Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Abalone Dry or medium white: Sauv Bl, Côte de Beaune Blanc, Pinot Gr, Grüner Veltliner.
Chinese-style: vintage Champagne (at least), or Alsace.
Anchovies, marinated Skip the marinade; it will clash with pretty well everything. Keep it light,
white, dry and neutral.
in olive oil or salted Anchovies are fine without. A robust wine: red, white, or rosé – try
Bass, sea Weissburgunder from Baden or Pfalz. for any fine/delicate white, eg. Clare dry
Ries, Chablis, white Châteauneuf-du-Pape. But strengthen the flavours of the wine according
to the flavourings of the fish: ginger and spring onions need more powerful Ries.
Beurre blanc, fish with A top-notch Muscadet sur Lie, a Sauv Bl/Sém blend, premier cru
Chablis, Vouvray, or a Rheingau Ries.
Brandade Premier cru Chablis, Sancerre Rouge, or NZ Pinot N.
Brill V. delicate: hence a top fish for fine old Puligny and the like.
Cod, roast Gd neutral background for fine dry/medium whites: Chablis, Meursault, Corton-
Charlemagne, cru classé Graves, Grüner Veltliner, German Kabinett or Grosses Gewächs, or
a gd lightish Pinot N.
black with miso sauce NZ or Oregon Pinot N. Or Rheingau Ries Spätlese.
Crab Crab and Ries are part of the Creator’s plan.
Chinese, with ginger and onion German Ries Kabinett or Spätlese Halbtrocken. Tokaji
Furmint, Gewurz.
cioppino Sauv Bl; but West Coast friends say Zin. Also California sparkling.
cold, dressed Alsace, Austrian, or Rhine Ries; dry Australian Ries, or Condrieu.
softshell Chard or top-quality German Ries Spätlese.
Thai crabcakes Pungent Sauv Bl (Loire, South Africa, Australia, NZ) or Ries (German
Spätlese or Australian).
with black bean sauce A big Barossa Shiraz or Syrah. Even Cognac.
with chilli and garlic Quite powerful Ries, perhaps German Grosses Gewächs or Wachau
Curry A generic term for a multitude of flavours. Chilli emphasizes tannin, so reds need supple,
evolved tannins. Spanish rosé can be a gd bet. Hot-and-sour flavours (eg. with tamarind or
tomato) need acidity (perhaps Sauv Bl); mild, creamy dishes need richness of texture (dry
Alsace Ries). But best of all is Sherry: Fino with fish. (Palo Cortado or dry Amontillado with
meat.) It’s revelatory.
Eel, smoked Ries, Alsace, or Austrian or dry Tokaji Furmint. Or Fino Sherry, Bourgogne
Aligoté. Schnapps.
Fish and chips, fritto misto, tempura Chablis, white Bordeaux, Sauv Bl, Pinot Bl, Gavi, Fino
Sherry, Montilla, Koshu, tea; or non-vintage Champagne or Cava.
Fish baked in a salt crust Full-bodied white or rosé: Albariño, Sicily, Greek, Hungarian. Côtes
de Lubéron or Minervois.
Fish pie (with creamy sauce) Albariño, Soave Classico, Alsace Pinot Gr or Ries, Spanish
Haddock Rich, dry whites: Meursault, California Chard, Marsanne, Grüner Veltliner.
Hake Sauv Bl or any fresh, fruity white: Pacherenc, Tursan, white Navarra.
Halibut As for TURBOT.
Herrings, fried/grilled Need a white with some acidity to cut their richness. Try Rully, Chablis,
Muscadet, Bourgogne Aligoté, Greek, dry Sauv Bl. Or cider.
Kedgeree Full white, still or sparkling: Mâcon-Villages, South African Chard, Grüner Veltliner,
German Grosses Gewächs or (at breakfast) Champagne.
Kippers A gd cup of tea, preferably Ceylon (milk, no sugar). Scotch? Dry Oloroso Sherry is
surprisingly gd.
Lamproie à la Bordelaise 5-yr-old St-Émilion or Fronsac. Or Douro reds with Portuguese
Lobster, richly sauced Vintage Champagne, fine white burgundy, cru classé Graves, California
Chard, or Australian Ries, Grosses Gewächs, Pfalz Spätlese.
cold with mayonnaise Non-vintage Champagne, Alsace Ries, premier cru Chablis, Condrieu,
Mosel Spätlese or a local fizz.
