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May 22, 2007 02:13 PM

Multiple wine pairings with bouillabaisse

I'm making a traditional bouillabaise next weekend for a group of four friends. There are no surprise ingredients. I'll be using monkfish and a little bit of sole, and possbily substituting the shrimp with langoustines, if i can manage to find them. The fennel seeds are entirely optional.

My friends are pretty knowledgeable wine drinkers, and we'll probably go through at least two bottles. On my rack, the only bottle I can see working with the dish somewhat well is the 2004 Rubicon Estate Blancaneaux (marsanne, rousanne, viognier blend), a wine I tried for the first time last month and found disappointing relative to their red offerings.

I could gladly use both general and specific suggestions.

And am I crazy for somehow thinking that dry amontillado could go with bouillabaisse?

Thanks for your help in advance.

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  1. How about a Provençal white or rose?

    You're in New York City? Le Du in west soho carries a Commanderie de Peyrassol Cotes Provence Rose which would go perfectly -- they could probably recommend a white too.

    3 Replies
    1. re: oolah

      Like above, a rose (from Bandol) seems like the perfect fit. Yum!

      1. re: vinosnob

        I'm on the Rose bus as well. And bouillabaisse is my favorite dish.

        But fennel seeds? No, the horror! Fresh fennel or a slog of Pernod or Ricard for that anise-family flavor but never fennel seeds...much too strong.

        1. re: maria lorraine

          I was going to only use a pinch, but now that you mention it, pernod seems like a much better idea.

    2. Try a white Cassis. Clos Ste. Magdeleine is one.

      2 Replies
      1. re: wally

        I was thinking about the Clos Ste. Magdeleine Cassis when I read this post! It is a wonderful pairing. Rose is another great option and I would second the vote for Tempier Bandol Rose.

        1. re: bubbles4me

          Rose is the traditional choice and rightfully so. One of my fondest memories of being 19 was sitting on the dock in Nice eating a bouillabaise with a bottle of Taval (I can't remember either the girl's name or the wine's, but I sure can recall that feeling.)

      2. I’d suggest trying Chateauneuf du Pape blanc.

        I recently had the 2002 Vieux Telegraphe La Crau and it is drinking nicely; the 2003 is, believe or not, muted and closed – I had been drinking this upon release and it suddenly tasted closed during current and the last year.

        My experiences with Clos des Papes whites have also been positive.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Elvis Goldberg

          Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. I decided to go with the:

          2005 Commanderie de la Bargemone Rose, Coteaux D'aix en Provence
          2005 Domaines Ott, Chateau de Selle Cotes de Provence

          I have only little experience with the wines from Provence, so if anything, I'll learn something new. Next time I make something similar, I'll be sure to try out the Bandol and Cassis, as well as the chateauneuf blanc.

          -Elvis, can you recommend another producer? Whenever anything Vieux Telegraphe pops up in my local winestore, it flies off the shelves or are priced ridiculously. The Clos de Papes should be much easier to locate.

          1. re: mengathon

            This sounds great to me. Mengathon, please report back and tell us how you liked the wines and how they went with the bouillabaisse.

            1. re: maria lorraine

              Will do Maria. I'll be sure to include photos too if I can figure out how to downsize the photos on my camera.