With our fishmongers’ stalls laden with mussels, oysters, crab and plaice, and scallops and monkfish on the menu too, there’s oceans of choice for a seaworthy supper. And to rekindle holiday moments, we’ve sailed through the aisles and shortlisted some heavier whites to pair with fisherman’s pie and seasonal seafood, along with some crisp, tangy whites for shellfish…
1. Taste the Difference Muscadet Sevre et Maine 2017, France (£7.50, Sainsbury’s): you’d be hard pushed to find a better match for a seafood platter than a breezy, bone-dry Muscadet (from the Loire Valley), with its zingy freshness and light, lemony character. Flavours of crisp lemon, apple and melon are well balanced with a good minerally edge and fresh acidity. A must with moules mariniere and crusty French bread to dip in the white wine sauce, you can almost sense the sea spray hitting the deck.
2. Fruit Orchestra Chenin Blanc Viognier 2018, South Africa (£8, The Co-operative, in store only): a fine and fruity blend, citrus and florals meld with apple and tropical fruit, and there’s a burst of juicy freshness that gives this wine depth as well as crispness. A splash of viognier lends some complexity with light blossomy aromas. Enjoy with cream-based dishes to bring out its sunnier side.
3. Paul Mas Viognier-Sauvignon 2017, Languedoc, France (£8.99, Waitrose, in store or by the case online): to bring some Mediterranean warmth to the table, the Languedoc offers endless choice with its huge range of wine styles. This deftly blended IWC (International Wine Challenge) silver medal-winner more than delivers, with attractive gooseberry aromas framing the bouquet of apricot and honeysuckle fruit, and fragrant viognier flirting with the green flavours of sauvignon blanc. Fruit forward with a fresh, herbal finish, the rich fruitiness makes you want to dive right in.
4. Cave de Turckheim Pinot Blanc Reserve 2016, Alsace, France (£9.99, Virgin Wines): the wines of Alsace can be a voyage of discovery, especially if you seek out delicious examples such as this plush pinot blanc, a white-fruited mutation of pinot noir. The grape is best known for its floral aromatics and flavours reminiscent of a reserved chardonnay, and here we have an elegant and sophisticated wine. Delightful peach aromas abound on the nose, while the ripe palate of peachy, citrusy fruit has a soft, minerally streak with a crisp, dry finish and touch of spice on the tail.
5. Berry Bros & Rudd White Burgundy 2017 by Collovray & Terrier, France (£12.50, Berry Bros & Rudd): an upmarket own label offering great value for a wine this good. With plenty of vibrant fruit, the peachy, citrusy flavours are elevated by brisk acidity pushing the flavours forward, with a stony minerality that characterizes this style of chardonnay. With dainty floral scents, subtle oak and a crisp, lingering finish, it’s a natural with crab cakes and seared scallops.
6. Los Hermanos Manzanos Blanco Barrica 2017, Rioja, Spain (£10.99 when you mix 12 or more, or £13.99 a bottle, Laithwaite’s): wonderfully refreshing, this blend of mostly viura, with a smaller amount of chardonnay, has the brisk bite of green apple fruit tempered by subtle peach, apricot and toasty spice. Pair with a special seafood paella.
7. Edna Valley Chardonnay 2015, Central Coast, California, USA (£9.99 mix six, or £15.99 a bottle, Majestic Wine): scaling dizzy heights of gorgeousness, this rich, creamy chardonnay has a wealth of exotic tropical fruits, with notes of baked apple riding a wave of well-ripened peach, pear drops, juicy apple and hints of apricot. Delectable on its own and excellent with monkfish and firm white fish.