In our October newsletter "competition", we changed our usual pattern a bit and asked our readers which wine they would prefer with our Burren Smoked Salmon. So this time, there was no right or wrong answer unless you count those people who voted for Guinness... I guess an informative blog post about the difference between wine and stout sometime soon is in order! Watch this space.
So, the question we asked was: "What wine would you drink with our cold smoked salmon?"
The winner of this competition was Daria Blackwell, who sent us this detailed and competent suggestion:
"Viognier (Laurent Miquel Nord-Sud or other Viognier) – a relatively rare wine that has a full body flavour. It will stand up to the smoky flavour without overpowering the subtlety of the salmon."
Viognier is a French grape variety that has a lot of character unless you are unlucky enough to taste a watered down and ghostly version of it which often seems to be produced in countries outside Europe. The most characterful and unique viognier wines would be the grape of choice of Château-Grillet. Château-Grillet is a winery in the northern Rhône area in the east of France, and at the same time one of the smallest of France's wine appellations in terms of geographical surface. It is also the only one that is claimed by a single producer.
But apart from viognier wines, we received many good tips on which wines to enjoy with our smoked salmon. These wines seem to be going really well with our Burren Smoked Salmon - all based on the experience of our readers and expressed passionately in their emails. Maybe they can animate you to become a bit more adventurous!
Riesling and Pinot Grigio seemed to be the most popular wines or rather grape varieties as companions for smoked salmon. Most people would think of Germany when thinking of Riesling, but this noble grape variety is now being grown all over the world. A very interesting tasting would be to try German and Alsatian against the New World ones from Australia and New Zealand. One more unusual and appealing sounding Riesling suggestion was the EKAM from Costers del Segre in the Spanish Rioja region.
The choice of wines suggested is very varied and colourful. Some more obvious choices are white wines from the French Chablis area, Muscadet, Meursault and a Gewürztraminer from Alsace. But also red wines like a seemingly popular Franzia chillable Red in a box from California, or sparkling wines like Champagne and Prosecco are among the wine favourites. Dry and full-bodied wines of the Sauvignon variety are always a safe and enjoyable choice if you can't get your hands on Gewürztraminer and Riesling wines.
And this is a list of our readers suggestions and comments:
Riesling Kabinett (semidry) – Winery Albrecht-Kiessling, Württemberg, Germany
Riesling from Astrolabe Winery, New Zealand ("light, fruity, and a little dry with a lot of nose to it")
Riesling “The Litte Penguin”, South-East Australia
Riesling EKAM, Costers del Segre, Rioja, Spanien
Chablis Grand Cru Bougros (one of 7 climates of the Chablis Grand Cru), an earthy white wine from France
Pinot Grigio ("nice and light"), Italy
Grauburgunder (same grape variety) Germany
Viognier Nord-Sud (Laurent Miquel winery), Languedoc, France ("a relatively rare wine that has a full body flavour. It will stand up to the smokey flavour without overpowering the subtlety of the salmon")
"Franzia chillable Red" in a box, mix between a red and a rosé wine, from California/USA ("Deliciously satisfying")
Plaisir de Merle Chardonnay, South Africa ("Oaky and full bodied enough to stand up to smoked salmon, with burnt butter on the nose")
Dry Prosecco, Italy
Sauvignon Blanc from Jean Berteau Winery, Vin de Pays d’Oc, France
Côtes du Rhône blanc, France ("Divine")
Champagne Brut blanc or rosé, France
Meursault, white wine from Burgundy, France
White Rioja wines, Spain
Gewürztraminer from Alsace, France
Muscadet from Loire valley, France
Sancerre from Loire valley, France
Wolf Blass President’s Selection white wines, Australia