Wines for Good Friday fish, Easter brunch, lamb and ham are the focus of our chat on CTV News.
In particular, red wines often clash with fish not because of the wine tannin and fish iodine, as previously thought, but rather because of high iron content in the wine.
The iron comes mostly from the soil where the vines are grown, but can also be due to winemaking methods.
Generalizing about which wines will be high in iron content is difficult. The iron in wine is thought to break down the unsaturated (good) fats in fish and creates that fishy smell and taste that’s almost metallic.
Leanne: Oh about a hundred a forty-eight thousand people regularly read Natalie MacLean’s wine blog. She’s a celebrated wine writer and she’s here just in time to help you with the perfect picks for chocolate, ham and lamb and for fish.
Leanne: So it’s really great to have you here Natalie.
Natalie: Well it’s great to be here.
Leanne: It was a… your topic was so timely because people just don’t know what to do, in the spring and for Easter.
Leanne: So you brought along some of your favorite suggestions, most of them price-point friendly.
Natalie: Under 20 dollars, with a few exceptions because if you want to celebrate this weekend, we’ve got some picks there too. But really, there’s a range of wines that you can celebrate. If you like bubblies, if you like white, reds, there’s something for everyone this weekend.
Leanne: And it’s tomorrow for your Good Friday sort of menu, you were looking at fish.
Leanne: You have brought along, so we’ll start with the whites I think.
Natalie: Sure! We’ve got a nice zippy Riesling Gewürztraminer blend on the end there from Ontario. Very nice price-point $15.00, or you can go with bubbly. We’ve got one from Italy, the Prosecco, we’ve got a Cava from Spain, or a sort of a slash celebration champagne.
I wouldn’t mix any of these with oranges juice by the way, for mimosa on brunch, but you can if you like; but they’re going to go really well with fish or quiche or egg dishes, depending on what you’re having either on a Good Friday or a Sunday brunch, they’re perfect.
Leanne: And you say some things just do not work with fish, so what are they? That’s the no fly zone?
Natalie: Well, you know red wines tend to clash with fish, and we used to think it was because of the tannins in red wine, but they’ve discovered recently that red wines that are high in iron content, which comes from the soil where the vines were grown, can break down the unsaturated fat in fish. Unsaturated fat is great, but the iron works against that and gives that fishy taste, and that’s often why reds and fish don’t work.
Leanne: So you got the fishy taste, and you’re not getting full blown nutritional value either.
Leanne: And they’re undermining each other.
Natalie: Exactly! That’s why we say champagne.
Leanne: Yes! So yes – clearly.
Natalie: I mean that doesn’t clash with anything.
Leanne: We kind of, might agree that champagne really does work with anything.
Natalie: It does, on its own.
Leanne: From potato chips and popcorn to fish.
Leanne: And you would serve champagne, would you serve it with lamb, would you serve it with ham? Would you serve it…
Natalie: You know, you really can drink champagne or sparkling wine from other regions right through the meal. You can start with a toast, you can start with mimosa, if that’s what you like to do for Easter, or Mother’s day coming up. But it’s the effervescence, the bubbles and the acidity in these wines that really work well with food.
Leanne: And why did you choose this Ontario wine in particular? What is the grape?
Natalie: It’s so pretty and floral; it’s a blend of two grapes, Riesling and Gewürztraminer, and it’s light and a sort of floral nature. Good price but also it works so well with spring dishes. You know how we change our winter wardrobe, get rid of the old woolie sweaters into lighter clothing. How about lighter wines as well, as we get in to asparagus and spring veggies and that sort of thing?
Leanne: And you’ve certainly done that with your wardrobe, and now is it, maybe you were also catering to all of us overwhelmed trying to remember all of the wine at all, all of the names and all the creative vineyard names, Fresh is pretty easy to remember.
Natalie: Fresh! It looks (inaudible).
Leanne: And do you have preference in Prosecco, Cava, Sparkling department?
Natalie: Depends on, again who’s paying, but these are incredible values. The Prosecco and the Cava from Spain are both under 20 dollars. The Louis Roeder, although it’s up in the 50-60 dollar ranges, it’s an extraordinary champagne. Again, it’s a good value but more expensive so it depends on, you know, what your budget is; but you can find great toasty bubbly wines at any price-point.
Leanne: We wanted this to be a great lesson, so we took our time with this part of the counter. We’re going to come back and have more with Natalie MacLean after the twelve thirty with her other picks.
Here’s the second part of our conversation soon … which wines to drink with those chocolate bunnies!
Posted with permission of CTV.