This might be one of the parts of our food culture that we do better than anywhere else in the world, and that's the humble bakery. Whether it be on a long countrywide road trip, a stop down the street for an easy lunch, or a Sunday morning where you may have had one too many glasses of wine the night prior, a trip to the bakery is a pillar of the Australian snack hall of fame. But there is always a proverbial coin toss upon entry: do you go sweet or savoury? In my mind, the correct answer is both, and in a special 2 Parter Junk Food Wine, we'll be pairing to 6 iconic bakery sweets and savoury goods, starting with the latter. There's no judgement to how early or late you hit the bakery here (or even when you open a bottle of wine...), especially in a state that is famous for its 24/7 bakeries. So without further ado, let's get snacking - this was a belter of a time!
Meat Pie - Dark Beer
We're starting with probably the staple of a good bakery - the meat pie - without a wine pairing, because this is the time for beer to shine. Picture this: It's the middle of winter, you're at the football, well rugged up, it's half time, you've just gotten a bit snacky, then someone in your party mutters the 3 words that have been on the tip of your tongue but they've just beaten you to the punch: "want a pie?" And of course, your answer is an invariable yes. To wash it down you've been given a plastic cup (sad) full of a mysterious black liquid with a coffee-coloured layer of froff. It's not quite cold, not quite warm, but it's delicious. Are you hungry and thirsty yet? Well get yourself a Meat Pie and a longneck of Coopers Extra Stout, and while you can't go to the footy, get comfy on the couch. Living the absolute dream.
Sausage Roll - Dolcetto
Ahhh the Saussie roll, the everyman's bakery treat of choice. It's damned near impossible for a meat-eating person to dislike the ultimate unifier that is sausage roll. The "I don't know what to get, I'll just have" of the bakery. You need a really nice structured red to go with it, but outrageously quaffable too. We're in Italian red territory. You should totally get some of Adelina's Nebbiolo/Dolcetto/Barbera blend Eternal Return, an outrageously juicy but appropriately savoury red that will complement every aspect of a good Sausage Roll. Trust us.
Veggie Pasty - Viognier
Most of the time, a veggie pasty is a little sad, but it's a reliable vegetarian alternative at most bakeries, and when they're on, they're friggin on. As long as those tiny cubes of veggies are well cooked and the potatoes aren't crunchy and awful, we're having a good time. Needs a bit of help in flavour town so let's get some flabby viognier in the game - don't judge, it's a pretty fun little pairing. Speaking of reliable, get some Yalumba, the stalwarts of Viogner, and if you don't want to splash on the iconic Virgilius, or skimp on the Y Series, their mid-range Eden Valley Viognier is actually pretty darn good. Maybe give it a re-visit? Viognier may even be underrated...
Chilli Cheese Kranski - Skinsy High Acid White
Personally, one of my go-to bakery goods, but there is a fine line to manage with it. Too much pastry and it's a bready abomination, but when the pastry is fine, light and crispy, it is SUBLIME. Since we've got a bit of German influence here, we'll have a touch of it with the white with some Riesling, but with the spice factor, I think a lick of skin contact will do a great job here. Garagiste on the Mornington Peninsula craft some excellent examples of riesling and in their Experimental Cotier range, they produce a stellar skin contact edition. It's all about phenolics here, giving a grippy, racy texture and adding a wonderful layer of gingery bitterness and effervescent herby vibe. This is a certified great time.
Spinach & Cheese - Savagnin
Another staple vego option, there is always a spinach & cheese something or rather at every single bakery. Pocket, roll, pasty, quiche, who even knows there is always something. Sometimes it's ricotta, sometimes it's feta, you get the point. It's definitely in need of something a little bit oxidative but plenty racy, and that describes Savagnin to a T. There is a wonderful biodynamically managed vineyard in the Adelaide Hills farmed by the superstars at Manon, and they make a sublime expression of Savagnin that they call 'Pure'. There is absolutely nothing added to this wine, no sulphur, incredibly hands-off and 100% grapes. An absolutely incredible wine that will last in the cellar, despite it's 'naturalness'. A must-try for you natchie heads.
Ned Kelly - Fiano
There is a bit of a fable that the iconic Australian Ned Kelly pie was named by the man himself at the gallows, requesting that his last meal be a meat pie but the lid was a fried egg topped with bacon and cheese, a pie so good that the man who made it became a professional baker. Now there is absolutely no proof that this was true, but it's a good story for a pretty good breakfast pie. There is a lot going on, it's like a big breakfast but in pie form, but since it's just carbonara with meat really, we're gonna say drink some epic Fiano with it, so grab some awesome Year Wines from McLaren Vale and you've got your Sunday breakfast sorted. Such is Life!