In this recurring feature, members of the Court of Master Sommeliers, an international association of wine experts, suggest pairings for popular menu items. The sommeliers do not have a financial interest in any of their recommendations.
Here, Eric Entrikin, wine director of the Left Bank and LB Steak group in the San Francisco area, selects a bargain and premium wine to pair with fried seafood dishes.
Grape variety: Chardonnay
Taste profile: A micro-fine bead leads to notes of green apple, lemon-lime zest, brioche and a distinctive chalky element. This style of Champagne bends more to the delicate nuances of a Côte de Blancs while still retaining great breed and character.
Pairings: A Champagne as balanced and nuanced as this one can go with virtually anything. At the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris, I had it accompanied by a platter of potato chips and it was perfection squared. Try it with fish and chips or fried .
Average wholesale case price: $540
Grape variety: Torrontes
Taste profile: Fruit takes a back seat to a huge floral bouquet that leaps out of the glass. Peach, orange flower water, carnation and lime create an aromatic overload that could be too heavy if it weren’t balanced by a very crisp finish.
Pairings: Try it with pan-fried crab cakes with a mango, jalapeño, red pepper and lime salsa. It also works perfectly as an aperitif, and don’t overlook its ability to go with smoked fish, scallops or salads with fruit.
Average wholesale case price: $96