If there’s one British dish that’s guaranteed to put a smile on the face of most food lovers, it has to be that seaside favourite, Fish and Chips. There’s no end to the choice of fish that we smother in batter and then dip into boiling hot fat. That delicious crunchy, fatty coating manages to satisfy both locals and day-trippers, out for a day at the beach, but also the fussiest of fine dinners in fancy restaurants, tempted by the chance to relive childhood memories. But what do you match it with, if a glass of wine is the choice? Here are our top tips for choosing a perfect partner.
1. Sparkling Wine – If you’re feeling like a bit of fun, why not bring the bubbles. Champagne is a ‘go to’ pick for many wine lovers who celebrate with this fabulous fried feast on their birthday. The high acidity and delicate bubbles do a terrific job of cleaning up all the flakes and fat on the palate, and the slight yeasty notes pick up flavours from the batter. If your budget is a little bit tighter, look to less expensive bubbles like Cava, Prosecco or a New World sparkler. The seagulls won’t know the difference, so keep your eyes on your fries!
2. English Whites – One of the key characteristics of wines from the British Isles is their racy, crisp style. Popular local plantings of Bacchus, Müller-Thurgau and Reichensteiner have the necessary zip to freshen up your dish, and act in the same way as a good old squeeze of lemon over the fish. This is a great option for the full British experience. And remember… what grows together, goes together.
3. Sauvignon Blanc – One of the most planted and popular grapes around the world, it is a real crowd pleaser, particularly when pairing a plate served with mushy peas. This is a wine with high impact and is bursting with flavours of citrus, tropical fruit and a green herbaceous freshness. Whether you choose an elegant Sancerre, a mineral-focused Pouilly-Fumé or a bottle from fashionable Marlborough in New Zealand; this is a grape that won’t disappoint.
4. European Masters – Fried fish (think Fritto Misto and Calamari) have a long and rich history throughout much Europe and the Mediterranean. There is much we can learn from how locals prepare and pair their unique cuisine. With that in mind, why not experiment with some different wine styles and bring a holiday twist to your next Fish and Chip pairing. Go for Albariño, Verdejo or dry Sherry from Spain; Chenin Blanc, Chablis or Picpoul from France; Gavi, Pinot Grigio or Verdicchio from Italy; or try an Assyrtiko from Greece.
5. Rosé – Nothing screams summer & seafood like a cold glass of fruity Rosé. And what a great match it makes, especially with fuller-flavoured fish or with dishes prepared with a touch of spice like paprika or saffron. Its popularity as a wine is not in question, but a little suggestion may be required and look for drier styles with a more delicate colour. If you want the full St. Tropez effect, try serving it from a magnum or double magnum. Bring a little ‘bling, bling’ to your next food and wine pairing.