Bordeaux Blancs – the dry White Wines of Bordeaux work amazingly well with food. They are often more complex than their New World counterparts and offer good structure and balance. They also come in different styles, some expressing crisp minerality and others showing more fruit and depth. Bordeaux Blancs are beautiful when paired with fish and can cope with the stronger flavours of tuna, salmon and even smoked mackerel as well as plaice, monk fish, prawns, crab and lobster. I have selected a choice few dry Bordeaux White Winesto pair with the world renowned Perard Fish Soup range. These fabulous white wines are available at almost 35% off the RRP and make a harmonious trio which will satisfy the most discerning of palates! I also have some French recipes for you to try!
The Good Food Network, gourmet food specialists, offer the Perard Fish Soups, amongst their fantastic range of gourmet foods and store cupboard ingredients – if you are a Francophile or love good, traditional, French dishes their site is well worth checking out!
Perards have been making their fabulous fish soups in le Touquet in Northern France since 1963, to Serge Perard’s secret recipes. They are so well crafted they have been awarded the prestigious Label Rouge in recognition of their quality and flavour. The soups can also be used as a base to make other fish dishes as well as being enjoyable in their own right.
Perard Fish Soup (Soup de Poisson Perard) – enjoy with croutons and rouille or use an ingredient in Bouillabaisse. Top tip: cook white fish in (such as halibut, cod or monkfish) in the soup, season with a little fleur de sel de guerande, saffron and fresh cream! Fleur de Luze 2009 would be the perfect pairing for Bouillabaisse – this is a lively Bordeaux White Wine with avery clean citrus, lychee, and mango bouquet. It has a long, fruity after taste which follows through with a slight hint of ripe grapefruit and a refreshingly slight touch of fizz.
Perard Crab Soup ( Soup de Crabe Perard) – delicious with a crabcake garnish or as the base to smoky chowders. Chateau Mayne Pargade 2010 will accompany the flavours in this soup particularly well. This is a very aromatic Bordeaux Blanc with floral notes of sweet summer hay, broom blossom and honey. It has good crisp acidity and is well balanced with flavours of pear, quince and lime.
Perard Lobster Soup(Soup de Homard Perard) – one of the finest lobster soups you can try! It is also great as an ingredient in Lobster Thermidor or Lobster Bisque. I would recommend Chateau Vrai Caillou “Les Vignes de la Garène” 2010 to pair with this soup – it’s a lovely Bordeaux White Wine with aromas of melon, ripe fig and acacia blossom. With flavours of peach, lemon and a hint of smoke and spice this is a bright, fresh and elegant wine that lovers of white wines will really appreciate.
I have some traditional French recipes for the foodies amongst you to try!
4 lbs red mullet
1 conger eel, in 4 slices
10 small crabs
3 lbs red scorpion fish
3 lbs monkfish
3 lbs red gurnard
3 lbs John Dory
2 lbs tomatoes, cut in 4
4 onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, mashed
2 tbsp tomato purée
Bouquet of herbs: dill (2 sprigs); laurel (1 leaf); parsley (1sprig); orange peel (1)
Salt, fresh pepper
2 tsp saffron
In a large pan slowly heat the onions with olive oil and garlic. Add tomatoes and tomato purée, raise the heat. Add 3 litres of water, bouquet of herbs, orange peel, mullet, eel, crabs, salt and pepper. Cook uncovered at moderate heat for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the bouquet of herbs and the orange peel. Add the John Dory and the monkfish. Add saffron. Add red gurnard and scorpion fish. Boil again for 6 minutes.
To serve: remove the large fish and put them on a serving platter. Prepare slices of bread. Pour in the Bouillabaisse over the bread. Traditionally Bouillabaisse is served with Rouille, a type of mayonnaise made with garlic and olive oil.
1.5 kg monkfish
about ½ litre of grapeseed oil
13 garlic cloves
2 large glasses of white wine
3 egg yolks
½ tsp saffron
juice of ½ a lemon
sprig of thyme
salt and black pepper
In a large pan bring to the boil the roughly chopped tomatoes and onions, 5 cloves of garlic, the thyme, saffron, orange zest, about 2 tbsp. of the grapeseed oil, one glass of white wine, and 1 litre of water. Simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, pound the remaining garlic to a purée in a pestle and mortar (or liquidise). Blend in 2 egg yolks and add salt and pepper. Gradually beat in the remaining grapeseed oil in a thin stream, using a whisk, until you feel the aioli is thick enough. Add lemon juice to taste and leave on one side.
Cut the skinned and boned fish into chunks and add it to the saucepan. Poach for 15 minutes. Then remove the fish with a draining spoon and keep warm. Sieve the stock and discard the vegetables. Return the stock to the pan and reheat gently. Take about half of the aioli and beat the remaining egg yolk into it. Then slowly pour the warmed stock onto it, stirring constantly. Return this mixture to the pan and heat gently, stirring all the time, until it thickens slightly. Don’t let it boil, or it will curdle. Divide the cooked fish between serving bowls and pour the soup over it. Serve with thin slices of toasted French bread and the remaining aioli.
1.5 kg various types of fish (mackerel, monkfish)
500 g potatoes
100 g butter
litres of water
3 cloves of garlic
parsley, bay leaf and thyme, chopped
1 bunch sorrel, stems removed, chopped
a few slices of farmhouse bread, toasted
salt and pepper
Clean the fish well, gut and cut into pieces, reserving the heads. Boil the water. Peel the potatoes and cut into pieces. Peel and chop the onions, peel the garlic. In a large pan, fry the onion in butter. When golden, add the potatoes and mix well. Pour over the boiling water and then add the garlic, herbs and sorrel. Season.
Boil for approximately 20 minutes. Add the fish pieces and continue to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Taste the stock and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Sieve and pour into a warmed soup dish. Arrange the potatoes and fish in soup plates. Pour over stock and ladle over the toasted bread.