Match of the week | Fried sprats and grower champagne

Match of the week

Fried sprats and grower champagne

A reminder this week of just what a perfect match champagne and fried fish is - with a twist. The fish was one of the cheapest of catches, the humble sprat.

It made no difference at The Scallop Shell in Bath, a restaurant I’d been hearing great things about and finally got to last Thursday. This was one of two starters we ordered - perfect, crisply fried, spankingly fresh little fish served with some excellent tarragon and chive mayo. The other was the plump, garlicky mussels you see in the photo. And of course we had to roadtest their fish and chips, which again was exemplary - a huuuge portion of haddock in a crisp, lacy batter.

We wouldn’t have normally ordered champagne but we were *researching* (honest!) a ‘Fish & Fizz’ event on which I’m collaborating with the restaurant on Sunday October 9th, the last day of the Great Bath Feast. Details to follow on social media on the restaurant’s own Twitter account @thescallopshell and mine, @winematcher, but it will basically be a fabulous 3 course lunch with a selection of different sparkling wines.

The champagne was a cracker from grower Chartogne-Taillot, a rich, creamy but perfectly balanced non-vintage cuvée called Sainte Anne. It’s supplied by Fine Wines Direct UK which sells it online for an incredibly reasonable £27.99. Unsurprisingly it’s out of stock at the moment but if and when it comes back in I’m tempted to buy some myself.

You might also enjoy reading 6 of the best matches with fish & chips.

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