Yu Kurosawa 

OF Market Eating House, Bunbury, WA

“Growing up in a family with a background in hospitality definitely influenced me,” says Yu Kurosawa. After graduating in Japan, Kurosawa spent time working in restaurants and hotels in New Zealand and London, before ending up in Melbourne where she completed her WSET Level 3 in 2016. Now, she’s in Bunbury, WA, curating the wine list for Market Eating House’s fire-influenced, Middle Eastern food.

“Fire always adds wonderful flavour, sometimes appearing as concentrated umami, enhanced saltiness or more highlighted spice,” she says. “I tend to choose wine with ample fruit weight to balance with the robust flavours in dishes. Some might have more acidity than others but it actually works well with the rich texture that often exists in our dishes.” 

Italian varieties pair well with the cuisine, but for a lot of her list, Kurosawa looks to nearby Geographe after her time spend there judging wine.

“I was amazed with the varieties and styles of wine available in the region. Very refreshing crisp pignoletto from Vineyard 28, super graceful viognier from Whicher Ridge, quality chardonnay from Talisman Wines, top notch gamay from Aylesbury Estate, expressive zinfandel from Smallwater Estate, spicy and uber juicy touriga nacional from Mazza Wines and delicious liqueur muscat Zena from St Aiden. I was in love with this wine region straight away,” she adds.

When not at work, Kurosawa says she never gets tired of a Langhe nebbiolo. “I love it with duck breast with soy sauce and butter sautéed shiitake, shimeji and oyster mushrooms.”