What Wine Goes With Fish

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Why Do We Pair White Wine With Fish And Red Wine With Red Meat

What to Drink with Fish

Hello there! I’m Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don’t worry, I’m no wine snobyou can also ask me those “dumb questions” you’re too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don’t forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q& A classics.

Dear Dr. Vinny,

Why do we pair white wine with fish and red wine with red meat?

Anita, Kathmandu, Nepal

Dear Anita,

I think the overly simplistic saying red with meat and white with fish was useful because it was easy to remember and created in an era when the circle of influence for cuisine and wine was smaller. These days its no longer considered gospel, and for the most part replaced with the adage drink what you like, and eat what you like.

Even so, there are some general strategies to apply when pairing food and wine, including doing your best to either match or contrast flavors, weights and textures and to balance the intensity of both the dish and the wine. If you look at wine and food pairing this way, red with meat and white with fish actually includes some useful advice.

Dr. Vinny

Black/striped Sea Bass And Branzino

Bass and Branzino are two of my favorite fish. They are so versatile. And absolutely stunning to serve to guests. The flavor is definitely mild and sweet and the flesh of both is so delicate and tender. Sea bass tends to be larger than branzino, so youll see it filleted more often. Branzinos bones are so small, its usually served whole or halved.

Wine Recommendations: With these two delicate fish I actually like a bit of the pop of a Vinho Verde from Portugal. Its like adding a spritz of lemon on top of your fish. If want to go more conventional, Sauvignon Blanc is also an option, but try to stick to French or California. The tropical notes of a New Zealand variety will be too heavy.

French Sauvignon Blanc With White Fish

Well start with the basics for both wine and fish. When people think about wine pairing with fish, a dry white wine like French Sauvignon Blanc and mild-tasting white fish are the first things that come to mind.

Due to its fresh taste, Sauvignon Blanc is best served chilled and paired with mild fish like halibut or flounder. When it comes to the preparation of the fish, you shouldnt use any complicated techniques simple baking or broiling is enough. You should add herbs such as basil or tarragon for the best results and remarkable pairing white wine with fish. It will bring out the earthy tones of the wine.

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Picking Out The Right Wine Can Be Made As Simple Or As Complex As You Choose

For us, maximizing enjoyment of both wine and food is a fun challenge. However, we dont go crazy trying to select out the ultimate match. Fish does make it tricky because fish and seafood lend themselves to different preparations. So both the type of fish or shellfish and the type of preparation become the dominating factors in what wine to choose.

Fatty fish and salty fish may benefit from bigger white wines that have more heft think of a big oaky chardonnay that might match up with fatty salmon. However, a delicate trout fillet might go best with a very dry Chablis or an Albarino with mineral elements. Mackerel, with its unique flavor profile, might benefit from a match with a fruity sauvignon blanc.

Pairing Red And White Wine With Fish

Which Wines Go With Fish and Seafood

Here are a few of our Firstleaf favorite pairings broken down by type of fish, method of preparation, and finishing accompaniment. This is a rough guide, so if you don’t see the type of fish or wine you want to taste, follow the closest step, and don’t be afraid to taste and see what you think about the pairing.

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What Type Of Fish To Pair With White Wines

When it comes to pairing white wine with fish there are four groups of textures and flavors that you want to keep in mind. It is wise to think in terms of substance and weight when pairing. A delicate fish will go well with a lighter white wine and a heavy fish will pair better with a richer for full-bodied wine.

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Ross And Other Blush Wines

Spanish, French, or California rosés are great when a dish’s sauce is heavier than what a white would call for, but not quite right for a full-on red. Rosés can substitute for full-bodied whites such as chardonnay and fumé blanc. Consider them when grilling swordfish or tuna steaks. Rosé also is a good choice with a tomato-based seafood soup, such as cioppino or zuppa da pesce.

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Best Wine For Mussels

New Zealanders love mussels. You can find them all over our beautiful country, and they dont need too much cooking or preparation to create a dish thats packed with flavour.Mussels are meaty and salty. The wine you choose should accentuate these flavours.

Want to enjoy fresh steamed mussels? This recipe calls for half a bottle of white wine to infuse with the mussels as they steam and open. For this recipe especially, you want a delicate wine that will elevate the flavour of the mussels and allow them to be the star. A dry Pinot Gris or Gewurztraminer is a perfect match adding a delicate aroma while still allowing the unique mussel flavours to come through. Another possibility is this Mount Riley Sauvignon Blanc, with lovely passionfruit and grapefruit flavours to balance out the acidity.

In this simple recipe for mussels with tomatoes and garlic, a crisp, zingy Sauvignon Blanc can reach into the bowl and draw out the mineral flavours of the mussels.

This Fijian Baked Lolo Mussels recipe calls for lightly steamed mussels to be finely chopped, slathered with coconut cream and a hint of lemon before being baked in a half shell until lightly browned. For a wine accompaniment, you want a balanced white with citrus and acidity like this Mud House Sauvignon Blanc. It has an elegance that doesnt get caught in the coconut cream while enhancing the mussels and lemon seasoning.

