Matching great food with great wine is one of life’s pleasures; get it right and it can be a memorable experience which can last a lifetime but get it wrong and it becomes memorable for all the wrong reasons!
With that in mind, we have teamed up with Award Winning wine experts KWM Wine to bring you some matching advice to help get the best out of your fantastically fresh fish from Mourne Fishbox.
Tips on matching wine with fish by Andrew Imrie of KWM Wine
Fish as we know has many different species, tastes and textures and is one of nature’s greatest partners to wine. However, the way the fish dish is served can greatly affect the wine you should select to go with it. A lot can depend on the additional ingredients as well as the fish itself, so the possibilities are endless and the joy is all about discovering!
Typically white wine tends to be the first choice for many people to go with fish but don’t forget about Rose, Sparkling, Fortified and yes, even Red!
Even though red wine isn’t typically recommended as a partner for fish due to its tannins, there are certain exceptions. Tannin is the element in red wine which gives the wine body and structure, but when paired with fish it results in an unpleasant metallic taste. However, if you prefer to drink red wine, select a red which is very low in tannin and more fruit dominant with higher acid levels, such as a Pinot Noir or Beaujolais and try to match these with a fuller bodied meatier fish such as Monk. Light reds can also work with a dish such as Cod in Tomato Sauce, matching the stronger tomato flavours to the wine – but a good match can also be a good quality, powerful New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc which can often have obvious tomato leaf flavours.
Whites tend to work better than reds though largely due to the lack of tannins and higher natural acid levels which is a key component for making the pairings work (there’s a reason why citrus fruits such as lemon and lime are used as a garnish for fish!).
So, bearing all of this in mind we’ve selected wines to go with recipes using the most popular fish species that Mourne Fishbox delivers fresh to your door.
A particularly versatile fish which can stand strongly flavoured, rich and textured wines.
A recipe packed with tropical notes around the mango and lime with spicy elements in the jerk seasoning and mustard.
A great wine to pair with this dish would be Sepp Moser Gruner Veltliner Von den Terrassen from the Kremstal region of Austria.
Gruner Veltliner as a variety typically has a white pepper note on the finish and this version is quite richly textured and fuller bodied with ripe stone fruit flavours and a delicious citrus and mineral finish.
A beautiful fish and a firm favourite on many restaurant menus which can make for a beautifully light and summery dish.
A simple recipe which highlights all that is good about Sea Bass.
To match with this and the lemon/caper dressing you need something which has lots of fresh citrus flavours with a mineral edge.
A classic match would be a Sancerre or Pouilly Fume, but I’ve selected a New World equivalent from South Africa, Iona Sauvignon Blanc from the cool climate region of Elgin which has all those lovely fresh lemon notes and lean minerality to really showcase this dish.
A part of the Cod family of fish, the Hake is often lighter in texture and flavour than traditional Cod and is particularly popular in Spain where it holds a certain reverence and would traditionally be eaten around the Christmas period.
The texture and flavour suits the Asian flavours in this dish particularly well.
The Asian spicing and lime salsa in this dish match particularly well with a Riesling from Australia’s Clare Valley, one of the country’s leading Riesling centres.
Expect powerful lime cordial flavours and precise acidity which stand up particularly well to spicing and strong flavours such as coriander from the classic Wakefield Riesling.
One of our oceans most highly prized delicacies with its distinctive texture and sweet flavour, quickly pan fried and served with some simple ingredients these really are heaven on a plate and pair really well to some fantastic classic wines such as vintage Champagne, or fine white Burgundy.
The buttery leeks and sweet Scallops require a white wine with body and weight to stand up to flavours with a sweeter fruit profile (don’t confuse this for sugar though) so something like a cooler climate new world Chardonnay with some oak influence should pair very well.
The Stella Bella Margaret River Australian Chardonnay with its ripe pineapple, peach and subtle hazelnut flavours from French oak influence should be a perfect match. Margaret River is one of the World’s leading Chardonnay regions with a perfect climate for producing top quality food friendly wines.
Noted as one of the healthiest fish to eat being packed full of Omega oils, Mackerel is an oily fish with a powerful flavour.
The powerful flavour in this dish is the smoked Mackerel without a doubt and the smoking element is a good place to start when trying to match a wine.
A renowned wine which could stand up to this flavour would be a Loire Valley Pouilly Fume. It’s made using Sauvignon Blanc and is grown on unique soils which impart a distinctive smoky flavour and intense minerality.
A great example of the style which would pair particularly well is the Eric Louis Pouilly Fume. Flinty, smoky minerality with citrus fruits and roundness to the finish. A great wine from a great producer.
Everyone’s favourite Fish and Chip constituent, but with a bit of imagination it can also make a wide range of delicious fish dishes and can stand big flavours.
These fish cakes are delicious and have a spicy tropical edge to them so require something with a bit of texture and big flavours.
Ideal for this is a good quality Alsace Pinot Gris such as the Cave de Turckheim Sables et Galets with its spicy notes, rich stone fruit flavours and full bodied texture.
This is an often over looked style from the same variety which produces the ubiquitous Pinot Grigio, the difference being that the ‘Grigio’ is lighter in body and flavour than the ‘Gris’ and will suit less full flavoured dishes.