I am the bearer of good news! Warmer weather has landed here in the UK, heralding that time to pack the bucket, spade and straw boater and head for the seaside.
This month I’ve embarked on a journey to the beautiful North Norfolk coast, on a quest to match delicious seafood and mouth-watering wine.
I’ve always been a fan of our charming and dramatic coastline. When I reflect back to my childhood, I recall many happy days spent in the caravan, which was owned by a friend of the family. This rather rusted ‘shell’ was pitched near the Suffolk seaside resort of Lowestoft or ‘blowy Lowey’ as we used to call it due to the bracing wind we would other encounter. This eventually brought an end to the life of the caravan, self destructing in all its glory, like a badly made Ikea wardrobe. I’m sure it was the last caravan standing before the site got sold off!
I find there’s nothing more relaxing then a lightly chilled glass of wine whilst sitting at the harbour in Wells-next-the-Sea or on the sun-kissed sands at Holkham. Throw in some Cromer crabs or freshly caught trout and you have a recipe for a perfect lunch.
Let’s cast our net out and reel in some thirst-quenching wines!
Inspired by Gennaro Contaldo and Antonio Carluccio on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen, we put the spotlight on an Italian Stallion to kick off with. This crisp, citrus white is as fresh as the gentle sea breeze. Bursting with bright and zesty citrus fruit, along with a slight minerality thrown in, Pinot Grigio lovers will warm to its similarity to this popular grape variety. Cooking some pasta? It’s a fabulous match to prawn linguine.
We march on to Southern France for our next fisherman’s friend. Best described as an ideal alternative to popular Sauvignon Blanc, it’s a name that’s easy to remember. I say easy as there are some appropriate and some not so appropriate names to remember it by! Sometimes described as the ‘Muscadet of the Languedoc’ it has enough character to muscle its way through a bowl of mussels.
For those who love a glass of bubbles, then why not sip some fizz with your fish and chips? This quintessentially British culinary experience is an iconic symbol in any seaside town; just the aroma gets my stomach rumbling! The dish combines both the earthy flavours from the chips along with a light lemony refreshment from the fish, which I feel would work best with some classic Cava from its heartland in south-eastern Spain. Of course, if you want to be elaborate, you can always splash out on a bottle of Champagne as it also works the trick.
Just to throw us off the regular path of still white wines, here’s a something fabulously fortified for you to try. Smoked fish has delicate flavours combined with a slight oily texture which works well with this example from the Jerez region of Spain. Fino sherry needs to be served chilled and drunk fresh, which makes it an ideal choice to sip away during a lazy afternoon. From fried squid and crabmeat to oysters and anchovies, it simply has more uses then a Swiss army knife.
Stimulated by the seafront? Let us know what you’re drinking by tweeting @eastmagazines or tag us in your wine and seafood snaps on Instagram @wordpress-203259-1413336.cloudwaysapps.commag