Australia has never made finer wines across a dizzying range of styles than today. And yet the catastrophic bushfires of early 2020 were a vivid and traumatic reminder of the ongoing challenge of climate change in the world’s driest continent. So what’s the future for Australian wine? We talk to some key Australian winemaking figures and discuss the hot topics.

After all that, we cook up some delicious curried meatballs (inspired by Ozzie chef Bill Granger) and argue over whether a Clonakilla Shiraz or Jim Barry Clare Riesling go best. ‘Alcohol’ is the starting point for our Wine A-Z education blast, and Mark from down under asks which wines he should keep (making it clear he doesn’t want any ‘of the sciencey stuff.’)

“We are ruining our planet … We need to be better … The kids will eventually win the battle” Pete Bentley

Running order

  • Introduction: 0 – 2.45 mins
  • Interviews preface: 2.45 – 4.24
  • Tom Carson interview: 4.25 – 8.21
  • Pete Bentley interview: 8.26 – 14.37
  • Troy Jones interview: 14.39 – 18.35
  • Susie & Peter chew the cud: 18.36 – 26.40
  • Matching curried meatballs with Shiraz and Riesling: 26.42 – 37.02
  • Wine A-Z – A is for Alcohol: 37.03 – 40.56
  • Mark asks which wines he should keep: 40.57 – 43.17
  • END: 43.38

“Sugar is yeast food and alcohol is yeast excrement.” Susie


Featured wines

  • Clonakilla Hilltops Shiraz 2017, 14%, Canberra, Australia (£25, US$28)
  • Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Riesling 2018, 12.5%, Clare Valley, Australia (£9.99, US$20)


  • Since recording the show, we’ve heard that Clonakilla has decided not to release any 2020 wine at all. This was due to them being affected by smoke taint (the link is to the statement on their site). ‘We will not run out of wine,’ writes winemaker and CEO Tim Kirk, ‘there will be enough Clonakilla to go round!’


Pork Meatballs with Massaman Curry Sauce

This recipe was inspired by the lovely Ozzie chef Bill Granger but we’ve adapted things. It’s been a firm favourite of ours for as long as we can remember. The flavours are just incredible and it makes the perfect casual supper ‘dish with a difference.’ It’s spicy, but only mildly so, as well as aromatic, rich and satisfying. It also uses pork mince, which isn’t expensive. So if you’re looking for a dish with maximum impact and minimum cost, this is it.

Download Recipe PDF


  • Prep time: 30 mins
  • Cook time: 50 mins
  • Total time: 1 hour 20 mins
  • Serves: 4 generously 


For the meatballs (this is enough for approximately 16 meatballs

  • 600g minced pork
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 50g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (including stalks)
  • salt & pepper 
  • grapeseed oil

For the curry sauce

  • 2-3 tbsp massaman curry paste
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp soft light brown sugar

To serve

  • 3-4 tbsp cashew nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander, leaves picked, roughly chopped
  • Steamed basmati rice


Pre-heat the oven to 220°C / 425F / Gas 7.

For the meatballs, place all the meatball ingredients except the oil in a large mixing bowl and mix together well with your hands. With wet hands, shape the mixture into balls (the size of golf balls) and place in a large roasting tin. Drizzle a small amount of oil onto each meatball. Transfer the tin to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the meatballs are golden brown.

Meanwhile, for the curry sauce, heat a large frying pan over a medium heat. Place the curry paste and ginger into the pan and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally for another 2-3 minutes. Add the coconut milk and stock and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for a further 15 minutes or so to reduce the sauce down by about a third.

Add the meatballs to the sauce, stir to coat and simmer for a further 20 minutes. Gently stir in the lemon juice and sugar.

Serve the meatballs in the curry sauce over steamed rice, garnished with the cashew nuts and fresh coriander.