The National Wine Centre of Australi

Matthew Stewart

Lotus Dining Group, Lotus Double Bay and Chi by Lotus

“Food and wine matching is such a special experience when done well,” says Matthew Stewart. “This is especially so with the myriad flavours on offer with Chinese cuisine.” Stewart is the brains behind the lists at Lotus Dining Group’s latest venues, Sydney’s Lotus Double Bay and Chi by Lotus.

He says freshness, balance and supporting local has been his focus in creating the lists. “Chinese food pairs perfectly with wines that are fresh and textural – think aligoté, grüner veltliner, riesling and chenin blanc. We want this to continue across our entire beverage offering as well – cocktails and fruit-forward non-alcoholic drinks play a large part.”

Stewart says a kiss of sweetness is key with Chinese cuisine. “There are some cracking off-dry semillons coming out of the Hunter Valley, like the 2020 Andrew Thomas Six Degrees Semillon, which is perfect for any wok-fried vegetables with a hint of spice,” he says. “Sparkling wine is also a safe bet. I recommend trying some sparkling rosés from the Adelaide Hills. Like the NV Deviation Road Altair Sparkling Rosé.”

At home, Stewart often cooks Japanese food. “As it’s fermented from rice, saké is an elegant source of umami and acidity that balances perfectly with Japanese ingredients.” When ordering in, it’s dumplings. “You think I’d be sick of them by now, but my go-to is XO Wontons with a glass of off-dry riesling, something like the 2020 Reed Wines White Heart from Geelong.”