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On whether red wine can ever be fish wine

Posted by Stephen Meuse  April 30, 2012 12:15 PM

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IMG_5574b.JPGWhen suppertime rolled around Sunday night and I had an open bottle of a favorite red wine standing by (2008 Closerie des Alisiers Hautes Cotes de Beaune), I decided not to trek down to the cellar for another bottle - even though what was coming out of the oven made the choice a bit incongruous

It was fresh flounder filets, rolled into fat little packages, capped with sliced Tiny Tom tomatoes and baked under a sheaf of parchment paper.  Also on the plate, a slice of potato tart from a photo shoot earlier in the week, and a bundle of the season's first native asparagus bought that morning at Wilson Farms.  

I knew the wine to be light, fresh, and juicy - certainly lighter than any number of whites one might replace it with.  It seemed like a perfect time to revisit the question of whether red wine and fish can routinely make a successful team or whether the old rule that enjoins avoiding the match-up is worth heeding.

The answer: you can happily sip red wine (at least this red wine) with your fish (at least this fish)  . . .  you just can't sip red wine with fish and asparagus!

Stephen Meuse can be reached at

Ellen Bhang

About By the Glass

Ellen Bhang writes about food and wine and reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe. Wine is the focus of her degree in the Gastronomy master's program at Boston University. She can be reached at


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