Pairing BC Halibut with Mayhem Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé Wines

Besides spot prawn season, I think many BC’ers also look forward to halibut season.  It makes great fish and chips, but you can also cook it in other ways.  I received two 6 oz halibut portions from Organic Ocean to cook and pair with BC wine.  I decided to make Mediterranean Baked Halibut with Vegetables.  An easy to make dish where all the ingredients go in one baking sheet (cookie sheet).  For this dish, I decided to pair Mayhem Wines Sauvignon Blanc 2020 and Rosé 2020 from the Okanagan.  

My Wine Tasting Notes

Mayhem Wines Sauvignon Blanc 2020 (BC $20)

Mayhem Wines Sauvignon Blanc 2020 with wine in glass
Mayhem Wines Sauvignon Blanc 2020 with wine in glass

From Mayhem Wines, “This wine was hand-harvested from a single vineyard in Naramata. It was completely crushed and destemmed and loaded straight into the press. Making up the final blend is 10% new 225L barriques, 14% neutral puncheons and 76% stainless steel. All elements resting on lees for 6 months…” 

A mix of wild and commercial yeast strains were used.

Appearance: A pale, yet bright, lemon-green colour.
Nose: A medium-plus nose with aromas of citrus, grapefruit, green fruit, gooseberry, and a touch of honey and grape stem. With decanting the only change is maybe more gooseberry aroma.
Palate: Dry, medium body with strong acidity.  Round mouthfeel.  Medium-plus flavour intensity with citrus, grapefruit and rind, along with some minerality and grape stem. The wine had a lighter body and mouthfeel with decanting.  More gooseberry and grapefruit flavour and the grape stem bitterness was very minimal.
Finish: A long length finishing with citrus and grapefruit, light pepperiness, grape stem, and minerality, then a touch of honey at the very end.

Rating: 4 stars A medium-intensity citrus, gooseberry, and green fruit nose.  Dry with medium body and higher acidity.  Mainly citrus and grapefruit flavours with lesser gooseberries and some grape stem.  A longer length finishing with citrus, some minerality, pepperiness and grape stem.

Mayhem Wines Rosé 2020 (BC $20)

Mayhem Wines Rosé 2020 with wine in glass
Mayhem Wines Rosé 2020 with wine in glass

From Mayhem Wines, “Hand-picked off our home vineyard up Anarchist Mountain in the South Okanagan, this blend is 95.50% Merlot and 4.50% Cab Franc. This is a very different rose that changes in your glass with every sip. Foot stomped before pressing, this is very much a food friendly wine. All aged on its lees for 6+ months; this wine’s final blend comprises of 33% neutral barriques. 67% was also stainless-steel tank based…

The wine also underwent a partial malolactic fermentation.

Appearance: Bright, medium intensity reddish-orange colour.
Nose: A medium intensity nose that upon first opening has a strong matchstick smell.  You need to let your wine decant in your glass for a few minutes to let the matchstick dissipate.  You then will get light toast, red fruit, and strawberry scents in your glass. After a longer decant, you still get a bit of the matchstick, so probably a short decant is ok for this wine.  The toast, red fruit and strawberry scents persist.
Palate: This wine is dry with a light body and mouthfeel.  It will feel linear if you taste it as soon as you open it, but if you give it a short decant time, the wine gets smooth and round.  Flavours of red fruit, red cherries and strawberries.  There is some pepperiness or hotness on the palate as well.  With a longer decant the wine becomes smooth and round with soft acidity and a light mouthfeel and fruit flavours.  You get the same fruit flavours.  Again, a short decant is sufficient for this wine.
Finish: A medium plus length finishing with tart red fruit, medium acidity, light pepperiness and a touch of tannins.

I think that maybe the matchstick aroma is caused by a faulty bottle as I tasted this Rosé wine from a can a few weeks ago and there was no matchstick.  Here is my review of the Rosé from the can.

Rating: 4 stars A strong matchstick aroma upon first opening requires you to give this wine a short decant.  After decanting you get light toast, red fruit and strawberry aromas.  Dry, light-body, with red fruit, red cherries and strawberry flavours.  The wine starts tart but with decanting becomes smoother and softer.

The Mediterranean Baked Halibut Recipe (2 servings)

The sauce:

  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp freshly minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dried dill weed
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Other ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb (1 large handful) of green beans with ends trimmed
  • 1/2 lb (small container) of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 medium yellow onion sliced into thick wedges
  • 2, 6 oz halibut portions
Mediterranean Baked Halibut with halibut from Organic Ocean
Mediterranean Baked Halibut with halibut from Organic Ocean

Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk the sauce ingredients together in a large bowl, then add the green beans to coat.  Remove with a slotted spoon and place on one side of the pan.  Repeat with the tomatoes, putting them beside the beans.  Then add the halibut to the bowl, coat and place on the opposite side of the pan.  If there is any remaining sauce, you can drizzle some over the fish and vegetables.  Bake for 15 minutes, on a medium rack in the oven, then turn on the broiler and broil on the High setting for 3-4 minutes.  Service with steamed rice.

Halibut and Wine Pairing

Mediterranean Baked Halibut and Mayhem Sauvignon Blanc and Rose wines
Mediterranean Baked Halibut and Mayhem Sauvignon Blanc and Rose wines

This halibut dish has lots of citrus and oregano flavours.  The vegetables still have some crunch.  The tomatoes have a nice sweetness to them.  And the halibut has a softer texture, not dried out.  The Rosé wine was complimentary, but not an exceptional pairing and the flavours of each stayed separate, while the Sauvignon Blanc was a hit for this dish.  I tried the halibut with a portion of each vegetable together with a sip of the wines.  The Sauvignon Blanc with its acidity and citrus/grapefruit and gooseberry flavours enhanced the flavours of the fish and the vegetables.  I expected the citrus of the dish with the citrus and acidity of the wine to mesh nicely and it did.  A recommended pairing.

Where Can I Buy These Wines and Halibut?

You can purchase the halibut online through the Organic Ocean website.  They can ship across Canada. 

You can purchase these wines through the Mayhem Wines website. The wines may be at your local wine shop, not BC Liquor Stores, but you need to ask.

Author: mywinepal
Drink Good Wine. That is my motto and I really want to help you drink good wine. What is good wine? That can be a different thing for each people. Food also loves wine so I also cover food and wine pairings, restaurant reviews, and world travel. Enjoy life with me. MyWinePal was started by Karl Kliparchuk, WSET. I spent many years with the South World Wine Society as the President and then cellar master. I love to travel around the world, visiting wine regions and sharing my passion for food & wine with you. Come live vicariously through me, and enjoy all my recommended wines.