Match of the week | Anchovies and alvarinho

Match of the week

Anchovies and alvarinho

If you don’t like fish don’t go to Olhao! Restaurants in this bustling fishing port on the Algarve serve almost nothing else which is fine with me but less good for people, like my friend J, who has a real phobia about fishbones.

That sadly meant he had to miss out on these excellent fresh anchovies - even though they were already filleted he still found their fishiness offputting.

They were scattered with pink peppercorns - an underrated spice that gave them a fragrant, spicy lift that went particularly well with the crisp young (2017) Torre de Menagem alvarinho/trejadura we’d ordered (from the Monçao e Melgaço sub-region of Vinho Verde up in the north of the country. Alvarinho is Portugal's equivalent of Spain's albarino.)

It really underlines the fact that anchovies pair well with almost any crisp white (or rosé) wine - I also enjoyed them last year in San Sebastian with Txacoli.

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