Best Wines to Pair with Fish

Best Wines to Pair with Fish

If you’ve ever wondered which wines go best with your favorite fish dishes, you’re in the right place! This ultimate guide will not only introduce you to the delightful world of wine, but also take you on a journey through the perfect pairings for a variety of fish. Whether you’re a fan of seafood pasta or grilled salmon, we’ve got you covered.

Understanding Wine Pairing Basics

Pairing wines with food is a lot like crafting a beautiful symphony. You need the right balance of flavors, textures, and aromas to make the most of your meal. But don’t worry, you don’t have to be a sommelier to understand the basics. Simply visit our beginner’s guide to red and white wines, to start off on the right foot.

The Art of Pairing Wines with Fish

To kick things off, let’s dive into the world of fish. Like the wine, fish too can vary greatly in texture, flavor, and richness, thus influencing the wine choice.

“Pairing wine with fish isn’t about hard and fast rules. It’s about balance and harmony. The aim is to complement the flavors rather than overpower them.”

For instance, pairing delicate fish like sole or cod, a light-bodied white such as a sparkling wine or rosé may be an ideal choice. These wines are often crisp and refreshing, providing a nice contrast to the lightness of the fish.

On the other hand, oily fish like salmon or tuna calls for a wine with a bit more body. Here’s where a light red like Pinot Noir or a full-bodied white like Chardonnay come into play.

A World of Pairings: Exploring Global Cuisines

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s explore how various cuisines around the world pair their fish dishes with wine.

  1. Italian: Fish is a staple in Italian cuisine. Pair a seafood pasta with a crisp white Italian wine, such as Vermentino. Check out our ultimate guide to pairing wine with Italian foods, for more inspiration.
  2. Mexican: Mexican seafood dishes, like ceviche, pair wonderfully with a bright and zesty rosé. Read more on pairing wines with Mexican food.
  3. French: In France, a classic fish dish like sole meunière would traditionally be paired with a Chardonnay. Curious about French wines? Learn about the difference between Old World vs New World wines.

The Perfect Match: Seafood Dishes and Their Wine Partners

Seafood Dishes and Their Wine Partners
  • Grilled Salmon: A Pinot Noir, with its light to medium body and high acidity, pairs wonderfully with grilled salmon. If you’re a fan of reds, check out our beginner’s guides to Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.
  • Fish Tacos: A zesty Sauvignon Blanc complements the rich, flavorful fillings of fish tacos, enhancing the overall culinary experience. Consider bringing a bottle to your next Tinder date.
  • Seared Scallops: A full-bodied Chardonnay with its buttery notes can enhance the delicate flavor of seared scallops. It’s also an excellent choice for wine dinners & holiday dinner parties.
  • Lobster Bisque: A classic lobster bisque goes well with a rich and creamy Viognier. Remember, the trick to wine and food pairing is to match intensity with intensity.
  • Grilled Shrimp: Try pairing grilled shrimp with a sparkling wine like Prosecco. The wine’s effervescence and acidity will balance the rich flavors of the shrimp.

Taking Your Pairing to the Next Level

If you’ve made it this far, you’re ready to take your wine and fish pairing to the next level. You’ve learned that the key is balance and understanding the characteristics of both the wine and the fish. Remember, practice makes perfect and there’s always more to learn in the world of wine. Check out our guide to aging wine, and delve into the intricacies of sulfites in wine.

“The world of wine is a journey, not a destination. So, keep exploring and don’t be afraid to try new pairings.”

And remember, the best wine to pair with fish is the one you enjoy the most!


Can I pair red wine with fish?

Yes, certain types of fish like salmon or tuna can pair well with lighter red wines like Pinot Noir

Which white wine is best with fish?

It depends on the type of fish and its preparation. Light fish like cod goes well with light white wines, while richer fish like salmon pairs well with full-bodied whites like Chardonnay.

Can I pair rosé wine with fish?

Absolutely! A rosé can be a versatile pairing for many types of fish.

What about sparkling wine?

Sparkling wine can be a great match for many fish dishes, particularly those with a bit of fat or creaminess, as the bubbles and acidity can balance out those richer textures.

How do I store my wine after opening?

Storing wine properly after opening is crucial to maintaining its quality. Read our guide on mistakes to avoid when storing your wine and learn if it’s okay to store wine in a refrigerator.

In Conclusion

Pairing wine with fish can seem daunting, but with the right guidance and a bit of experimentation, you’ll soon be a pro. Remember, it’s all about balance, harmony, and enhancing the dining experience. So next time you’re planning a seafood feast, don’t forget to pair your dish with the perfect wine. You’ll be amazed at how the right pairing can transform your meal.

Enjoy the journey, fellow wine enthusiasts! And remember, when in doubt, always refer back to our guides here at Liquarman. Whether you’re exploring Italian wines, learning about the uniqueness of Champagne and Prosecco, or understanding why vintage matters, we’re here to guide you through your wine journey.

“Wine and fish pairing is an art, but with practice, you’ll soon be painting your own culinary masterpiece.”

So, go ahead, pour a glass, and cheers to finding the perfect wine to pair with your favorite fish dishes!

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