This will change how you think about wine: wine is sauce
Imagine that you’re at a lovely gastro pub and order fish and chips. The dish arrives with a massive piece of flaky, white fish, covered in crisp batter. While cooked perfectly, there is a satisfying oiliness to the dish. Next to the fish are some thick-cut, triple-cooked chips, with a generous sprinkling of salt. Mushy peas may or may not make an appearance; your choice.
Whilst this looks amazing, you know that there’s something missing: something that makes this only a good, not a great dish. Then the waiter arrives with half a lemon and a bottle of vinegar. The final piece of the puzzle. What this beautiful dish needs is some acidity to cut through the richness and oiliness; to act as a wee palate cleanser.
So, it’s hardly surprising that a great wine pairing with fish and chips (and in fact this may be one of my all-time favourite pairings) is English sparkling wine or Champagne. Super-high acid to balance out the richness, with bubbles helping to cleanse the palate between each bite. A fantastic pairing, as well as a fun combination of luxury and comfort food.
If you were cooking Christmas day turkey, would you serve it with light, lemony dressing and a bottle of Pinot Grigio? Not likely. You’d make a delicious, rich, thick gravy and enjoy a bottle of full-bodied white, like a Chardonnay.
Whilst you can always reach out to The Wee Vinoteca for pairing advice, when thinking about your next pairing, look at the condiments or sauces that you’d typically serve with your dish. Are they high in acid, rich and meaty, or intensely fruity? The answer will guide you towards a style of wine that pairs perfectly.
More examples include:
Burger and ketchup with fruity reds
Blue cheese and fruit chutney with LBV Port
Duck and cherry sauce with Pinot Noir
Pork belly and apple sauce with Chenin Blanc or Riesling
Duncan Gammie – The Wee Vinoteca
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