Torrontes: Not Just for the Halibut

Last night we had a group of avid outdoorsmen (and one turophile (cheese connoiseur) from New York) join us for “slap you in the face reds.” This was the descriptive phrase used by our guests to describe the type of Malbec they wanted to drink.

The interesting thing for us was the discussion about the potential combination, though, of the signature white from Argentina, Torrontes, with various fishes. With great conviction, our outdoorsmen decided that Torrontes best suites Salmon and not Halibut, due to the more delicate nature of the latter, and the slightly more oily and sturdy nature of the former (guys, correct me if I’m wrong).

And that got me thinking about food combinations with our wines and wines in general. I think that the philosophy must remain one of trial and error. The subjective nature of the palate and the fact that it evolves can only lead us to this conclusion. So I would love the feedback of the group regarding an actual taste test with the Torrontes and fishes.

Mucha suerte! (Good luck)


2 thoughts on “Torrontes: Not Just for the Halibut

  1. It doesn’t surprise me that the Torrontes works better with the salmon for the reasons you cited. Note that Torrontes has some of the same characteristics as the Gewurztraminers from Alsace and Ive found them to pair well with salmon as well. An Osteiner is another good white to pair with salmon.

    I agree to some degree about your “trial and error” statement, but believe that’s more in the final “polishing” of a food/wine pairing. I would argue that there really are some fairly strong “rules” that drive food & wine pairing, particularly when it comes to wine acidity and cream/fat or tart elements in the food, wine tannicity and proteins in the food, and wine body.

    Guess we better keep having food and wine and collect more data, eh? 🙂


    • Yes, “rules” are appropriately put in quotations. A British friend of mine tried Torrontes with his Argentine beef one night (in my presence) and could not stop raving about the combination. Atypical, but tasting I suppose. I tried it after and did not find it displeasing, but certainly prefer a more hearty red.

      And yes, data collection is the foundation of any true formation of reliable standards and practices.

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