Traditionally, what goes well with fish cakes?When pairing wine with fish cakes (and most seafood, for that matter), conventional wisdom points to dry white wine. Of course, there are many styles of dry white wine, just as there are many styles of fish cake. There may be no such thing as a perfect pairing, but some wines do lend themselves better to some fish cake styles than others. Let’s take three common fish cakes and suggest a good pairing for each.
1. Plain fish cakes“Plain” is a relative term, and is not necessarily a bad thing. Here, we’re talking about fish cakes made from whitefish, cod, haddock and the like. These are the lightest in flavour and usually the most delicate in texture. Knowing what goes well with fish cakes of this kind involves consideration for the weight of both the wine and the food. The oily, fried breadcrumb coating is also going to be a consideration. Your best bet here is a lean and light-bodied white wine, with high acidity and little to no oak ageing. Think along the lines of a young Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadet, Pinot Grigio or steely Chablis.
We recommend: Finca La Colina Sauvignon Blanc 2015
Alcohol content: 13% Serve between 2ºC and 5ºC Optimal consumption period: 2015-2017 The wine does not need to be decanted Best served in Sauvignon Blanc GlassBuy Finca La Colina Sauvignon Blanc here.
2. "Meaty" fish cakesGranted, there’s no actual meat in there - we hope. These are your weightier, meatier fish cakes. Tuna and salmon are typical here. Maybe even crab, depending on your definition of "fish cake". Where the previous style was light and almost fluffy, these are denser and heavier in the mouth. As a result, they can handle - and basicall, require - a slightly heavier wine. Medium or full-bodied white wines are a nice pairing here. White Burgundy (or other oaked Chardonnay) is ideal, as is most Chenin Blanc, Semillon or even barrel-fermented white Bordeaux.
We recommend: Enate Chardonnay Barrel Fermented 2010
Alcohol content: 13,5% Serve between 6ºC and 12ºC We recommend to decant the wine 1 hour before serving Best served in Chardonnay GlassBuy Enate Chardonnay Barrel Fermented here.
3. Thai fish cakesOur final style is a favourite for many. Pairing wine and Thai fish cakes can be a lot of fun. The Asian influence and chili heat of the dish opens up new possibilities for pairing. Depending on the type of fish used, you could happily pair your Thai style cakes with any of the wines we’ve already mentioned. If you really want something special, though, read on. The sweet chili heat of the Thai fish cakes goes particularly well with aromatic white wine. It’s all the better if you can get your hands on an aromatic white that is off-dry, meaning that it has some residual sugar without being totally sweet. Classic options here include a lot of Muscat, Riesling and Gewurztraminer.
We recommend: Summaroca Muscat 2015
Alcohol content: 12% Serve between 2ºC and 5ºC Optimal consumption period: 2015-2017 The wine does not need to be decanted Best served in Riesling GlassBuy Summaroca Muscat here.