Wines to pair with citrus fruits | Wine
When the topic of delicate foods for wine comes up, it usually focuses on miscreants such as asparagus, artichokes, and eggs. But citrus fruits can be even more problematic.
It might surprise you, given that there are quite a few lemony wines, notably sauvignon blanc, but if the citrus flavor in a dish is dominant, as in spaghetti al limone or tagine of lemon confit chicken, say, you’re better off with a more neutral dry white or a red, as the lemon in the dish tends to strip the citrus from the wine.
Intensely lemony desserts, like the French classic lemon pieare even more difficult, as they need very sweet wines that also match their acidity – late-harvest Rieslings such as the Seifried number in today’s selection generally work best.
Orange desserts or cakes, such as Orange Polenta Cake, can also be a problem. Spanish moscatels usually hit the spot, or try Hungary’s fabulously marmalade tokaji. (If it comes to chocolate, you can always turn to orange liqueurs like Cointreau or Grand Marnier.)
Other solutions? When it comes to puds, cream or other dairy products like ricotta or cream cheese tend to dull the spiciness of lemon and lime. Lemon Cheesecake is easier to pair than Lemon Tart, offering wines such as Sauternes and similar sweet Bordeaux as options.
With savory dishes too, there are often other ingredients in a dish that will offset the citrus. In Greek lemon-seasoned lamb dishes, for example, it’s the lamb – and often the feta – that brings together lemony whites like Assyrtiko.
It may also be worth retaining the lemon with, say, fish and chips, or a zesty salad you intend to add a squeeze of lime to, and see how the wine tastes without it. . A citrusy fresh white or a lemony Clare Valley Riesling in the case of the salad might just do the job for you.
Finally, keep in mind that citrus acidity will accentuate the sweetness of any accompanying wine, so if you served a chardonnay, for example, with a lemony dish, it would likely taste richer and more buttery, and an already jammy shiraz even more jammy. But that could, of course, be to your liking.
Five Wines That Would Work With Citrus
Mural by Masi Bianco 2021 £13.99 wines of golden acre, 11%. Fresh, crisp but not overly lemony, this seductive unfiltered organic white goes very well with salads and fish dishes.
Lion’s Den Assyrtiko 2019 £9.99 Aldi, 13% off. A bright, lemony white that will be perfect with grilled lamb with feta and mint.
Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Garnacha Calatayud Old Vine 2019, £10. 15%. Garnacha, or grenache as it is called in France, pairs wonderfully with rich, orange stews or duck à l’orange.
Seifried Estate Sweet Agnès Riesling 2019 £16.99 half bottle Averys and Laithwaites, £17.49 Waitrose, 10.5%. My usual dish with a lemon pie. Just scrumptious.
Frappato 2020 Sicilian Land, 13.5%, £11.99 Averys, Laithwaites or £9.99 if you buy a case. Deliciously juicy Italian red that could easily take a lemony chicken or pasta dish in its stride. Sold out so quickly when they first released it, they had to bottle more, so you might have to wait about a week to get it.