How To Pair Wine With Hot Seafood And Fish
Whether youre serving up whole-baked snapper, lobster mornay or a grilled seafood platter, these recipes and wine suggestions will bring out the best in hot seafood.
Summer is a wonderful time for seafood and this versatile protein lends itself beautifully to cooking and entertaining al fresco. Recipes that feature hot seafood and fish always make for a memorable lunch or dinner especially when paired with the right wine. Most critics agree the citrus, tropical and stonefruit flavours of white and sparkling wine are always best, but dishes that feature bold, spicy sauces and accompaniments can go well with a glass of red. Try these ideas
3. Tuna cassoulet Another dish best served with a classic white, this version of a French cassoulet sees tender tuna fillets baked in the rich flavours of tomato, leek and Dijon mustard. Served in individual ramekins, its perfect for dinner parties or a special family meal.
GRILLED1. While squid is normally always best served with white wine, this recipe offsets its tender flavour with chipolata sausages, spicy tomato relish and a peppery rocket salad rich, hearty flavours that can all stand up to the dense and juicy palate of the award-winning Houghton Red Classic. A dry rosé or light pinot noir are also good choices.
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Pairing Wine With Seafood
Seafood is generally quite healthy, with the National Health Service recommending we have two portions of seafood per week. Pairing a beautifully-seasoned fish fillet or a decadent plate of shellfish with a glass of wine is a wonderful thing, although its not a one bottle fits all solution. Check out our handy breakdown on wine and seafood pairings below for a steer in the right direction.
The 7 Best Seafood & Wine Pairings
Everything is better with wineincluding seafood. However, it can be tricky to find the right wine pairing to go with your favorite seafood meals. For that reason, the team of wine experts at Theorem Vineyards has put together the best seafood and wine pairings. After reading this guide, youll know exactly what to order with your favorite seafood dish.
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Paella Valenciana And Wine
Paella Valenciana is the star dish from which all other paellas owe their form. it originated in Valencia on the east coast of Spain. You can enjoy a or any other Spanish cities, but locals from Valencia claim nobody can match the quality of paella from Valencia. The paella is made with rice, chicken/rabbit meat, butter beans, sometimes pork in some form , green beans, tomato, sweet pepper, olive oil, salt, and the magic ingredient, saffron.
The variability of ingredients used for this dish means that the Valencian Paella has many different wine pairing options, depending on which ingredients have been chosen. If the paella is very flavourful, it is best to pair it with a young and fruity red wine, served at a lower temperature . A good option for this type of paella would be a blend of the tempranillo and mencía grape.
White wine lovers should look for a white wine that is both powerful in the mouth and has spent some time fermenting in the barrel, such as a chardonnay, godello or verdejo. Classic Bordeaux style white wines, such as those elaborated at López Heredia in Haro, , would be suitable.
If the paella has more subtle flavours, however, we would decant a good rosé- one that has good balance of freshness and acidity. Navarra in particular is a master of these types of wines, but we could also open a rosé from Castilla La Mancha or Valencia, or a Cava sparkling wine from Catalonia.
Chardonnay Chenin Blanc Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon
You can enjoy your chicken with either a red or white wine depending on your preference as well as how you prepared your chicken. If you prepared your chicken in a light, creamy sauce you’re going to want to go with a white wine such as a versatile Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, or Pinot Gris.You can also pair these white wines with chicken that is prepared with light seasoning or slightly spicy chicken dishes. If you are going to go with a spicy chicken dish or spicy asian chicken dish, we suggest pairing with a Riesling because of the great fruit-forward flavor.
For chicken that is prepared with a tomato or Pepper-based sauce, we recommend going with a red wine. A good Merlot would work great here but if you prefer a Cabernet Sauvignon we say go for it instead. Also if you’re roasting a chicken, you may look to pair it with a red wine such as a Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. If you prefer a white wine however, we suggest pairing a roasted chicken with Chardonnay.
Chicken wine pairing is similar to seafood in the way that the perfect pairing really comes down to how the dish is prepared, how much and what seasoning to use, isfthe sauce a light, white sauce or if it is a red sauce, etc.
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Best Wine To Pair With Sushi
The best wine for sushi depends a little on what kind of sushi you are eating. The sauces and the variety of fish make pairing wine and sushi notoriously difficult- however, there are a couple of wines that are a pretty good all-rounder. Sauvignon Blanc is the most mainstream of these, but you can also choose to pair it with a sparkling wine , or more Japanese wines like Koshu- which should be available in a good sushi restaurant.
Cod Sole Plaice And Haddock
For this seafood, it’s all about those light-moderate white wines. Think of lighter white Burgundy, Pinot Gris, dry Rieslings or New World Chardonnays , or if you want to be really adventurous, seek out some Picpoul. You want to be able to pair the smooth subtleties of these semi-rich wines without overpowering the delicate flavors of the fish.
