Wines to compliment the fish in season now
One of the most delicious dinners we can think of teams lovely fresh, local fish with seasonal vegetables and a glass of wine, but how best do you match the wine to the fish?
We asked our friends Kath and Pascal at Deal’s own Authentique Wines to help choose wines to accompany fish that are both seasonal and in plentiful supply at the moment – plaice, Dover sole, brill and bass.
Authentique Wines specialises in French wines from boutique producers (producing less than 6,000 bottles a year for certain wines) that suit every part of a meal from aperitif to dessert, so who better?
As Kath explains, choosing a complimentary wine is as much about the cooking method as the type of fish, so she has chosen a delicious recipe idea for each and selected a wine to accompany the dish.
One of our favourite quick dinners is sea bass pan-fried to crisp up the skin so it crunches when you cut through it, served on a bed of creamy mash and wilted spinach and finished with the freshly-squeezed juice of a lemon or clementine to deglaze the pan and add vibrancy.
We’d pair this with a white Sancerre like the Pinson Carlin Sancerre White Les Vallées; its delicate grapefruit and citrus overtones would work perfectly.
On the eye, this is a pale wine with a hint of gold. On the nose, it’s intense with orange, elderberry and honey and in the mouth, it’s an aromatic wine, with hints of ripe lemon and grapefruit.
Others to try
Wines made from Chenin Blanc or white Grenache grapes varieties are other good choices.
The delicate flesh of the plaice has a mild, sweet flavour that benefits from the simplest treatment – steamed or pan-fried and served with boiled new potatoes, local samphire and homemade tartare sauce with chopped capers and chives stirred through mayonnaise is our choice.
A rosé may not be your first thought, but the clean, light flavours of a beautifully pale Sancerre Rose are a delicious pairing with subtle plaice.
On the eye this is a light pink warmed with a touch of orange. On the nose, look for notes of raspberry and even Mirabelle plums. In the mouth, it is a lively and fresh wine with good structure; you’ll pick up those strawberry notes and a hint of cherry.
Others to try
If you prefer white, then our white Sancerre would be a great choice for any delicate white fish, simply cooked.
Like plaice, Dover sole is a flatfish with a subtle flavour but a firmer texture. Simply grill the sole fillets with shrimp butter and serve with green beans for an easy but sensational dinner.
An elegant, dry white with a smooth and silky texture is a great choice so treat yourself to a Les Lucioles from Domain Modat, a modern, biodynamic wine with an elegant pale colour.
On the eye, Les Lucioles is a pale yellow wine. On the nose, there’s citrus, hints of apricot and a touch of spicy aniseed and wild fennel. In the mouth, it is a velvety wine with a citrus tang and really benefits from being decanted in advance to bring out the flavour.
Others to try
Try the very rich but very fresh and intriguingly named De-ci, de-là (French for ‘from here and there’) from 2011. It’s a blend of Grenache blanc and gris, Carignan blanc and Macabeu grapes aged in French oak for five years, with a hint of aniseed, fennel and wild flowers.
Brill is a meaty and full-flavoured fish similar to the larger turbot. Because it’s rather smaller than a turbot you can cook it whole; roast in the oven with fresh thyme, sliced lemons, olive oil and sea salt and black pepper – tucking some extra slices of lemon and herbs inside the fish will heighten the flavour. A few vines of small, ripe tomatoes laid around the fish in the roasting tin will give an extra dimension.
We’d recommend a Viré Clessé from André Bonhomme near Macon. This is an intense white - subtle and elegant. It is a perfect match if you are lucky to get some.
On the eye, it is pale gold. On the nose and mouth, it’s aromatic with hints of grapefruit and honey.
Others to try
A dry white made from the classic Sauvignon Blanc grape is a great alternative, like the Taint d’aime white Bordeaux, with just the right level of complexity and floral overtones to complement the brill.
Find Authentique Wines on Facebook and in Deal's Saturday market.
#seasonaleating #shoplocal #dealkent