Wine pairing theory can be as simple as reds go with red meat and whites go with poultry and fish. However, you can also follow much more complex guidelines, pairing the specific notes in a wine varietal with the unique flavor profile of a dish. In general, you can complement baked stuffed scrod with a dry white wine, a rich white wine, or a sparkling wine. First of all, however, you may want to familiarize yourself with the flavors at hand.
All About Scrod
You wouldn’t set up a friend who you barely knew on a date, so don’t attempt to strike a match before you get to know scrod. This is more difficult than it sounds, however, since there is much debate as to what scrod actually is. According to some sources, scrod is just a codfish under two pounds prepared in a specific way. By this definition, scrod refers to cod that has been butterflied along its back, cleaned, de-boned and broiled. Some say that scrod can actually refer to small hake or haddock, too. For the purposes of pairing scrod with wine, consider the flavor of cod and haddock.
The Taste of Scrod
Cod has a mild flavor — not overly fishy — and a delicate, flaky texture. Haddock has a similarly mild flavor, but a slightly thicker texture. Due to scrod’s lighter texture and smaller size, baked stuffed scrod should be cooked for a short period of time and ideally above or in liquid to retain moisture. The mild flavor of scrod also allows it to take on whatever flavors you’re cooking with — citrus, herbs, wine or the fillings you’re using to stuff the fish. Depending on your specific fish recipe, you can adjust your wine pairing based on the flavors you’re using.
A Wine to Match
In general, a white wine — dry, rich or sparkling — will go best with scrod. Given scrod’s light flavor and texture, a dry white or sparkling wine will be your best choice. A rich white — like a chardonnay — might overpower the subtle flavor of the scrod. Try pairing with a sauvignon blanc or a pinot grigio, both of which will also go well with most vegetables you may have stuffed into or served with your scrod. Bubbles also provide a nice counterpoint to the silky texture of scrod. If you’re using citrus juice or vinegar in your recipe, select a wine with a high acidity level, for example, an extra brut sparkling wine.
Beyond the Grape
You can also pair scrod with beer, if that’s how you prefer to fill your glass. A witbier or light wheat ale with a slice of lemon or orange will harmonize beautifully with a fillet of scrod. A blonde ale or pilsener is also always a safe bet for complementing, not overpowering, light seafood.
References and ResourcesCelebrate Boston: Origin of Scrod
The Cookingfishmonger: Fish Taste Chart
Brewers Association: Craft Beer and Food Pairing Chart