What White Wines Go With Fish

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Fish can be served a myriad of ways and often, the way the fish is cooked can impact which white wine will complement it. For instance, if you are serving fried fish, then pairing it with a sparkling white wine like Prosecco will allow its crisp, citrusy sweetness to cut through the saltiness of the fried fish.

If you are preparing a spicy fish dish, like spicy fish tacos, then the sweet and mild flavor of a Moscato will help to cool down your palate. Meanwhile, oily fish like mackerel taste best when paired with a more acidic white wine like Pinot Gris.

While tuna pairs well with red wine, it also pairs well with white, especially White Zinfandel. When these two are enjoyed together, the fish brings out some of the wines hidden flavors. If you prefer mild, flaky white fish like tilapia, flounder, or halibut, then serving a French Sauvignon Blanc is the right choice because this wines flavor profile can include a fresh herb taste that enhances the flavor of the fish.

When creating your wine and fish pairings for an upcoming dinner party, you should always prepare the dish you are planning on serving in advance and try it out with a variety of different wines. This will help you learn more about how the fish affects the taste of wine and vice-versa, and help you feel confident that your guests will enjoy your meal to the fullest.

perfect for friends

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Pairing Wine With Fish: What To Choose

Whether eating out or cooking at home, pescatarians are regularly spoiled for choice. Not only is there a wide diversity of species, but fish is a versatile ingredient that can be cooked in different ways and even enjoyed raw.

This means that youll find an array of grapes and wine styles that will pair with fish. Tradition dictates that you should always match white wine with fish, but in some cases red wine can make an ideal pairing as can rosé. It all depends on the type of fish youre eating and how its prepared.

Both texture and flavour are key here. Fish can broadly be divided into four groups:

  • Lean and flaky mild fish plaice, sole, perch
  • Medium-textured fish trout, seabass, haddock, cod
  • Meaty fish salmon, tuna, monkfish, swordfish
  • Strong-flavoured fish herring, mackerel, sardines, anchovies

Within these groups there are some general guidelines. Delicate white fish fillets need a lighter white wine think Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris, Albariñoor Grüner Veltiner. Meanwhile meatier fish like tuna can stand up to more robust flavours such as oaked Chardonnay, Viognieror rosé.

But how a fish is cooked grilling, baking, frying or on the barbecue will help to narrow down your wine choice. So too will the other ingredients in the dish. For example, fish served with a creamy sauce will need a wine with high acidity to cleanse the palate between bites. Spicy fish dishes call for a wine with some sweetness to balance the heat of the spices.

Best Wine To Pair With Salmon

Salmon is arguably one of the most popular kinds of fish, especially served at a dinner party. How you serve it will depend on the type of wine you serve with your salmon. Its worth noting as well that salmon is one of the fish that boldly defy what is expected of other fish and pairs very well with a light-bodied red wine.

A pan or oven-cooked salmon pairs excellently with a chilled Pinot Noir. Alternatively, the perfect dry white wine for salmon is a Chardonnay. Smoked Salmon, however, thanks to its bold flavors goes better with a bottle of sparkling wine , or a bottle of sweet wine, like a Riesling.

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Wine Pairing With Other Seafood

Other types of seafood like crab should be paired with a white wine that is not too oaky, but crisp with acidity. Picture plump crab cakes paired with a fun and unique Picpoul Blanc.

Lobster, due to its richness, needs a weighty white wine. It holds up nicely to a Roussanne. When I think of oysters I always think of Sparkling. However, there are many different kinds of oysters. We are lucky enough to have an oyster farm not far from Paso. Their Pacific Gold Oyster is perfect with a Chenin Blanc.

The sweet flavor and firm texture of shrimp is a quick weeknight favorite to whip up at home. Pair a light and refreshing white, or what we like to call a porch pounder.

Paso Wine Pairing Abalone with Sweet Soy Glaze with Vino Vargas, Paso Doble Blanc de Blanc Sparkling Wine

Red Wines We Recommend Pairing With Steak

Grilled Salmon with Orzo, Feta, and Red Wine Vinaigrette

Cabernet Sauvignon Juggernaut Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

The wine tastes are rich and intense with a complex character and smooth finish. Luxurious texture with black currants and vanilla. One of the best value wines we have the boldness of the wine is the perfect pairing for a great steak.

Juggernaut Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 $18.95

Zinfandel 1000 Stories Bourbon Barrel-Aged Zinfandel 2016

Bursting with aromatic red fruit scents and complex black fruit flavors. A touch of Petite Sirah and Syrah enhance those flavors even more with bold black and white pepper spices.

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Why Choose Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir wines from different regions can be paired with salmon in almost any circumstance.

Theyre Versatile Most Pinot Noirs are quite versatile when it comes to food pairing, which is great news for those who have a hard time choosing which pinots they want on their menu.

