Does Fish pair well with Sparkling Wine?
22nd October 2021
Wine with dinner is indeed a great pleasure and something that we can now indulge more into that our choice of wines in recent years has increased, options to purchase improved and prices remain quite flexible to accommodate all budgets.
Fish is seen as a great dish to pair with wines and especially those which are white. Very much so today we see sparkling wines taking the mantle of popularity when pairing with varied white fish dishes. Does fish pair well with sparkling wines? Yes for sure with many opting for Champagne though and staying in France, Cremants we do see plenty of also as well as other wonderful fizz producing countries throwing their hat into the ring with traditional method wines from both the new and old world. Lighter style sparkling wines to include Prosecco also are a great pairing for certain fish dishes and especially as you scale up the quality chart with Superiore labels and of course Cartizze.
“The lighter the fish style you choose then the lighter your wine should be. You can pair red wines with fish though this is usually reserved for those with red sauces and spicier characters. You ultimately want to balance the dish with the wine so that they match in performance so you get the palate cleansing experience though neither outplay the other when it comes to flavours. The ideal pairing is when the wine simply leaves you with a refreshed palate, you can enjoy the flavours of the wine and it leaves the savoury flavours of the fish in the length.” Christopher Walkey
How we prepare and cook our fish can vary from added sauces to baked/pan fried/grilled/fried and more. Some dishes will have spice, others will have herbs, we can have casseroles to curry and plenty of fresh too – Fish is a very versatile ingredient in the kitchen. Fish also have very different intensities of flavours and depending on how they are cooked and eaten will also vary the end results.
Most times, and common for home cooking, we will see white fish lightly pan fried usually with butter or oil. We prefer to allow the fish flavours to delight us and only choose light condiments / seasonings such as parsley, salt, pepper, lemon to accompany the dish. We usually opt for less intense flavoured fish so that the whole family can enjoy the meal rather than putting off any weaker fans of fish.
To test out the combination of fish with sparkling wine we went for a light and flaky style of fish with sea bass and paired it with a crisp and fresh Cartizze Prosecco from Villa Sandi. The characteristics of the wine is a defined fresh fruit tasting experience with good levels of acidity, not too intense in flavours yet with the ability to cleanse the palate and leave rich savoury flavours behind. Unlike many Prosecco styles that can be highly fruity and sweeter in style, Cartizze has the ability to deliver the ultimate experience from the Glera grape yet in a classic and elegant style showing different layers of flavours.
“LA RIVETTA” PROSECCO CARTIZZE DOCG (75CL) – VILLA SANDI – Available from Bellavita website at £29.99
“La Rivetta lies in the heart of the 106 hectares of the Cartizze area, between the districts of Santo Stefano and S. Pietro di Barbozza. A perfect combination between a gentle microclimate and very old land with calcareous sandstones and clays.”
Sea bass: You wouldn’t notice at first glance, but sea bass is quite fatty compared with other white fish, sitting halfway between cod (essentially zero fat) and salmon (source the fish society). This fish is quite easy to prepare and cook and goes well with a host of seasonings that include black pepper, herbs and lemon.
Pairing Fish and Sparkling Wines (Cartizze, Prosecco):
This light lunch of sea bass fish slowly pan fried in olive oil with added herbs laid on a bed of salad along with a side of boiled potatoes was calling out for a light and fresh sparkling wine.
La Rivetta Cartizze Villa Sandi – Tasting notes: “Light and elegant notes of honeysuckle, creamy apples, green pear on the nose. The flavours show multi layers of fresh yellow pear, white floral, honey / honeysuckle, pear flesh all delivered in a silky texture.”
Pairing tasting notes: “The pairing is a wonderful balance of harmonious flavours showing a delicate white floral and apple flavours initially which refreshes the palate of any oily texture to leave a silky and creamy sea bass savoury length. Easy to enjoy together and a very compatible pairing.“
Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.