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Pinot Noir Gamay Sangiovese Grenache
Basically, this is the light red-wine category. There are precious few instances where you’d want a big red with seafood, but light reds do quite well with salmon, tuna, marlin, swordfish, mackerel, bluefish, or other fatty, meaty, big-flavored fish. Chianti, which is mostly Sangiovese, with spaghetti and clam sauce or is wonderful. Be careful, though: avoid combining reds with spicy seafood, as you will probably get a nasty metallic taste.
E Guigal Condrieu 2016 La Doriane
For James Beard Award-winning sommelier Belinda Chang, whether its the most decadent tasting menus at Michelin 3-star restaurants or glorious dinners served at home, the meal is made luxe by the finest cuts of meat, the best caviar and, always, lobster. My favorite lobster presentation is a warm, velvety, almost foamy lobster bisque paired with the always unctuous prestige Condrieu from the Guigal family, says Chang. This match is rich on rich in the best way. La Doriane is made from several vineyard plots with exceptionally low yields. The wine is aged in new barriques, and the result is an almost tropical, textured, and balanced Viognier.
E. Guigal Condrieu 2016 La Doriane Photo: Courtesy E. Guigal
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Rams Gate Carneros Sauvignon Blanc
Origin: Carneros, California, USAPrice: $38ABV: 13.7%
With its cool climate, Carneros produces wines of great depth and distinction. Situated upon a rolling hillside, where the San Francisco Bay meets the edges of Napa and Sonoma counties, Rams Gate Winery patiently awaits. Director of winemaking Joe Nielsen is parlaying the estate vineyard into a model of thoughtful precision farming and sustainability, while also elevating each wine in the portfolio to its highest vineyard expression.Two clones of Sauvignon Blanc were used for this wine: clone 1 and Musque . They were fermented separately and blended at bottling, creating a compelling and dynamic wine. Using a combination of new French oak, neutral oak and stainless steel gives the wine layers of texture, fullness and complexity.The wine shows a bright yellow straw color and a nose of melon, apple, stone fruit and spice. The palate unfolds a beautifully balanced wine with nice complexity, notes of Meyer lemon, grapefruit and a touch of minerality.
> For more information, visit the Rams Gate official website.
The Best Wine For Cold Seafood Platters
Classic white and sparkling wines enhance the delicate flavours in your favourite Christmas seafoods.
Perfectly suited to our hot December climate, few delicacies top a cold seafood platter on Christmas Day. Served with a bottle of fresh, classic white or sparkling cuveé brut, its the perfect start or centrepiece of a memorable feast. Whether you prefer prawns, salmon, oysters or a mix of shellfish, just remember: when it comes to buying seafood, fresh is always best. Purchase seafood as close to Christmas Day as possible and store it in the coldest part of the fridge until ready to use.
PRAWNSAn all-time favourite, cooked prawns make Christmas entertaining super easy. Serve them in the shell on a bed of crushed ice, or dress up a platter of juicy king prawns with zesty summer flavours like lime and chilli. We love this recipe, which pairs them with a creamy chipotle mayonnaise. Regardless, the ideal wine match for the subtle, briny taste of prawns are soft rosés and crisp, young whites like Houghton White Classic 2012, which has bright fruit flavours and a sharp clarity.
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Best Wine To Pair With Scallops
Again, this depends a little on the way in which you have cooked the scallops. Raw scallops or those that have been cooked in a ceviche style will pair best with a bottle of sweet wine like a Riesling, or if you like your fish quite spicy you can try with a Moscato.
However, pairing wine with Seared Scallops will go best with a full-bodied white such as a Chardonnay or a Chenin Blanc, as this will compliment both the texture and the bold flavor of the scallops, without being overpowered (you run a serious risk of this if you choose a bottle of light or medium-bodied wine.
Prosecco & Cajun Seafood Gumbo Pairing
Prosecco is a crisp sparkling wine from Italy that is inexpensive, yet anytime you introduce a flute of sparkling wine to the dinner party, it will make you feel like you are eating like royalty. Even better is that an off-dry Prosecco offers a sweet and bubbly contrast to the spicy and rich flavours of Cajun Gumbo. The high acidity of Prosecco also ensures youll taste all the seafood in your Gumbo, as acidity works as a flavour amplifier.
Prosecco is the perfect palate cleanser as the high acidity and bubbles scrub everything from your cheeks while re-invigorating your appetite with its quiet notes of apple, almond, apricot, pear, melon, toast, lemon and honey. This ensures every bite of Gumbo tastes as fresh as your very first bite and also ensures you wont overeat, as youll be satisfied much earlier on.
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What Style Of Cooked Salmon Goes Well With Chardonnay
If your salmon dinner is more on the elegant side, then you might want to opt for a Chardonnay thats been aged in oak barrels. The woody flavor in these wines can go well with a buttery salmon dish with rich flavors from sauces or gravies. For example, if youre serving up salmon with lobster sauce or garlic herb butter, this wine will probably have enough body to balance it out without getting lost in the sauce.
