Thursday, May 18, 2017

Rosés to Pair with Fish

By Liza B. Zimmerman

Now that springtime is in full bloom, crisp whites and roses seem to pair perfectly with just about everything. I just came back from a fantastic visit to Galicia in Northern Spain where I had some of the freshest seafood of my life. Everything from stripped bass to enormous hunks of octopus are served right from the ocean onto your plate in a matter of hours.

One of the region’s better-known local dishes is Pulpo la Gallega, which is a mix of octopus and potatoes slathered in paprika and olive oil. It pairs beautifully with the local rosés as well as the fresh and intense rosés made in neighboring Navarra.

While white wine is more often the go-to pairing for many seafood dishes, rosés—both still and sparkling--can have their charm and pairing affinities. First and foremost tuna and salmon, cooked almost any way is a no-brainer choice to enjoy with these wines. The fattiness of the fish has great synergies with the bright red fruit flavors in many rosés. Since Pinot Noir is considered a perfect wine with salmon, and consumed in copious amounts in the Pacific Northwest, why not try a rosé of Pinot Noir?

If you are eating Japanese or Peruvian and are having raw tuna or an Asian-inspired tuna-based ceviche, rosé is natural pairing. Sparkling rosés are ideal as the bubbles refresh the mouth for another bite of delicious raw fish

Notes from an Expert
Charlotte Tissoire, the head sommelier assistant at the Le Pressoir d’Argent Gordon Ramsay in London had a few ideas to share on pairing rosé with seafood. With tuna she recommends trying a rosé from Provence in the South of France. These wines tend to have “a certain richness and will be nice with the meaty texture of this special fish. As a 100 percent Mourvedre it will typically bring a long structure on the palate and a sappy and salty finish.”

“With a trout cooked in a rich sauce, it will be nicer to choose an older vintage of rosé so as to bring more structure in mouth, and to have something more opulent,” she adds.

Sparkling rosé wines will perfectly match with fresh starters like a lobster salad or a fish tartare; she notes stressing the flexibility of these wines. Clams or mussels in a rich, butter-based sauce would also be perfect with a still or sparkling rosé

Great rosé pairings are not limited to just fish and classic seafood. With “anchovies and sardines let’s try a Bordeaux rosé, “ she recommends. The region’s big and full-bodies wines tend to contrast nicely with the saltiness of both types of fish.

Cheers from all of us at DrinkUpNY!

Liza B. Zimmerman has been writing and consulting about wine and food for two decades. She is principal of the San Francisco-based Liza the Wine Chick wine writing, education and consulting firm. She has worked on staff and freelance at national magazines such as Wine Enthusiast, The Magazine of La Cucina Italiana, Wine Spectator, Where SF and the Examiner. She currently contributes to Cheers, Wine Business Monthly and the Examiner, among others.

Zimmerman focuses on demystifying wine and transforming it into a tool for business and networking for companies all over the country. Past clients include Genentech, Roche and IBM.

She has visited all the world’s major wine regions and is one of select few in the U.S. to hold the Diploma of Wine & Spirits (D.W.S.), the three-year precursor to the Master of Wine.