Does cod pair with red wine or white wine? This question is asked by many, but the answer is far from achieving consensus.
It is true that cod fish has both intense taste and aroma. So, it could well be placed in a midway position on the scale of wines with which it pairs best. The big question, then, is the cellar: which virtuoso will have the honour of playing this 'Stradivarius'? From a chilled white wine to a full-bodied Douro red or a warmer, Alentejo wine, there are advocates for each faction and grape varieties to suit all tastes.
The intensity of cod can easily overpower a lighter, refreshing white wine used to showcase it. On the other hand, the tannins of a red wine could get into a symphonic tug-of-war with cod, on the intensity scale. But there are over a thousand possible recipes of cod and each can combine with a different wine, especially when you consider the ingredients added to the recipe. Fruity wines, floral wines, spicy wines, velvety wines, balanced wines... the expectation is that the wine will enhance the cod: light when it should be and full-bodied when necessary, but always extremely refined with long, elegant endings, begging for an encore.
Of the many recipes held in the compendium of traditional Portuguese cuisine, our firm favourite is grilled cod, well doused with olive oil, garlic, and onion – as a good Portuguese cod dish demands – , and whose taste is properly refined with a wine with hints of smoke that envelop the smokiness of the grill, creating an ethereal combination and an extremely pleasant sensation for the palate. Because the roasted cod preserve made by Comur is just like this: pleasurable. Roasted on the grill over pine wood coals, turned and taken off the grill at just the right moment, it is then shredded into flakes by the experienced hands of the women of Murtosa, as they do at home and as our mothers and grandmothers did, too: with love. Therefore, the wine that accompanies it must be up to the taste and the memories and only a true Paganini can come out of this challenge head held aloft.
Whether the most perfect pairing for cod is a white wine or a red is up to you to decide. But one thing is certain: for this Stradivarius of the sea there will always be a virtuoso on land.