your Christmas tastes lean more towards seafood, then our 2022 Sauvignon Blanc is going to be a winner at the table. Pair it with shellfish like BBQ scallops, prawns or lobster with a rich homemade aioli.
The Wine: Our Sauvignon Blanc has classic passionfruit, lime zest, citrus & sea spray notes. On the palate, it's delicate & aromatic with a light herbalness, ripe citrus & tropical fruits, rounded off with just enough acidity to finish elegant, clean and crisp.
Getting the serving temperature right will help you to get the best enjoyment from your wine.
Serving white wine too cold will inhibit those beautiful delicate aromatics & flavours. Serving red wine too warm will allow alcohol to mask subtle secondary & tertiary characters that the winemaker has put so much work into creating.
Especially in Australia, where ‘room temperature' is often significantly warmer (in the mid-20s celsius) than in Europe, where it might be 15-18c.
Generally, it's best to serve white wine a little warmer than we think & red wine a little cooler than you might assume.
Here are our best practice tips on wine serving temperatures for each of our wines.
Sparkling wine, light-bodied white wines & our crisp Provence-style Rose are best well chilled to match their crisp acidity. Ideally, chill your wine in the fridge overnight, but if you're in a hurry, here's our top tip for quick chilling. Fill an ice bucket three-quarters with ice and water so that the wine is entirely surrounded by cold water. This method will allow the warmth of the wine to transfer to the ice bucket more easily. Even faster? Add salt to create a slurry.
If the winemaker has fermented or aged white wine in oak or gone to the effort of lees or malolactic fermentation like our 'Wally White' Semillon, Viognier & Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, the wine will have delicious texture, secondary & tertiary characteristics that will shine at a slightly warmer temperature. For these wines, we suggest a light chilling only. Or remove the wine from the fridge an hour before serving.
We often think red wine should be served at ‘room temperature'. This is true if you live in a century-old French chateau where the room temperature is likely closer to 13 degrees celsius. In Australia’s climate, red wine, especially light-medium-bodied reds like our Sangiovese & Tempranillo, benefit from a light chilling, especially when consumed in the warmer seasons. Try chilling them for an hour in the fridge. Or if you’re headed for a picnic or party, pop them in your esky with your beers to enjoy when you arrive.
Depending on how you store your red wine, getting the best from the aromatics, structure & winemaking characteristics of medium and full-bodied red wines will be achieved by serving them at a cool room temperature of 14-18 degrees celsius.
So in Australia's warmer climate, it makes sense to give your reds some time to cool down in the fridge before service (20-25 min). But if you store your wine in a wine fridge at cellaring temperature (12 degrees Celsius), take it out 15 minutes prior to serving to allow the temperature to come up a little. If in doubt, it’s always better to serve your reds a little cooler, as it will warm as you consume it.