Why isn't there more marsanne planted in vineyards across Australia? As well-known central Victorian winery Tahbilk has been demonstrating for decades, the grape makes a wine that's not only refreshingly perfumed and lemony when young but develops wonderfully satisfying, honeyed, toasty complexity with bottle age. It's an amazingly versatile food wine, too: this dish is delicious with marsanne at any stage of its maturity. The sweetness of the beetroot, sourness of the onions and lemon in the dressing echo a crisp young marsanne, while the smokiness of the fish, heat of the mustard and richness of the honey would handle the bottle-age characters of an older wine. Luckily, you don't even need a cellar of your own to appreciate bottle-aged marsanne, as the Tahbilk winery always stashes away a healthy swag of the wine each year, eventually trickling it out in cellar door and selected retailers after it's had a chance to pick up some complexity. - Max Allen
Whatever its level of maturity, this Aussie-grown French varietal is delicious with this summer salad. Keep a bottle on ice.
Smoked river trout
- 2 small beetroot, scrubbed and thinly sliced on a mandolin
- 4 radishes, thinly sliced on a mandoline
- 100 gm pickled onions, thinly sliced (about 4)
- 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely torn (loosely packed)
- 1 cup mustard cress (see note) (about 30gm)
- 4 smoked river trout fillets (see note) (about 200gm each)
Honey mustard dressing
- 60 ml lemon juice (¼ cup)
- 60 ml olive oil (¼ cup)
- 1 tbsp seeded mustard
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1For honey mustard dressing, place ingredients in a bowl, whisk to combine and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- 2Combine beetroot, radish, onion, parsley and mustard cress in a bowl, add 2/3 of the dressing and toss gently to combine. Arrange on plate with trout. Drizzle with remaining dressing, serve immediately.
Note Mustard cress is sold in punnets from select greengrocers. Smoked river trout fillets are available from select fishmongers or specialty food stores. Drink suggestion by Max Allen