Sunday, August 3, 2008

Pairing of the week - Artic Char and Bolognani Moscato Giallo

On Friday night I made some very simply prepared, delicious Arctic char, if I do say so myself. Characteristically I did not follow a recipe and will not go into much detail regarding its preparation; not much detail is needed.

To accompany the fish I drank a delicious, dry muscat - a 2006 Diego Bolognani Moscato Giallo (Trentino). The low alcohol, crisp flavors and exotic, floral-herbal aromatics of a good dry Muscat really set off the delicate herbal component of the char. Additionally, the wine's pure, focused, crisp yellow fruit also acts as a terrific foil to the meaty, rich, slightly strong flavor of the char. As a red wine possibility, and because I had a two day old bottle of Chinon to finish, I also tried a 2005 Bernard Baudry Chinon. A bit too rich for the dish, though it was great with the fried potatoes. Very nuanced, balanced, slightly rich Chinon with just enough freshness and finesse to keep it highly drinkable. Next time I'll have the same crispy potatoes and a skirt steak instead of fish.

Here's a recipe for the fish.


1 lb arctic char or salmon
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
A few tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
One small branch of rosemary (enough to yield 2 tsp chopped rosemary)

Simply start with one pound of as fresh a piece of arctic char or salmon as you can find (I used a great piece from Avedano's). Cut it into three even pieces, add salt, pepper, the juice of one half a lemon, a small pour of olive oil (nothing too fancy needed since it's going on a hot grill or pan) and a couple teaspoons of rosemary. Thyme would be great too - I used rosemary so as to not over-harvest from my young thyme plant. Let the fish marinate for twenty or so minutes at room temperature and either grill outside or pan fry it inside on a lightly oiled pan. Cook until desired doneness - my preference is for the fish to retain its deep salmon color on the inside, which would be on the medium-rare side. Serve alongside some thin rounds of fried or baked russet potatoes and a green salad or vegetable.

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