Rajat Parr is known all over the world as a respected winemaker, wine expert and sommelier. How many sommeliers can claim their own Wikipedia page? Now, Indian-born, San Francisco-based Parr is making his mark on the Sydney wine scene, partnering up with acclaimed Australian chef Jessi Singh (Horn Please, Dhaba at the Mill and Babu Ji in Melbourne, and Bibi Ji in Santa Barbara).
Taking over Colin Fassnidge’s 4Fourteen space, Singh’s Don’tTell Aunty is being billed as “unauthentic Indian” and Parr is right along for the ride. “The wine list at Don’t Tell Aunty is going to be very personal,” says Parr. “It’s going to be a small and eclectic mix of European, Australian and California wines.”
While Singh and Parr are still working on the Don’t Tell Aunty food and wine menu, one of Parr's favourites from Bibi Ji is an Uni Biryani paired with a Muscadet (a really dry and light French white wine). “Jessi’s going to be bringing a lot of his most popular dishes to Don’t Tell Aunty so I’m imagining pairings like his General Tso’s cauliflower with a German Riesling Kabinett, black mussels in curry broth with chenin blanc, his Aussie lamb chops with a syrah and butter chicken paired with grenache.”
Earlier this year Parr was in Australia for a 10-day wine trip with Mac Forbes, visiting Mornington Peninsula, Adelaide Hills and Barossa. “I loved the wines of Ochota Barrels, Gary Mills, Jauma, Bindi, Bass Philip and Sucette, and am really looking forward to coming back soon,” he says.
At home, Parr’s recently been enjoying orange wine paired with tandoori chicken. “At the moment, I’m loving the Cantina Giardino Paski, he says. . “I think orange wines are going to become more popular. They’ve been around for a long time but I look forward to them becoming the next major category and getting the recognition they deserve.”