Fish and Chips with Chablis for an Exciting Food and Wine Pairing!
I love a challenge and when I was asked recently if I would like to enter a competition to pair Chablis, one of my favourite French wines, with “Take Away” food, I was intrigued and fascinated to have a go. It’s probably true to say that fine wines are usually paired with formal food or classic recipes, as well as cheese of course; but, on investigating this food and wine pairing exercise, I discovered that takeaway meals work very well with wine, and instead of beer (or lager) which is usually served with pizza, curry, Chinese food and fish and chips, wine makes a wonderful beverage and a refreshing change. I could have paired this wine with oysters from a seafood bar, a Thai green curry, some Peking Duck with pancakes and plum sauce, or maybe a classic Italian pizza……but, I wanted to try the Chablis with fish and chips, my favourite take away meal. I also wanted to prove that what may appear to be a common and every day take away meal can be made all the more better, (if that is possible) by serving it out of newspaper with glasses of crisp, chilled Chablis……and it worked perfectly!
Not only did I try fish and chips with Chablis for my pairing, but I also served mushy peas alongside it too! This may appear to be an off-the-wall pairing to many people – fish and chips is normally served with a pot of tea, bread and butter, and maybe a picked onion or two; but, strip away the usual perceptions of what you assume you would drink with Britain’s most famous take away dish, and what you are left with is prime fresh fish that has been caught locally, fried in a crisp batter, with crunchy golden chips, salt, malt vinegar and creamy mushy peas – a meal fit for a King, and one that is more than suitable to serve with a white wine. For me, it is a natural pairing, the dry, crisp wine cuts through the richness of the batter, and accentuates the succulent flakes of white fish, whilst complimenting the earthiness of the chips, I cannot think why wine isn’t served with fish and chips all of the time!
When you think about it, white wine is usually served with fish and seafood, so why not fish and chips? Chablis is produced in Northern Burgundy, and the wine is noted for its flinty taste (note), called “goût de pierre à fusil“. (to taste of gunflint) Chablis is made from the Chardonnay (and Sauvignon Blanc) grape, and is a dry white wine, with a pure aroma and taste, some may call it a “clean” aroma and taste. Usually vinified in steel tanks, the wine is not as “oaked” as other wines in the region, although some of Grand Cru and Premier Cru Chablis wines are matured in oak barrels, for a subtle but “oaked” taste which tends to be popular. It’s the “gunflint” steely flavour and notes that makes Chablis a perfect pairing for fish and chips – a clean, crisp and dry taste to cut through the richness of the deep-fried potatoes and battered fish. We thought it was a perfect accompaniment, and loved the fact that we ate our fish and chips out of newspaper whilst the Chablis was served in best crystal glasses!
So, my advice to you, is next time you wonder what to drink with your fish and chips, I would recommend a chilled, crispy and steely glass of Chablis, in your best crystal glasses, but make sure your fish and chips are served in newspaper! See you later with a NEW cake recipe, have a great weekend, Karen
Disclaimer: I was sent two bottles of Chablis to try with a take away dish, in order to compete in this competition; all views and opinions expressed are my own. Karen S Burns-Booth
If you want to make your own fish and chips, there are some recipes on my blog here: