Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Pairing wine with fish

I don't eat fish very often, and shellfish never, but I do know that many people love it and I get questions asking for best pairings. So here are my recommendations...

Person Holding White Ceramic Plate With Green Slice Vegetable

Fancy pants seafood, such as caviar, lobster and oysters, should be served with Champagne, I mean if you're going to indulge lets go the whole hog! Laurent Perrier Le Grand Siecle is something rather spectacular.

It might not be an obvious thought to pair fish and chips with wine, but sparkling wine matches very well. I'd recommend an English brut, such as Camel Valley NV from Cornwall (£26.99 Waitrose). The acidity and the bubbles cut through the batter, balancing the food-wine experience. #bestofbritish

White fish, such as sea bass, turbot, or Dover sole go well with acidic wines, such as pinot grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. Why not try a delicious blend of Pinot Grigio / Sauvignon Blanc by Puklavec & Friends from Slovenia (£8.79 Waitrose).

Smoked fish, such as haddock or mackerel, needs a full-bodied white wine, such as an oaked Chardonnay. Bisque, chowder and crab also work well with this creamy white wine - try Maggio Chardonnay (£13.00 Wine Discovery).

Sardines, mackerel and other oily fish should be partnered with aromatic white wines, such as Viognier. The aromatic aromas will balance out the strength of the fish. Try Organic Viognier by Yalumba (£9.99 Waitrose).

Spiced fish, such as Indian, Chinese or Thai should be balanced with wines that have a slight sweetness to them, such as Gewurtztraminer or an off-dry riesling. Try this Split Rock Riesling from New Zealand (£11.99 Laithwaites).

Shellfish such as clams, mussles or scallops work really well with citrus whites such as Albarino or Verdelho from Spain, Portugal or Australia/New Zealand. I love You And Me Albarino from Rias Baixas in Spain (£11.99 Ocado).

Tuna, Swordfish and other meaty fish can hold their own with a light red wine, such as Beaujolais or Pinot Noir. My favourite is this Fleurie by Georges Duboeuf, the "King" of Beaujolais (£12.99 Majestic).

BBQ'd seafood goes really well with a rose, something quite punchy, like this Oaken Grove Benham Blush rose from England (£11.49 Waitrose). It's full-bodied to hold up against the charcoal, yet dry enough to allow the seafood flavours to shine.

Seafood pasta deserves to stay true to its roots and be partnered with an Italian wine, a sangiovese will balance any tomato sauce, and Grillo will balance a white or herby sauce. Try this Chianti from Tuscany by Poggio Castagno (£10.79 Waitrose) or this Colomba Bianca Vitese from Sicily (£8.99 Wine Discovery).

I have been informed recently that prawns go well with dry fino sherry! Perhaps its that connection to 1970s prawn cocktails that started it, but apparently any prawn will do - langoustine, prawn stirfry, grilled King prawns... all match this Spanish tipple. I won't be giving it a try, but let me know your thoughts if you do.


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