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If you ever tried to ask a sommelier for a red wine to accompany a dish of fish, it is likely that after looking at him with some reproach has oriented you white wines. So, it is a rule set and not without compelling reasons. But, if really we can not break with that rule? Of course Yes!
While the rule to accompany cheeses with wines is already considered by many as too rigid and sometimes anything successful, not same thing happens in the case of rule white wine with fish and seafood.
A Japanese scientific study (country of reference in fish and seafood dishes) has allowed to explain the reasons behind the difficult and sometimes disastrous pairing of fish and wines. The scientists in question (Takayuki Tamura, Kiyoshi Taniguchi, Yumiko Suzuki, Toshiyuki Okubo, Takata Ryoji and Konno Tomonori) do not work in a Research Center, but for a Japanese enterprise, Mercia, producer of wine and spirits. Their results were recently published in a scientific journal, the journal Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
The team began with a series of tests of flavor with molluscs,in which scallops were, among others, (one of molluscs with more flavor) accompanied by (26 different) white wines and red wines (38). Then, the researchers analyzed all drinks to determine the characteristics of the wine tasters enjoyed (or not) after eating the shellfish.
The observed difference was due to a single parameter: the amount of iron. Above 2 milligrams per liter, drunk wine behind scallops produces a bad taste. Japanese investigators wanted to check and put molluscs directly into wine some time. Result: an unpleasant smell appeared when the wine is rich in iron.
"We were surprised, admits Takayuki Tamura. We believe that the motive was rather the amounts of sulfur dioxide or polyphenols.” We know that the iron content varies with the type of soil, grape variety and vinification method (metal containers can be added) and red wines contain more than white. But the fact that metal takes part in the value of wine tasting is really something amazing. Why the type of iron chemical effect generates a particular flavour? The winemakers of Mercia ignore it, but suspect the existence of a reaction with unsaturated fatty acids.
They also concluded that, regardless of its content of iron, red wine, with its strong taste, tends to crush the delicate flavor of the flesh of fish, shellfish or crustaceans. But we already knew that from experience.
Breaking the rules is synonymous with innovation, curiosity and concerns; but nor do we want to destroy the dish cooked with love by choosing a red wine any.
Choose a very fine wine, with almost imperceptible tannins and with some of acidity. The ideal grape variety will be the of Pinot Noir. Yes, the same variety of grape used in the production of Champagne.
Now that we know the variety ideal for risk to accompany the fish with a red wine, we can only discover by ourselves the wine that we like the most.
Initially, we advise you to start our adventure in this new pairing with a plate of salmon and wine of Pinot Noir light, fresh, with very few tannins and served at a temperature somewhat lower than usual for a wine tinto(12º-14º en vez de 16º-18º).