Pinot Noir and Fish
I am making a dinner tonight using either snapper, sea trout or pompano (depending on what my dinner guests catch) and need a recipe that will pair a lightly flavored fish with a magnificent pinot noir they are bringing along. Ideas?
A plain pan-roasted fish, well-seasoned but without a lot of added flavors, goes very nicely with a good red wine. Not a great big inky oaky wine, but a nice pinot noir shouldn't be any of those things. Any of those fish you mentioned can be bathed in olive oil with a good bit of salt and pepper added, and enough cayenne or Tabasco added to add punch without too much heat. Use the standard 10-minutes-per-inch-thick formula, but dial back by about 30%, heat a dry iron skillet or grill pan to a good fierce level and drop the fish in for half the calculated time. Then turn it over and put it in a 400º oven for the other half. Not as over-the-top as blackening, this just gives a nice salty crustiness while allowing the fish's own flavor to come through.
This is dear to my heart at the moment, as I'm going to do that very thing tonight with some cod. Unfortunately, mine is thawing in its package, instead of being caught - I most certainly envy you!
I would pan sear the fish and then make a beurre rouge sauce in the pan using some of the pinot noir. It's like a beurre blanc except you use red wine.
I've done a pecan-crusted trout with a red pepper sauce that I think might be a nice complement to a Pinot.