Nick Stock is one of Australia’s most well-known and highly-regarded wine critics. He opened McLaren Vale’s hottest new beach front bar and restaurant the Silver Sands Beach Club earlier this year. Read more of Nick Stock’s work over at nickstock.com.au.
The warmer weather is finally here and that means entertaining heads outdoors and swings into classic South Australian summer vibes. We cook and eat such diverse flavours in SA and our culinary influences are so eclectic that the possibilities for wine matching are almost endless.
But beyond the tried and tested food and wine matching combinations, we have evolved our thinking and drinking to consider the style of the occasion and the season when taking cues as to what to drink.
Our best winemakers have also honed in on making wines that best suit where they are grown and how they are enjoyed. Good times!
Conjure up about cleverly curated dining tables, choose celebratory bottles, seek out sun-drenched beachside drops and wines to sip at sunset with sandy toes on the deck. You’ll find that there’s a new breed of highly drinkable, delicious, casual styles of wine on offer that are so easily matched to all these occasions and more.
This season the classic whites (like riesling, sauvignon blanc and chardonnay) are in career best form and there’s a new breed of white wine out there to discover too. Explore the alternative whites with real confidence as winemakers have worked so hard over the past decade to get these just right.
Rosé is one very hotly contested category and winemakers have refined their repertoire towards light pinks and smooth, dry styles that are inspired by Mediterranean living and dining. Don’t worry about which grapes they have used, just look for the style you like and hone right in. You’ll have more options than your fridge can handle.
Fizzy drinks now come in so many styles and the buzz around crisp light fizz is about as fun as wine gets. Explore pet nats, prosecco and local sparkling options instead of the discounted big brand Champagnes. There’s much better quality in our local stuff these days.
And don’t forget reds! It’s a-ok to drink red wine in summer and there are so many great examples of fresh, juicy and lighter reds like grenache and pinot noir that are actually great with a quick spell in the fridge or esky to take them down a degree or two.
See you at the beach!
Have a glass of…
Alpha Box & Dice Tarot Prosecco NV
This is such a reliable sparkling that you can serve as a crisp, fresh aperitif, something to sip all day and also deploy in a summery spritz. It has the right mix of fresh apple, sliced pear and soft fresh bready complexity.
Tip: Get creative with your spritz game and, whether you’re using the classic Aperol or locally made Bizzaro Aperitivo, hit it with some tonic as well as soda and investigate things like pink grapefruit to garnish.
Berg Herring Vermentino 2022
This white grape is a star of the coast and islands of the Mediterranean and has now found a happy home in McLaren Vale. Such attractive lemon citrus and floral aromas here with some real essence-like lemon zest. A juicy fresh white just made for simple grilled fish or your favourite fish and chips.
Pewsey Vale Riesling 2021
The Eden Valley’s most famous white wine is in great form from the 2022 harvest with a smoothly polished feel as well as really juicy and concentrated fruit. This is all sweet floral aromas, pure lemon and lime as well as white peach and nectarine. So juicy and fleshy, this is about as refreshing and flavour packed as it gets!
Pauletts Polish Hill River Riesling 2022
This is one of the most consistently delicious Clare Valley rieslings year after year. It has refined, sleek and mouth-watering style and packs so much pure lime citrus fruit flavour in every mouthful. This is perfect as a stand alone glass and also goes so well alongside really spicy southeast Asian-style food.
Bondar Rosé 2022
This pale pink wine is packed with such juicy raspberry and pomegranate fruit flavours and yet is delivered in a stylishly composed mode. The texture is smooth and every mouthful is so refreshing, this is a great option for sipping in the afternoon and can carry through to the table where it’ll sit happily alongside shellfish, salads and lightly spicy dishes. A summer staple!
Varney Entrada Grenache Blend 2021
Fresh off a trophy winning performance at the McLaren Vale wine show, this is a riot of red and blue berry fruit aromas and flavors. The blend is grenache, mourvèdre and touriga, the later being a Portuguese variety that adds a glossy, silkiness to the texture. Drink lightly chilled and splash around at the bbq table.