Pairings by sommelier Aaron McManus, of Oriole, as told to Michael Austin:
Laherte Freres Ultradition Brut Champagne, France: Sparkling wine is amazing with fried food. This Champagne, a blend of pinot meunier, chardonnay and pinot noir, has notes of limes, pears, peaches, yellow plum, orange blossom, bread dough and a chalky minerality. Its citrus flavors will complement the limes, which you can squeeze on right before eating, and the yeasty flavors will complement the beer flavors in the batter.
2014 Claude Riffault Sancerre Les Denisottes, Loire Valley, France: Made of 100 percent sauvignon blanc, this wine has flavors of green apple, lemon zest, grapefruit, herbs, seashells and small pebbles. It has a liveliness that will cut through the fat in the fish, and its herbal notes will match the herbs in the salsa. Plus, the wine’s salinity on the palate, along with its distinct aromas of seashells, will make you crave more fish.
2015 Proprieta Sperino Rosa del Rosa, Piedmont, Italy: This rosé is a blend of nebbiolo and vespolina, and has a beautiful salmon color. It smells of rose petals and strawberry, grapefruit, melons, dried Italian herbs, apricot, tomato leaf, mushrooms and pepper. It is a little fuller-bodied than many rosés, with a little tannin. It will stand up to the richness of the dish, and the tomato leaf and herbs will complement the flavors in the salsa.