Domaine Les Hautes Noelles, Muscadet sur lie Côtes de Grandlieu, 2005
Certain ways of cooking fish and shellfish just cry out for a clean, light and crisp dry white wine - especially if you bake a whole sea bass in a salt crust. This is an excellent way to celebrate the delicate flavour of fish and it works well with a range of fish, including sea bream. Just put a little pepper and some herbs into the fish and then cover the whole fish in a dough made of salt, water and perhaps a few egg whites. This seals in all the moisture and preserves the delicate flavours of the fish. Serve the fish just with a bit of olive oil, pepper and salt, perhaps a little lemon and enjoy with very simple side dishes, perhaps just a few slices of white bread.
And make sure to select a wine that will not overpower the fish - I find a dry Muscadet works very well in this context.
I had sea bass yesterday and so I it was time to open a bottle of this quite cheap, yet very well suited wine with it. The colour is quite light, as is the bouquet: wet stone, a little shellfish and sea water, a little stone fruit and light lemon-apple acidity, all joined together to create a simple, yet very well structured wine. The fish brings out a certain bit of crisp in this wine, but otherwise it is not without smoothness.
Without the food the Muscadet is a simple yet well made wine that is enjoyable. With fish, and I am sure it would work very well with shellfish too, it is a perfect food companion - and for an excellent price.