A quick text from a customer asking an increasingly common question! I set out below a range of suggestions for the chippy's winelist...
Well, first we need to consider what we're matching here. There's the fish, yep. Then there's the batter, the chips, salt and vinegar, and, of course, the mushy peas.
The first thing to be mindful of is that vinegar and wine have a bit too much in common to get on. Vinegar is wine that has been acted on by a bacteria called acetobacter, which turns the alcohol in the wine into acetic acid and water (a process called "souring"). Because of this, most wines tend to taste spoiled in the presence of vinegar. So if you're going to have wine with your fish supper, go easy on the vinegar.
My top choice pairing for this Friday night feast is Champagne. It's dry, acidic and bubbly, all of which work to cut through that 'deep fat fry' effect. Cava works too. A dry Prosecco would add a fruitiness as well as fizz, but with less of the rich, creamy quality of traditional method sparklers (as used for Champagne and Cava).
On the still side, for me, dry riesling wins every time, especially the super dry limey ones from Australia. If you're not sure about riesling (many aren't!), then another excellent pair would be a zingy citrussy white wine like a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. You could also try an Italian Gavi, or, if you can get it, an Argentinian Torrontes (a richer white, with a touch of herb and spice). An oaky Chardonnay would provide that creamy richness discussed above, and if you can find one with a good dose of tropical fruit in there too, you're on to a very good thing.
An iberian rose wine would also work, as would the dry, light, delicate notes of a manzanilla sherry. And if it's got to be red, pick a light fruity style and chill it for an hour or so before - yes, I said chill...trust me! :)