Saturday, May 9, 2015

Food & Wine Pairing: Mexican Fish Tacos with Stemmari Sparkling Grillo

Believe it or not I have yet to ever have a fish taco.  I’ve always thought about ordering them, but always drag myself into the usual chicken fajita that I enjoy.  Today for our wine pairing weekend #winepw we are featuring foods with a Mexican flare and better yet I’m pairing it with an Italian wine, but of course.  With Italy having a coastline of about 4700 miles (7600 km) there is no wonder that they are best prepared for pairing fish with wine.   The idea now is WHICH wine with fish tacos.

It’s best to use a flaky fish for preparing fish tacos that could include tilapia, cod (which is what I chose), mahi-mahi, halibut, etc.  They’re very easy to prepare as you’ll see and I used a recipe by Bobby Flay and played around with the ingredients to my own liking.

Ingredients
·         White flaky fish 
·         Flour tortillas
·         Fresh lime juice
·         ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Toppings for fish tacos
·         Sour cream
·         Guacamole (recipe below)
·         Mix of chopped red onions with tomatoes, garlic and oil

Guacamole recipe
·         2 avocados
·         2 plum tomatoes diced
·         2 cloves of garlic
·         Fresh lemon juice
·         Salt and pepper


Fish preparation
  • Marinate fish for up to 30 minutes with extra virgin olive oil, garlic and fresh lime juice. 
  • While fish is marinating prepare the guacamole di.
  • Preheat grill on a low to medium high heat and place marinated fish carefully.  Grill fish for about 2-3 minutes on each side and remove from heat.  Add tortillas to grill if to your liking.
  • Once fish has cooled, break up into pieces and combine in bowl while prepping your fish tacos.
Grilled fish tacos
Depending on your preference you can toast your tortilla on the grill briefly or eat as is.  Once they are completed and ready to be prepared gather your toppings and assemble your tacos to your liking.
Toppings for fish tacos
Left to Right: Red onion/tomato mixture, guacamole, sour cream, grilled cod

One of the best parts of tacos are the toppings.  Everyone obviously has their own preferences and feel free to play around with this.  I’m not one for hots or anything spicy so I omitted anything of that nature.  I started by preparing the tortillas with a smothering of my homemade guacamole .  Then I added the fish flakes and topped those with my choice of toppings which included a combination of  chopped red onions, garlic, diced tomatoes, sour cream, salt and pepper that I previously had marinating in an oil and lime juice marinade.

What to pair with Fish Tacos?
Now, what wine to pair with this.  I didn't question about selecting a white wine for this pairing.  Recently I received some samples from Stemmari and one of the bottles was named Stemmari Baci Vivaci meaning "lively kisses".  This white wine is a sparkling grillo, which is a grape indigenous to Sicily.  It was a great selection for the pairing with these fish tacos as it was light bodied, dry, lemon citrus with a slight delicate sparkle and some minerality that went well with all the elements of the dish.  For more about Stemmari and the wines of Sicily read the article I recently wrote with a different grillo viognier blend.  
Stemmari Baci Vivace Sparkling Grillo
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