Halibut in Creamy Pasta Sauce with White Burgundy

The recipe is by Husseyin Ozer, chef/proprietor of the Sofra restaurants. He is Turkish and this is another of those wonderful dishes that uses Mediterranean ingredients to produce a combination of tastes unlike any other. Though the main constituents are halibut and pasta, it is the several other vegetables and herbs, often in quite small quantities that make this dish what it is. D was delighted to find fresh chives and chervil in the garden despite the poor weather, because the freshness of items like these can make a big difference. It is utterly delicious.

Since the meal is subtle with no very strong tastes we can drink a sophisticated wine that has its own range of flavours. I chose our last bottle of Pernand-Vergelesses, Maison Champy 2005 which has been in the cellar since I bought it in bond from the Wine Society. At that time it cost £11.22 and it would be worth quite a bit more if bought today ready to drink. It is of course a white burgundy, pure Chardonnay and raised in oak. By now the wine has mellowed (it should be drunk in the next 12 months or so) and the oak has been integrated into a well structured whole. The aroma is not very powerful and suggests a rather light appley burgundy, but on the palate it opens out from a lean beginning to a quite substantial middle with the oak very much present and a finish that is long with the slightest hint of honey. This is not the sort of Burgundy that gets described as opulent or rich, it is firmer and more elegant than that, more to my taste and better with this quite light dish of white fish. It is not the cream that defines the dish but the vegetables, the fruit and the herbs. It does not need a plushy wine, a fuller Sauvignon Blanc or Semillon/Sauvignon would also work.

Memorable.

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