I only have to look at how many of my matches of the week involve fish to realise that it now appeals to me more than meat. Not that I’m anti-meat by any means it’s just that the sort of wine you pair with it is fairly predictable, well-trodden ground.
Piscine pairings are much more intriguing - this week’s match being a case in point. A clever, complex dish of grilled plaice, clams, girolles, celery and mash (right) which was served at a wine dinner at Medlar in Chelsea which featured Ken Forrester’s FMC Chenin from Stellenbosch.
White wine and fish - what’s unusual about that, you might ask? The wine, that’s what. With 6.1g of residual sugar it’s not really a dry white yet with an lively acidity it’s doesn’t taste medium dry or ‘demi-sec’ either - particularly not the most recent 2009 vintage. It’s just incredibly lush - like a great white burgundy or rich dry white Bordeaux.
The ingredient that the chefs had cleverly included in the dish which made the pairing was some buttery mash which keyed in beautifully to all that richness and left the citrussy notes to chime with the seafood. The girolles and the crisp fried onions also helped. I don’t think it would have worked with older vintages such as the 2007 which would be better suited to spicy dishes like butter chicken, Thai-spiced scallops or rich pâtés and foie gras.
I’d heard good things about Medlar which were borne out by this dinner. Well worth the detour to this end of town.
I ate at Medlar as a guest of Enotria who import the FMC and other Ken Forrester wines.