Much is written about wine and food pairing. At the end of the day, most agree its a matter of personal choice although there are some guidelines to avoid mismatches between food and wine. Choosing appropriate wine to accompany delicate seafood and fish flavours can be a challenge.
The mouth-watering image above was taken minutes before I tucked into this lunch time dish. Sauteed scallops on a bed of poached fennel with a garnish of grapefruit and italian parsley flavoured with a citrus sauce. The verdict:- delicious – delicate seafood flavour of the scallops enhanced by the grapefruit and italian parsley piquancy.
We decided we would like a Rose wine with our lunch. Our helpful server at Virage Restaurant Bar in Monaco recommended a pale strawberry coloured provencal Rose. We found it dry without being acidic, refreshing, lightly floral with a hint of red fruit and citrus. This Rose was delicate enough to complement the scallop and fennel flavours and created a memorable wine and food pairing experience.
This pale pink, subtle wine was a Chateau de Saint-Martin, cuvee Eternelle Favorite 2011, AOC Cotes de Provence, VAR. Not only does the wine taste good, it also comes in an elegant bottle with a distinctive label. The grapes used in the wine are Tibouren, Carignan and Grenache.
A brief visit to the South of France took us to the Principality of Monaco. Lunch was recommended at Virage Restaurant Bar, a smart yet casual restaurant tucked alongside the marina. The white tablecloths and white/grey colour scheme of the busy restaurant, its open glass fronted entrance metres away from impressive yatchs, and friendly, prompt service created a relaxed and happy atmosphere. We noticed that the Eternelle Favorite certainly was a popular choice among the clientele who seemed to be smart, younger people working in the area.
This wine and food combination was so delicious and a highlight of our visit that I have attempted to replicate it at home. The fennel was quickly sautéed then poached in a light chicken stock. I am still working on the sauce. For now it is my own version of a citrus spicy mayonnaise: any suggestions to create a sauce similar to that in the photo would be welcome. All presented as in the photo, with spinach as a side dish and, of course, accompanied by a glass of pale, subtle Rose!.
Reference: Virage Restaurant Bar, http://www.virage.mc
Chateau de Saint-Martin, www.chateaudesaintmartin.com