How to match wine with Asian seafood dishes

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Added
13 October, 2015

Want to match wines to your favourite dishes? Take some advice from Jane Parkinson and Eric Chavot on why wines from Pays d’Oc IGP are a match made in heaven with pretty much everything.

The stats are in: 87% of Brits are clueless when deciding what wine to drink with more unusual dishes and ingredients.

But people are cooking more dishes from around the globe than ever before. 

39% have cooked Korean, Middle Eastern, Spanish, Greek or North African food for friends in the past three months.

However, when it comes to matching wines with these styles of food, it seems that we are far from savvy. In fact, most regard their failsafe white as pinot grigio, and merlot as their pick for a red. But is playing it safe dulling your efforts in the kitchen?

Just because you are branching out with your ingredients, it doesn’t mean to have to go out of your comfort zone with your wine choices - you just need to know the flavour profiles you are looking to complement.

Wine writer Jane Parkinson and renowned Michelin-starred chef Eric Chavot have teamed up with Pays d’Oc IGP wines, from the south of France, to prove its offerings can easily be matched with a wide variety of modern dishes. The Pays d’Oc IGP winemakers label their wines with IGP which stands for Protected Geographical Indication, which guarantees quality, traceability and geographical origin. 

Wine

Pays d’Oc IGP wines come from an area that winds along the Mediterranean Sea, split into four different regions: Pyrénées-Orientales, Aude, Hérault and the Gard.

The area, based in Languedoc-Roussillon in the South of France, boasts 200km of beaches and vast expanses of vineyards bathed by the sun. It is a rich and natural combination of steep slopes, hilly peaks, vineyards, scrubland vegetation and Mediterranean beaches. With a natural soil diversity, exceptional climate conditions and 56 authorised grape varietals to choose from, the winemakers can create a range of unique aromas. 

This region offers everything you’ll ever need; red, white or rosé, light or complex.

The ‘Pays d’Oc IGP effect’ is recognisable the moment the wine is tasted. Grape varieties express themselves differently depending on the climate, exposure, relief and soils. The mosaic of wine-producing areas that make up the Pays d’Oc territory explains the unique expression of its grape varieties.
 

So, what do you drink if you’re cooking fish and seafood with Asian flavours?

‘It can be tricky,’ says Jane Parkinson, ‘but aromatic grape varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Vermentino work well with rich and creamy curries, as well as lighter dishes like sushi and sashimi.’ Serve sea bream sashimi followed by a tiger prawn and coconut risotto with one of these recommended bottles, and your efforts will be rewarded. 

Sea bream sashimi with soy honey dressing 

Sashimi

Serves 4

For the dressing
210g fresh orange juice 
1 pinch red chilli flakes 
60g fresh lime juice 
60g fresh lemon juice 
7g lemon zest 
7g lime zest 
5g fresh grated ginger 
60g yuzu juice 
110g soy sauce 
50g olive oil 

100g clear honey
 

To serve
2 sea bream fillets, scaled, filleted and pin-boned
3 radishes, thinly sliced 
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
1 spring onion 
1 tbsp fresh coriander, roughly chopped

1 avocado, cut into wedges – you can dress these with a little lime juice, lemon juice, oil and season with fine sea salt and ground white pepper

Reduce the orange juice and chilli flakes in a saucepan the orange juice and chilli flakes to a syrupy consistency in a saucepan and leave to cool. Add the rest of the ingredients and leave in the pan to infuse overnight.Strain through a fine sieve and keep refrigerated until ready to use.

  

Next, prepare the vegetables, and to keep everything fresh while you prepare the dish, put the thinly cut vegetables in ice cold water, this also helps the radishes to transform into beautiful little dish shapes. 

To serve, divide the avocado between 4 plates, and then slice the sea bream fillets as thinly as possible and place on top. Spoon the citrus dressing generously over the bream before adding the garnish.


Wine

What to drink?

Marius by M. Chapoutier, Vermentino Terret 2014, 12.5%, £44.76 for a case of six, www.cruworldwine.com, or Cuvée Balthazar, Viognier, 2014, 13%, £11.49, Waitrose.
 

