I invited a friend from work to dinner and we agreed that we would eat salmon. We didn’t discuss the wine because I assumed that we would have white wine. However, when I texted ‘Do you like white wine?’ she replied ‘…. only drink red. I’m a philistine I know.’ She is not a philistine but I had a challenge on my hands in matching salmon with red wine. I was not feeling confident about succeeding in this wine and food match because I couldn’t imagine eating salmon with red wine. A growth mindset was needed and so I adopted one.
I decided that the grape needed to be a thin-skinned grape, variety, either Gamay or Pinot Noir as these grapes have lower tannin than thicker skinned grapes and they produce light bodied red wines. After a browse around Majestic Wine in Poole, I decided on Errazuriz Estate Series Pinot Noir 2016 Valle de Aconcagua.
Valle De Aconcagua is in north Chile. The climate is similar to the European climate with cooler summers and milder winters and this makes the Pinot Noir grape from this region higher in acidity that a Pinot Noir from a hotter region like California. It is for this reason that I considered it may match with salmon.
An hour before opening Errazuriz Estate Series Pinot Noir 2016, I put it in the garden to chill just slightly so that I could serve it slightly cooler than room temperature. The colour was translucent and on the palate, it was light and silky with no detectable tannin. There was a gorgeous hit of fruit and then the smooth vanilla finish. It had an unexpectant high alcohol volume of 13.5% which was a surprise considering the cool climate of the northern Chile.
The salmon was grilled with a soy and ginger marinade and served on a bed of stir fried pak choi with a roasted yellow pepper stuffed with cous-cous. The cous-cous was hydrated with excellent quality, fresh chicken stock and had fresh walnuts, chestnut mushrooms and shallot added to it, all finely chopped. In a separate dish was a dressing for the fish made with premium quality Sardinian olive oil and chopped flat leaf parsley.
The match was a triumph!
I purchased Errazuriz Estate Series Pinot Noir 2016 Valle de Aconcagua from Majestic in Poole and paid a mix price of £7.99. It is £9.99 if bought alone. It is available from Fareham Wines at £9.75 or online from Waitrose Cellar at £10.99.
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