The art of wine: A pairing lesson in red and whites for culinary perfection.

Wine dinner in the fireplace
The Culinary Life
The Luxe Life

Winner of two Glasses at the esteemed Australian Wine List of the Year awards for 2017, The Fireplace offers an impressive library of 297 drops ensuring perfection for all tastes and occasions. We’ve noticed that while some can glance over any wine menu and pick the winning glass within 30 seconds, for others it is not so easy. Luckily, we’re here to guide the vineyard novice through the eyes of InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort’s resident sommelier for The Fireplace, Sasha Kansky.

So Sacha, how do we pick the perfect wine to pair with our meal? 


Fish, grains and vegetable dishes generally complement a dry white, so look for Sauvignon Blanc and Pino Grigio’s from cooler climates such as New Zealand and France. From the depths of The Fireplace’s cellar, Sasha recommends the 2016 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand. Similarly richer whites like a Chardonnay enhance the same cuisine, while also balancing white meats such as turkey and chicken and soft cheeses. A bottle of the 2013 Bouchard Pere & Fils ‘La Vignee’ Chardonnay would, therefore, flow well for your main and dessert if you opt for a cheese finish. Bouchard Pere & Fils is one of the oldest wine estates in France’s Burgundy region, and the cellars resemble a museum, showcasing over 2,000 bottles from the 19th century alone.

No indulgent meal is complete without a dessert, and sweet whites such as a Riesling or Moscato are matches for your cheese boards, charcuterie, some tarts and slices too. The Fireplace offers a beautiful cheese board of Triple Cream Brie, Triple Cream Blue and clothbound cheddar to go with a glass of the 2015 Penfolds ‘Bin 51’ from Eden Valley in South Australia.



Starting with the light blends, like Hanschke’s 2012 ‘The Alan’ Pinot Noir from Eden Valley, the more subtle style of reds pairs well with roasted vegetables as well as white meats (so pork or duck) and charcuterie, making it the ultimate partner to your Sunday roast, or the Bangalow Pork Belly from The Fireplace’s seasonal menu.

Progressing in density to a medium red, your Tempranilla, Sangiovese, Grenache and Merlots are versatile and balance well with all meats, grains and harder cheeses. According to Sacha, it is a great choice for vegetables too, and in summer these younger reds can be wonderful chilled.

Finally, for bolder blends like a Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec, think richer dishes. Red meats and hard cheeses, rich Italian sauces, roasts and again, charcuterie. For Sasha, the 2012 Kay Brothers ‘Cuthbert’ Cabernet Sauvignon from McLaren Vale is the top pick from The Fireplace’s extensive cellars.


Learn more about wine pairing through the restaurants series of wine dinners, with the next one on Friday 24 November being hosted by William De Beaurepaire from De Beaurepaire Wines.

November 16, 2017