Wondering what to drink this winter? We ask Bibo's Louella Mathews

Five minutes with … Louella Mathews, sommelier, Bibo Wine Bar, Double Bay

Louella, deep in these wintry months, what are you recommending people drink?

I am so happy that people are starting to like textural oaky chardonnays again. This is my go-to for white in winter. Reds: I’m really into NSW wine and the different varietals they have to offer. Not to mention killer Rhône-style shiraz from cooler regions such as Canberra and Orange. #supportlocal!

Do you feel Australians are too unadventurous with their wine choices: too much shiraz/sauvignon blanc? What are you encouraging them to try?

I feel in the past five years there has been a huge switch in wine trends. At the moment it’s all about pinot gris, rosé and pinot noir. I am always encouraging people to try pinot blanc over pinot gris; old or new world. Plus people travel a lot more and tend to be more educated so in turn are more adventurous. After three years working at Bibo I love that my regulars trust me and always like to try something new, no matter where it’s from.


Bibo’s style of food is influenced by Portuguese cuisine. Is it hard to match wine to that style of cuisine?

I would say the opposite. I find the finer, more delicate food is harder to match, as you are more at risk of overpowering these flavours with wine. Portuguese food is incredibly tasty and full of flavour so can handle different styles of wine. My favourite at the moment is a Justino’s Madeira, 10 years old Sercial with our flambé chorizo and I absolutely love the Dormilona Skinnie Sauvignon Blanc with our piri piri chicken.

There seem to be a lot more women in the world of wine these days. Is this a trend you’ve noticed?

Absolutely yes! Or maybe we are just hearing about them more? I just ran an aperitivo event called Mothers in Wine [an initiative Mathews held at Bibo in May featuring all wines made by winemakers who are also mothers] and found so many inspirational women who are making incredible award-winning wines and raising families as well. Not to mention inspiring female sommeliers such as Sophie Otton, Amanda Yallop and Annette Lacey. Plus the next generation who are so passionate and inspire me on a daily basis: Marie-Sophie Canto at The Dolphin Hotel and Eleonore Wülf of Chiswick. They are always pushing, always changing, always challenging and inspire me to do the same.

What do you drink when you get home from work?

One of the three Cs … Champagne, chablis or chenin blanc.

Bibo Wine Bar

7 Bay St, Double Bay