Impossible food-wine pairing: fish and chips!

I recently had the excellent fish and chips at Doyle’s in Sydney. Unfortunately, I wolfed it down before snapping a pic but I found another similar one on flickr.

We haven’t done one of these “impossible” pairings for a while. What with such nontraditional calorie bombs as the bacon explosion and the oreo tower under our proverbial belts already, perhaps we should ease back into this theme with something a little, er, lighter (albeit not by much) or at least more conventional.

So have at it: which wine would you pair with fish and chips? Or is it…impossible?!?

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48 Responses to “Impossible food-wine pairing: fish and chips!”

  1. Muscadet with enough acid to glass should do the trick. Clos des Briords? Sherry also sounds good, but that just may be me.

  2. Not an impossible pairing at all my friend; you just have to be British to make the connections – it is, after all, one of our ‘national dishes’!

    Hold off the vinegar for a start…

  3. I love Champagne with anything fried.

  4. Txakoli, all the way!

  5. Muscadet or maybe a New Zealand Riesling.

  6. In a recent chat with Todd Thrasher, the somm at Restaurant Eve in Old Town Alexandria (they also own Eamonn’s/A Dublin Chipper) he said champagne hands-down. I’ve been waiting to pair the two since!

  7. D’Yqueme!

    I mean, yea it would be awesome. I’m thinking a chalky Chablis might not be bad and little easier to come by

  8. Fishin’ Possible – Another vote for dry bubbles!

  9. Cava!

  10. A zippy and crisp Gruner.

  11. I’d pop the cork on an icy bottle of imported Harp premium lager from Guinness, and would call it white wine. If the chips were salty enough, I might pop a second cork. Later I’d go down to the store and get a nickel back on each bottle. It means real savings: You can’t get a nickel back on Yquem.

  12. That is true. You can’t get a nickel back. but it would be a great meal!

    I would also like to agree with Craig on the Txakoli

  13. Something light and dry to cut the grease… vinho verde, sparkling if that tickles your fancy!

  14. Txakoli is a really good choice. We may have a winner.

  15. Jerez Manzaniila. But the commented Txacoli and Grüner made me thirsthy…

  16. Some great ideas here!

    I was definitely thinking bubbles. The kind of bubbles that Howard wryly describes were definitely the popular choice dockside at Doyle’s (where, incidentally, alcoholic beverages could only be purchased with a meal). I was originally thinking an uncomplicated prosecco. But after Craig’s suggestion, Txacoli sounds like a great idea!

    If anyone puts this to the test, please let us know the results.

  17. A friend of mine has a slush machine he puts to work in the summer. I suggest a rich, full-bodied, viognier slush. one with a strong finish and enough body to stand up to the grease.

    or a good chilled beer. either way it is good.

  18. People have expounded on bubbly and fried food more eloquently than I could. I was thinking maybe something more austere, maybe Pinot Noir from Tasmania?

  19. There’s been many great ideas listed before me. I agree with them: sparkling wine, highly crisp (acidic) wine to cut the fat like Txakoli, Gruner Veltliner.

    I will add to the list with Rias Biaxas Albarino, Bierzo Godello both from Northern Spain AND my favorite, German Riesling Kabinett or Spatlese.

  20. my vote: a wacky Gewurztaminer I recently tasted from Napa based Scholium Project, the 2008 Riquewihr, Lost Slough Vineyard. Sold in little brown 500ml bottles, it’s a thick, creamy, dry wine with some beer/lambic qualities.

  21. Defintely a Tasmanian Riesling, enough acid to cut through the fat and lovely floral and citrus to support the fish.

  22. This isn’t hard – it’s a national dish downunder. Best eaten at lunch with a good, crisp Riesling from the Clare or Eden Valleys.

  23. Another vote for bubbles!

  24. I love Doyle’s in Sydney and ate there often when I lived in OZ. Always worked well with a crisp sauv blanc/semillon blend or some fresh, young Aussie Verdelho like Moondah Brook.
    Of course, the best match was Crown Lager ( or ‘crownie’ as the Aussies say), full of fruity, malty beer goodness.

