Wine Time

Odd Pair: Jewish Food and Spanish Godello

White fish salad? It's not just for breakfast anymore.

One of my happiest discoveries since moving to Texas nearly three years ago has been Kenny and Ziggy's Delicatessen on Post Oak, where you'll often find me noshing on all the classics of the Jew food canon -- white fish, lox, sable, gefilte and pickled herring (ooooh, the pickled herring...).

Most folks think of these foods only for breakfast. But at our house, a mid-week dinner might consist of smoked fish takeout from Ziggy's and one of the many bottles of wine that clutter our home.

My first thought would be to pair Riesling with a dish like white fish salad on a toasted bagel. After all, low-alcohol, sweet wines from the Mosel are a traditional and historical accompaniment for the smoked fish of Eastern and Central Europe. But on this occasion, I popped open a bottle of 2008 Godello (goh-DEH-yoh) by Benaza from Galicia, Spain.

Benaza's 2008 Godello is made in a fresh, bright style, with popping, colorful tropical fruit (think kiwi and guava) that worked sensationally well with the intense saltiness of the smoked fish. But it was the low alcohol and tongue-splitting acidity that made this pairing sing (in Yiddish or Ladino?). Look for the 2008 at the Houston Wine Merchant for under $20.

White fish salad and Spanish wine? I hear a Mel Brooks routine coming on...

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Jeremy Parzen writes about wine and modern civilization for the Houston Press. A wine trade marketing consultant by day, he is also an adjunct professor at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Piedmont, Italy. He spends his free time writing and recording music with his daughters and wife in Houston.
Contact: Jeremy Parzen