Challenging Wine Pairing: Grilled Rockfish with Zydeco Sauce

By LaGayle ~ June 8th, 2011.

Recently, I had a meal with blackened rockfish and enjoyed it very much. So I decided to plan a challenging wine pairing with this fish. If you are not familiar with rockfish, here are the descriptions of halibut, cod, and rockfish for comparison. Halibut has a firm-fleshed texture and mild flavor, cod has a flakey texture and a sweet, mild flavor, and rockfish is lean, delicate meat with a medium to firm texture and a sweet, nutty flavor.

While I love blackened fish of any kind, I wanted to try something different for this pairing. I grilled the fish, topped it with zydeco sauce, and then garnished it with crawfish tails and baby shrimp. Zydeco sauce is a creamy sauce made with mayonnaise, prepared horseradish, Worcestershire, dry mustard, Tabasco sauce, and red pepper flakes. It is spicy but can be prepared to your desired level of spiciness.

The full menu for this meal included a spinach salad with a white balsamic dressing, the rockfish with sauce and toppings, dirty rice, and steamed broccoli.

We decided to try the meal with a white and a red wine and selected a Pinot Gris and a Pinot Noir. We enjoyed the 2009 Adelsheim Pinot Gris and the 2008 Siduri Pinot Noir, both from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. We enjoyed both wines very much; however, the consensus favorite prior to the meal and paired with the food was the Pinot Gris.

We’d love for you to share in the comments what you would have paired with this meal. And, as always, we welcome your suggestions for challenging wine pairings for us to try in the future.

Bon Appétit!

2009 Adelsheim Pinot Gris (Willamette Valley, Oregon): Pale, greenish yellow. Aromatic with green apple, pear, and a hint of lemon on the nose. Apple, pear, lemon, and lime come through on the palate. Dry and medium-bodied with crisp acidity. Well-balanced and refreshing with a long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Wine World Warehouse (Seattle, Washington), $13.99; Available elsewhere, $10 to $21

2008 Siduri Pinot Noir (Chehalem Mountains, Willamette Valley, Oregon): Medium-deep red. Moderately aromatic with cherry, earth, and bacon on both the nose and palate. Medium-bodied and lively with medium, soft tannins, and a long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Wine World Warehouse (Seattle, Washington), $26.99; Available elsewhere, $24 to $30

Filed under: American Wine, Challenging Wine Pairing, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Food & Wine, Oregon Wine, Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Red Wine, White Wine, Wines Over $25, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

Reader's Comments

  1. Rachael Horn | June 8th, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Did you consider an Albarino?

  2. Greco di Tufo | June 8th, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    I just ordered 5 bottles of 2009 Adelsheim Pinot Gris (Willamette Valley, Oregon)

    Now i’m even more exited to get them and drink it

    The other one hmm i will give it a try later ..

  3. Kori | June 11th, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    We actually did not consider an Albarino for this pairing. But thanks for the suggestion. We’ll have to try it next time we have this meal.

    Glad to hear it. Hope you enjoy the wine.