Your Perfect Wine For Your Next Seafood Dish!

Every type of fish and shellfish has a unique flavour and texture, which means that there’s no “one size fits all” wine pairing. And as it turns out, that old adage that you should stick to “red wine with meat, white wine with fish”? Not always true.

Seafood Pairing House Rules
1. White wines tend to be best, although lighter reds and sparkling can be good options with some dishes.
2. Pair based on the texture and weight of the fish – the more delicate the fish, the more elegant the wine should be.
3. Consider the most prominent element of the dish (often the sauce) and pair accordingly.
4. Balance spicy with sweet, and salty with bubbles, as you typically would with other meats.
5. Sweeter dishes need a sweeter wine.
6. Consider the saltiness of saltwater fish (in comparison to freshwater fish) when choosing your wine.

Leaner, flakier white fish like sea bass tend to be quite delicate and relatively mild in flavour. It pairs better with light, refreshing whites. More medium-textured fish like haddock and halibut tend to be thicker and more capable of withstanding more flavour-intense wine. Look for medium-bodied, aromatic white wines.

Pink fish pairings are often dependant on how it is being prepared and other ingredients of the dish. Salmon especially is very flexible and fun to pair with. Whites, reds, rosés and sparkling can all be used. Due to the fattiness of pink fish, go for medium-bodied whites or light reds (possibly medium reds if the dish is flavour intensive).

The fattier, oilier nature of the fish, as well as it’s generally bolder feel, will allow you to go for more full-bodied wines. Both rich whites and light-medium reds can be used depending on the fish and the way it’s prepared. If the fish is notably salty, a sparkling wine such as Cava can provide a really good balance.

The main things to consider when pairing are the specific shellfish, how it’s being cooked, its tenderness and any other ingredients/sauces being used. A lot of shellfish craves a counter-balance of light, fruit flavours and adequate acidity, meaning an acidic white tends to pair well. Sticking to medium-full bodied whites is recommended to prevent the wine being overpowered by any sauces or side dishes. It’s always best to pair food with wine that can stand up to the intensity of the dish, as well as complement its flavours.

Raw Fish & Oysters – Champagne, Prosecco, Sancerre, Chablis.

Lobster, Scallops – Prosecco, Chardonnay, White Burgundy, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc.

Calamari Fritti – Prosecco, Riesling, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir.

Seafood Pasta – Chardonnay, Soave, Gavi, Greco di Tufo, Chablis, Grillo, Dry Rose.

Grilled Fish – Sancerre, Gavi di Gavi, White Burgundy, Inzolia, Pinot Noir, Frappato.

Tuna – Dry Rose, Pinot Noir, Frappato.

Grilled Prawns, Squid – Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Inzolia, Dry Rose.

Grilled Shellfish – Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc.

Grilled White Fish – Sancerre, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc.

Salmon – Pinot Noir, Frappato.

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