For many of us, the word whitefish is synonymous with late Saturday morning breakfast and lazy brunches at home. We’re thinking smoked, flaky goodness mixed together with cream cheese, encapsulated in a lusciously creamy spread for our lightly toasted bagels. Actually, whitefish can be prepared in a variety of ways; it can be poached, grilled, or ground, but it always maintains that smoky, savory characteristic. So which wines pair best with these deliciously smoky nuances? We’ve rounded up six easy-to-find wines to pair with your next whitefish salad brunch.
The zesty white wines of Sancerre are delightful with the savory qualities of whitefish. The diverse chalky-limestone-gravel soils encourage lovely aromatic development in the wines, carrying over to a citrusy, mineral-driven palate sprinkled with flinty notes. A refreshingly perfect pairing.
Like Sancerre, this Loire Valley appellation also produces wines from the Sauvignon Blanc grape. However, unlike its west coast (of the river, that is) neighbor, the Sauvignon Blancs from Pouilly-Fumé tend to be fuller bodied, with stronger notes of citrus and musk. Their earthy, musky qualities complement the smoky notes of whitefish.
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These high acid-whites from Burgundy are an ideal companion for smoked whitefish. Their naturally high acidity slashes through the savory notes of the fish. But be aware when purchasing Chardonnay for your whitefish pairing: The last thing you want is a heavily oaked wine overpowering your meal.
As with Chablis, the naturally high acid of the Riesling grape strikingly cuts through the meaty smoke of the fish. Residual sugars wouldn’t be ideal with this particular fish; make sure the words ‘dry’ or ‘trocken’ appear on your sleek and slender Riesling bottle.
These mineral-driven whites crafted from the Melon de Bourgogne grape are insanely tasty with the creamy textures of whitefish salad. It’s no surprise that where there’s seafood, a bottle of Muscadet generally isn’t too far away.
Red lovers, fear not! There is indeed a wine pairing for you as well. Thanks to the smoky notes and fatty texture of whitefish, the dish can totally stand up against a light red, like an earthy Pinot from Burgundy. Avoid overripe, jammy examples of the grape and stick to the high acid, lighter-bodied varieties.