Cooking At The Creek: Interview with Chef Veronica Zahra
Wine Pairing and Recipe Tips From the Chef at Jacob's Creek
3. When not drinking Australian wines, what are some of your favorite wines? Do you find some wines easy to pair with a wide variety of dishes?
When not drinking Australian wines, I like Spanish Tempranillo and Italian Sangiovese. But the wines I find easiest to pair with a very wide variety of dishes are Riesling and Shiraz. For Riesling, I recommend Jacob’s Creek Reserve Dry Riesling. In relation to Shiraz, I was recently having a bit of fun looking at salmon, pork, beef and lamb dishes prepared various ways, and we were quite astounded that, while some of the wines suited only one of these dishes, Wyndham Estate BIN 555 went readily with all of them.
4. What is your favorite autumn food and wine pairing?
I really enjoy warm salads in Autumn. The days are still warm but there is that slight crisp edge to the air that makes you start to move away from cold summer meals. Perhaps a crisp, fresh Chardonnay with a salad of pan-fried chicken strips with roasted carrots, oranges and some glacé ginger, dressed with orange rind, mustard and some pistachio nuts or candied walnuts sprinkled over the top.
5. What is the most challenging wine to pair with food and why?
Very acidic wines can be a real challenge! You really need to get the balance of acid, sugar and seasoning just right and it’s something that can really only be done by taste. It’s difficult to write such nuances into a recipe for someone else to cook. You can match acidic wines to acidic dishes to an extent. If the wine is very acidic you want to bring some sweetness to the dish, but it still needs to have an acidic backbone, such as sweet and sour sauce. I quite like using fragrant herbs such as lemongrass and chili with acidic wines as well. It’s all an adventure.
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