What Jane says

Marius by M Chapoutier is lively with zesty grapefruit, a white pepper spice and a tangy sour freshness giving it a zippy, clean vibe; if you like something a little richer, the Cuvée Balthazar is full of peach and apricot, although still quite fresh and clean. Nicely done.

Seared tiger prawns, coconut risotto


Prawn risotto

Serves 4


For the coconut broth 

200g coconut cream 

400g chicken stock 

400g fish stock 

7g fine sea salt 

A pinch of ground white pepper 

12g finely sliced fresh ginger 

12g lemongrass 
2 lime leaves 

For the risotto

250g Risotto rice  
100g Finely chopped white onions 
50g Butter 
50g Olive oil 
150g White wine 
600-800g Coconut broth 
Fine sea salt to taste 
A pinch of chilli flakes

For the prawns 
400g tiger prawns peeled, tails on and deveined 
Zest and juice of 1 lemon 
Zest and juice of 1 lime 
40g olive oil 
40g lemon oil 
30g harissa rosso 
150g Greek yoghurt 
20g pickling syrup (use a mixture of honey and vinegar to make this) 
Fine sea salt, to taste 
Ground white pepper, to taste 
4 stalks of lemongrass 

To make the broth, bring the stock and coconut milk to a gentle boil. When boiled remove from the heat, add the seasoning and then rest of the ingredients. Leave to cool down and infuse for 1-2 hours.

 

Next, Mix all of the other ingredients for the prawns together apart from the lemongrass stalks, then cover with a cling film and keep in the fridge for a couple of hours minimum, mixing them gently every so often.


To make the risotto, sweat the onions gently with the butter and olive oil until soft and sweet.

Add the rice and stir gently for 30 seconds. De-glaze with the wine, reduce and let the rice absorb all of it. Start to add the warm broth one ladle at the time, let the rice absorb the liquid before adding some more and stirring constantly. The rice should be done in just under 20 minutes depending on the brand.

While the risotto is cooking, skewer them on the lemongrass stalks. Just before it’s ready, cook the prawns on a hot barbecue or under a grill for a couple of minutes, until pink. When done leave to rest for a couple of minutes on a warm plate, and fold any of the resting juices into the risotto to serve.

Wines

What to drink?

Badet Clément, Les Jamelles, Viognier, 2014, £6.99, Co-Op, or Mas Janeil Les Hauts de Janeil, 2014, £8.25, Oddbins.

What Jane says

The Les Jamelles Viognier is peachy and with a buttered pastry richness to the aroma. Plush and rich on the palate but a little salty streak through mid-palate saves the fruit from being too in-your-face. Perhaps surprisingly, this dish also goes well with a red. The enticing plum-favoured richness and fruit, but with a nice beetroot nose of Mas Janeil has a good balance between fruit and oak. Even though the tannins are big, the fruit is big enough to support the nutty oak.


Eric

About Eric Chavot

“The best chef in London without a doubt” is how Marco Pierre-White described Eric, whilst A A Gill wrote “This is as good as you can eat in London....This was three-stars-and-bars cooking; a faultlessly assured, elegant, thoughtful, poignant, intelligent, top-of-the-range, exceedingly-rare handmade dinner”. Eric opened up “Brasserie Chavot” in Mayfair in March 2013, which finally put an end to the incessant queries about “when is Chavot back?” ! He returned to the UK in 2012, after two years of cooking for Selfridges’ owner, Galen Weston, in Florida, and is living his dream of having his own “Brasserie de luxe” style restaurant, where he continues to provide honest and uncomplicated food  - the “flavours of Chavot”-  with  his usual high Michelin standard execution.


Jane

About Jane Parkinson

Jane Parkinson is an award-winning journalist, author and broadcaster. Winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition Communicator of the Year award in 2014, she is a wine expert on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen Live, author of Wine & Food and contributor to the soon to be released 30-Second Wine. Jane is the wine columnist for several UK magazines as well as one of five members in The Wine Gang. She is a regular wine commentator on television, radio and in person when hosting events, plus she judges in international wine competitions. Jane is a previous recipient of the Chairman’s Award at the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers’ Awards for “rising rocket-like” through the world of wine writing.

Click here for more information about Pays d’Oc IGP wines


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