This gorgeous wine has ended a search to find a wine which matches pan fried plaice. Food recommendations on wine labels are very broad and can’t be relied upon and wines that claim to match ‘fish’ will match some fish better than others. Regular readers of my blog will know that this was one of the reasons why I began to blog about wine and food matches – utter frustration!

This was my third attempt to match plaice and it was becoming my nemesis. The issue was that plaice, dredged in flour and then fried in equal parts of olive oil and butter enhanced the creaminess of the fish and it was this that the wines I was choosing struggled to match. Chips, peas and new potatoes, the accompaniments I chose to eat with the three plaice meals were easy to match.

The first wine I chose was too acidic and so I decided to try an oaked Chardonnay to match the creaminess of the fish. The Chardonnay did not match either. After much thought, I decided that a wine which had fermented on its lees would provide a richness which is different to that of an oaked Chardonnay and may match. The theory seemed to make sense, but the test would be in the tasting.

Success is always better when you have had to work for it and I had worked very hard to find this match. The wine, Viré-Clessé 2015 Cave de Viré is from Burgundy, my favourite French wine region and is 100% Chardonnay grape. The difference is that it had not been oaked.

Viré-Clessé 2015 Cave de Viré was stunning on its own and with the plaice. I served the plaice with new potatoes and marrowfat tinned peas. The plaice was dressed in a warm sauce made from very ripe tomatoes, basil and olive oil.

The wine was fresh with a minerality. It was a little citrus at first, but this gave way to peach, not the flesh of the peach but the skin. The flavour of the lees picked up the creaminess of the plaice perfectly. I had expected oaked Chardonnay to have the effect I experienced with lees, but this was not the case. The wine was beautiful, and I was elated that it matched the food perfectly.

I purchased Viré-Clessé 2015 Cave de Viré from Majestic Wine in Poole and paid the mix 6 price of £11.99. The price is £14.99 if you purchase it alone.

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