Don’t Stress

Even though there’s a lot of varieties to select from, choosing your wine bottle for the night shouldn’t be a stressful event. Know your budget, then have a walk around the bottle shop with an open mind. If you’re new to the scene, we suggest grabbing a couple of different wine types so you can start discovering what your palate prefers. Who knows, you could enjoy the taste of cheap wine over the more expensive stuff—that would be handy!

Learn your favourites

Once you have a taste for a certain type, it’s time to start experimenting with different producers (winery name), vintages (year produced), variety (different variations of a certain type) and region (where it comes from)—all this information can be found on the label. While this might be a lot of choice, try not to get overwhelmed. Keep changing things up until you have a few favourites. Just remember, a change in producer, vintage or region can be just as significant as a change in variety, so don’t rule out a certain wine type just because you’ve had one bad experience.

Food and wine

Need help picking the right wine to complement your food? We’ve helped you out with a little beginners guide below.
Sparkling wine (i.e. prosecco and brut) – best for saltier foods
Dry white wine (i.e. sauvignon blanc and pinot gris) – best for vegetable dishes
Sweet white wine (i.e. reisling and moscato) – best for spicy Thai, Indian or Chinese cuisine
Rich white (i.e. chardonnay and semilion) – best for creamier dishes
Light red wine (i.e. pinot noir and carignan) – best for any dish infused with mushroom flavours
Full-bodied red wine (i.e. cabernet sauvignon and merlot) – best for rich meats
Dessert wine (i.e. port and sherry) – best for any sweets or cheeses
Remember this is only a guide and everybody is different. We still recommend experimenting with different food and wine combinations.

Want to test your palate?

Now you know the basics when it comes to choosing and tasting wine, it’s time to put your skills to work. We’ve done our research and found the best fine dining restaurants in Wollongong, so you can complement a first-class meal with a quality drop.
Lagoon Restaurant

Professional chefs creating high-quality dishes - Shellharbour
Professional chefs creating high-quality dishes – Shellharbour

Want to eat at Wollongong’s premier fine dining restaurant? Book a table at Lagoon Restaurant. Take a seat and enjoy a first-class a la carte menu, alfresco dining overlooking the beach and friendly staff, it’ll have you coming back time and time again! With a range of grain-fed beef options and succulent seafood—including Queensland mud crabs and Sydney rock oysters—you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to your main! Just remember to wash it down with a vintage selection from their versatile wine list. Next time you decide to eat out, treat yourself to an elegant dining experience at Lagoon Restaurant.
Where: Stuart Park North Wollongong NSW

Crooked River Wines
Quality food, drink and views, Crooked River Wines - Shellharbour
Quality food, drink and views, Crooked River Wines – Shellharbour

What better way to test your wine tasting talents than with a visit to Crooked River Wines? Whether you want to book a wine tasting experience, stay the night or come for some world-class dining at the restaurant, it’s up to you! Open Friday and Saturdaylunch and dinner and Sunday lunch, the restaurant specialises in French cuisine and overlooks the vast green vineyards, so bring your camera if you don’t want to miss out on the picture-perfect view. Just be sure to taste a couple of Crooked River Wines during your sitting to complete the experience! What are you waiting for? Treat your significant other with a visit to Crooked River Wines.
Where: Cnr Princes Hwy & Willowvale Rd Gerringong NSW


Do you have any tips when it comes to picking the right wine? Share your secrets in the comments below!