At this time of year, most of the talk in the wine world revolves around the ideal pairing with our festive main courses. However, here at l’Art du Vin, we haven’t got as far as that yet – we are still arguing among ourselves as to the perfect partner to our proposed Christmas Day starters!
We are in unanimous agreement on one point though – our starters are all going to revolve around glorious Scottish seafood. We thought we would share our personal ideas with you in the hope that it helps to stoke the festive excitement in your household.
To complement a smoked salmon dish, it is important to opt for something with good acidity. This enables the wine to deal with the oil and fat of the fish, much the same way that many people use a dash of lemon – in order to cleanse the palate. We normally turn to Champagne or Chablis. Both are high in acidity and are also medium-bodied, thus ensuring they match the salmon’s weight.
When selecting wine to drink with prawns, it is often best to look for something possessing depth of flavour, as often these dishes will be cooked with butter, garlic and a number of other flavours like parsley, basil. Grape varieties such as Viognier or Gavi are perfect for this situation.
With any seafood that is grilled, you have to contend with the added complexity of the smoky, chargrilled flavours. As a result, when it comes to grilled scallops, we would opt for a richer, fuller white, like our Albariño from Bodegas Terras Gauda. Alternatively, you could opt for the racy acidity and tension provided by the Domaine Luneau-Papin’s Folle Blanche, a grape variety more commonly used in the production of Armagnac.
There is no question than Lobster is a luxury ingredient. If you are pushing the boat out on the seafood front then we think it is definitely worthwhile doing the same when it comes to the accompanying bottle! Potentially sublime pairings include Jean Chartron’s Puligny Montrachet or a Meursault 1er Cru from Domaine Michelot.
PHOTOGRAPH: MALCOLM MENZIES/82MM