Which wine to match with Dover sole?
When you have a fish as fine as Dover sole you don’t want to mask its delicate sweet flavour in any way. Here are my suggestions for Gordon Ramsay’s recipes in the Times today.
Whole Dover Sole with Herb Crust
There’s quite a lot of parmesan as well as the herbs in the crust which made me rethink my first instinct to pair this with a cool climate, crisp Sauvignon Blanc or possibly even a dry German Riesling. They add an element of umami that will probably key in best with a subtly oaked Chardonnay such as a Puligny-Montrachet or a Chablis 1er Cru - my failsafe suggestion for most sole dishes. In fact so long as you don’t choose a white wine that’s too light, has too much residual sugar or is too oaky (a Meursault or similar barrel-fermented Chardonnay would be too powerful) you should be on track.
Dover Sole with Caper, Anchovy and Parsley Brown Butter
A more robust treatment, normally meted out to skate. Obvious fruit would be an unwelcome element here, I think so I’d go for something dry, mineral and comparatively neutral though sufficiently powerful to cope with these strong flavours: Chablis again or an Austrian Grüner Veltliner.
Rolled Dover sole fillets in creamy shallot and white wine sauce
Cream is a natural partner for sole and also for Chardonnay though I’d again go for the restrained sort of style I was recommending with the first recipe (the braised fennel will make this an even more hedonistic match). If you really feel like splashing out crack open a bottle of Champagne or serious new world sparkling wine which will add a nice textural counterpoint to the cream. This would also be a good dish to show off a fine, dry but not too evolved Riesling. (You don't want too much in the way of kerosene flavours to intrude.)
If you found this post useful and were happy to get the advice for free perhaps you'd think about donating towards the running costs of the site? You can find out how to do it here or to subscribe to our regular newsletter click here.