Aromatic Fish and a Corsican – French #Winophiles

Aromatic fish and a Corsican

Aromatic fish and a Corsican

OK so it’s not really aromatic fish, the herb infused oil is aromatic. And the Corsican isn’t a gangster, it’s a bottle of wine. But here you are, so you might as well read on!


Corsica map courtesy of

Winophiles Set Sail for Corsica
Our French #Winophiles group has virtually washed up on the shore in Corsica. As a island out in the Mediterranean sea, it’s isolated from the rest of France. It has been invaded countless times by Pirates, Italians, British, and of course, France. We know it best as Napoleon’s birthplace and home during his exile.

What about the food and wine? The island is very mountainous, so much of the population resides near the coast and seafood is typical, although not exclusively so. The vineyards are also concentrated near the coast, with several indigenous grape varieties as well as more typical grapes such as Vermentino.

Domaine Comte Abbatucci Cuvée Faustine

Domaine Comte Abbatucci Cuvée Faustine

Domaine Comte Abbatucci
Jean-Charles Abbatucci is a complete believer in biodynamics and farms his vineyards in strict accordance with all the principles and treatments, and his vineyards are Demeter certified. This also means his vineyards are run as a self-contained polyculture with multiple crops and livestock to provide balance. He grows a variety of grapes, including both indigenous grapes as well as grapes widely seen around the Mediterranean.

Domaine Comte Abbatucci Ajaccio Blanc “Cuvée Faustine” Vin de France 2015 ($36 at Sunfish Cellars)
The Cuvee Faustine is made from 40 year old Vermentinu (local spelling of Vermentino) vines. The grapes are hand harvested, vinified in stainless steel and fermented at a cool temperature to preserve freshness.

Eye: Clear, palest pale lemon yellow. Barely any color at all.
Nose: Clean, pure clean. Medium+ intensity Citrus pith, unripe pear, white flowers
Mouth: Dry, a bit of richness, not quite buttery but almost. Acidity is medium+ but round and buffered.

whole roasted trout with Faustine Corsica white wine

Yotam Ottolenghi’s fish with aromatic olive oil

Whole Fish with Aromatic Herbs
I was attracted to this Yotam Ottolenghi recipe by the mention of aromatic herbs of the Corsican Maquis. I love the herbal influence you find in some regional wines and dishes from France based on what grows wild locally. The main task in the recipe is creating your own aromatic olive oil, which was easy and fun. Note: the recipe has you make much more oil than you need to use in the dish unless you are very generous with your oil. While I’m pretty sure there are no trout on the island of Corsica, they are a favorite at our house for serving whole-fish style.

The fish roasted on the vegetables was delicious and a wonderful combination. Filling the cavity of the fish with lemons added a bright acidity to the overal flavor profile. The herbal oil added nuance to all the flavors without overpowering anything. We’ll make this one again.

I can’t put my finger on why, but I didn’t care for this wine. It wasn’t flawed in any way, I just couldn’t come around to enjoy the flavor somehow. Oh well, I guess every once in a while I can just pass on a wine.

Winophiles Set Sail for Corsica
Take a look at what my fellow Winophiles discovered in their search for interesting food and wine from the island. Join our chat on Saturday Feb. 18 at 10am CST on Twitter at #Winophiles.

Aromatic Fish and a Corsican White Wine











14 Responses to “Aromatic Fish and a Corsican – French #Winophiles”
  1. I’m sorry you didn’t care for the wine. The vermentinu we tried was very unique with no evidence of Vermentino or Rolle. It was tannic, rich, & bold. In a blind tasting it may tasted red instead of white. It was a fun experience. Your fish looks delicious!

  2. Super pairing, as usual! It looks like you might have actually been in Corsica, along the shore. Not bad for a Saturday afternoon in February!

  3. Jill Barth says:

    I love what you’ve done with this fish, a rustic preparation to match the sense of place!

    I’d love to read more about biodynamics in Corsica. I didn’t come up with much in my research, so thanks for sharing this. The distinct flavor experience you describe makes me even more curious, actually.

    Cheers & thanks for leading our conversation!

    • Thanks, Jill. Abbatucci is one of the biodynamics leaders on the island as I understand. It’s a bit easier on a Mediterranean (dry!) island with lots of sun, compared to Burgundy and Bordeaux!

  4. Jane says:

    The fish looks amazing! I guess we are both Ottolenghi fans. I enjoy reading your blog. Congratulations on the Millesima Blog Award. Cheers!

  5. Oh stop it! Now I’m hungry and needing a drink at 11am in the morning! 😮

  6. hveagar says:

    This looks amazing

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