Mackerel, grilled Hard or sharp white to cut the oil: Sauv Bl from Touraine, Gaillac, Vinho
Verde, white Rioja, or English white. Or Guinness.
with spices Austrian Ries, Grüner Veltliner, German Grosses Gewächs.
Monkfish Often roasted, which needs fuller rather than leaner wines. Try NZ Chard, NZ/Oregon
Pinot N, or Chilean Merlot.
Mullet, grey Verdicchio, Rully, or unoaked Chard.
Mullet, red A chameleon, adaptable to gd white or red, esp Pinot N.
Mussels marinières Muscadet sur Lie, premier cru Chablis, unoaked Chard.
stuffed, with garlic See ESCARGOTS.
Paella, shellfish Full-bodied white or rosé, unoaked Chard. Or the local Spanish red.
Perch, sandre Exquisite fish for finest wines: top white burgundy, grand cru Alsace Ries, or
noble Mosels. Or try top Swiss Chasselas (eg. Dézaley, St-Saphorin).
Prawns with mayonnaise, Menetou-Salon,
with garlic Keep the wine light, white or rosé, and dry.
with spices Up to and incl chilli, go for a bit more body, but not oak: dry Ries gd.
Salmon, seared or grilled Pinot N is the fashionable option, but Chard is better. Merlot or light
claret is not bad. Best is fine white burgundy, eg. Puligny- or Chassagne-Montrachet,
Meursault, Corton-Charlemagne, grand cru Chablis; Grüner Veltliner, Condrieu,
California/Idaho/NZ Chard, Rheingau Kabinett/Spätlese, Australian Ries.
fishcakes Call for similar (as for above) but less grand wines.
Sardines, fresh grilled V. dry white: Vinho Verde, Muscadet, or modern Greek.
Sashimi The Japanese preference is for white wine with body (Chablis Premier Cru, Alsace
Ries) with white fish, Pinot N with red. Both need acidity: low-acidity wines don’t work.
Simple Chablis can be a bit thin. If soy is involved, then low-tannin red (again, Pinot).
Remember Sake (or Fino Sherry).
Scallops An inherently slightly sweet dish, best with medium-dry whites.
in cream sauces German Spätlese, Montrachets, or top Australian Chard.
grilled or seared Hermitage Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Pessac-Léognan Blanc, vintage
Champagne or Pinot N.
with Asian seasoning NZ Chard, Chenin Bl, Verdelho, Godello, Gewurz.
Sea cucumber The only Chinese seafood that works better with red than white, mostly because
it’s the sauce that gives the flavour. It needs complexity, and silky texture: gd, mature Pinot N,
Barolo, or top Rioja work, also top Bordeaux.
Shellfish Dry white with plain shellfish, richer wines with richer sauces. Ries.
with plateaux de fruits de mer Chablis, Muscadet, Picpoul de Pinet, or Alto Adige Pinot Bl.
Skate/raie with brown butter White with some pungency (eg. Pinot Gr d’Alsace or Roussanne),
or a clean, straightforward wine like Muscadet or Verdicchio.
Snapper Sauv Bl if cooked with oriental flavours; white Rhône or Provence rosé with
Mediterranean flavours.
Sole, plaice, etc., plain, grilled, or fried Perfect with fine wines: white burgundy or its
with sauce According to the ingredients: sharp, dry wine for tomato sauce, fairly rich for
creamy preparations.
Sushi Hot wasabi is usually hidden in every piece. German QbA Trocken wines, simple Chablis,
or non-vintage brut Champagne. Obvious fruit doesn’t work. Or, of course, Sake or beer.
Swordfish Full-bodied, dry white of the country. Nothing grand.
Tagine, with couscous North African flavours need substantial whites to balance – Austrian,
Rhône – or crisp, neutral whites that won’t compete. Go easy on the oak. Viognier or
Albariño can work well.
Trout, grilled or fried Delicate white wine, eg. Mosel (esp Saar or Ruwer), Alsace Pinot Bl,
Tuna, grilled or seared Best served rare (or raw) with light red wine: Cab Fr from the Loire, or
Pinot N. Young Rioja is a possibility.
Turbot The king of fishes. Serve with your best rich, dry white: Meursault or Chassagne-
Montrachet, Corton-Charlemagne, mature Chablis or its California, Australian or NZ
equivalent. Condrieu. Mature Rheingau, Mosel or Nahe Spätlese or Auslese (not Trocken).


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