Wine Pairings

Last year Kelly Barry, our wine pairing contributor, systematically cooked all the recipes in our book and blogged about the wines she paired with them. Kelly is a certified sommelier, and is currently in the process of becoming a winemaker. Here is a condensed version of her notes on which wines she chose for each dish, for your eating and drinking pleasure!

For more information on wine paring, see pages 134-135 of the Fishes & Dishes Cookbook.

Sweet Corn Cakes with Shrimp (p. 19) - Pair this one with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, which is the ideal companion for corn, spiced shrimp, tomatoes, avocado. Yum!!

Egg in a Hole with Shrimp (page 20) was a different take on the classic - I loved the cumin and paprika with the shrimp! The perfect pairing is definitely Mimosas (sparkling wine with orange juice.)

Hangtown Fry (p. 21) is a pretty quick recipe to create a hearty and decadent breakfast for the group. Pair with a dry rose, especially a sparkling one.

How can you not love brunch when the Smoked Salmon, Mushroom, and Kale Quiche (p. 22) is involved? So delicious, served outside on a sunny Saturday with a side of nectarines and paired with one of my favorite (and inexpensive) Cotes du Rhone roses. A dry rose has that little extra body to stand up to the ingredients - an Italian rose would also be great.

The Spanish-Style Cod with Roasted Tomatoes, Peppers, and Potatoes (p. 25) makes a pretty hearty brunch and can definitely be a dinner entree if it wants to - pair it with a dry-but-fruity Spanish Verdejo to brighten your noonday meal.

The Crab, Bacon, and Asparagus Frittata (p. 26) is a scrumptious dish, but a tricky combination of flavors for wine pairing. I selected a Domaine du Salvard from Cheverny in the Loire Valley of France, which is mostly Sauvignon Blanc with Chardonnay. The Sauvignon Blanc works well with the crab and asparagus, but the Chardonnay adds some extra body to stand up to the bacon, eggs, and Gruyere.

Leftover crab makes brunch time comfort food in the form of Crab Foo Yung with Gravy (p. 27). This was so good, I almost wished I had a hangover! The savory gravy and crab/egg omelets are made even better served alongside fresh fruit and a glass of a light, slightly briny white wine, such as an Assyrtiko from Santorini or a refreshing Vinho Verde from Portugal.

I love the Salmon Namban (p. 32), with its cool crunchy marinated Walla Walla onions and its warm, panko-fried salmon cubes. Mmmmm.... This time, the pairing honors went to a Chateau de Marissy Tavel Rose, which is a fuller-bodied dry style from the south of France. This is the red wine drinkers' rose!

The flavorful Salmon Cakes with Asian Slaw (p. 33) make a delicious appetizer or light dinner. Serve alongside the Lucien Albrecht Brut Rose Cremant d'Alsace, which is a sparkling 100% Pinot Noir.

Jade Dumplings (p. 34) Although the preparation is somewhat fussy, the payoff is big - I did both the fried/steamed dumplings with Citrus Ponzu Sauce (p. 35) as well as the boiled dumplings with Green Curry Sauce (p. 35). Both of these paired nicely to the dry but fruity New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Soooooo delicious!

We enjoyed the Sea Scallop Ceviche (p. 39) with this fruity, citrusy Sauvignon Blanc from the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. If you use the whole jalapeno for... extra kick, you could also try it with a German Kabinett-style Riesling.

Steamed Mussels with White Wine and Bacon (p.44), made with fresh Penn Cove mussels and paired with a Fume Blanc. Fume Blanc is an oaked Sauvignon Blanc, which is a great complement to the mussels and bacon.

Crab Rangoon (p. 45) is a tasty treat! I paired these with an Alsatian Gewurztraminer - excellent!

The first recipe I made from the cookbook was the King Crab Dip (p. 46). I chose it for expediency - mix and bake. It turned out to be a race to reveal the potholder on the underside of the glass baking dish. It was New Year's Eve, and everyone loved it! I served a crisp, dry Italian Prosecco with it, which was a great pairing.

Yummy yummy Coconut Shrimp (p. 50) with Sweet Chili Sauce (p. 51)! Pair it with a light, sweet, aromatic white, such as a Moscato d'Asti or a German Gewurztraminer.

Crab, Shiso, and Avocado Tempura Salad (p. 57) was pretty decadent, and not too fussy to make! Extra batter made great broccoli tempura. Pair it with a dry, light, high-acid white, such as a Spanish Albarino.

Crab and Cucumber Salad (p. 58) makes a quick and light dish - simple yet beautiful! The combination of flavors pair perfectly to a nice dry sake, such as Gekkeikan Horin Junmai Daiginjo. Yum yum!

A light summer entree is the Shrimp and Orzo Salad with Pesto, Roasted Tomatoes, and Snow Peas (p. 59). Liguria is the Italian home of basil pesto, and the Ligurians enjoy their share of seafood as well. I paired the salad with a Vermentino (the main white grape of Liguria), although this one is from Sardinia, which is easier to find. The wine is light, crisp, minerally and slightly briny, which works well with this blend of flavors.

