Author: Fiona Beckett
Freshly caught grilled sardines are a treat at this time of year but how easy is it fo find a wine that will go with them? Look to the French and Portuguese for inspiration!
In the Languedoc, for example ‘sardinades’ – big communal feasts with chargrilled sardines as the centrepiece – are regular features of the holiday season accompanied by the local crisp Picpoul de Pinet.
In northern Portugal, you may be surprised to find they often drink red wine with them – the local dark frothy Vinho Verde – though white Vinho Verde, which also has a slight spritz, may be more to your taste as might its more upmarket manifestation alvarinho – the Portuguese cousin of Spain’s albarino
Other crisp white wines will work equally well – simple sauvignon blancs (especially from Bordeaux or the Loire), Muscadet, the sharp, lemony Basque wine Txacoli and assyrtiko from Greece though I’d personally steer clear of off-dry and aromatic wines such as riesling and pinot gris (sardines will make them taste sweeter) and oaky whites such as chardonnay.
And a good dry Provençal or Portuguese rosé will suit sardines just fine …