Drinks/ Food

Savoring The Flavors: How To Pair Wines Perfectly With Seafood

Assorted seafood and a glass of wine

Finding the perfect wine to match the unique flavors of seafood – now that’s a tall order. Fish and shellfish can be prima donnas about what they sip with. But don’t let those finicky eaters get your tastebuds in a twist.

With a splash of know-how, you’ll be pairing wines and seafood like a pro – whether slaving over the stove at home or living it up at your favorite oceanfront eatery. This little guide will have you harmonizing vintages and fish in no time.

You’ll be lifting your glass to new taste discoveries that make both the wine and seafood shine brighter. So lend us those tastebuds, and let’s start uncorking your inner sommelier. These pairings will have you savoring seafood on a whole new level.

Consider The Fish’s Flavor Profile

Young man eating salmon fillet with gratinated potatoes, leek and spinach in the restaurant with glass of white wine

Source: kvaroyarctic.com

The headliner for picking the right vino is thinking about the fish’s prima donna flavors in a seafood restaurant. Delicate divas like flounder and cod get overwhelmed by bossy, full-bodied reds.

Meanwhile, hearty fishes like salmon and trout can hang with richer wines that have guts. Prepping fish by grilling or frying also spins those flavors in different directions. Charred skin screams for something smoky, while fried fin needs a crisp sipper that won’t overpower.

Light, Delicate Fish

For gentle sweethearts like tilapia or sole, go for fresh and flirty whites. Sauv Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Vinho Verde all let the fish shine without stealing its thunder. For special nights out, pop a bubbly like Prosecco or Cava – their cute little bubbles are perfect party dates.

Richer, Oily Fish

Now, chunkier fish like salmon and tuna have some flavor to flaunt. Their full figures go well with medium-bodied whites like Chardonnay or Chenin Blanc. This creaminess smooches the fish’s oil just right.

Hearty fish can also get their groove on with lighter reds like Pinot Noir or a fruit-forward Beaujolais. Those mellow tannins jive nicely with the robust flavors.

Shellfish & Salads

Shellfish dish out sweet and salty notes in spades. Match ’em up with zesty, peppy wines like Sauv Blanc, Albariño, and Vermentino to spotlight that brine.

For shellfish cocktails and seafood salads, Sauv Blanc from New Zealand works magic. Its big citrus energy really electrifies the freshness. Bubbles also charm shellfish, cutting through richness better than any knife could.

Considering Preparation Methods

Grilling Fish over open flame

Source: rustyangler.com

Slapping fish over open flames gives it that fancy char everyone craves. Here, go for bolder wines like Chardonnay, Viognier, or white Grenache. Their thickness vibes with the caramelized crust.

Pan-seared fish get that golden crisp exterior. Cut through that richness with racy quaffs like Sauv Blanc, Riesling, or Albariño. Their tangy acidity balances the butteriness.

Fried fish need a wingman that lifts up the flavor without fisticuffs. Off-dry Riesling has the residual sugar to jive with the crispy crunch. Pinot Grigio and Vinho Verde also let fried flavors freestyle.

Pairing With Sauces and Sides

Sauces have a way of grabbing wines by the bottle and taking them for a spin. Creamy, butterlicious sauces are destined to dance with an oaked-up Chardonnay or honeyed German Riesling.

Tomato-based sauces need something brighter, like Pinot Gris, to cut that acidity. And watch out for herby sauces – they can make wines taste more metallic than a canned soup.

When picking a wine, peek at the whole plate. Buttery risotto and cheesy spuds call for a medium-bodied white that can hang. Viognier or Chardonnay fit the bill. Lightweight sides like veggies and pilaf let ya shake it up with a tangy, peppy wine.

Trusting Your Palate

The real juice is choosing a wine you actually want to drink! Taste around with different varietals and seafood. Train your tongue by noting what really tickles your tastebuds. Keep an open bottle, too.

Don’t be afraid to try bolder Reds with fish. A smooth Merlot could be that special someone for your grilled salmon. With so many options, the fun comes from finding that perfect match made in pairing heaven.

Let those tastebuds be your guide, but keep some basics in mind. Mull over the flavors, textures, prep methods, and sauces at play. Choose a wine that really brings harmony to the plate. Soon, you’ll be pairing like a boss and discovering new delish duos every time you dine.


dinner concept for two. two glasses of white wine, baked fish.

Source: adobestock.com

Matching wines with seafood doesn’t have to get fishy. Consider the fish’s fabulous flavor and texture, how it’s prepped, and what sauces come along. Lighter catches love bright, crisp whites. Go for medium-bodied varieties with rich, oily foods.

Factor in the sides, too, for the whole picture. Trust those tastebuds to uncover combos that keep your glass and fork happy. A splash of knowledge is all it takes to start sensing and savoring how beautifully the right wines pair with fish.

You Might Also Like