June 28th, 2012 by eileen in food pairing
Fish and Wine Pairing can be a lot of fun. Light, nutritious and versatile, seafood is a fabulous summertime meal. It can go from skillet to skewer to sushi roll and every rendition offers a new taste treat. And there are a variety of white – and, yes, some reds wines – that are just waiting to be introduced to those delicious favorite seafood dishes.
Share fish stories about your favorite fish and their crustacean cousins along with some suggestions for the perfect wines to pair with a seafood meal.
Scallops don’t look especially important, but in medieval Spain, their shells became a symbol of the shrine of St. James and were used to decorate doorways and family crests. They became known as the shell of St. James, or – in French – Coquille St. Jacques. Of course, they are best known for their appearance in recipes such as Scallops Provencal, courtesy of the Barefoot Contessa; Seared Scallops in Roasted Garlic Cream by Emeril Lagasse or “Sexy Surf and Turf” from Rachel Ray. (See these recipes and more at www.foodnetwork.com).
According to Gayot (pronounced Guy Oh).com, wines that pair well with scallops, – depending on the heaviness of the sauce or spiciness of the flavoring – include Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Sparkling Wine, Pinot Noir and Sémillon.
Who can resist one of the favorites? (apparently beat out in consumption rates only by canned tuna – go figure). But grilled, sautéed, beer-boiled, stir-fried or scampied – shrimp is great. There are actually 300 different species of shrimp in the world. Here in the US, we mostly consume the deep-water variety. Look out, though. Another crustacean is gaining in popularity. The Giant Tiger Prawn which measures up to 12 inches in length. You’re gonna need a bigger skewer. Shrimp, which, by the way, actually helps improve your good cholesterol, can be paired nicely with Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay.
Just when we thought Salmon with its mighty Omega-3s couldn’t get any better for us, studies show that it also contains bioactive peptides that may provide support for joint cartilage, insulin effectiveness, and control of inflammation in the digestive tract. (www.whfoods.com).
The best salmon to choose for your health and the environment is the Alaskan Wild Caught variety. It has the least amount of toxins among species that are still plentiful to fish. Don’t be put off by the “full-flavor” on the label. It doesn’t mean “fishier”– just richer in flavor when compared to farm raised – and more nutritious, too. Salmon tastes great whether you simply grill it with butter and garlic or dress it with savory sauces, fruity fixings and spicy rubs.
This is where red wines and seafood meet. About.com recommends pairing Salmon with Pinot Noir, Gamay, Sangiovese and Grenache. Gayot.com notes that Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris are good white matches.
Tuna is high in protein, B vitamins, selenium, potassium and more. Like its Omega 3 buddies, the salmon and sardine, tuna fills a necessary void in the American diet? But, can eating tuna really cause people to be nicer – even teenagers! According to whfoods.com, a recent study showed that a diet rich in cold water fish such as tuna, may help reduce feelings of hostility. And if that wasn’t enough, it may also protect your body from damaging sun rays.
Now, canned tuna is good for a sandwich and by all means, pack it for your teenager’s lunch. But also take time to discover the wonderful taste of fresh tuna through some of these recipes:
Broiled tuna with lemon caper sauce at southernfood.about.com
Grilled Tuna Steaks with Japanese Marinade from MarthaStewart.com
Tart and Crunchy Fresh Tuna Salad on FoodNetwork.com
Since tuna is a hearty fish, you can pair it with Merlot or Pinot Noir, as well as Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay on the lighter side.
Here are some other websites to go fishing at for wine pairing ideas with your favorite seafood dish.