Junk Food Wine: Shapes
Pizza Shapes - Sangiovese
As Brendan pointed out to Shane live, it might just be because of the pizza thing, but Shane from proof immediately matched Pizza Shapes to "cleanskin Sangiovese", becuase, yeah, Pizza. But it totally makes sense, that kind of spicy tomato thing and little hits of onion, garlic and herb (powder), works really well with the medium fruit, lick of tannin and bone of spice that is at the core of good Sangiovese. Sometimes simplicity is key. Best option for you? While you can always grab a cleanskin in if your local bottle-o is ripping through them, you can't beat Italian variety masters in the McLaren Vale Coriole with their Sangio - $28 a bottle and always brilliant, it's a no brainer for a no brainer.
Barbecue - Orange Wine
Honestly a difficult match due to the recipe listing of Worcestershire Sauce, Barbecue shapes have a very distinct flavour that really do not capture the flavour of Barbecue, Australian or otherwise. With flavours like Tomato, Parsley, Garlic, Onion and Worcestershire, it's reads more like a weird bolognese recipe than Barbecue flavours - never the less, one of the top tier Shapes flavours. This calls for something versatile, with a defined structure of tannin, interesting tertiary herbal flavours and fleshy fruit weight - Orange Wine. Amber Wine. Skin Contact White Wine - Whatever. In our opinion, one of Australia's finest is from the Barossa from the legends at Smallfry with their contemporary Australian classic - Tangerine Dream. Semillion, Riesling, Pedro Ximenes, Roussane and Muscat blend makes a wine that sings all the things we love about orange wine - citrus peels and plenty of spices, over a delightfully structured base! Perfection, just like the biccies.
Chicken Crimpy - Chardonnay
The all time great of Shapes parings in my opinon - I may have put this forward on the show - but Chicken Crimpy and a seductive oaky Chardonnay is a match made in heaven. Just like a roast chook goes well with Chardonnay, the same theory applies here, but you need a buttery one, something with a chunk of new oak and barrel fermentation is ideal. There's plenty going around, some real stalwarts and icons of Australia do this style perfectly, but one of our favourites comes from the Yarra Valley with the crew at Giant Steps with their entry level blend from different vineyards across the region. 10% new oak, 100% barrel fermented, exactly what we're looking for and very, very well priced for the quality. Get into it.
Cheddar - Chenin Blanc
The dark horse of the Shapes lineup and I think criminally underrated. Tasty stuff, super more-ish, cheesy, exactly what is says on the box. Definitely in need of a textural white with spritley acidity - enter Chenin Blanc, one of the dark horse and underrated varieties when we're talking in the context of Australia. Keeping with that darkhorse theme, we're talking Aphelion, one of the great up and comers from McLaren vale, with their Blewitt Springs 'Pir' Chenin Blanc, a blend of barrel fermented and lees worked in stainless steel fruit. Rounded texture and mouthfeel, flinty acid line, it's just downright delicious. Works beautifully with cheese, makes sense why it would work beautifully with cheese flavoured shapes. Bang on!
Nacho Cheese - 'Riversand' Fiano
Nacho Cheese should really be reserved for Doritos but to be fair, these are actually some really tasty biccies. Bit more funky cheese character and some actual Nacho flavours from the powder trinity of Tomato, Onion and Garlic, you're in need of something ripe, textural and no nonsense. We can't really go past one from our own shed here - 'Riversand' Fiano, a wine that already goes tremendously well with nachos themselves, is ready made for some Shapes action. The texture and ripe tropical fruit flavours compliment that nacho-ness damn well, and acidity to freshen the palate for the next swig and the next handful. You'll be seeing the bottom of the box and the bottom of the bottle in no time.
Savoury - Oxidatively Handled White Wine
When was the last time you bought Savoury Shapes? Never. Didn't even remember what they tasted like before these were purchased for the purposes of this blog thing. I'll tell you what they taste like - mild. These are perfectly fine Shapes. The ingredients are Cheese, Onion Powder, "Spices" and Sesame Seeds - so they have a surprising amount of umami, but nothing all that thrilling. Best to pair it with a thrilling wine, and one of the most thrilling wines we've had recently is from the great man Owen Latta out of Ballarat with his Latta Vino 'Jurassic Blanc' Ullaged Chardonnay. Unlike the biscuits, this is not bland at all, it is delicious. Like, really, really good. They'll work together well - but in more of a Batman and Alfred situation.
Cheese & Bacon - Pinot Noir
The definitive worst flavour of Shapes. Disgusting. I enjoyed nothing about eating these. I know some people love them but they're plain wrong and I refuse to be convinced other wise. My ultimate pairing with these would be the nearest disposal unit but, the fatty, cheesy and fake bacon flavours would probably go well with Pinot Noir, so if you're gonna torture yourself with a terrible biscuit, get yourself some nice and fleshy Pinot with some spice and whole bunch. Get some Farr Rising Pinot Noir, it's not at the top of the By Farr echelon of literally some of Australia's greatest Pinot, but it's still bloody exceptional and you need to try it, a reason for joy whilst consuming a truly abhorrent snack.