Cooking with wine: Mussels steamed in Lychgate Bacchus white wine

by Bolney Wine Estate Limited January 13, 2021

Mussels 2

Many of us are looking for new things to do whilst we're all spending a little more time at home this January. We may not be able to go out and enjoy our favourite dishes right now, but that doesn't mean you can't bring them to you! We asked our chef what his favourite dish to cook with wine is, so that you can cook up a feast at home. He thinks using wine in seafood dishes is a mouthwatering match. Here's what he told us:

How to cook with wine

Cooking with wine can open up a whole new world of flavours – enhancing the foods we love and creating richer, more complex dishes. Before beginning to cook with wine, it helps to take a moment to understand how wine works as an ingredient in a dish.

Cooking with wine changes the flavours of both the wine and the food it’s added to. You don’t necessarily have to use only wine that you like to drink – a wine that’s a little too sweet for you, for example, could work very well in a sweet sauce.

Think of wine as another seasoning available to you as a chef – it can add acidity, helping to emphasise other flavours present in the dish, or sweetness, fruit or other influences.

Best wine for cooking with seafood

Seafood and fish dishes can be really enhanced with the addition of good white wine. Just like when you’re cooking with red wine, try to use fuller, richer wines with more flavoursome meats like lobster or shellfish (especially mussels in white wine sauce). Wines such as Pinot Gris or Bacchus always add extra zing and complexity to shellfish dishes – add a couple of cups to your seared scallops in a buttery sauce, or a dash to your mussels before steaming them.

Here, we have a delicious recipe for you combining mussels with our Lychgate Bacchus. A fresh white wine with delicate notes of elderflower and gooseberry. This balanced vintage delights the palate, with a long finish that draws out sweet pineapple and grapefruit. This works particularly well with mussels because the citrus complements the fish really well and the hint of passionfruit really adds another dimension.

Pair with a glass of Lychgate Bacchus or Pinot Gris.

Mussels steamed in garlic and Lychgate Bacchus white wine


  • 120-150g pp of mussels
  • One diced shallot (pp)
  • 3 sliced garlic cloves (pp)
  • 1 large knob of butter
  • 50ml Lychgate Bacchus
  • A handful of freshly chopped parsley


  • Get your deep pan or wok on a high heat. As it starts to smoke, throw in your clean, washed mussels and add one diced shallot per person and 3 sliced garlic cloves per person. Add a large knob of butter.
  • Add 50ml of Lychgate Bacchus.
  • Put the lid on and allow to steam for 2-3 minutes until they are all open (light tossing halfway through process).
  • Remove the lid and add a handful of freshly chopped parsley.
  • Serve with crusty bread, fries or enjoy on their own.

For a twist on this dish, you could try adding some spiced chorizo when you add your shallots.



Bolney Wine Estate Limited
Bolney Wine Estate Limited