Food and wine pairing is considered to be quite the skill, and when you come across the ideal match, it’s easy to understand what all the fuss is about. But, it doesn’t have to be difficult to find the perfect partner for your dish. With seafood, there’s room to be a little creative – and not all pairings for fish are to be found in the wine cellar; there are some unlikely ale and sprit combinations that really hit the spot.
It all comes down to balance, and Thom Hill, Manager of Catch & the Oyster Bar, recommends that for fresh seafood, it’s about selecting an accompanying beverage that encompasses similar ingredients to your dish, to not overpower the flavours. Then, for smoked or oily fish, Thom suggests relying on alcoholic pairings that can cut through the richness and freshen the palate.
Together with Catch’s Chef de Cuisine, Jordan Walsh, Thom reveals his best seafood dining twosomes right here.
Oysters and Gin & Tonic
Chilled oysters work wonderfully with the crisp, juniper taste of Hendricks gin – and the twist of lemon really sets off this combination.
Crab and Scotch
If crab is your appetizer of choice, then order a classic Scotch on the rocks. A light whiskey with a little sweetness will work well, such as a Dalwhinnie or a Glenkinchie.
Salmon and IPA
Pair a salmon dish with a hoppy beer, to compete with the full flavours of the fish; an IPA will do the trick.
Caviar and Vodka
A Russian tradition, the pairing of vodka and caviar is a classic. Served ice cold, vodka has a subtle flavour that allows the distinctive flavour of the caviar to take centre-stage.
Tuna and Red Wine
As a ‘meaty’ fish, tuna allows for some breaking of the usual rule that fish should be paired with a white wine. Try a light red, such as a pinot noir.
Lobster and Rose
Pink with pink is the key here. A dry rose balances perfectly with lobster meat. Alternatively, a sparkling rose will guarantee some crispness.