Match of the week | Wood-roasted fish and assyrtiko

Match of the week

Wood-roasted fish and assyrtiko

This might not sound like the most cutting edge pairing - unless you haven’t heard of assyrtiko which is perfectly possible - but bear with as they say …

It’s Santorini’s signature grape variety and creates superbly elegant dry white wines so why wouldn’t it go with roast or grilled fish (which I seem to remember was grouper)?

That’s academic anyway. The key point was the different textures of fish. The flesh was as you’d expect, fine, sweet and delicate but the skin which had been enhanced by what I imagine was wood roasting, was the thing, Crisp, slightly chewy and umami-rich it went brilliantly well with the 2018 Gaia wild ferment assyrtiko we were drinking.

My picture of the fish is rubbish so the shot above is from a photo library but here's the view from the taverna, To Pasaraki. Not too shabby, eh?

Assyrtiko, as we discovered, goes with absolutely everything you’d be likely to eat on the island but it was this insight that textured older vintages play particularly well with a whole roast fish that was illuminating.

Tou can buy the current 2021 vintage in the UK from for £29.49 which might sound expensive but is cheap, by Santorini standards, for a wine of this quality. If you buy some I’d hang onto it for a couple of years.

I ate at the restaurant as a guest of Gaia wines. For more assyrtiko pairings read this very knowledgeable piece by Peter Pharos.

The best food pairings for Assyrtiko.

The top photo by JGA at is of a roast grouper. Not the one I'm describing but near enough!

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