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Redefining In-Flight Catering

Gourmet In-Flight Catering with Fish and Wine

Accords vins-poissons pour le service à bord

Fish comes in a variety of flavors and textures with a diversity of marine habitat (freshwater and saltwater). All of these variations exist even before introducing the sauces and condiments to accompany the dish. Due to all of these factors, we must look at each type of fish individually when considering which wine it should be paired with. The information below is a general guideline of pairing popular types of fish with wine.

Monkfish, Bass, Turbot and Sole

These fish all have a delicate and tender flesh. They have great taste quality, and are welcomed by foodies. Accompaniments are generally fine, but take care so as not to distort the so refined qualities of these fish.

Ideal Wine Pairings for Monkfish, Bass, Turbot and Sole

When serving fish, select a wine, white preferably, that reveals elegance and freshness, so as not to dominate the structure of their flesh. A wine that has a fresh and light feeling is also advised for meaty fish. The following list of white wines provides great versatility and diversity.

  • Chablis
  • Sancerre
  • Pouilly Fumé
  • Burgundy
  • Mercurey
  • Givry
  • Pouilly Fuissé
  • Montlouis
  • Irouleguy
  • Pacherenc Vic Bihl dry

Additional Acceptable Wine Pairings for Monkfish, Bass, Turbot and Sole

The following list is of more fleshy wines that pair well with the beautiful flesh from fatty fish, like salmon. These go well when accompanied with thick sauces.

  • Condrieu
  • Hermitage
  • Côtes de Provence
  • Languedoc wines

Fish and Red Wine?

Many people prefer to avoid white wine but will still choose fish. Respect that choice. Nevertheless, it is possible to propose a red wine to accompany fish.

Tip: Fish flesh contains a very different structure from that of meat proteins. Meat supports the tannins in wine, but fish flesh does not. Thus, it is essential to focus on wines that are “stripped” of their tannins. Fading tannins ennoble background flavors.

Red Wines from North France

When pairing red wine with fish, the preference is to use molten reds and timeworn, red evolutes. These are flexible wines, often from the north. Select vintages 2006 and older.

  • Loire: Sancerre, Reuilly Giennois hillside.
  • Alsace Pinot Noir
  • Jura Cotes du Jura, grapes ploussard or keychain
  • Bourgogne Mercurey, Givry, Rully, Irancy
  • Champagne: Coteaux Champenois, Rosé des Riceys

Red Wines from South France

Red Wines from the South are often more powerful, with more pronounced tannins demanding more patience. Usually between 7 and 15 years, so that the tannin is fading.

  • Medoc vintages prior to 1996
  • Generic Bordeaux vintages prior to 2000
  • Rhône: Anterior 2001
  • Burgundy before 2001
  • Loire (Chinon, Bourgueil, Saumur) pre-1998

The main idea is to offer wines with soft, stripped tannins, and a long, smooth finish. Thus, they will slide on the palate without clinging or confronting the fish proteins that do not support tannins. Thus, very old wines, or mature wines are suitable for serving in-flight with fish. Typically the best wines for pairing with fish are from northern latitudes or wines that are very sophisticated, often beyond 30 years, such a Epenots Pommard, Volnay or Santenots.

Questions?

If you have any questions about this article or about in-flight catering in Paris, contact paris@airculinaire.com

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