A combo of fresh seafood with wine is enough to send anyone to gastronomic heaven (beer lovers, please excuse)!
However, get the choice of wine wrong and either one could overwhelm or be overwhelmed by the other and your love for wine or seafood or both could fall flat.
Chances are you’re reading this article because you’re having some guests over for dinner and want to impress OR you’re meeting with one or more people to eat out.
Either way, we’ve made things easier for you by compiling a list of what we view as the fantastic 5 wines that go best with seafood.
Your choice of wine for the specific seafood dish you’re having should be guided by the type of seafood. So think in terms of say, white fish, fatty fish, oyster or shellfish?
You also need to consider the texture of the fish and method of preparation.
No Red Wine at All? Not Really!
Though many say that seafood should not be paired with red wine, it is not a hard and fast rule. What goes against red wine is the tannin astringency that gives an uncomfortable feeling in the mouth unless fat or grease is there to remove it.
However, even with fatty fish, red wine should be selected prudently. When looking at white wine vs. red wine, there are quite a few differences, one of which is that the former has fewer calories! At the end of the day, red or white, it’s your choice!
On to food paradise then, with our selection of both white and red.
The qualities of Chardonnay white wine are subtle and mild but rich. So if your seafood is very acidic, pungent or spicy, it is an absolute no-no!
As far as Chardonnay goes, think in terms of mild flavors (baked is a good example), creamy and buttery textures/preparations. So for a kind of buttery fish like halibut or a white fish preparation with butter-based sauce, it could be a perfect fit.
Oily fish such as ocean trout, tuna, and salmon, pair well with Chardonnay. These members of the shellfish family – crab, lobster, scallops, and shrimp, are also complemented well with this wine variety of French origin. If you’re grilling the shellfish, feel free to experiment with a barrel fermented, mature varietal.
2. Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is a red wine. When it is fruity and aromatic with unobtrusive tannins, it would pair well with fatty fish such as salmon; The earthy undertones and smokiness of the wine also make it an excellent complement to grilled seafood. A light-bodied varietal would be ideal.
If you’re having mackerel or a similar darker-fleshed, oily fish, with mushroom sauce, Pinot Noir would make a great addition. You could consider California bottling or rosé varieties.
Make sure to steer clear of acidic, bland and raspy Pinot Noir that would do no good with your dish.
Riesling is a winner when it comes to its ability to match up to practically any kind of food in most situations. Sweet or spicy; appetizer, main course or dessert; Continental, Asian or Middle Eastern, this white wine has you covered.
Rieslings achieve a great balance between sugar and acidity. It’s the former factor that saves Riesling from complaints of being too sweet for some and it’s the latter factor that contributes to the wine’s remarkable pairing with a wide variety of foods.
Try gifting your smoked salmon or grilled shrimp with a bottle of off-dry Riesling. Forget the ‘off’ and go dry with your fried skate. Pair trout with German Riesling. Riesling may also be a good option for crayfish.
As far as Indian cuisine goes, Riesling and rosé are both mostly good choices. If you’re struggling for choice, German Riesling may be a safe bet. Making a korma? Rosé is preferable. Try sparkling or deep color.
Quite naturally, our next option on the list is indeed Rosé. Rosé wine is created by juicing red grapes followed by soaking of the juice with the skins for a brief period of 2-3 days. By the process of maceration (the skin color entering the juice), a pink color is achieved. The degree of rose color depends on how long the skins are kept with the juice. After the skins are removed, the juice is given time to
ferment and rosé wine results.
Rosé by virtue of its low tannins will complement fatty fish well. So expect nothing short of delicious when you pair it with your tuna steak! Smoked salmon and sparkling rosé, and dry rosé with grilled shrimp are other options you could try.
Champagne is a kind of sparkling wine, frequently associated with Champagne in France. Oyster and champagne make for a splendid couple! The autolytic, yeasty quality of the wine blends well with oysters creamy flavors. Additionally, the wine’s bubbles are an ideal cut through the seafood variety’s salinity.
Shellfish and champagne is a good match, with prawn and champagne making a delectable combination. What’s more, champagne is one of those go-to wines if you’re at a table with a group and everyone’s eating differently.
Whether you’re cooking a seafood paella or crayfish boil, we hope this guide will serve as a great kick starter guide for all your seafood and wine pairing adventures. Toast!
* Author Bio/Credentials
Sara O Brown is a working mom, lives with her dentist husband and her adorable dog, Casper. She is passionate about traveling and cooking. She has been a regular contributor for-https://www.findrarewhisky.com/whiskylife/