TO SAY that Australian wine is a success story would be an understatement. In the last decade, the land Down Under has become the fifth largest wine
producing country in the world and is the market share leader in Britain. There are many factors for its success. For one, it is blessed with bountiful land, and there is diverse climate and landscape. South Australia alone is the size of France, Germany and Belgium combined.
With an annual production volume amounting to 909 million bottles, South Australia is the largest wine-producing state in the country. So when it comes to choice, you can imagine how the consumer's mind boggles, having to wade through 16 of its wine regions, including the famous Barossa Valley.
Then again, wine isn't as hard a sell as it used to be, acknowledges Australian wine judge Tim James. 'I think there has been a massive change in Asia, as people come to the realisation that France is not the only place that makes wine which is terrific; that Australia can make pretty good wines too,' he says.
In town recently to promote South Australian wine, he attributes one of its winning ways to how wine makers there match their food with drink.
Now that Australian cuisine and wine have made their mark, he is hopeful that similar success can be had with Aussie wine and Chinese food.
He says: 'Having wine with Chinese food is where we've met the biggest resistance before in the past, but we've seen that work in Australia, so why not in the rest of Asia?'
Judging by the harmony of a pairing experiment conducted in the China Club here, resistance would be futile.
Prawn salad: Wirra Wirra Sauvignon Blanc, from Adelaide Hills. For availability and price, call Excaliber Trading on 6280-1838.
Shark's fin soup: Sevenhill Riesling, from Clare Valley.
Sauteed prawns and scallops: Uleybury Reserve Semillon, from Mount Lofty Ranges.
Poached fish: Yalumba Viognier, from Eden Valley. Available at Culina, $38.
Roast chicken: Chapel Hill Reserve Chardonnay, from McLaren Vale. Available at Ponti Wine Shop, $56.
Braised spinach bean curd and mushroom: Oliver's Taranga Shiraz, from McLaren Vale. Available at Moomba Wine Shop, Ponti Wine Shop, The Oaks Cellars and Star Cellars. $53.
Steamed rice with pork rib in black bean sauce: Wirra Wirra Cabernet Sauvignon,from McLaren Vale. Available at Ponti Wine Shop, $96.
Chilled sago with fruit: Woodstock Botrytis, from McLaren Vale. Available at Just Wine Shop, $32.
Sevenhill and Uleybury are not yet distributed in Singapore. For enquiries,call the South Australian Government Singapore Office on 6337-2677.