Anchovies: impossible food-wine pairing?!?

anchovies wine Anchovies are polarizing: a recent poll found them to be among the three foods the are most disliked by Brits (along with oysters and liver). But then there are people like Jeremy Seysses of Domaine Dujac who recently tweeted a photo with this caption: “Christmas came early: just received over 2kg of my very favorite Sicilian anchovies. Umami for dayyyssss.” He later elaborated that he likes them on caesar salad, salsa verde, pasta, and everything, including eating “anchovies and avocados for breakfast.”

It’s not as if Jeremy needs any wine advice, but maybe there are other anchovy lovers out there who do. Which wine would you pair with them? Or are they…impossible?!? (Maybe you just eat them for breakfast, sans wine.)

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22 Responses to “Anchovies: impossible food-wine pairing?!?”


  1. rose works for me with anchoives and fish sauce


  2. I guess the Romans never figured that out. For centuries Garum, the fermented innards of fatty fish like anchovies, was a staple of their diet. Presumably it was consumed with copious amounts of wine. Maybe that was the only way you could consume it. Or vice versa, if you accept the thesis that most Roman wine would be considered utterly nasty by today’s standards.

    Anyway, my point is it’s a pairing with a long history!


  3. What can you expect from the rostbifs? Besides, how can people that like kippered herring for breakfast not like anchovies? Anyway, anchovies are wonderful, both fresh and en boite. Best pairings for me, for both fresh and preserved anchovies, would include a Muscadet Sevre et Maine, preferably one with at least 5 years on lees: e.g., the Cormerais “Muscadet 7 Ans” (seven years on lees). Also good with anchovies, especially the canned/bottled variety, would be a Jura Savagnin from a traditional source like Jean Bourdy.


  4. We eat a lot of anchovies in my house. I grant you that straightforward anchovies preserved in vinegar, which I don’t like all that much, are a difficult pairing. But used in almost recipe, they’re totally wine friendly.

    I think they’re naturally more white-wine friendly but you could adjust the recipe to make them more amenable to reds.

    My wife sauteed broccoli with anchovies earlier this week. I was having an “open a bunch of bottles” night; Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris were both good with it.


  5. Just last night I made a penne dish with shrimp and calamari in anchovies sauce with fennel, lemon, keylime, Madeira, and gar1ic, with strips of wilted chard and collards. Delightful, and with Falanghina.


  6. That is, accompanied by Falanghina


  7. TRY ASSYRTIKO FROM SANTORINI, OLDER VINTAGE FROM ARGYROS ESTATE, GAIA ESTATE THALASSITIS, OR THEIR WILD FERMENT, SIGALAS ASSYRIKO OR EVEN KAVALIEROS single vineyard, ANY OF THE BOUTARY ASSYRTIKO GOING BACK IN VINTAGES IF YOU CAN FIND AND OFCOURSE EITHER HATZIDAKI ASSYRTIKO, CUVEE 15, MILOS, OR AIDANI (that’s the other variety from Santorini).
    THESE WINES WILL BE GOOD TO DECANT BETWEEN 30 minutes up to 2 hours.
    I’M JUST HAVING MY ASSYRTIKO INJECTION AS WE SPEAK!!!


  8. IN ADDITION ANY ALBARINO FROM EITHER BENITO SANTOS OR PETRALONGA (except Petralonga Barreled)


  9. for something that pungent, i would need to go with sparkling


  10. Pungent? Salty from a can, rich when fresh, but pungent. No way.


  11. If you’re not a fan of anchovies, here’s an article that will try to win you over:
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111536466

    I have to admit that I don’t go out of my way to find them. But if I did, a fino sherry or a rosé would seem compelling matches. Or the aged sur lie Muscadet John mentions above. Or the Santorini whites that Giorgos mentions. Or maybe even something sparkling and sweet, such as a Cerdon du Bugey or Jean-Paul Brun’s FRV100. Mmm, maybe a Caesar salad is in order for today after thinking about this…


  12. Sardine-ian whites?


  13. Tyler:

    Before the tomato sauce, put some anchovies in the pan in olive oil and let them cook for a few minutes; then, do the sauce over them.


  14. Bagna Cauda? Puttanesca? Roasted red peppers with fresh mozzarella and anchovies? Anchovies have their place. They have to be used carefully, but I enjoy them. A little goes a long way.


  15. Manzanilla, or Verdejo.


  16. Vermantino ? Acidity and RIch ?


  17. there is a reason he enjoys his anchovies…Mediterranean anchovies are special and pretty different from what you find across USA …there are usually two way of preserving them…salted ones (shown on picture) and marinated ones (wine, vinegar, spices, sometimes lemon or orange)…

    both are used in various recipes but here (Croatia) we eat it more as a appetizer or a snack with some olive oil and cheese…salted one tend to mesh well with crisp, clean high acid whites while marinated ones, who are a bit on the sour side, go nicely with lighter fruity reds or stronger whites (more body, bolder fruit)


  18. My only suggestion will be Sherry – Fino or Amontillado. Dry or close to dry sherry has perceived saltiness on the palate, which should pair well with anchovies.


  19. [...] of the bloggers I follow posted “impossible food and wine pairing” questions. Dr. Vino asked about pairing of wine with anchovies, and the TheArmchairSommelier had a very interesting question about pairing [...]


  20. Dude, just ask the Italians.


  21. It depends on the person whether to have wine with these food.


  22. Canned (American) Salty anchovies, had earlier on a margaritta Pizza, now onto just straight chovie. Pairing with available Merlot and while not exactly complementary are still very nice together. Once hand sort of washes the other, so to speak. No complaints, but I love both this Merlot and anchovies, so I guess I’m easy to win over.


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