Expressions: The Blog

The Pairing Challenge: Mediterranean Fish Wine Pairing!

We really enjoyed our first Game Sausage BBQ Wine Pairing with our developer, Marina, that we were eager to do another one! Luckily a warm, early-summer day is a good excuse as any for Marina to put together a feast! Marina planned a fantastic Mediterranean menu with a Roasted Fish dish to serve as the main course. Once again the wine was on us, but this time we didn’t go easy! Many people believe that when pairing wine with fish the wine must be a white wine. However, as our Wine Director would tell you, “What!? Of course you can pair fish with red wine!” With that, Josh selected two reds, only one white and pleaded with Marina to bring him any leftovers. Here are the foods and recipes Marina prepared:



Cauliflower rice

Lebanese za’tar naan

Roasted Stripe Bass with tomatoes and potatoes

Moroccan Carrot salad

Grilled Eggplant and Lemons with Garlic Labneh

Carrot and Walnut Cake

Moroccan Orange Salad


Now for the three wines Josh chose…

Terra D’Oro 2014 Chenin Blanc/Viognier, Clarksburg

Marina described the Terra D’Ora Chenin Blanc as “crisp aromatic and versatile, perfect for summer sipping”. It paired well with the herby zing of the cauliflower rice tabbouleh. Since it’s such an easy going wine, it’s a natural accompaniment to all kinds of vegetables. It has a citrus twist that made it pair especially well with the tangy Labneh & garlic spread and grilled eggplant & lemons. Not only is it currently under $15 by the case on our website, but Wine Enthusiast Magazine scored it 90 points saying “It tastes equally fruity and ripe, backed by good acidity to keep it mouthwatering. Notable richness in the texture helps the flavors linger on the finish.”

Terra D'Oro 2014 Chenin Blanc/Viognier, Clarksburg


Rioja 2014 Garnacha, Campo Viejo

Marina said this Rioja 2014 Garnacha was “Bright, soft, creamy, balanced, light and drinkable”. It went great with a variety of tappas. The toasty spice notes went well with the cumin spiced hummus.  The aromas of strawberry and cherry beautifully brought out the pomegranate molasses in the red pepper-muhamara. Marina was spot-on! In the Critics Challenge Wine Competition, where this wine was awarded a Platinum Medal with 94 points, one judge wrote “Camp Viejo’s Garnacha shows notes of pepper and red fruit, with firm tannins that will likely age out over the next couple of years, making this wine smoother and even more enjoyable as times passes.”
Rioja 2014 Garnacha, Campo Viejo


Il Gelso 2009 Gelso Della Valchetta, IGT Lazio

This wine comes from the Lazio region of Italy, which borders the Tyrrhenian Sea. This harmonious and woodsy red wine was an excellent choice for a rich fish like the roasted striped bass! It also works well with the roasted tomatoes & potatoes that accompany the fish. The fish is stuffed with preserved lemon and olives that are excellent with the wine’s crisp acidity, splendid aroma, and high-pitched fruity notes. Another value, at only $10.95 by the case! Our customers say “I Love Italian Reds! And at $11 per bottle by the case ?! Well, Sunday Family Dinners just got Yummy-er”.

Il Gelso 2009 Gelso Della Valchetta, IGT Lazio


Don’t forget about dessert!

To pair this Subterranean menu, Marina served a Carrot and Walnut Cake spiced with cinnamon and cloves that somewhat mimics a Moroccan carrot salad. To balance the sweetness she served it with a refreshing Moroccan Orange Salad spiced with cinnamon and orange-blossom water.


Do you enjoy listening to music while you cook? Marina suggests listening to the band Mgzavrebi while you prepare this meal.  Their individual music style with elements of improvisation, folk and classical music provide a great backdrop in the kitchen!


The WineExpress Team brings you the latest wine news and exciting recommendations! We’ll talk about what we’re currently drinking and the wines we are looking forward to. There will be a lot of different opinions and we’d love to hear yours too!

1 Comment

  1. Erika

    June 28, 2016 - 11:44 am

    beautiful images!

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