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walking through the vines maui winery

The Perfect partnership of Wine and Food


While the question of what wine goes best with what food has exercised greater minds than ours, here are a few wine and food partnerships that we think are made in heaven, and where to find these wines on your travels.

Oysters Family at the beach Salad

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While chardonnay first really took off back in the 90’s, this classic variety still rates a place in any thinking persons fridge.

The palette of Australian chardonnays varies widely from light and refreshing unwooded styles to heavily oaked finishes with distinctive elegance and complexity. Most come with a crisp acid finish and achieve honeyed aromas and deeper colour as they age.

Best with
  • Spicy Asian or Indian dishes (especially good with unwooded chardonnays)
  • Steamed, baked or grilled white fish dishes like snapper, rockling, whiting etc
  • Scallops, oysters, calamari, abalone, lobster, prawns
  • Grilled chicken, chicken pasta, turkey, pheasant
  • Braised rabbit
Found in
  • Margaret River, Western Australia
  • Adelaide Hills, South Australia
  • Yarra Valley, Victoria
  • Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
  • Tasmania


While it might have been overshadowed by chardonnay and sauvignon blanc over the last 20 years riesling remains an absolute Aussie classic that is once again moving up the charts.

Riesling is all about intense flowery aromas and the balancing game between sweetness and acidity. Although the trademark of traditional German style rieslings is their residual sweetness, the modern Australian style is dry yet still showcases the aromatic power and satisfying acid finish that you came for.

Found in
  • Clare Valley, South Australia
  • Eden Valley, South Australia
  • Western Victoria
  • South Western Australia
  • Tasmania


Best with
  • Steamed, grilled and baked white fish
  • Seared tuna
  • Fish cakes, calamari, crab, oysters
  • Trout
  • Cold salads, sashimi
  • Braised pork neck

Sauvignon Blanc

Having recently ended chardonnay’s 20 year reign as the number one Australian wine variety, the sauv blanc juggernaut continues to sweep all before it like a rampaging Ed Sheeran single.

As with most things in life, there are good reasons why. For a start this variety brings together a powerful refreshing fruit driven punch with a rewarding acidic finish and relates instantly to our appetite for light, Asian and fusion food choices. There you have it, right there.

Best with
  • Chicken dishes
  • Nicoise salad
  • Caesar salad
  • Seafood
  • Tempura
  • Chicken
  • Soft cheeses (acidity works well against the strong flavours of these)
Found in
  • Adelaide Hills, South Australia
  • Margaret River, Western Australia
  • Yarra Valley, Victoria
  • King River Valley, Victoria
  • Tasmania
  • Orange


Shiraz is the Australian name for the syrah grape that produces this iconic Australian red and the truth is, that many people can happily drink it on any day that starts with a consonant. Rightly or wrongly, once you fall for the huge berry and spice dimensions of this beast anything else will seem watery and insipid.

Best with
  • Beef and lamb in all forms (except Indian style lamb where it is too spicy)
  • Rare eye fillet of beef
  • Beef casseroles
  • Osseo Bucco
  • Tomato based pasta sauces
  • Venison
  • Kangaroo fillet
Found in
  • Barossa Valley, South Australia
  • McLaren Vale, South Australia
  • Heathcote, Victoria
  • Hunter Valley, New South Wales
  • Clare Valley, South Australia

Pinot Noir

Sometimes referred to as “the diva” of wine varieties, pinot noir is tricky to make but delivers spectacularly when the fickle fortunes of soil, season and winemaking align.

That’s why seasoned pinot drinkers are naturally immune to any aspersions cast upon them by the drinkers of more in your face varieties. They already know its aromatic intensity, multilayered dimensions and supreme length of finish and are very happy with what they’ve got.  

Best with
  • Beef and lamb dishes (where you don’t want the power and heaviness of a shiraz or the richness of a cabernet sauvignon)
  • Seared kangaroo fillet
  • Beef Carpaccio and Japanese food
  • Chinese, Thai and Indian food (unlike shiraz, pinot is great at taming spice)
  • Coq au Vin
  • Grilled quail

Found in
  • Beechworth, Victoria
  • Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
  • Yarra Valley, Victoria
  • Gippsland, Victoria
  • Tamar Valley, Tasmania
  • Pipers River, Tasmania
  • Coal River Valley, Tasmania
  • Adelaide Hills, South Australia

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet sauvignon is like the George Clooney of wine varieties because although it’s smooth, it still has substance. Known for its opulent black currant, black berry and mulberry flavours, this is the power behind some of Australia’s most famous labels like Penfolds, Cape Mentelle and Henschke to name a few. Say no more.

Best with
  • Lamb loin chops, rack of baby lamb
  • Moroccan lamb tagine (where a Shiraz might be too much)
  • Rare rib eye steak
  • Squab, duck breast
  • Pan-fried scallops

Found in
  • Coonawarra, South Australia
  • Barossa Valley, South Australia
  • Margaret River, Western Australia
  • Mt Barker, Western Australia
  • Yarra Valley, Victoria
  • Clare Valley, South Australia

maui Winery Havens

Has this discussion around food and wine pairing got you inspired to visit some wineries on your next escape? Then why not look at some of our maui Winery Havens. You can stay the night in your motorhome and enjoy a gourmet food and wine hamper as part of the deal. Check out our winery partners below.

  • Corfield’s Winery (Rutherglen)
  • Dal Zotto (King River Valley)
  • Brown Brothers Winery (Milawa)
  • St Leonards Winery (Rutherglen)
  • Feathertop Winery (North East)

South Australia
  • Hahndorf Hill Winery (Adelaide Hills)
  • Lake Breeze Wines (Langhorne Creek)
  • Caudo Vineyard (Riverland)
  • Rymill Coonawarra (Coonawarra)