To celebrate Chip Week, here are some delicious wines to wash down with a side order of crinkle, chunky or skinny Frenchies.
Wine experts agree that a glass of bubbly is the top choice with fish and chips, and with more than 250 million fish and chip meals sold in the UK each year, the fizz factor is good news for sparkle producers who focus on a crisp, fresh style.
A cellar staple with fishy tapas, a cava such as Wine Selection Asda Cava, Spain (£5, Asda) has the acidic structure to cut through the batter, balance the flavours and provide lemony refreshment.
Another star match to pair with this seaside staple, Wyfold Vineyard Sparkling Wine 2010, England (£29.99, www.laithwaites.co.uk) is the second release for Ridgeview estate (the 2009 first vintage won Best English Sparkling Wine of 2013) and Wyfold’s champagne-like nose (it’s made from the classic champagne blend of pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier) and balance of sweetness and acidity is the perfect foil to salt and vinegar, the mildness of flaky, white fish and earthy quality of spuds.
Not forgetting the merits of a zesty, still white table wine with a pleasant nose of lemon peel, try Sainsbury’s Winemakers’ Selection Falanghina 2012, Italy (£6.29, Sainsbury’s) from the Campania region in Southern Italy.
The green apple and grapefruit notes accented by mineral freshness would suit a portion of chips doused in vinegar, but if you prefer a bag of crunchy golden fries with a light sprinkling of salt, Tagus Creek Chardonnay Fernao Pires 2012, Portugal (£6.25, Asda) with its hints of tropical fruit and white peach, will sit well with a tender fish filet.
Nettly and herbaceous, there’s no disguising the taste of a good Kiwi sauvignon blanc and Vidal White Label Series Sauvignon Blanc 2013, New Zealand (£9.99, www.cambridgewine.com) is bright and breezy and guaranteed to put the wind back in your sails if you’re fishing for a trophy white - What Food What Wine? awarded it five stars for its “pungent gooseberry flavours and fresh acidity to zip through the rich batter and oily potato”, in the fish and chips category a couple of years ago.
For best results, the folks behind Chip Week suggest cooking with King Edward or Maris Piper potatoes for the fluffiest chips, and if you prefer a burger or bangers to the fruits of the sea, the following two reds will enhance the pleasure of this simple supper. Try a glass or two of Saint-Amour Domaine Le Carjot 2012, France (£10.99, www.cellarandkitchen.adnams.co.uk), a gorgeous gamay with inviting cherry and deep berry fruits, white pepper notes and a long, savoury finish to complement the rugged style of andouillette sausages.
Rather more full-bodied - and the byword for rich and intense reds with a rustic feel Down Under - the ruby cabernet grape becomes even more powerful with a generous splash of petit verdot to add a dark, violet note, and Andrew McPherson’s aptly named The Full Fifteen 2013, Australia (£8.99, 15% abv, www.laithwaites.co.uk) couldn’t be a better fit with a man-sized burger. With touches of spice and earthy aromas, the dense, juicy blackberry fruit has just enough oak on the lush finish to unite the strength of the red meat with the quality of hand-cut, gourmet fries without overwhelming the flavours.