Few these days dispute that red wine goes with fish - it’s just a question of which wine and how the fish is cooked. Most would accept ‘meaty' steak lookalikes like grilled or spiced tuna or salmon work with Pinot Noir but would hesitate to take it much further than that but last week I found a couple of surprisingly good fish matches at one of my favourite new wine bars 28-50.
The wine was an inexpensive 2008 Vin de Pays from Domaine Les Filles de Septembre* from the Languedoc’s Cotes de Thongue - their cuvée Dana which surprisingly turned out to be a 70/30% blend of Cabernet and Merlot. I say surprisingly because it actually tasted more like a Syrah - you could certainly pick up a violet note in it and it had a delicious suppleness to it which you don’t often find in a Cab. That’s terroir for you - although it is of course perfectly possible that it did contain a proportion of unannounced Syrah.
There were four of us and it was fine with all of our mains, two of them fishy. The most successful match was with a dish of salt cod and chorizo but it also paired unexpectedly well with a red mullet bouillabaisse, more predictably with a dish of pigs' cheeks and even survived a pissaladire. Obviously one of those useful ‘take me anywhere’ wines. You can buy it from Yapp’s for £9.50 a bottle.
*Incidentally the name of the domaine comes from the fact that all the owners four daughters were born in September!