Theyre Elegant Some Pinots are very elegant in taste as well, while others tend to fall more into the category of an easy-drinking wine with a good bit of fruit flavor and acidity. This makes them perfect for any meal, so its really up to you as far as what type of salmon youre going to be having, and how formal or informal youre planning on making your dinner party.

What Does Pairing Mean

Pairing is the process of combining a meal with the drink that best goes with it. In the field of restoration, pairing normally refers to combinations of food and wines, and it is the sommelier who is in charge of recommending the combinations to diners. The objective of the pairing is to create new sensations, both in the tasting of the wine and in the food with which it is accompanied.

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Wine With Type Of Fish

We have broken down the different types of fish into three general categories. Like wine, fish have a range of tastes, so these are the broad strokes.

When in doubt, we turn to a sommelier trick and serve dinner with a sparkling wine . The acidity and texture of sparkling wine pairs with most fish dishes and is our go-to choice when in doubt.

Light, Flakey Fish

Light fish are often grilled or pan-seared . A quick squeeze of lemon often leaves these delicate fish with some zest. We like to pair these with a zippy, unoaked white wine. A wine like a Sauvignon Blanc would work well with the delicate flavor of light and flaky white fish, whereas a rich white Burgundy or oaky California Chardonnay could be unpleasant. As with other types of fish, dry Champagne will work very well, but we love Portuguese Vinho Verde, Italian Pinot Grigio, and Greek Assyrtiko too.

Heavier Textured Fish –

These fish have a little more texture and flavor and can almost be steak-like, meaning they can stand up to bigger, full-bodied wines that have either spent time in oak or on the lees. Pinot Gris, Chenin Blanc, white Rioja, and oaky Chardonnay are all great choices.

Fattier freshwater fish and salmon can also be complemented by a full-bodied white wine or a light red like Pinot Noir or a dry rosé, depending on the preparation.

Strongly Flavored Fish

What Style Of Cooked Salmon Goes Well With Pinot Noir

Wine Video 6 – Red Wine with Fish

Salmon has been paired with Pinot Noir at restaurants since the beginning of time because they just work so well together.

If youre going for a savory meal thats more on the rich and heavy side, then a seared or grilled salmon with Pinot Noir is where its at. This can be anything from an informal family barbecue to a holiday dinner party, but the key is to make sure your dish has some sort of spice on it to balance out the natural sweetness inherent in this wine.

For those who prefer something sweet with their salmon, feel free to opt for roasted or braised varieties. Those dishes are great for more formal occasions like weddings and Thanksgiving dinners. What makes this combination particularly good is that when paired with Pinot Noir, salmon can be enjoyed without a lot of fuss or hard-to-find ingredients.

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Fish With Strong Flavours

Oily fish such as mackerel, herrings and sardines carry intense flavours of the sea and need a crisp, bracing wine to match. There are plenty of white , rosé and red options.

Strongly flavoured fish is often simply cooked after all, it doesnt need much help to enhance its taste on the grill or barbecue and served just with a squeeze of lemon or herbs. Try barbecue sardineswith minerally Albariño, citrus Picpoul de Pinet or Sauvignon Blanc.

Fresh tapas-style Mediterranean anchovies are a delight with Iberian whites: Alvarinho, Albariño, Verdejo, Txakoliand salty fino or manzanilla Sherry. Cured anchovies, often used as a pizza topping or with tomato-based pasta sauces like punchy puttanesca, call for a light, juicy red. Italys Bardolino and Valpolicella are a good call, as are Spanish reds made from the Mencía grape.

Skip The Lemon Squeeze As Such Acids Can Clash With Tannins And Make All But The Crispest Red Wines Taste Flat

Look for light- to medium-bodied wines with low or soft tannins. For fish dishes with assertive flavors or sauces, its usually better to pair the dominant flavor than the fish itself. And skip the lemon squeeze, as such acids can clash with tannins and make all but the crispest red wines taste flat. Let your wine be the final flourish that completes the dish.

We look at three general styles of fishlean, oily, and meatyand three types of preparation: high heat , dry heat and in liquid . If you braise fish, essentially stewing in a flavorful liquid, pair with the braising liquid rather than the fish itself.

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How To Pair Red Wine With Fish

Sure, the pairing dogma of white with fish, red with meat seems antiquated, but it also appears logical, doesnt it?

But logic leads us to enjoy red wine with fish as well. Think of the red or dark ingredients that go with fish: tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, bacon, roasted peppers, soy sauce and cocktail sauce. Some say red wine can overwhelm the delicate flavors of fish, but isnt a fine red Burgundy more delicate than smoked salmon or fried sardines? Sake is also a common pairing with sashimi, even though its flavors are far more intense than a slice of raw yellowtail.

With so many types of fish, weight and texture should be your guide. Lighter, flakier fish calls for lighter-bodied wines than dense or fatty fish. But the method of preparation also affects texture, like poached versus roasted salmon, or tuna sashimi versus grilled tuna steaks.

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