The best wines with a fish and chips takeaway | Alistair Gibson

It is not too long until restaurants and pubs can re-open and one dish that is bound to be on many a menu will be fish and chips, which these days seems to feature in the most upmarket of restaurants.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 4:01 pm
There are a few good tipples to pair with a chippy tea

During the past few months fish and chips takeaway is as close as we’ve got to having a meal out. So which wines work best with the most British of dishes? There is an argument that real ale is the best match of all, but there is no doubt that wine can and does make a good match.

Fino sherry is a great place to start and in general crisp, dry un-oaked white wines work well and sparkling wine can be a revelation.

Denbies Estate, near Dorking, has always been a producer whose wines I have been slightly underwhelmed by. However, Denbies Whitedowns Brut NV ( £19.95, Waitrose Cellar £18.99) is a good value English fizz.

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Made from a slightly unusual grape mix of reichensteiner, seyval blanc and pinot noir, it is quite lively in the glass with notes of citrus, orchard fruits and toasted brioche on the nose. The palate has some juicy pear fruit with a little honey and a creamy finish. It is not complex but very enjoyable. This English sparkling wine and fish and chips seems to be a perfect pairing.

Co-op’s Irresistible Sauvignon Blanc 2020, Leyda Valley (Co-op £7.50) is a great example of how a crisp sauvignon blanc can be the perfect partner. From one of Chile’s cooler growing regions, this is very fresh with aromas of grapefruit, citrus blossom and a little passionfruit, followed by a citrus-led, crisp, mouth-watering palate with a zesty clean finish.

Looking back on my notes, the past few vintages of this wine have appeared in this column but this is another winner at this price.

I have always had a soft spot for Australian riesling with fish and chips. Maybe it’s the characteristic notes of lime that Australian riesling almost always exhibits that makes them such a good partner?

Robert Oatley Signature Series Riesling 2020, Great Southern (Fareham Wine Cellar £12.95 – currently 2019 vintage) offers lime and lemon on the nose, followed by a lively, crisp palate with more lime and a little minerality before a long finish.

Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Riesling 2020, Clare Valley (Majestic £12.99 or £10.99 as part of a mixed six, Co-op £11) offers a little more tropical fruit alongside lime on the bouquet, with bright, citrus acidity and more tropical fruit on the palate and an equally long finish.