Dinner for dad: delicious red wine and food pairings to celebrate this Father’s Day
If you’re mulling over how to treat your dad this Father’s Day (Sunday 20 June), red wine may well do the trick. Not only does this time-honoured tipple have powerful anti-ageing properties, it also comes packed with various aromas and flavours to complement a Sunday lunch or evening meal – so there’s no excuse not to roll up your sleeves and get cooking.
This Albacore Longfin Shiraz from Virgin Wines is a case in point. Exclusive to Virgin Red members, it’s a Virgin Points gift the father figure in your life will love, especially since it comes presented in a stylish wooden box. Aesthetics aside, it’s also big on taste, averaging a very impressive 4.5 rating out of 5 stars on Virgin Wines’ website.
This Australian bottle is a premium version of the famous Albacore Shiraz, made with only the finest grapes from the best vintages. In fact, not only do customers adore it, but judges at last year’s London Wine Awards did too, awarding it a gold medal.
It’s full and fruity, and goes really well with a number of dishes. So get Pops over to yours, present him with this special gift and cook him up one of the following meals to go with his wine (let’s just hope he decides to open it and share it with you).
A sumptuous steak dinner
Up there with fish and chips, cheese and beans, strawberries and cream – steak and red wine is a classic food combo. Wine writers agree that a Shiraz such as this wine is the perfect choice over other red wines to accompany cuts of steak, especially a ribeye. Cuts of steak like a ribeye often need a wine that’s a little heavier and more robust to balance them: the Albacore Longfin Shiraz, with its dry, full-bodied flavour, is exactly that – with a good amount of spice notes to boot.
Keep in mind that this wine is from 2018 and Shiraz (or Syrah, the two terms are interchangeable) is a very good aging wine. In fact you can age this particular bottle until 2031! The older it gets, the earthier the tones – again something that works amazingly well with cuts of steak. The fattier and more marbled the meat, the bigger the compliment a Shiraz will give it.
In areas of moderate climates, like the Rhone Valley in France, Syrah tends to be rich, peppery and have a high acidity and tannin level. But in hotter climates, such as the Mclaren Vale of Australia where this Albacore Longfin Shiraz comes from, the wine is more full-bodied, with softer tannins and a more fruity flavour. Go on, indulge your old man: he deserves it.
Pulled pork perfection
Pork might raise a few eyebrows since it’s a white meat, but it’s versatile. Especially when it’s pulled – now we’re talking! Usually heavy reds like warm-climate Shiraz are a no-no with roast pork, but the Albacore is lovely and smooth, and even has warming notes of vanilla, meaning it works really nicely with pulled pork. We’d recommend serving your pulled pork with fries and coleslaw; but hey it’s your meal so you plate it up how you want.
Decant the wine for an hour to really let it breathe before you serve it up with the meal. If waiting around for an hour is too long, then have a small glass with nibbles to keep you going. Parmesan shortbread, if you can get hold of it, is a game-changer with this Shiraz. Trust us on this.
Blue or Camembert cheese, please
Speaking of parmesan shortbreads, cheese goes incredibly well with a Shiraz. Perfect if you’re a hopeless cook! Get a cheese platter lined up to impress dad. The good news is you’ve got plenty of options with this wine. Hard cheese enthusiasts, look no further than the trusty old cheddar. It’s robust and slightly nutty, with a pleasant sharp finish, which means it’ll pair perfectly with a fruit-forward Shiraz like this.
If your dad’s got a penchant for soft cheese then get him a Camembert. It’s got such an earthy quality that it’s perfect for matching these rustic notes. Plus, the Albacore Longfin Shiraz has such a rich and fruity palate it’ll act as a delicious contrast. If you’re after something a little stronger in the cheese department, then blue cheese is the one. Its smoky character makes an excellent pairing.
Roast lamb reverence
Treat dad to a roast lamb and really enhance those flavours with his gifted wine. The aging on this bottle brings out those earthy notes, which works really naturally well with roasted lamb. Different parts of the lamb vary in flavour and intensity, and these distinctions are even more pronounced depending on the way you cook them. For this Albacore Longfin, it’s got to be the saddle of lamb. It’s an elegant pairing that’s well balanced, without one overpowering the other.
Even better, if you’re cooking earthy root vegetables along with the lamb then this will work with those flavours as well. So it’s a win-win all round.
A BBQ feast for all
Unsurprisingly as an Australian wine, the Albacore Longfin Shiraz is amazing to have at a barbecue. So if the sun is shining, it’s time to fire up that outdoor grill. The ultimate recommendation for the barbie is a burger and / or beef brisket. This wine is so versatile thanks to its depth and weight, it can add extra dimensions to food, particularly a well-cooked beef burger.
A slow-cooked brisket will be sensational with this wine, and the two go hand-in-hand together in Oz. The meat itself is quite lean, so cook it with a spicy rub on top. That little hint of spice from the Shiraz is going to make that flavour combo shine.