Talking Wine With Tempus Two’s Lisa McGuigan


She has taken the wine world by storm with her young, fresh approach. We chat to Lisa McGuigan about her favourites, meals, restaurants and drops.


What is unique about Tempus Two Winery

“When I founded Tempus Two it was my vision was to build a winery that was complementary to the trademark design of the wine labels. The winery and cellar door was built to a brief of clean, refined elegance and it is definitely a reflection of that style. The exterior of the winery building is black and represents the varietal range, the interior is metal and represents the Pewter range and the furnishing is modern, similar to that of a five star hotel which represents my five star hotel training and background. I also wanted the winery to be an ‘experience’ for visitors and as such chose a site that could encompass an amphitheatre to host world-class musical acts like Sir Elton John, Rod Steward, KD Lang and INXS, all who’ve performed at the winery in recent years.”


Can red wine and fish ever go together… what’s your best advice for beginners who want to learn how to match food and wine well?


“Wine is about and enjoyment first and foremost, so try different combinations, the only real rule for me is that there are no rules, although plenty of wine books and websites provide easy tips about natural matches and pairings. Try looking at the aroma and plate notes on the back label of a bottle as a good start. Of course white wines, especially sparkling and sauvignons are perfect with seafood, but don’t miss out on trying some great red matches, many which will possibly surprise. Tuna, because of its red fleshed, high fat ‘meatiness’, is often better matched with red wines than white – I love it lightly seared or raw (sashimi style) with a good pinot noir. Pinot is also delicious with poached salmon. The famous fish dish of Marseilles, Bouillabaisse is divine with a rosé, whilst other tomato-based seafoods, such as spaghetti with clams can easily handle a Sangiovese. Just avoid combining reds with spicy seafood, as you will probably get a nasty metallic taste.”


What’s your favourite meal and wine combination?


“I’m currently enjoying Pinot Noir and I drink that with anything I’m eating. Coming into spring, a great combination that sticks to the rules of food and wine matching is Semillon from the Hunter Valley (which is usually unwooded) with Balmain Bugs, served cold with a fresh citrussy cocktail sauce and some lovely fresh crusty bread.”


Do you like to drink beer and cocktails as well as wine?


“My name really is Lisa ‘Cocktail’ McGuigan. I like the taste of beer but I am a real fan of ciders and my current favourite cocktail is a coffee martini or a traditional Italian cocktail of Aperol and tonic served in a short glass with loads of ice.”


What’s one wine we should be drinking more of and why?


“Leading up to summer aromatic white wines are what we should be drinking. They are wines that have had no oak maturations, are uncomplicated, fresh and usually the first wines to be released from the vintage. As it warms up these styles are much more enjoyable because of their fresh zestiness - wines such as Pinot Gris, Semillon, Unwooded Chardonnay and Semillon Sauvignon Blanc.”


How do you like to relax?


“How do you spell ‘relax’?!”


What are your favourite restaurants?


“Wine Library in Woollahra is a new favourite. I am enjoying their lobster sandwiches whilst writing these answers.”


Do you have a treasured recipe that gets passed down from generation to generation in the McGuigan family?


“My Grandmother Elizabeth’s slow roasted lamb dish – yum! It’s what I am cooking for a dinner party with friends tomorrow night.”


Which celebrity would you love to have a meal and a glass of wine with?


Well there is a long list of celebrities I’d love to have a glass of wine with but I’m just not sure what I would serve any of them! Top of my list currently would have to be Oprah as I’d love to show her the great wines Australians are producing.”


What’s your advice for people wanting to work in the field of food and wine hospitality?


“Just do it. It’s an industry that is amazingly rewarding and there is an abundance of creative and inspiring people to work with and learn from. I am so grateful to have had the chance as it gave me the confidence and knowledge to launch my own wine brand years ago and today to be working with amazing people in my role as a wine entrepreneur and ambassador.”

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