Chardonnay is great with salmon and lobster. Sauvignon Blanc is an easy pairing for scallops. Champagne and caviar is effortless. But sometimes it's fun to get a little adventurous... read on for some fascinating wine pairings with seafood that'll exercise the cerebral cortex a bit, and leave you and your guests wanting more!
1. Rich, creamy seafood dishes with medium-bodied, funky reds.
Buttery, rich chowder, creamy seafood pastas, sole meuniere. These dishes are traditionally paired with a buttery Chardonnay-like wine. Put a delicious twist on these opulent entrees with a little soil and brettanomyces! Try an earthy Loire gem like La Grange Tiphaine's Cot or Clos du Tue-Boeuf's La Guerrerie, or head to the south of Chile for an all-natural Pinot Noir like Louis-Antoine Luyt's Cruchon. The wild, gamey nature of these wines is a beautiful contrast to the mouth-coating butter and cream featured in these dishes; the soft tannins and bright acid of this style of wine counters the heavy, round texture of the dishes. This is one of our favorite types of wine pairing, hands down!
2. Raw and acid-cooked fish with light, peppery reds.
Typically crudos, ceviches, and tartares are paired with Rieslings, Gruner Veltliners, and Sauvignon Blancs. These often offer beautiful flavor combinations, but let's get a little more daring... contrast the delicate nature of these types of dishes with some baking spice laden light reds such as Fronton de Oro's Listan Negro from the Canary Islands, or Andre & Michel Quenard's Chignin Mondeuse. The precision of these wines does not detract from the crisp acid of the dishes, and the white pepper and cranberry fruit aromatics pair wonderfully with them.
3. Salty dishes like caviar, sardines, and anchovies, with aromatic, medium-bodied whites.
Sparkling wines and easy-drinking light white wines like Vinho Verdes are traditionally paired with these types of dishes. For a more complex and daring approach, complement the salinity and intensity of these dishes with a textured, mineral wine like the legendary Bucaco Branco of Portugal, or Endochora's Theros Vidiano from Crete. These wines provide an enhancing effect to salty and oily flavor profiles that is truly mind-blowing!
4. Meaty fish like salmon and trout with oaky, tannic reds.
Chardonnay is also a go-to wine for baked or grilled salmon or trout. For a life-changing experience toss the Chardonnay and pour yourself a glass of a spicy Rioja like Lopez de Heredia's Cubillo, or an oaked Garnacha like Bernabeleva's Navaherreros. Contrary to popular belief, tannnins and seafood pose no threat! Some people have a sensitivity to the combination of certain shellfish and tannins, but it's exceedingly rare. Don't go too heavy with a Cabernet, as the more delicate flavors of the fish will get a bit lost.
5. Sushi with Gamay and light natural reds.
You don't have to stick to crisp whites or sake when it comes to sushi! A Beaujolais-Villages like Villa Ponciago's Fleurie works perfectly with raw fish. If you want to really get outside the box, try a lighter natural red like Louis-Antoine Luyt's El Pais de Quenehuao from Chile, Gen del Alma's JiJiJi Malbec from Argentina, or Vins Contes Poivre et Sel Pinot d'Aunis from the Loire Valley.
So get adventurous with your seafood and wine pairings, and experience a whole new realm of flavor combinations! Message us with any interesting pairings you create... we always love to hear about new ideas!