Malbec Food Pairing for World Malbec Day

The delicious full-bodied red wine that is a Malbec grows mostly in Argentina and is certainly a wine worth celebrating. World Malbec Day is celebrated on April 17, to commemorate the day when president Domingo Faustino Sarmiento of Argentina officially made it his mission to transform Argentina’s wine industry.

This highly celebrated Argentinian wine is known for its plump, dark fruit flavours and smoky finish, but actually originated in France where it grows in the Sud-Ouest. Today the majority of France’s Malbec is found in Cahors, a small town on a switchback river that gently flows towards Bordeaux. Malbec quickly became common as a blending grape in Bordeaux’s top 5 wine grapes. However, because of the grapes’ poor resistance to weather and pests, it never surfaced as a top French variety. Instead, it found a new home in Mendoza, Argentina. Today, Argentina leads the production of the grape with over 75% of all the acres of Malbec in the world.

The structure of Argentinian Malbec has a lot of very ripe fruit but lower acidity overall; with Cahors, the structure is built around the freshness of dark blackberry fruit and higher acidity.



The lighter-bodied, young and fruitier styles are great with charcuterie and other meat dishes with a medium flavour profile like fajitas or beef burritos



Malbec Food Pairing

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  • 6 flour tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, more or less to taste


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 16 oz. can refried beans
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup salsa (medium for more of a kick)
  • Hot sauce to taste


  • Sour cream
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Guacamole
  • Rice


1). Add onions and beef to a large skillet and cooked over medium heat until onions are softened and meat is cooked through. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Drain off any excess fat (if there is any).
2). Stir in all of the spices/seasonings, followed by refried beans until well incorporated, followed by sour cream and salsa. Heat through.
3). If using raw tortillas, cook according to package directions. If using cooked tortillas, stack them together on a plate, cover with a damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds or until warmed through.
4). Line the middle of each tortilla with the desired amount of cheese. Top with Bean and Beef filling and any additional desired filling ingredients. Fold in the edges of each tortilla and roll up “burrito style.” Serve with additional sour cream, guacamole, etc. (optional).
5). Optional to “crisp” burritos: Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add burritos, 3 at a time, seam side down, and cook until golden, about 2-3 minutes per side.



The higher-alcohol Malbecs pair perfectly with steak, roast beef and venison, and also with more substantial vegetarian dishes such as burnt aubergine or roasted root vegetables.

Another dish that packs a punch is Lamb tagine, which rich flavours make a delicious match for a heavyweight Malbec.



Malbec Food Pairing

Image and Recipe via



  • 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp blanched almond slivers
  • 2 red onions diced
  • 3 cloves garlic smashed and diced
  • 2 tbsp ginger paste
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds crushed
  • 1 lb lamb cubed shoulder or leg
  • 8 dates seeded
  • 8 apricots
  • 4 strips of orange peel
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp of Ras el Hanout optional
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper


1). Heat the butter and oil in a tagine or heavy casserole baking dish. Stir in the almonds and sauté until golden. Add the diced onions and garlic, stir and cook over low heat until golden. Stir in the ginger paste, saffron, cinnamon sticks and coriander seeds. Add the cubed lamb pieces and stir to make sure everything is coated with the onion and spices. Sauté for 4 minutes.
2). Next, pour enough water in to cover the meat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour or until meat is tender.
3). Add the dates, apricots and orange peel, stir to mix and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes.
4). Stir in the honey and ras-el-hanout (optional) and simmer another 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The sauce should be syrupy. If it is too watery, allow to simmer and thicken with lid off for 5 minutes, or add some water if necessary.
5). Top with chopped cilantro and serve alongside couscous and bread of choice.



Look to the foods enjoyed locally in the South of France, such as slow-cooked lamb, cassoulet, or confit de canard.

Other dishes, such as a braised leg of lamb, lamb shanks or braised beef stews are great to enjoy with a more rustic style of Malbec.



