Aussie Food and Wine Pairing Guide
In Australia we’re lucky to enjoy a melting pot of exciting cuisines and gourmet creations from all corners of the world including iconic culinary masterpieces we all cherish and are proud to call our own.
To celebrate these national treasures, here’s our guide to some of the ‘Aussie as’ dishes we hold near and dear and the wine matches that make them even more delectable.
Fish and chips
‘Our home is girt by sea’ – with a coastline of stunning beaches and oceans filled with some of the best seafood in the world, it’s no wonder we love our fish and chips. Crumbed or battered, fish and chips are crunchy and textural, so go for a wine with zippy balancing acidity. Raise a toast to fried goodness matched with wonderfully crisp and refreshing Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and dry Rosé.
Pair with: Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, plus dry Rosé.
Chicken, tomato and cheese – what’s not to love. Stolen from the Italians and a classic fixture on every Aussie pub and club menu, chicken parmi has it all! Pair its deliciously crispy coating, rich homemade tomato sauce and melted mozzarella cheese with mid-weight whites including Pinot G and Vermentino or reds like Merlot and Barbera.
Pair with: Pinot G, Vermentino, Merlot and Barbera.
The name barramundi is Aboriginal for “large-scaled silver fish.” Also known as Giant Perch, Palmer, Cockup, Bekti, Nairfish, and Australian Seabass, it comes from Australia’s ‘Top End’, and appears on restaurant menus right around the country. Barramundi's clean, buttery flavour and meaty texture calls for mid-weight and fragrant whites like Arneis and Fiano or light reds including Pinot Noir and Nero d’Avola.
Pair with: Arneis, Fiano, Pinot Noir and Nero d’Avola.
Native to Australia, these curious looking and absolutely delicious crustaceans, are a species of slipper lobster. When it comes to these little critters, it’s all about keeping it simple – cut them in half, drizzle with oil/butter, season with salt and pepper and cook them on the barbeque in their shell. They make a fantastic seafood feast with mid to fuller-bodied whites like Pinot G, Verdelho, Marsanne and Chardonnay.
Pair with: Pinot G, Verdelho, Marsanne and Chardonnay.
Pretty much uniquely Australian, pumpkin soup is surely king of all winter soups! Whether you make yours extra creamy, with a touch of ginger and lemon, or top it with a sprinkling of crispy lardons, fuller-bodied whites like Verdelho, aged Riesling and Chardonnay, or for reds, Pinot Noir and Grenache are the go.
Pair with: Verdelho, aged Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir or Grenache.
Burger with beetroot
Is a burger really a burger without beetroot? Stacked with a beef patty, iceberg lettuce, tomato, beetroot and possibly bacon and pineapple, the average Aussie hamburger is takeaway heaven. Take this taste sensation to the next level with light to mid-weight reds like Pinot Noir, Grenache and GSM’s, and Tempranillo, or if you prefer something lighter,
a fleshy Rosé is a fabulous match.
Pair with: Pinot Noir, Grenache and GSM’s, Tempranillo or a fleshy Rosé.
When it comes to the backyard barbeque, Australians are in their element. It seems we all love a good barbequed snag, and not just on election day or at Bunnings on a Saturday. In fact, according to the George Institute of Global Health, Australians are consuming 1.1 billion sausages each year. Elevate these tasty morsels from everyday to gourmet with more robust reds like Malbec, Shiraz and Durif.
Pair with: Malbec, Shiraz and Durif.
Lamb leg roast
Australia boasts some of the best agricultural produce in the world, so it’s little wonder why families across the country have made a habit of coming together over a Sunday lamb roast. The texture of lamb pairs beautifully with the elevated tannins and deep flavours of Cabernet creating a classic combination. Cabernet blends and other medium-weight to rich reds like Tempranillo and Sangiovese, also make pretty special pairings.
Pair with: Cabernet, Cabernet blends, Tempranillo and Sangiovese.
Known as spag bol by some and spag bog by others, this staple of Italian cuisine is a firm Aussie household favourite for a very good reason. Deeply satisfying, this saucy meat-based dish is best enjoyed with juicy, mid-weight reds like Barbera, Nero d’Avola, Merlot and Sangiovese.
Pair with: Barbera and Nero d’Avola, Merlot, Sangiovese or Tempranillo.
When it’s all said and done, Australia’s culinary icon and the national fast food of choice has to be the humble meat pie. The favoured fare at the footy, a quick lunch from the local corner shop, gourmet offerings from artisan bakeries and posh pot pies at pubs – over 270 million of these meaty parcels are consumed around the country each year. Whether your preferred pie is steak and kidney, beef and mushroom or simply the classic, Shiraz, Malbec, Cabernet Merlot and Durif are all great wine choices.
Pair with: Shiraz, Malbec, Cabernet Merlot and Durif.
Pavlova & Lamingtons
Australia and New Zealand have been battling over the ancestry of pavlova for eons. In fact, food researchers have recently traced a version back to Germany, but who cares. This is a much-loved summer dessert darling and the undisputed star of Aussie Christmas celebrations. And, while we can’t confidently call the pav’ ours, we can lay claim to the lamington. Steeped in chocolate and coconut deliciousness, this famous little Aussie takes pride of place at bakeries, cake stalls and school fund-raises nation-wide. When matching sweet wine with sweet foods like these divine desserts, the number one rule is that the wine is at least as sweet as the food pairing or it will taste flat and washed out – Moscato is a perfect partner.
Pair with: Off-dry Moscato.
For more great food and wine combinations, be sure to check out our dedicated Food and Wine Pairing pages.