Flat fish such as flounder and turbot have delicious, sweet, succulent meat. The larger Atlantic turbot is prized for its delectable flavour and texture. The fishy richness of the cold-water fish can produce a powerful flavour, which works well with some red bordeaux. Flounder, from tropical waters, is more delicate but still has a lot of fat, the most flavourful component. Light Asian ingredients such as lemongrass, coriander, chilli and ginger can support and create a diversity of flavour and a balanced sweetness. A wine to accompany steamed flounder and ingredients such as these needs subtle tones and friendly flavours, but avoid too much oak. Barrel-fermented wines are more likely to be a match than overtly sweet American-style wines.
Yoshinogawa Daiginjo sake, Japan
There's a lot going on in this sake, including supreme taste and complexity. It's a worthy match for steamed flounder with lemongrass and chilli. The lemongrass lifts the sake and the fish. They come together in a schizophrenic jiggle between richness and delicacy in both flavour and texture. The chilli highlights the sake's freshness and the sweet fish rounds out the gentle sake balance.
Available for HK$298 at Fine Vintage (tel: 2896 6108)
Mateus Rose, Portugal
If you want more than you paid for, then Mateus delivers. Its smart, new style makes it one of the most versatile ros?s in the world. Flounder is a medium-rich fish and Mateus is a medium-rich rose. The slight and friendly residual sugars in the wine neutralise the chilli spice and the slightly gassy ros? rounds out the combination.
Available for HK$59 at Wellcome (tel: 2870 8888)
Terrazas Reserva Torrontes 2008, Argentina
If you like sauvignon blanc but are tired of its excess, then torrontes is the grape for you. It can be lean and insipid but the masters at Terrazas have captured the gentle and exotic perfume of the exclusively Argentinian grape. This wine has a lifted, lemony flavour that mingles with the dish and the fresh flavours are ever so slightly complicated. The fruit in the wine and chilli heat of the dish are well matched.
Available for HK$149 from Moet Hennessy Diageo (tel: 2976 1111)