For an increasing number of people the repertoire of wines they look to buy from starts and stops with Sauvignon Blanc. Which is just as well there are a number of different styles of Sauvignon Blanc to choose from. But what are you going to serve with it? What food styles and recipes work best with the super power of white grape varieties. Here Raul Diaz explains why ceviche is such a good match in the latest in his monthly food and wine recipe series.
Raul Diaz knows what he is talking about when it comes to food and wine matching. His recent book Wines & Recipes, published in November 2020 (£30, www.winetraining.co.uk), won the Best in the World for Wine Education in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2020.
Sauvignon Blanc – Ceviche with Avocado & Mango
Sauvignon Blanc is an aromatic grape variety that can produce markedly different wines in different locations. No matter the climate, the grape always maintains its very high acidity. In cooler climates, wines tend to be light bodied with citrus and vegetal aromas such as grass. In warmer areas the wine shows more intense fruit flavours, leaning towards peach, apricot, and passion fruit.
Sauvignon Blanc ranges from light to medium body. This grape can produce wines with lots of aromas that are very easy to detect. That is the reason why we call it an aromatic variety. This is a key attribute to make it an ideal white wine for your wine and food pairings. The wine distinctive green, vegetal, and herbaceous aromas are very similar to the flavours of the ingredients that you can find in many recipes and dishes. Sauvignon Blanc does a special trick to the pairing because lightens the weight of your dish while enhancing the flavours at the same time.
Sauvignon Blanc complements many delicious recipes, including a few that you might find hard to match. I made short list of the best foods to pair with a glass of this fantastic grape.
Whether you’re looking for a Sauvignon Blanc tapas, main course, or cheese matching, you’ll have a new way to look at this wine after trying one of these tasty combinations.
Bruschetta, hummus, jamon serrano, kalamata olives, grilled zucchini, crab croquetas, spicy grilled aubergine & any green salad.
Sushi, smoked salmon, grilled trout, pasta with pesto, mushroom risotto, fish paella, oysters, artichoke soup, roasted chicken & fish soup.
Goat cheese, brie, gouda, gruyere, cheddar, camembert & young Manchego.
- In the Loire, in France, the ‘European home’ of Sauvignon Blanc, the wines are unoaked. This makes for a refreshing, aromatic wine with predominantly green and citrus fruit flavours complemented by vegetal aromas.
- In Marlborough, on New Zealand’s South Island, the ‘New World home’ of the grape, the wines are also unoaked and have very distinctive gooseberry and passion fruit flavours.
- Richer oaked styles come from Bordeaux, where Sauvignon Blanc is frequently blended with Semillon.
- In Sauternes, in the southern part of Bordeaux, a luscious, sweet wine is made from the same blend of grapes. The grapes used must be affected by noble rot and produce a wine with great intensity and complexity. All grapes must be harvested by hand, ensuring that each grape picked has been affected by noble rot, and has reached the most advanced stage of rot possible. To achieve this, several passes are made of the vineyards during harvest to select individual grapes as they are ready. Grapes affected by noble rot have a high concentration of sugars and flavours. These wines have additional flavours of orange marmalade, honey, and dried apricot. They are the best match for any decadent desert.
Lemon, lime, gooseberry, peach, apricot, green peppers, asparagus, passion fruit.
Bordeaux, Casablanca, Elgin, Loire, Marlborough, Napa Valley.
Bordeaux, Pouilly-Fumé, Sancerre
Ceviche with Avocado and Mango
Ceviche (cured fish) is extremely popular along the Pacific coast of Latin America. I have suggested using seabass here, but any white fish can be used to make this dish. The addition of avocado, mango and a variety of herbs creates a great combination of flavours. Chile produces fantastic examples of Sauvignon Blanc that have excellent acidity with ripe stone fruits, perfect with this tasty ceviche.
1. Combine the fish and onion in a large glass bowl and squeeze over the juice of the limes and the lemon. Mix it well and let it rest for 5–10 minutes, or until the fish is just beginning to turn opaque.
2. After the marinating time, add all the remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately with tortilla chips for scooping.
Time: 20 minutes
400g seabass fillets (or any firm white fish), cut into small bite-sized pieces
1 red onion, very finely sliced into rings
Juice of 3 limes
Juice of 1 lemon
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
1 mango, peeled, pitted and diced
1 fresh chilli, finely chopped
A thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
Bunch of coriander, finely chopped
Bunch of chives, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
Tortilla chips, to serve
Good value option
Errazuriz Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Casablanca, Chile 2019
Pouilly Fume, Mademoiselle M, Alexandre Bain, Loire, France 2015
Moor Hall, Lancashire, 2 Michelin Star, £110
- Raul Diaz is an Award-Winning author of Wines & Recipes, published in November 2020 (£30, www.winetraining.co.uk), Best in the World for Wine Education in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2020. A Chilean-born sommelier who became a WSET-certified wine educator, he now runs his own business, Wine Training School. He has been a TV wine presenter for Sunday Brunch, Channel 4 for several years. He is UK Ambassador for VDP German wines, and in 2018 received the award for Rioja Communicator of the Year.