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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Thirsty work

SAM WYLIE-HARRIS goes fishing for a fresh white to serve with seafood

PESCETARIANS don’t need a sea view this summer to raise a glass to local fishmongers.

With oceans of choice at crustacean stalls, and a wave of new online seafood markets, shopping for fantastically fresh lobster, prawns, crab or flaky white fish is an easy decision that calls for a bright white to complement the clean, natural flavours.

Known as the “green wine of Portugal”, Vinho Verde’s freshness makes it a perfect choice for ice buckets at lunchtime with a dish of squid and grilled white fish. Try Sogrape Quinta de Azevedo 2010, Vinho Verde, Portugal, which has plenty of light citrus fruit flavours, crisp appley notes and a slight spritz for some added zest.

Spain’s fishing capital Galicia, north-west Spain, is famed for its Albarino, an aromatic, trendy white wine from Rias Baixas with a distinctive limey zestiness. For a good entry level, try Taste the Difference Albarino 2010, Rias Baixas, Spain. Crisp with breezy fruit flavours, soft apricot aromas and good acidity, it’s a great choice with all the fruits of the sea.

A label dressed with “Darling” isn’t hard to resist, and Finest Darling Sauvignon Blanc 2011, South Africa, pretty much sums up this favourite white to complement oysters and shellfish, or even roasted sea bass with rosemary and lemons. Concentrated with gooseberry, passionfruit and guava, it’s a drop of sunshine in a glass.

British-born actress Naomi Watts, who’s spent much of her working life in Australia, is the face of a new range of light wines from Jacob’s Creek.

Far more pleasant than some others on the market, if you’re thirsty for an easy-drinking white that won’t lose its mojo, try Jacob’s Creek Cool Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Australia. Super fresh, the grapes are harvested at night for maximum fruitiness and the crisp tropical fruit flavours with undertones of blossom work really well with crabcakes, a mixed leaf salad and sweet chilli sauce.

Chilean winery Caliterra produces deliciously fresh, crisp and fruity wines such as Tributo Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Leyda, Chile. With hints of grapefruit and subtle notes of mandarin orange and lemon zest with good acidity, the citrusy flavours work extremely well with lemon sole.

For a snappy choice with a gourmet fish pie and to start prepping our tastebuds for the summer season, try Craggy Range Te Muna Sauvignon Blanc 2011, New Zealand, which has a stony, limestone soil influence. An exciting white, it’s herbaceous with ripe kiwi fruit backed by powerful nectarine, margarita-lime and a satisfyingly long, flinty mouthfeel.

From Down Under, Grant Burge Summers Chardonnay 2008, Australia is a rich, glorious glass that’s multi-layered with white peaches, stone fruit, honey, zesty lemon and spice with a long, creamy finish. It’s a divine choice with wild salmon, new potatoes and a creamy sauce.

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