Wine and seafood are the perfect food-pairing you could ever try. The tanginess and acidity of wines that meet with the saltiness and sweetness flavors of the seafood are one of the best heaven-like food pairings you could ever have. But, the question is, what wine goes with seafood?
8 Best Wine for Your Favorite Seafood
Sommeliers are the ones who usually recommend what wine goes with a seafood meal. Their main goal is to ensure that the diners will enjoy the food without compromising the flavors of the wines and the seafood but to create a new sensation instead.
For example, if the sommeliers see that you ordered a seared salmon, they will recommend that you should get red wines – dry red wines in particular. Dry red wines are best paired with fish meats.
But if your seafood meal consists mainly of shellfish-based dishes, most sommeliers will suggest that you should get white wines as their acidity best complements well with the sweetness of the shellfish dishes.
Here are some of the best wines that go well with seafood dishes. Some of these might not be the typical wines you think are a perfect pair for your favorite seafood meal, but surely, these wines will let you enjoy the combination’s deep flavor, be it a glass of red or white wine.
Riesling is one of the go-to wines in terms of what wine goes with seafood. The Riesling wine’s natural fruity and floral flavors neutralize your seafood dish’s sweetness, saltiness, and savory flavor.
But, you need to check or ask what is the wine’s sugar level before you say yes to the sommelier recommending the Riesling. Though it will always boil down to your preference, learning the sweetness level of the wine is essential, as the wine’s flavor may overpower the taste of the dish.
The goal of pairing the wine with seafood is to create a new sensation of balanced flavor that you will enjoy. Thus, the wine’s flavor mustn’t overpower the seafood dish’s flavor and vice versa.
If you are unfamiliar with the wine’s sweetness, ask for a dry Riesling. The dry Riesling’s subtle sweetness complements well with the savory seafood dish. But the dry Riesling is not for a fried or oily seafood dish. If you opt for fatty and oily seafood dishes, it’s better that you choose the sweeter Riesling to balance the taste.
The Moscato wine must always be on the list of what wine goes with seafood. It tastes a bit sweeter than the other wines, but it complements most fish and shellfish dishes well. The Moscato’s sweetness and bubbly taste perfectly balance the saltiness of the seafood dish.
You will surely enjoy your seafood meal with Moscato’s sweet, aromatic, and fruit-bursting flavors. A sip of Moscato’s signature sweet taste and low-level acidity will make your dining experience worthwhile.
Imagine sipping a glass of the aromatic Moscato with your deviled lobster tails – ugh, perfection!
3. Chenin Blanc
Chenin Blanc is another wine you must consider when dining in a seafood restaurant. This wine’s light flavor and sweet taste will not overpower the seafood dish flavors.
Unlike the Moscato, which works well primarily with fish and shellfish, the Chenin Blanc is perfect for all seafood dishes. It has a light and delicate flavor that evens out all the flavors you can taste in seafood – saltiness, fattiness, and sweetness.
If you don’t want your seafood dining experience to go south, choose Chenin Blanc, and you’ll never think of what wine goes with seafood again.
They say you can never go wrong with red wines. Well, I couldn’t agree more. This red wine from California has a fruity flavor with a few cinnamon notes that elevate your seafood dish flavor.
Like the other wines mentioned earlier, the Zinfandel may be full of fruity flavors, but it mixes well with the rich and bold flavors of seafood dishes.
Whether your seafood plate is a salmon, tuna, or any heavy cream-based dish, the Zinfandel red wine got you covered. Oh, I forgot that it also works with sweet sauces. Yes, it complements well with seafood dishes with sweet sauces as well.
Some are casting doubts on Chardonnay. Questions were raised on whether or not this white wine is a perfect pair for your seafood dish. I can’t blame them since Chardonnay wines have a certain level of oakiness that can affect the pairing’s flavor.
The lesser the oakiness in Chardonnay wines, the better. The subtle the oakiness is, the more the wine-seafood pairing becomes successful.
