The February issue

Our clean eating issue is out now, packed with super lunch bowls, gluten-free desserts and more - including our cruising special, covering all luxury on the seas.

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Australia's best rieslings

We’re spoilt for variety – and value – in Australia when it comes to good riesling. Max Allen picks the top 20 from a fine crop.

Fig recipes

Figs. We can't get enough of them. Here are a few sweet and savoury ways to add them to your summer spread.

Curtis Stone's strawberry, elderflower and brioche summer puddings

"Think of this dessert as a deconstructed version of a summer pudding, with thinly sliced strawberries macerated in elderflower liqueur and layered between slices of brioche," says Stone. "A dollop of whipped cream on top is a cooling counterpoint to the floral flavours."

Top Australian chefs to follow on Instagram in 2017

A lot has changed since we first published our pick of the best chefs to follow on Instagram (way back in the dark ages of 2013). Here’s who we’re double-tapping on the photo-sharing app right now.

Most popular recipes summer 2017

Counting down from 20, here are this summer's most-loved recipes.

Christine Manfield recipes

As the '90s dawned, darling chefs were pushing the boundaries of cooking in this country. A young Christine Manfield, just starting out at this heady time, soon became part of the generation that redefined modern Australian cuisine. She shares some of her timeless signatures from the era.

Chorizo hotdogs with chimichurri and smoky red relish

A hotdog is all about the condiments. Here, choose between a smoky red capsicum relish or the bright flavours of chimichurri, or go for a bit of both.

Sleep in a Grampians olive grove this autumn

Under Sky are popping up with a luxe camping hotel experience at Mount Zero Olives this April.

Cracking the top five bottles at the new Bentley

Nick Hildebrandt

Nick Hildebrandt

Dive right into one of the most exciting new wine lists in the country with this cheat-sheet from star sommelier Nick Hildebrandt.

Nick Hildebrandt knows a thing or two about grapes. In his years as sommelier at Marque he won no shortage of praise, and with Bentley, Monopole and Yellow, the restaurants he has founded with chef Brent Savage, his reputation as the wine professional's wine professional has grown exponentially. Hildebrandt's work on the floor and his lists have been recognised with awards from all the authorities that count, which means the expanded list he has drawn up for the newly relocated Bentley, opening in the Sydney CBD today, will be one of the most closely studied vinous documents in the country. We put him on the spot and asked him for a cheat's guide - the five things he's most excited about pouring at Bentley 2.0 right now.

Domaine Fourrier Gevrey-Chambertin 2011
"The first wine that we opened on the premises, just a couple of nights ago, was a Burgundy. It was a Gevrey-Chambertin by Domaine Fourrier. It had just arrived, our allocation is about one case a year, we were thirsty and we thought we might as well open something nice to start off with. It was an '11, and a lot of wine snobs reckon '11 is a crap vintage, but I think the wines are really good. They don't have the hype of the '09s and the '10s, but they're very perfumed and elegant and fine and, in this case, very drinkable. If you want this one, you'll probably want to get in quick. It's delicious. I'd probably have it with the Moreton Bay bugs in the shellfish broth. I love pinot and bisque - it's one of my favourite combinations."

Mount Mary Triolet 1998
"For the new restaurant we've managed to secure a large selection of older Aussie wines. I think it's great to be able to pay homage to some of our home-grown classics as well as the new kids' wines, even though it's all about the whacky stuff in wine at the moment. We'll leave most of the skin-fermented, orange and cloudy wines for Potts Point. Some my favourite examples from this side of the new list here, anyway, are some old Mount Mary Triolets. Their longevity is enormous - they go on for decades. It's almost unique to Australia. You see it a bit in white Bordeaux; it's almost like Hunter sémillon, and you just don't see those flavours anywhere else. I think the '98 is drinking well right now. I reckon it'd be quite something with the pork cheek with garlic yoghurt, radicchio and jamón. The wine captures the richness there, but the dish gives back to the wine as well."

NV Charles Heidsieck Champagne Rosé Réserve
"This being the end of the year, a lot of people are going to be looking for refreshment, and to click their heels a bit, so that's got to be Champagne, right? We've got Charles Heidsieck rosé as our premium Champagne by the glass. It's an old brand which has undergone a transformation over the last couple of years. It was forgotten in Australia but now we've got new packaging and new labels, all the bottles are fresh, and it's extremely good. It's a richer style, and the rosé is their best wine. Quite fine, and fresh and very smashable. You could smash it with a second bottle quite easily, but I'd probably smash it with the house-made charcuterie. The duck ham would be perfect. I think duck ham is good with anything but its saltiness enlivens the palate and it works particularly well with a crisp, fresh Champagne that's high in acid."

The Jamsheed for Bentley Shiraz 2012
"This is a collaboration of ours made by Gary Damon Mills of Jamsheed, in the Yarra. His star is rising and his wines are looking awesome. Out of all the up-and-coming cool, funky, natural-wine producers in Australia, he nails it. His wines are always clean and fresh, and they have edge without being too out-there. This is the second year he's done it for us, and it's a 2012, 100 per cent whole-bunch Yarra Valley shiraz. It's great. It looks like it could be from the Rhône: really spicy, lots of white pepper, sandalwood, all that going on. It's a little bit bunchy - a bit vegetal - but it has great length and tannins in balance. You'd have to have that with one of the steaks. I'm thinking the oyster blade, which comes with beetroot and radish."

A Four Pillars gin and tonic
"I'm not going to tell you to drink a beer at Bentley, though we have plenty of them. Instead I'd like to give the Australian-made Four Pillars gin a plug. How about a Four Pillars gin and tonic? It's pretty interesting. It smells like Chartreuse, and I like Chartreuse a lot. If you like Chartreuse and absinthe and Pernod, it's going to be good. Have that at the bar, maybe with the Bentley sandwich, which currently has our pastrami in it. In fact, I'm going to go have one right now."

Bentley Restaurant & Bar, 27 O'Connell St (cnr Hunter & Pitt sts), Sydney, (02) 8214 0505.


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