Malbec Food Pairing

Image and Recipe Via



  • 4 lamb shanks, around 500g each
  • 2 tsp salt, separated
  • Pepper
  • 2 – 3 tbsp olive oil, separated
  • 1 cup onion, finely diced (brown, yellow or white)
  • 1 cup carrot, finely diced (optional)
  • 1 cup celery, finely diced (optional)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2½ cups red wine, full bodied (good value wine)
  • 800g can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken stock (or water)
  • 5 sprigs of thyme (preferably tied together), or 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 dried bay leaves or 4 fresh


  • ½ to 1½ cups hot water


1). Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
2). Pat the lamb shanks dry and sprinkle with 1 tsp of salt and black pepper.
3). Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a heavy based pot (dutch oven is ideal) over high heat.
4). Sear the lamb shanks in 2 batches until brown all over, about 5 minutes.
5). Remove lamb onto a plate and drain excess fat (if any) from the pot.
6). Turn the heat down to medium low. Heat remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil in the same pot. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Sauté for 10 minutes until the onion is translucent.
7). Add the red wine and turn up the heat to medium-high. Bring it to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pan to mix all the brown bits into the wine. Simmer for 3 minutes to evaporate the alcohol a bit.
8). Add the remaining ingredients (including remaining 1 tsp salt and pepper) and stir to combine.
9). Place the lamb shanks into the pot, squeezing them in to fit so they are mostly submerged.
10). Bring back up to simmer, cover, then transfer to the oven for 2 hours.
11). Turn the lamb shanks, cover, then return to the oven for another 30 minutes (so 2½ hours in total). The lamb should be very tender, the exposed surface of the liquid should be browned and the sauce should be reduced down to about ¼ of the original amount.
12). Carefully transfer the lamb to a plate and pick out the thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
13). Skim excess fat off the surface of sauce. Use a stick blender to puree the sauce to make it smooth and thick. Use hot water to adjust the thickness and intensity of the sauce. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
15). Serve the lamb shanks on mashed potato or cauliflower puree with plenty of sauce!




Award Winning Queensland Wine

Queensland’s wine industry is one of the State’s best-kept secrets. The industry has grown significantly over the years and the quality of Queensland wines is beginning to be recognised as among the best in Australia. Today, there is a lot of award-winning Queensland wine, which we love being able to introduce our guests to.

Whilst we are a food based company, creating foodie experiences also includes exceptional wines and other delicious beverages, which makes great local wine a pivotal part of our job. Something, we are more than obliging to do of course!

Queensland’s wine regions lie between Mount Ommaney on Brisbane’s outskirts through to Ipswich, Toowoomba and Roma in the west and the Granite Belt in the south.

The State’s best-known wine growing region, and possibly the best, is the Granite Belt. The Granite Belt, with altitudes of 700 to 1250 metres above sea level, is a cool climate region and has a similar temperature range to central Victoria. An unknown fact for many not familiar with the local area. This Granite Belt experiences unique growing and ripening conditions, unlike elsewhere in Australia. The combination of cool weather and decomposed granite soils produces outstanding wines, many of which are also award winning wines.

So, at which wineries can you find these stellar wines? Here are just a few of the top award winning wineries in the Granite Belt to add to your must-visit list.



Award Winning Queensland Wine Ballandean Estate

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Ballandean Estate Wines is the oldest winery in the Granite Belt. Considering that they also took out all of the awards at Queensland Wine’s 2015 and 2016 awards night, they are also one of the best. They won the 2015 awards for Viticulturist, Winemaker, Cellar Door and Winery of the Year.

These guys clearly have their secret formula for success nailed down. The family owned and operated winery has been producing wine from these very vineyards since 1932.

Ballandean Estate blends the history of their four generations with modern winemaking methods that result in a remarkable wine experience. With one of the best cellar door experiences in Queensland, this winery is making a name for its alternative varietals, as well as its dry whites and premium reds using grapes from two vineyards in Ballandean.

On top of the numerous Queensland Wine awards, Ballandean has also be awarded many others and has been listed by leading wine expert James Halliday as one of Australia’s Ten Dark Horses of the Wine Industry.



Award Winning Queensland Wine Summit Estate

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Another James Halliday 5 star winery, Summit Estate Wines offer numerous award winning wines of elegance and complexity. They specialise aromatic Mediterranean & European varieties along with alternative varietals.

A couple of their most recent awards in the 2016 Queensland Wine Awards were a bronze medal for their Summit Estate Fiano and a Silver for their Summit Estate Vermentino.


Award Winning Queensland Wine Robert Channon Wines

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Verdelho fan? Robert Channon’s your man. James Halliday once called these verdelhos the best he’s ever tasted, but the wine is just the start of it. Robert Channon produces fine Verdelho, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Their wine is made at our winery from grapes grown in our cool climate vineyards at an elevation of about 950 metres, and are particularly known for their Verdelho and Chardonnay for good reason.