  25. Riesling all the way. Those bone dry rieslings from South Australia or Tasmania will cut through the grease. A Grosset riesling would be the perfect match.

  26. I agree; Riesling is perfect. But I would stay away from a dry one and go with an Auslese or Spatlese. It needs a little sweetness and acid and with these you can get that faux-sparkling sensation thrown in too.

  27. Easy…Champagne

  28. Anything crisp and acidic. A nice Sauvignon Blanc, or a Pinot Grigio/Gris…

    Need something to cut through the oil. The “bubbles” already recommended by others work for the same reason…

  29. I can add to more choices, which may work: Sylvaner or Soave. But practice moderation with the vinegar and ketch-up!

  30. Have to go for a Sauvie Blank – particularly if you add mushy peas to the mix

  31. Marlborough Savvie… Can’t beat the classic kiwi combo!

  32. Amen to all the Txakoli, sparkling wine fans. Also thinking this is the dish for searing acidity & perhaps residual sugar… Von Schubert or Muller Catoir Riesling Spatlese, Auslese anyone?

    Many less austere Roses wd be fun as well.

  33. Bubbles and Vinho Verdi already mentioned and I heartily agree. I’d like to add 2 that are ,perhaps, off the beaten path. Santorini from Greece (Assyrtiko the main grape usually) and a Grillo from Sicily. The various bottles I have had displayed good acidity with a viscous/oily fleshiness about them.

  34. Fish and chips is one of my favorite seafood dishes. Although that statement doesn’t hold much water since I say that regarding most every seafood dish I have. There are some great ideas here and I’ve tried it myself to much success by having a dry Riesling to complement the dish.

  35. I knew you all would go for a dry white but I just had very salty, greasy fish and chips with a fruity, robust, sweet, acidic Kali Hart Chardonnay from Monterey County. Something about the salt and fruity sweetness really worked for me…

  36. Primo Estate ‘La Biondinda’ from South Australia is a great combo with fish ‘n chips Tyler. Predominantly Colombard with a little Riesling & Sav Blanc.

  37. Oops…spelling mistake. Biondina

  38. I loved the Gruner suggestion. I don’t think I would have thought of it, but it seems pretty perfect to me. I would go with Alsace… Gewurtz or Riesling. I like tartar sauce and malt vinegar with mine…so if we are counting those then I vote for Cava too!

  39. White Rhone – varietal or blended.

  40. if forced I would pick an Albarino, or one of the light Italian whites from Veneto or Liguria… preferably served in a ceramic liter pitcher… nothing extravagant for this humble yet wonderful repast.

    but really there is only one beverage that should be taken with fried fish and chips… a good solid lager or pilsener… but actually the lager has more body to play with the fried items…

  41. Muscadet!!

  42. – High acid Champagne like a blanc de blancs. Pierre Moncuit Cuvee Delos comes to mind.

    – Alice de Moor Aligote.

    – Second the Muscadet suggestion

  43. Without vinegar, Champagne. With, what about Sake?

  44. Bubbles for sure…but not a banal Champagne! a suggestion from Italy…FRANCIACORTA (Champenois Method from Lombardy)!

    ciao Michela

  45. 1. J.J. Prum Riesling 2004 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese with 8% alcohol. One bottle per person! Just had this wine ($77.50!) at Italian Village’s Vivere restaurant in Chicago over the weekend. Food was a roast chicken and cavatappi pasta with fennel sausage. Superb matches.

    2. 2008 Portuguese Vinho Verde in a cold crock pitcher under a tree along a river bank.

    3. Zind Humbrecht Riesling Turckheim 2003 Alsace.
    Very young still, fresh perfumed Riesling with a nice lemony freshness. Quite rich with pretty, honeyed lemony fruit. Just the right sweet/tart balance for that crisp fish.

  46. My top fish and chips pairings:
    – young Hunter semillon
    – dry riesling
    – albarino

    Acid is the key here for me and no sweetness (that’s what fresh tartare sauce is for!).

  47. For me the ultimate complement for Fish and Chips is Krug Grand Cuvee. Decandent, I know, but it works!!

  48. Hey very good information. Will come back again – taking the feeds also, Thanks.


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