Cajun Chicken & Sausage Gumbo & Beaujolais Pairing
Beaujolais Villages is a light and fruity red wine from France that is perfect with spicier dishes as the wine is also low in alcohol. When you mix alcohol with hot spice, it will make your mouth taste like burn, which is not something youll have to be concerned about with a Beaujolais Villages. Instead, youll find pure refreshment with Beaujolais flavours of cherry, strawberry and raspberry, which are bold enough to stand up to the sausage but not so bold as to crush the chicken in your Gumbo.
Beaujolais Villages also has a touch of earthiness that whirls in perfectly with those deep Cajun flavours found in the roux and andouille sausage.
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Whites Rule But Reds And Ross Have Their Place
Pairing wine with fish or seafood can be daunting. Yes, white wines are generally the right choicebut which ones? Choose a dry white when you need a full-bodied, lush wine and you will be disappointed. What about seafood with heavy sauces, like barbecue or tomato sauce? Do you use the same wine with grilled shrimp that you do with lobster thermidor?
It can be confusing. Here are some quick rules and eight go-to wine types for whenever you’re serving seafood. Don’t worry if you can’t get the exact wine here. These are general rules, and as we all know, rules are made to be broken.
Basic Principles Of Pairing
Both food and wine can be divided into a few foundational tastes, including elements of bitter, salt, sweet, fat, and acid. For instance, cheese is high in fat and kale is bitter. Wine has similar elements of taste to food for example, dark red wines with tannins often have a bitter edge to them.
The goal of pairing wine with food is to elevate your meal by combining flavors that complement and enrich each other. For example, wines rich in tannins tend to go well with meals rich in fat like steak. Acidic meals tend to taste better with creamy, lightly acidic white wines, and you can cut spice in your meal with sweet, low-alcohol wines.
Wine pairing can become very complicated if you get too caught up in flavor combinations. However, most food and wine pairings are meant to work in one of two ways: either the flavors are similar in congruent pairings, or they increase each others intensity through different flavors in complementary pairings.
You can think of wine as an ingredient in your meal rather than a separate entity. Many people enjoy well-rounded flavors in a meal, so you may want to incorporate a sweet wine into a bitter meal or serve a slightly bitter wine to cut a sweet dish.
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Best Wine To Pair With Steak And Shrimp
This is a complicated dish to pair, as shrimp typically goes very well with a full-bodied white wine such as a chardonnay, and a steak pairs perfectly with a full-bodied red. However, the tannins of a full-bodied red may really harm the flavors of your shrimp, overpowering them and generally making the dish not very palatable. If you want to go for a red wine pairing then stick for something at the lower end of the tannin scale .
However, a glass of white wine may not have the power to cut through the strong flavors of the meat and harmonize both the seafood and the steak.
So where does this leave us? With the one-size-fits-all sparkling wine of course. If youre indulging in a Surf & Turf, pair it with dry champagne or sparkling wine.
Duck & Sausage Gumbo & Zinfandel Pairing
A medium-ranged Zinfandel has the perfect amount of fruitiness and smoky spiciness to complement the sausage in your Gumbo. Expect notes of black pepper, coffee, cloves, smoke and cinnamon to dance with all the rich flavours drifting around in your gumbo. Meanwhile, the fruity flavours of blackberries, black cherries and raspberries help mask the gaminess of the duck.
Middle and lower ranged Zinfandel tend to be low in tannin, making them acidic enough to go with a Creole Gumbo containing Tomatoes, or an ever so spicy Cajun Gumbo.
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Which Wine With Seafood Paella
An alternative for those who do not like the landlocked combination of meat, vegetables and pulses, the seafood paella is the king of the sea. Comprised of squid, prawns, langoustine, mussels, clams and sometimes fish, this paella is a dish that usually has lighter flavours than its Valencian counterpart.
Due to its delicate flavours, the seafood paella requires a light and fresh wine that will not dominate its aromas. We would suggest choosing a white wine made from from the albariño, verdejo or sauvignon blanc grapes, particularly those that have not been fermented in a barrel. These wines should also be served well chilled, between 5 and 8ºC. Another interesting option would be a Txakolí or high quality Cava.
Pinot Noir With Oven Roasted Herring
Herring, much like tuna, is a heavy fish. It can almost be compared to steak, which is why a medium to full bodied wine is ideal for pairing. With its warm, fruity flavors, a medium bodied pinot noir works well with an oven-roasted herring. While it may seem like a heavy meal, the pairing allows for the wine and herring to balance each other out without leaving you feeling too full.
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Tablas Creek Ctes De Tablas Blanc Paso Robles
Tablas Creek Vineyard, founded in the limestone hills of Paso Robles Adelaida District by the Perrin family of Château de Beaucastel and Robert Haas of Vineyard Brands, is dedicated to sustainably farmed wines from grape varieties traditional to Frances Rhône Valley.This wine is a blend reminiscent of Northern Rhône white wines, and features the lushly aromatic Viognier, whose richness is balanced by the structure and minerality of Roussanne and Marsanne and the crisp acidity of Grenache Blanc.
> For more information, visit the Tablas Creek official website.