Here’s a quick note, though, Chardonnay wines are a bit tricky because of their two types – oaked and unoaked. Thus, you must read the label before getting it or ask the sommelier what type of Chardonnay wine is available. Choose those that have lesser oakiness in them.
Chardonnays are commonly paired with rich, creamy, buttery yet light and well-seasoned seafood dishes but not with spicy and acidic seafood meals. Remember, the food’s acidity will affect the wine’s taste.
It will make your Chardonnay wine tastes sour – awful. So, avoid that seafood dish that contains more than usual acidic food like tomatoes and lemons.
Instead, go with the shell-based buttery-and-nutty-flavored seafood dish or a simple pan-seared halibut or salmon.
6. Sauvignon Blanc
What wine goes with seafood? Ask no more. Here’s the versatile Sauvignon Blanc – an always-on-the-go dry white wine! The Sauvignon Blanc’s light citrusy and tropical fruit flavor is the best pair that you can get for simple low-carb seafood.
The simple the seafood dish is, the more you can taste the pairing’s flavors without overpowering the wine’s fruity flavor or the natural taste of the seafood.
So, if you are looking for a light wine for your light seafood dining experience, ask for a refreshing Sauvignon Blanc and enjoy it with your favorite seafood dish.
7. Pinot Grigio
Another white wine on the list that best fits what wine goes with seafood is Pinot Grigio. Its light, crisp, and acidity can go well with seafood dishes. This well-loved low-alcohol white wine with fruit aromas complements well with most shellfish dishes on the menu.
The wine’s acidity level balances with its sweetness to keep the refreshing taste when paired with the savory seafood. Its texture also plays a role in your dining experience. Pinot grigio’s silk-like texture also leaves a sensation on your palate, especially when it is served well-chilled.
Thus, ask for Pinot Grigio if you are looking for a fruity-flavored versatile white wine for your savory light and heavy seafood meals.
Prosecco is another reason you must learn the wine’s sweetness level. The Prosecco wines are generally sweeter than other wines on the list. It’s a little bit sweeter compared to other sparkling wines, too.
The Prosecco wine’s sweetness is why some concluded that it must not be listed in any article referring to what wine goes with seafood. But, contrary to what most believed, Prosecco is a great seafood pair. Its flavor’s versatility works well with any dish.
The only catch with the Prosecco is you need to familiarize the wine’s sweetness level.
For savory seafood dishes, go for the brut and extra brut Prosecco. The brut and extra brut tastes of the Prosecco will balance the acidity, sweetness, saltiness, and savory flavor of the seafood dish.
What seafood is perfect for the Prosecco? Shellfish! The Prosecco’s acidity is ideal for your shrimp, lobsters, and even oysters. Add the wine’s citrusy notes to your fresh shellfish dish, and its perfection!
3 Quick Tips on How to Choose What Wine Goes with Seafood
Now that you have an overview of what wine goes with seafood, here’s some additional information. These five quick tips on choosing the best wine for your seafood will help you have a fantastic seafood dining experience with your date, family, and friends!
Tip #1. Check the wine’s acidity level
The wine’s acidity is one of the critical factors that may make or break your seafood feast. The more acidic the wine is, the more it will overpower the seafood’s flavor, whether it is sweet, salty, or savory. Always go with wines with lesser acidity to match your seafood dish.
Tip #2. Check the wine’s sweetness level
Always remember that the sweetness of the wine may or may not overpower your seafood’s flavor. Ensure that the wine is sweet enough to complement how your seafood tastes but not sweet enough to ruin the taste of the soup, sauce, or even the seafood’s marinade.
Tip #3. Tannins and oak flavors matter
Tannins and oak flavors are something that you need to avoid when pairing a wine with a seafood dish since they can ruin the light and natural flavor of seafood. For a perfect wine-seafood pairing, choose the wine with a lower percentage of tannins and oak flavors.
What wine goes with seafood? There are different varieties that you can choose from. However, not all are the best pair for your seafood dish. You may try the other varieties but don’t forget the factors that will affect the seafood – wine’s acidity, sweetness, tannins, and oak levels.