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Making the world's first wine to match with wild food...Are you Game?

By Fowles Wine

Matt Fowles and Victor Nash tasting wild ferment Chardonnay

We love sourcing food from the great outdoors and matching it to our wine. In fact, it was our love of real food - wild meat and home grown veggies - that inspired us to make a range of wines to complement the different texture and intensity of wild meat: Ladies who Shoot their Lunch and Are you Game?

Here, Matt Fowles (the brains behind these wines) takes us around the vineyards and winery for a behind-the-scenes adventure to discover the winemaking and food philosophy that sets our wild wines apart. 

 

 

 

 

 

While food and wine matching is nothing new, crafting wine to match the specific qualities of wild game meat is and it's something we've only been doing since 2006. It was Matt and Lu Fowles' experiences of moving to the Strathbogie Ranges and living off the land that planted the seed of blending wine for wild game.

The Strathbogie Ranges is a cool climate wine region in Victoria, Australia that is about 100 miles north of Melbourne. It's elevated (500m above sea level), isolated and ruggedly beautiful with granitic sandy loam soils - perfect for growing grapes with great intensity but a real pain for sourcing essentials from the grocery store (a 70km round trip!). It was the reality of their remoteness that led Matt and Lu to reach for the gun to grab dinner and in the process discover that wild meat needs a special wine to match it.

Fowles Wine vineyards

We define wild game as: any meat from the wild from a species not normally domesticated, including seafood. Unlike farmed animals wild game live by their wits, avoiding predators and eating whatever food is available in their natural habitat. As a result, game meat is different to farm reared meat in that it is naturally very lean and dense, and can be texturally challenging to the palate. It also has distinctive aromas and flavours that vary from beast to beast.

Matt Fowles carving wild venison

So when it comes to making wine to match with wild game we craft Ladies who Shoot their Lunch wines to be generously aromatic, yet with a fine structure – to walk the fine line between complementing the profile of game meat, whilst not overwhelming it. But how do we do it?

Fowles Wine fruit

Well, we source our fruit from the coolest sites on our vineyards because it takes longer for these grapes to ripen which allows them to slowly build up intense colour, aroma and flavour. We use both cultured and wild yeasts to ferment our wines to add a little 'funk' and complexity. 

Matt Fowles and Victor Nash tasting Ladies who Shoot their Lunch Chardonnay

We ferment and mature our wines using a medley of large and small and new and old oak barrels to impart subtle oak characters and create the desired texture in our wines. For example, we ferment our Riesling on its lees for nine weeks in large format new French oak barrels and mature our Shiraz in massive 140 year old English oak casks. All of these winemaking techniques help us craft perfumed, fine boned and complex wines with the personality to partner wild game.

Ladies who Shoot their Lunch

The type and availability of wild game differs across the world. However, wherever you're based we would recommend speaking to a quality butcher or fishmonger as the first step to discovering more about and getting hold of wild game. And to help you get your game on we are delighted to share a range of our favourite recipes. Enjoy! 

Ladies who Shoot their Lunch Riesling with steamed Redfin fillets with a tomato and herb vinaigrette. Download the A4 formatted recipe HERE. Download US letter formatted recipe HERE.

Ladies who Shoot their Lunch Chardonnay with roasted quail on pumpkin puree with crispy pancetta and a brown butter and sage sauce. Download the A4 formatted recipe HERE. Download US letter formatted recipe HERE.

Ladies who Shoot their Lunch Pinot Noir with pan fried duck breast with grilled stone fruit and hazelnut salad and spiced citrus reduction. Download the A4 formatted recipe HERE. Download US letter formatted recipe HERE.

Ladies who Shoot their Lunch Shiraz with juniper and rosemary rubbed haunch of venison with a roasted autumn vegetable salad. Download the A4 formatted recipe HERE. Download US letter formatted recipe HERE.