Shrimp and Sesame Green Bean Salad (p. 60) was absolutely scrumptious - so good you should make a single batch as a meal for one. Fabulous dressing, and it's all so easy! The piece de resistance was pairing it with a dry sake (Kasumi Tsuru Kimoto Extra Dry) - just perfect!!

I loved the flavorful, fancy-but-easy Alaskan Salmon Nicoise Salad (p. 63) - it's so beautiful, and the lemon vinaigrette recipe I'll use again and again. For this salad, I looked for a fuller-style rose and found this delicious Rose of Negroamaro from Sicily. The rose has enough flavor and body to complement the smoked salmon, but that lovely lightness to work with the lemon vinaigrette.

Quick and tasty Octopus and Roasted Red Pepper Salad (p. 64) is the easy way to add a decadent course to your dinner party or brunch. I selected an Albarino from the cool northwest of Spain to pair to this explosion of flavors. The Albarino is a dry light style with a hint of brininess and lime, which allows all those wonderful salad flavors to shine through.

Perfect weather today for the Salmon and Spinach Soba Soup (p. 65) I found the perfect pairing for it in my cellar - a cool climate (lighter-bodied) Pinot Noir from Columbia Gorge: the Marchesi Vineyards 2007 "Giuseppe", which works well with the salmon but doesn't overpower the spinach or soba. Yum!

Oyster Corn Chowder (p. 66) came out great and only takes about 30 minutes! I paired it with a Muscadet Sur Lie, which is a dry, high acid white (to cut through the cream base and but not overpower the oysters), aged with the leftover yeast (to give it a little extra body to match to the corn). Try it!

Oooh! Thai Clam Chowder (p. 69) is so simple and what a burst of flavors - the base is of clam juice and coconut milk, which is a lighter and more exotic take on clam chowder. I paired it with a dry Gewurztraminer from California. The recipe is not inherently spicy, so the more spice you add to it, the sweeter the Gewurz should be - if you make it REALLY spicy, try a German Gewurztraminer. Alsatian Gewurztraminers are on on the drier side, but not completely so - perfect if you add a little kick to it.

Smoked Black Cod Chowder (pg. 70) came out very fancy-looking but is easy to make and scrumptious. Serve with an oaky white (such as Chardonnay, or even better, a high-acid Fume Blanc), or a high acid red, such as an Italian Pinot Noir or Barbera.

Seafood and Sausage Gumbo (p. 72) rocks! The andouille was spicy hot, which gave the gumbo a great kick - because of the spiciness, I paired it to this sweet organic-grape Riesling from Pacific Rim of Washington State. It was delicious!

The Cast-Iron Broiled Salmon (p. 76) is so easy and scrumptious! I paired it with a green salad and a red Burgundy (Pinot Noir).

Grilled Sake Salmon (p. 82) -doesn't get any easier to marinate and grill. The grill gives the sockeye that smokiness that paired smoothly with the 2006 Cristom Sommer's Reserve Pinot Noir from Oregon.

Grilled Rosemary Balsamic Salmon (p. 85) is tantalizingly simple - so glad we have rosemary in our herb garden! It paired perfectly to the wonderfully complex 2002 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Central Coast - amazing!

The Grilled Salmon with Cilantro and Lime (p. 86) is a snap, and was surprisingly delicious for a cilantro-hater like me, because the garlic and lime juice tone down the strong cilantro flavor - the best cilantro dish I've ever had - yum! I paired it with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, whose bright grassy and citrus flavors worked well with the cilantro and lime.

The Alaska Seafood Bake (p. 89) is a 35-minute prep to feasting with friends. The pairing was tricky - spicy andouille, crab, clams, mussels, and corn in a beer broth - the choice went to a Vouvray, which is 100% Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley in France. The hint of sweetness goes well with the spice of the andouille, ...yet it is still light enough not to overpower the shellfish, and it has a bit of yeastiness that works well with the corn and beer broth - excellent!

Seared Halibut with Lemongrass and Chili (p. 90) has some kick to it, depending on how much sriracha you use. For this flavorful and spicy preparation I paired it with a slightly sweet, flavorful and aromatic white - a German Gewurztraminer.

Loved the Halibut Cheeks Picatta (pg. 91)! Turns out that a potato starch coating is MUCH easier to work with than flour-based coatings. It paired deliciously with the Maubet Blanc (dry fruity white from southern France), and also with a dry Cotes du Rhone rose.

Grilling decadence in the form of Bacon-Wrapped Grilled Halibut Skewers (p. 93)! Pretty easy to put together, and it really makes an unusual and creative addition to standard BBQ fare - I also made a few without the bacon for several of the non-porcine-ivores. Pair it with a Pinot Noir or a Spanish Tempranillo, or a fuller-bodied dry rose.

Crab and Shrimp Cakes (p. 94) were delicious paired with a very light rose from Provence, a Spanish Verdejo from Rueda, or other dry wine with just a bit of body to it - but no oak!

