Grilled Halibut with Fennel, Tomatoes, and Roasted Garlic Rouille
Make both red- and white-wine lovers happy. This meaty halibut dish goes both ways: We love it with a light-bodied, high-acid red, such as Sangiovese, and with two aromatic white Rhône grapes, Roussanne and Marsanne (traditionally blended with Viognier but now going solo more often).
Our picks for this dish Cline Marsanne Roussanne 2008 (Sonoma Coast; $16). Crisp and refreshing, with bright lemon, orange zest, and a sprinkling of stone-fruit blossoms. Holly's Hill Roussanne 2008 (El Dorado; $18). Both floral and earthy, aromatic but dry. Gardenia and mineral aromas are followed by white peaches and apricots, with characteristic orange zest on the finish. Tablas Creek "Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc" 2007 (Paso Robles; $40). Pricey but beautifully made, with the perfect balance of minerality and fresh lemon blossoms on the nose, followed by delicate tart peach and orange blossom flavors. Truchard Roussanne 2007 (Carneros, Napa Valley; $20). Lush yet lively, with honeyed floral aromas followed by peach nectar and then a pick-me-up of pink grapefruit. Chanticleer Sangiovese 2007 (Yountville, Napa Valley; $45). A wonderful mix of spicy earth and berries ― especially dusty strawberries and raspberries. Monte Volpe Sangiovese 2005 (Mendocino; $18). The grape's classic dusty berries are in full force here, plus zippy cherries and red licorice, plums, and black pepper.
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Cioppino + Barbera
This Italian grape, with minty dark cherries and berries and juicy acidity, punches up the herbs in the cioppino's broth and keeps step with its sweet seafood.