Bouillabaisse: Wine Pairings
Bouillabaisse, which originated in Marseille, Provence is a famous French cuisine, which is made up of fish in a stew. The name originated from the local term 'bolhabaissa' which is two verbs 'bolh' (to boil) and 'abaissa' (to simmer).
The dish was created from leftover fish from the fishermen in the Provence ports, which allowed them to have a meal when they arrived at the port, using cheaper fish like rockfish and shellfish. As a result, bouillabaisse does not have a specific recipe, so can be made up of different ingredients. This also varies in Provence restaurants and anywhere else, particularly in the South of France, that serves bouillabaisse, also with varying quality and flavours.
This recipe traditionally includes rascasse, sea robin and hake, with shellfish and other seafood. The fish and the soup are always served separately on the table, normally served with rouille, which is made up of mayonnaise, saffron, pepper, and aioli, which is a garlic mayonnaise. Provencal herbs and spices make this dish different from any other, which are added to the broth.
If you would like to make Bouillabaisse, Click Here for a recipe.
Pairing wine with Bouillabaisse can be difficult as there is not a set recipe, however, some wine will complement this cuisine better. Red wine should generally be avoided with this dish because of the body and flavours this carries, and don't normally pair well with fish. The wines should not hold too much body or flavouring, as this will overpower the dish. Lighter white wines, such as those based from the Sauvignon Blanc grape are the best to enjoy with Bouillabaisse. Good acidity levels and some personality are recommended to complement the fish well.
Provençal rose or white wines also complements Bouillabaisse nicely, as they hold all the regional flavours together. Through a relative acidity and body, these wines naturally pair well with this dish.