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April 8, 2021

How to pair wine with banh mi

We've asked an Adelaide sommelier to pair wine with the most-ordered item on the delivery app of their choice. In the first edition, The Fruitful Pursuit's Tyler Grace Austin pairs wine to a lunchtime staple (and hangover cure).

  • Interview: Johnny von Einem
  • Illustration: Emilly Daws

Sommelier Tyler Grace Austin moved to Adelaide in 2020 from her home state of Queensland. She’s helped run Taste Champagne in Australia and internationally, and she currently runs events with The Fruitful Pursuit.


The Takeaway Somm
In every print edition of CityMag, we ask an Adelaide wine lover to pair wine with their most-ordered takeaway item according to the app of their choosing.

See how to pair wine with:
T-Chow’s Salt & Pepper Eggplant
A McChicken burger with cheese and bacon

Given her extensive experience amongst some of the world’s best wine, CityMag asked Tyler to pair a great South Australian drop with the most-ordered item on her preferred food delivery app.

It turns out Tyler loves a pork banh mi from Sit Lo, which pairs perfectly with a “mouth-filling”, “saline” and complex wine from Brash Higgins in McLaren Vale.


Tyler Grace Austin is a sommelier based in Adelaide and works with The Fruitful Pursuit

So you love a Sit Lo banh mi, what’s your go-to order?
My staple is the roast pork banh mi, a delicious filling that I’ve not dared to stray from. There’s almost always a couple of cheeky veg spring rolls on the side, mind you.

Do you add any flair to your order?
I rarely make changes to any menu, perhaps a remnant of my restaurant days. Chef knows best. However, chilli is a non-negotiable.

When is it you most need an order of banh mi?
It’d be foolish of me to deny that this is my holy grail of hangover cures. I know this isn’t an exact science but there’s something about the inclusion of carrot and cucumber that tricks me into feeling renewed.

Why is Sit Lo your go-to?
Sit Lo is quite close to our house, so delivery is swift. They also make a mean Vietnamese coffee so it’s a win-win.

What flavours in the banh mi are important to consider when selecting a wine pairing?
Pairing with wine can be tricky, especially with these elements at play.

Chilli is a hard beast to tame, decreasing the perception of sweetness and fruitiness in your glass. This calls for a wine with some solid ‘fruit weight’ and touch of residual sugar, if possible, which is sadly something that’s commonly frowned upon in Australia. That being said, a lot of your favourite ‘cheap go-to’ reds will have more in there than you’d think.

High acidity in the wine is bordering on a necessity, cutting through the fat in the roast pork – a classic combo.

What South Australian wine best suits this particular banh mi order?
Brash Higgins 2019 ‘R/SM’. An unlikely duo of Riesling (70%) and Semillon (30%) sourced from a tiny one-acre block in the Vale.

This wine is a (true) field blend: multiple varieties, planted cheek-to-cheek in the vineyard, picked and fermented together. It’s undeniably complex, with harmonious tones of juicy peach, fresh tea leaf and lime zest. It’s mouth-filling and generous, with a slight saline quality which lends some freshness.

Absolutely delicious.

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