Pairings by sommelier Belinda Chang of Maple & Ash in Chicago, as told to Michael Austin:
2014 Vietti Roero Arneis, Piedmont, Italy: Butter, almonds and lemon, the components of the sauce in this dish, are also some of the notes you’ll find in a top-flight Roero arneis. Though best known for world class age-worthy reds, Piedmont is also planted with arneis, a white grape that produces lovely, plush, full-bodied wines. This arneis is redolent of roasted nuts and citrus. Its buttery texture will also harmonize well.
2013 Palmina Dolcetto, Santa Barbara County, California: A fish dish can be challenging to pair with a red, but this dolcetto delivers. Meaning “little sweet one” in Italian, dolcetto is a super utility player. It is medium-bodied, juicy and peppery with a bit of baking spice on the nose and a lovely fig note on the palate. It will marry nicely with the toasted almond and butter in the dish. Like a fig tart!
Szigeti Sekt, Burgenland, Austria: The brightness of a chilled, well balanced bubbly like this sparkling rose will echo the zip of the lemon in the dish. A blend, this bottling includes the lesser-known zweigelt grape variety, which is pinot noir-esque. Also, the wine’s nuttiness, achieved by aging it on the lees (the spent yeast cells that give a traditional-method wine its typical brioche and roasted nut character), will vibe well with the almonds.