O. M. G. Seriously, the Salt and Pepper Shrimp with Jalapenos (p. 95) were so delicious I wiped the dish clean of any traces of garlic and jalapeno! Wow! Also, thanks for the section up front on how to peel and devein shrimp - very handy, and I am feeling so confident! These wonderful morsels paired perfectly with an off-dry (very slightly sweet) Riesling from Oregon.

Well worth waiting for - the Grilled Shrimp and Fennel Skewers (p. 96) were divinely fragrant with a hint of spice, and the grilled croutons were a nice touch. Pair this to a fragrant (to balance the fennel pollen), slightly sweet (to balance the chili pepper flakes) white wine, such as a Alsatian Gewurztraminer from Lucien Albrecht. This recipe was sinfully easy.

The Hot Garlic Shrimp (p. 99) were easy to make and came out deliciously! This dish is the perfect opportunity to open one of those lovely off-dry Puget Sound white varietals, such as Muller-Thurgau, Madeleine Angevine, or an off-dry Riesling. I opened an older bottle of Muller-Thurgau from Bainbridge Island Winery, and it had a hint of sweetness.

Miso Glazed Black Cod (p. 100) is mouth-wateringly decadent. Wine pairing? The miso marinade screamed for dry sake, such as Geikkekan Horin Junmai Daiginjo. Excellent!

Sea Scallops with Smoked Paprika and Citrus (p. 101) are really amazing - the combination of smoked paprika with orange adds a decadent twist. Pair this dish with a Viognier, preferably from Washington State, or an Alsatian Gewurztraminer. Yum!

A most wonderful special occasion recipe: the Seafood Enchiladas (p. 102) took a while to prepare, but I also made the tortillas myself. So delicious, so rich, with a nice kick to the tomatillo sauce - I paired it with the Conundrum, a wonderful California white blend with nice acidity and a touch of Muscat to give it some sweetness to pair with spicier seafoods.

Razor clam fritters (pg. 104), served with cocktail sauce. I paired a California Sauvignon Blanc with it, which worked well - definitely need a dry wine with great acidity and good fruit. The strong flavor of the razor clams could also stand up to a lighter-styled Pinot Noir, such as one from Alsace.

Salmon Noodle Casserole (p. 110) is easy comfort food that serves a group. Pair this one with a fuller-bodied, high acid rose, such as a Rose of Barbera & Nebbiolo from Italy, or an everyday "kitchen sink" red blend would be pretty tasty.

The Linguine with Mussels and Cider, Bacon, and Shallot Cream Sauce (p. 111) was smoky deliciousness, and pretty simple - pair it with a Fume Blanc (oaked Sauvignon Blanc), sit back and relax.

Fettucine with Smoked Salmon, Feta, Capers, and White Wine (p. 113). Talk about fast and delicious! Pair it with a dry, fruity white, such as a Ugni Blanc/Colombard blend from southwest France.

Fast, tasty and easy, pair Smoked Salmon Egg Salad Sandwiches (p. 114) with crisp yellow apples and a sparkling Bordeaux (Semillon grape) or sparkling Vouvray (Chenin Blanc grape) for a light summer lunch.

Grilled Smoked Salmon Sandwiches with Arugla, Chevre, and Tomato (p. 116) take all of 5 minutes to make! They were delicious and unexpectedly light - I used bolo rolls - I'd like to try potato bread sometime. Serve with chilled potato salad, watermelon-strawberry-mint salad, and a dry rose for a light summer dinner.

The Vietnamese Shrimp Banh Mi Sandwiches (p 117) are a blend of sweet, sour, and spicy. I paired the sandwich with a side of white nectarine and a apricot-fruity and slightly sweet Viognier from Cline Cellars of California, which complemented it nicely.

Grilled Salmon Burgers with Lemon and Parsley (p.119) were delicious and the best tartar sauce (Lemon and Dill Tartar Sauce, p. 119) I've ever had - thanks! I paired it with a nice old oaky Merlot that complemented the little blackened salmon bits, a nice Oregon Pinot Noir would also be wonderful with it.

Oh wow! The Spicy Salmon Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions and Rosemary Aoili (page 120) ARE SO INCREDIBLE!!! Thank you for teaching me how to properly caramelize onions for any occasion! I served these with a simple green salad. YUM!!!! and a Cotes du Rhone rose. The spice mix wasn't as uber-spicy as I expected, so a dry rose was wonderful with it.

BLT Salmon Sandwiches (p. 121) - YES!! Really simple and easy to make - and cooking the salmon in a little bacon fat gives it that extra oomph. Pair with a dry, medium-bodied red, such as a smoky Pinot Noir or Guigal Cotes du Rhone.

Grilled Halibut Sandwiches with Prosciutto and Pesto (p. 124) for Mother's Day brunch. The combo of flavors was a big hit, and paired nicely with Champagne.

I LOVED the Chips 'n' Fish (p. 125) served with the Lemon-Dill Tartar Sauce (p. 119) and homemade coleslaw. This one pairs nicely to a fuller bodied but stainless steel white, such as an unoaked Chardonnay or a nice Blancaneaux from Rubicon Estate, which is a blend of Marsanne, Viognier, and Roussanne (southern Rhone white).