Winter? Try Wine-ter! The wine game is changing as the temperature drops. Fortunately, Emma Bangay has everything you need to know.
While summer may have meant light whites, as winter approaches you're more likely to start reaching for that red.
At least, this is according to the Managing Director and Winemaker at Taylors Wines, Mitchell Taylor.
And if you thought it was a no-no to have a cold red - you're in for a small surprise!
"It’s becoming quite popular now to lightly chill your favourite red wines," Mitchell explained. "So, a light-bodied Pinot Noir, or even a medium-bodied Shiraz chilled in the fridge for about 30 minutes is an ideal autumn beverage.”
When choosing a wine to suit the increasingly wintery climate, take cues from the types of food you eat during the colder seasons.
“Cooler months call for hearty, slow-cooked foods like roasts or stews. These dishes are best complemented by bold, full-bodied red wines."
For whites, aromatic wines are becoming staples in the fridge, notes Mitchell. "These include Pinot Gris or Viognier, because of their rich fruit notes of pear, peach or apricot, which are ideal for the cooler months of the year," he explains.
What are the best regions?
Australia produces some incredible cabernet sauvignon wines, explains Mitchell. "In particular the Clare Valley - where our winery is - which produces a refined, elegant style of cabernet because of the warm sunny days - which are great for ripening the fruit - combined with cool nights, which slow the ripening process and create a beautiful balance of acid and fruit flavours."
Sticking to South Australia, Mitchell also suggests sourcing your aromatic whites from the Adelaide Hills as the cool climate helps promote the floral and fruit aromas of these varieties.
What are the best meal and wine matches?
"For the aromatic Viognier, classic autumn dishes like crispy pork belly pair perfectly with wine’s complex flavours and refreshing acid," explains Mitchell.
Meanwhile, Pinot Gris - with its sometimes sharper acid - is a great accompaniment to rich, creamy dishes like chicken curry.
"If you’re having friends over and want to impress with a mixed charcuterie board or cheese plate, you can elevate the experience by sharing a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon," Mitchell advises. "For Cabernet, I suggest a hard cheese like aged cheddar, as opposed to a soft brie."
What is the best way to store wine?
- Keep it out of direct sunlight: "Warmth and light from the sun will age it dramatically. Keep it in a dimly lit place to prevent it from ageing too quickly," advises Mitchell.
- Keep the temperature cool and consistent: "Don’t expose your wine to dramatic changes in temperature, excessive heat or humidity. You’ll be drinking vinegar before you know it!"
- Keep it stable: "Wine likes to sit still when it’s waiting patiently in storage for you to drink, so choose a stable place with little vibration or foot traffic to avoid too much movement."