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Food & Wine Pairing Guide For Winter

Food & Wine Pairing Guide For Winter

Winter is the perfect excuse to stay indoors and indulge, preferably in front of a roaring fire with a glass of red in hand. 

Matching food and wine follows simple principles. You need to consider the food you are serving, its weight, flavour intensity and type, the ingredients and cooking methods and find a wine with similar characteristics. 

 Here’s our guide to pairing food with winter reds with some recipes to inspire you. You can pick up all of these fresh ingredients at your local IGA supermarket, and a lovely bottle of Taylors wine to pair your meal with from your local IGA Liquor.

Eggplant Parmigiana Recipe:

Recommended wine pairing: a medium-bodied red wine such as Jaraman Shiraz pairs well with this dish.


  • 3 Long eggplants, washed and sliced lengthways

  • 250 ml sunflower oil

  • 350g mozzarella, drained and sliced

  • 200g Parmigiano Regiano, grated

  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves

  • Sea salt & cracked pepper

  • 60ml extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 400 g vine ripened tomatoes or canned tomatoes


  1. To prepare the tomato sauce, heat olive oil in a pan, add garlic and fry until soft.
  2. Add the tomatoes and stir gently. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, then remove from the heat.
  4. To prepare the eggplants, sprinkle the sliced eggplant with salt and lay in a colander, and allow to drain for an hour.
  5. Rinse eggplant under cold water and pat dry. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add eggplant slices and quickly fry until golden brown.
  6. Grease a shallow oven dish with olive oil and place some of the tomato sauce in the dish, then add a layer of eggplant slices.
  7. Cover with a layer of mozzarella cheese, then a layer of tomato sauce, followed by a sprinkling of Parmigiano Reggiano and a few basil leaves.
  8. Continue building up layers until you’ ve used up all the ingredients.
  9. Bake in a preheated oven at 180ºC for 40 minutes, then remove and cool for 5 minutes before serving.


Hearty Beef Casserole Recipe:

Recommended wine pairing: this dish would match well with a fuller-bodied red wine such as Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignon. 


2 cups your favourite red wine

  • 2 bay leaves

  • ½ bunch thyme

  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns

  • 1 fresh red chilli

  • 2 × 200 g (7 oz) fillet steaks

  • extra-virgin olive oil to serve



  1. Place the wine, bay leaves, thyme, peppercorns and chilli in a saucepan along with 2 cups of water; simmer gently for about 15 minutes to allow the flavours to mingle and mature.
  2. Tie string around the beef fillets so they hold their shape as they cook. Immerse the beef in the simmering liquid. Make sure you keep the liquid at a simmer, or the meat will toughen. Cook for about 6 minutes for rare and 8–9 minutes for medium. Remove the beef from the liquid and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Arrange the fillets on plates and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and some of the cooking liquid. Serve hot with Mashed Potatoes alla Tobie and Green Vegetables, Braised.


 Poached Pears with Chocolate Ganache:

Recommended wine pairing: What would a decadent winter feast be without a dessert? Pair this with a juicy red wine such as Taylors Estate Shiraz.



  • 4 pears

  • 1 piece of fresh ginger root

  • 2 cups of caster sugar

  • 4 cups of water

  • 2 vanilla pod

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 lemon

  • 2 cups of dark or bittersweet chocolate chips


  1. Add water, sugar and vanilla pod (cut in 2 and grated) to a large saucepan on medium heat and stir for about 3-4 minutes until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Juice half a lemon and add to the water as well as some strips of lemon zest and grated ginger.
  3. Peel the pears leaving the stem intact and then add the pears to the water. Poach the pears on a gentle simmer for 15-18 minutes or until soft.
  4. To make the ganache add the chocolate chips into a heat-proof bowl. On medium heat bring the cream to simmer and before it boils remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Whisk and add vanilla extract.
  5. To serve drain and place each poached pear in a bowl and pour over the ganache sauce.