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Jan 23, 2008 12:14 PM

pairing with sea bass?

any suggestions? I'm went terribly wrong (i think) with my mussel and frites last friday and don't want to make the same mistake this saturday. i've looked at the menu online and i think i will order the salmon roll (it is a fusion-y place) and the sea bass.

thanks in advance.

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  1. Polly, can you post a link to the menu, so we can get some idea of sauce/prep?

    Depending on the prep of the salmon roll (sushi with light rice vinegar, rice, maybe a bit of nori), I like a fruit-forward Sauvignon Blanc. Groth Napa is my go-to sushi wine. The SB should pair with a rather spartan prep with the sea bass. However, if it's in a creme sauce, then maybe a white Burg (Chardonnay) would be better.

    A good, robust OR Pinot Gris/Grigio usually goes with salmon, but the salmon-roll gives me pause. If there are any citrus (especially sweeter lemon, blood orange, etc.) in the sea bass, then a PG might work for both. If it was seared, poached or smoked salmon, I'd give it a nod, but I'm hedging my bets.

    For a red, I'd look to a WA/OR Pinot Noir. Again, a lot depends on the prep. Salmon and PN are best-buds, normally, and sea bass and PN can work well together also. Though I love them, the bigger, more concentrated Central Coast, CA PNs probably will get in the way of the lighter sea bass.


    1. Without knowing more about the preparation...

      IF these dishes are very mildly seasoned, then Chardonnay will probably be a nice accompaniment... also Champagne esp. Blanc de Blancs...

      IF they are more boldly seasoned, especially with a chili-peppery edge, then riesling (or a sweeter bubbly) should be quite safe...

      BTW, what wine did you have that was "terribly wrong" with mussels and frites ?

      1. without knowing how either fish is being prepared, I'd suggest Sauvignon Blanc in some form... or Champagne.

        But I'd rather be more accurate. Can you be more descriptive?

        6 Replies
        1. re: ChefJune

          this is all the menu says:

          Spicy Crunchy Salmon
          salmon | tempura flakes

          Chilean Sea Bass
          miso | edamame | beurre monté | stuffed pepper

          don't know if that helps :(

          1. re: polly parker

            Sounds delicious! I am certain you will get excellent advice from the other posters! Easy suggestions: I find that German (and other) Rieslings are very forgiving when paired with Asian flavours. And of course, Champagne is another forgiving choice. Can't go wrong with either of these categories!

            More importantly: you can't go wrong with any choice you make! Food and wine are a pleasure, and I worry that you are stressing out a bit about choices. I hope when you say you went "terribly wrong" that you say this tongue in cheek, and that you aren't that bothered! I try to look on my less tasty wine choices as experiments: not terribly wrong, but a chance to see what works for me and what I will avoid in the future. All part of a process towards more consistent yumminess.

            So turn that :( into a :), and have a lovely meal on Saturday!

            1. re: moh

              I vote for a crisp Sauvignon Blanc to offset some of the rich butteryness of Sea's one of my favorite dinners!

              1. re: moh

                thanks moh! i'm attempting to learn about pairings and what not as a fun little exercise in "maturing." you read about it and think you've got a sense of how the game works until you are away from all the message boards and websites and in front of a wine list and a menu! yikes! and there are SO many different types of wine too. i think i will try a riesling or chardonnay because my friend loves whites and i'll enjoy the meal and the delicious wine! thanks for the advice.

              2. re: polly parker

                My favorite with this type of fish is Alsatian Riesling, which is a little drier than most Germans. If there's "heat" involved, then I like Gewurztraminer even better. Alsatian, again. sounds like a wonderful dinner, Polly!

                1. re: polly parker

                  With the miso, I don't think anything will work as well as a champagne.

              3. hi all - my report back. i paired my appetizer (salmon roll) and entree (sea bass) with a riesling and it was delicious. my dining partners complimented my wine selection and i in turn, must thank you all for your suggestions!

                3 Replies
                1. re: polly parker

                  i was one of ms. parker's dining companions and i must thank her and anyone else who provided input. she picked the lake crest winery off-dry riesling (2005) which was lovely.

                  btw: we ate at oya in washington, dc and were all completely blown away. we got a chance to chat with the sommelier there and it appears that he does a lot of work to get exclusives on small production wines such as lake crest.

                  thanks polly!

                  1. re: polly parker

                    Great! And, thanks for the report back. Far too often, that does not happen, and we are all left holding our breath. It also sounds like Bermuda liked the meal, and the pairing. Not familiar with the wine, but will keep my eyes open for it. I'll also do a search for Oya, as I do not know it, and will be in DC in Feb and again in April, and am always on the lookout for great food. About 4x per year, I haunt the DC (Mid-Atlantic) Board, looking to see what is happening, food-wise.


                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                      Hi. Im the Sommelier at OYA. The Lake Crest Riesling is only available from the Winery or at outlets in Washington State. Its a seriously teeny-tiny winery. Only around 60 or so cases produced. You can visit their website at and call Boni and have her ship the wine to her. Tell her OYA sent you!