Monday, 16 June 2008

Al Fresco Food for Wine Lovers

Barbecued Sardines in Vine Leaves fit the bill for a wine lovers feast. Did you know that there is actually no such fish as a Sardine? They are actually young Herring and are called Sardines once they have been canned. They take their name from the Mediterranean Island of Sardinia in Italy where almost every restaurant is reputed to serve sardines!

Sardines In Vine Leaves

24 fresh sardines
24 vine leaves
juice of 2 lemons
1 tsp white pepper
1 cup olive oil

Remove the backbones of the fish but keep the heads and the tails. Mix the marinade ingredients in a bowl, add the sardines and leave. If the vine leaves are fresh cut the stems off, soak them in hot water and then plunge them into cold water. If you are using tinned vine leaves soak in warm water to remove the salt. Place the shiny sides of the leaves on a flat surface. Place one sardine on the stem of each leaf. Roll up the leaves leaving the heads and tails sticking out. Brush the leaves with oil and cook over hot charcoal for about 15 mins. Garnish with lemon slices. Open vines leaves and sprinkle fish with lemon juice to eat.


The perfect wine to accompany Sardines In Vine Leaves would be Clairet de Château des Lisennes (£5.99). Clairet is Bordeaux's own rosé and is a much fruitier and more fragrant wine with depth than most of its peers. Clairet de Château des Lisennes is made from the traditional Bordeaux grapes that make the famous red wines: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. It's a gorgeous deep raspberry pink colour and has wonderful flavours of soft red fruit with aromas of raspberries, redcurrants and blackberries. Being a medium to a fuller bodied drink it lends itself very nicely to stronger flavoured fish dishes so try it - you will not be disappointed.

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