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The Perfect Pairing: Wine & White Fish

Liam Idzikowski, head winemaker at Lyme Bay Winery, talks pairing wine with white fish

Liam Lyme Bay“For Wine Pairings 101 a good place to start is with the approach that white wine goes with white meats and red wine goes with red meats, but even within the exercise of pairing wines with fish and seafood, there are several variables and options to consider. It all boils down to one word: BALANCE.

Type of seafood   

The exceptionally delicate meats such as lobster and crab want a light bodied wine that doesn’t have too many pronounced fruit notes. For saltier foods such as oysters look for minerality in a wine. Firm white fish such as pollock, whiting and cod can handle more pronounced wines, but nothing to overpower the fish itself. When it comes to meatier fish such as monkfish you can whip out the wines with more weight.

How it’s cooked  

This is as important as the fish itself. Battered fish needs something with a racy acidity to cut through the richness of the fat. If you’re squeezing a piece of lemon on the dish, use the wine as that lemon. A pan-fried cut in a light butter sauce will still benefit from some higher acidity, but can also be married with some richer barrel aged notes.

Accompanying ingredients

If you’re piling on the greens, go with a wine that expresses fresh gooseberry and bell pepper flavours. Dishes with aromatic and earthy spice often pair well with wines that show off a lot of floral flavours. Chips – which need to be addressed – are overall quite neutral so fruit flavours are down to you, but remember to balance out the fat with some cutting acidity.”

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West Country FOODLOVER is a print magazine and news based website offering a foodie’s guide of what’s hot across the South West. We inspire foodies with great seasonal recipes, competitions, news and events. The magazine, website and newsletter reach more than 128,000 foodies each issue.