I couldn’t wait any longer. I had been saving this beauty for about 6 months. The weather was hot and humid, and the meal was just right. Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc was waiting to be paired and opened.
This Sauvignon Blanc (SB) from Marlborough, New Zealand should be on everyone’s “must drink” list. It’s out of this world. Lemon Zest, celery stalk, pineapple, ginger, and gravel. Some of these flavors may seem strange. Celery Stalk? Gravel? In my wine? The celery stalk provides a fresh flavor, and the gravel gives it some extra body and minerality. This wine is raise-your-eyebrows good. The acidity will make your tongue dance and the minerality will graciously bow to you at the end of it all.
I decided to pair this wine with Catfish Étouffée by EatingWell. The slight spice and tomato based sauce would go perfectly with the mineral body and acidic flavors of the wine. If you’ve ever used mirepoix in cooking (a base of carrots, onions, and celery), Cajun food has their own version called, “The Holy Trinity.” It consists of celery, bell peppers, and onion to give cajun sauces and dishes flavor. This meal starts with this Holy Trinity base, followed by spices and tomato sauce. The catfish cooks in the sauces, making it moist and flavorful. I added a bit of extra cajun spice and cayenne pepper.
I cannot get over how delicious this meal was. It was spicy but not so much that you couldn’t taste the wonderful flavors. I never had catfish that wasn’t fried, and it was so refreshing to actually taste its flavor. The celery had a bit of crunch to it still, which I enjoyed as a contrast to all of the other soft foods.
And how was the pairing? Had I not added the extra cajun and cayenne spice, it would have been 4 grapes. I can see how the acidities of the wine and sauce would go amazingly together and how the wine’s minerality would make the catfish shine. But, I did add the cajun and cayenne, and the spiciness overpowered many of the wine’s fruit flavors. I still tasted the fantastic lemon flavor, but all of the uniqueness of the wine was gone. Therefore, my mistake downgraded the meal to 3 grapes. Next time, I won’t add more spice!
Recipe: Catfish Étouffée by EatingWell
Wine: Greywacke 2015 Sauvignon Blanc ($22)