Fried calamari, cod, mullet, shrimp, anchovies – a proper fish fry is one of the most delicious dishes of the Mediterranean, typical of coastal regions. But a true typical fried fish dish must consist only of the catch of the day. No proper fried fish dish would be made with frozen fish as the sogginess of thawed fish would not fry well in oil.
Most people think that “fried food” is a no-no, but if cooked at the right temperature and with the right oil, you should not feel that sensation of greasiness or unhealthy fat. There should be no residual oil and the aromas and flavors of the fish will not be covered or eliminated by the fry, but instead will be enhanced. A perfect fish fry does not require condiments to cover flavors, just a bit of salt and maybe lemon. Why alter the pleasant flavors of an already balanced dish?
Wine Pairings for Fried Fish
Now it’s time to talk about wine and fish pairings. Fried fish! Typically, fish calls for white wine, but it is too easy to stop there. A sapid, fresh white wine with hints of fruit is sure to bring out the flavors of your fish. A coastal Italian wine such as then Vermentino of Liguria or a Falanghina of Campi Flegrei Campana makes a good pairing. Another great pairing is the Tuscan Vermentino of Maremma which combines softness with floral fragrances and the freshness of fruit. The combination of fried fish and Vermentino will really indulge your senses.
If you want to go beyond the classic pairing of white wine and fish, you could opt for something bubblier. Be careful though because not all sparkling wines are the same. The risk of pairing a sparkling wine with fried fish is the metallic after taste which you are left with, similar to that of champagne and oysters, which does not a good pair make. We recommend a medium-bodied bubbly wine which cleanses the palate but does not eliminate the delicate flavor of the fish. A great choice is a Brut sparkling wine, classic method. It can be elegant and refined with hints of fruit and bread crust aromas.
In general, it’s best to choose wines that are low in acidity levels, can cleanse the palate and are sapid. These are the perfect characteristics to pair with fish. Experiment a bit and you are sure not ot be disappointed! After all – it’s fried fish, one of Italy’s specialties.