Viticulturist and co-owner of Gecko Valley Winery Tony McCray stands with a vine he's nurtured back to life, after discovering it survived the winery's 2011 fire.
Viticulturist and co-owner of Gecko Valley Winery Tony McCray stands with a vine he's nurtured back to life, after discovering it survived the winery's 2011 fire. Tom Huntley

How to find the perfect drop and match it with your meal

ENJOYING wine is a social and cultural part of Australian living.

Gladstone's Gecko Valley Winery co-owner Tony McCray shares his secrets about finding the perfect wine and matching it with food.

Food matching:

  • You should start with a drier wine. Once you're on to the sweet wines, your palate tends to be cloyed.
  • Entrees tend to be tasty and tangy, so dry wine like sauvignon blanc or a lightly oaked chardonnay would work well.
  • For your main course you would go for something heavier.
  • Pinot noir goes with duck and shiraz with an eye fillet steak.
  • Whites don't have enough guts to go with red meat but light reds can go with strongly flavoured white meat, like strongly flavoured barramundi or turkey.
  • For dessert you can really go mad with all the liquors available.
  • A malt tokay would go with a nutty desert.

Wine temperature:

  • The wine scene was developed before refrigerators.
  • All the flavours are in balance if you imagine the wine has just come out of your wine cellar.
  • A red certainly shouldn't be drunk at our 30-degree room temperature, nor straight out of the fridge. It should be about 12-13 degrees.
  • You'll find the flavours are so much better if you do take the time to get that right. And you'll find the match of the food much more enjoyable.
  • Most whites people drink are too cold, half a degree straight from the fridge. You really don't get any flavour. It should be about 6-7 degrees, so just take it out of the fridge half an hour before drinking.
  • And definitely never use an ice bucket. It just destroys the whole purpose of it.


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