Their first 3 vintages of Verdelho won the Trophy for Queensland’s Best White Wine. Since then they have regularly won gold medals. They are also one of the few small wineries in Australia to have won a national trophy at a national show for a champion wine. This is effectively a ‘Best in Australia’ award.

Robert Channon has won numerous Queensland Wine Awards and Australian Small Winemakers Awards amongst others. A couple of their recent wins at the 2016 Queensland Wine Awards include bronze for their 2015 and 2016 Verdelhos, as well as a silver for their 2016 Shiraz.


Award Winning Queensland Wine Symphony Hill

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Another Granite Belt ‘MVP’, Symphony Hill is a James Halliday mainstay and picking up plenty of other awards along the way. Symphony Hill is the only Queensland winery to win gold medals at the Royal Sydney and Royal Melbourne Wine Shows.

Symphony Hill Wines is a group of family and friends bonded together on the quest to make world class wines and to never stop learning. Their vineyard is the highest in the region allowing their flagship wine, Reserve Shiraz, to produce a style of wine that is unique in Australia and totally different to Shiraz grown at lower altitudes. Their signature Reserve Shiraz is even fit for royalty: it was served to Wills and Kate when the couple came to Brisbane in 2014.

Some of their recent Queensland Wine Awards include gold for their Reserve Verdelho, silver for their Petit Manseng, bronze for their 2015 Viognier, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 Reserve Shiraz, 2014 Reserve Shiraz, and 2014 Reserve Shiraz “The Rock.”



Award Winning Queensland Wine Clovely Estate

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Clovely Estate is a family-owned business born out of a love of wine and a family agricultural history in the region. They have always been prepared to experiment with ancient and innovative winemaking techniques and became a James Halliday 5-star winery in 2015, giving them official recognition to what their loyal customers already knew.

Unlike the previous wineries we’ve listed here, Clovely Estate has a cellar door in Red Hill. They literally bring the South Burnett to the city.

In less than 20 years, Clovely Estate has become one of Australia’s leading boutique wineries. Recent Queensland Wine Awards include gold for their 2013 Semillon, silver for their  2010 and 2014 Semillons, and bronze for their 2013 Petit Verdot and 2013 Fortified Grenache.



Award Winning Queensland Wine Golden Grove Estate

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The last award-winning Granite Belt winery we’ll mention here is a Golden Grove Estate. The first vines were planted in 1975 and were followed in recent years by other classic varieties. As the wine industry emerged they begun planting classic wine grape varieties for the making of commercial wine.

This wine is something that many have come to love and again have received lots of awards for.

They also took home a bag of awards at the 2016 Queensland Wine Awards, including silver for their 2014 Chardonnay, 2014 Durif, 2014  Mouverdre, 2016 Joven Tempranillo, NV Marnita Muscat and bronze for their 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, 2016 Vermentino, 2016 Accommodation Creek Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, and 2016 Muscadean.

A smaller region, but one we love taking guests on the outskirts of Brisbane and the Scenic Rim.

The Scenic Rim wine growing area lies in the eroded interior of an ancient shield volcano. The Scenic Rim is one of the fastest growing wine tourism regions in Queensland, and its rich volcanic soils are producing premium wines which are making their mark on regional and national wine shows.

The region saw a resurgence in 1984 with the planting of Ironbark Ridge Winery. Since then another dozen or so vineyards have been planted, all boutique in size and unique in character. Being so close to Brisbane but removed from the coastal humidity and rainfall, the Scenic Rim wine region is in a great position to develop a thriving wine market.



Award Winning Queensland Wine Sirromet

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There is one winery here, Sirromet Wines that really stands out. Opening in 2000, Sirromet is one of the largest wine producers in Queensland. They grow grapes in Redlands (Mt Cotton), just out of Brisbane and in the Granite Belt. Sirromet produces a wide selection of varieties, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tempranillo, Nebbiolo,  Shiraz, Petit Verdot, Chambourcin, Viognier, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Pinot Gris, and Verdelho.

When talking about award winning Queensland wine, Sirromet is awarded to the hilt and basically Queensland wine royalty.

They have collected over 880 prestigious national and international wine awards since opening in 2000. 

Recent Queensland Wine Awards include gold for their 2016 Vineyard Selection Verdelho and silver for their 2014 Le Sauvage Chardonnay.


These are just some award winning Queensland wines. There are some great drops out there and it is also a key element we wanted to showcase to guests as part of our Ultimate Delectable Experience.

If enjoying award winning wine is a priority in your life, you will definitely love The Ultimate Delectable Experience

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