Simple Wine Pairings For Fish

There are so many brilliant wines to serve with fish and fortunately, figuring out what to drink with the fruits of the sea is a fairly straightforward task. Generally speaking, it’s as simple as taking note as the weight and texture of the fish and choosing a wine with a comparable body. Do this and you’ll seldom veer off course. What do we mean? Well, for a light fish opt for a light white wine or even a glass of bubbly. If you’re serving a heavier, meatier fish, you should reach for more medium to full-bodied wines. And yes, much of the time white wine will be the best choice but that’s not to say that red wine with fish is completely off the table.

For delicate, flaky fish such as sea bass, perch, or pollock, you’ll want to pair a light-bodied, medium to high acid wine which won’t overwhelm the nuances of the fish. Open a Pinot Grigio, Grüner Veltliner, Unoaked Chardonnay, Champagne or traditional method sparkling wine.

If you’re tucking into a slightly sturdier fish like haddock, cod, trout, or halibut, go for a medium-bodied wine. Unoaked Chardonnay from a warmer climate, Pinot Gris, dry Chenin Blanc, vintage sparkling wine are all fantastic options and would be equallywith a fish pie or fish and chips as well.

Have a steak of salmon, tuna, swordfish, or mahi-mahi? Try a richer white like an oaked Chardonnay from Burgundy, Viognier, or a dry rosé made from Pinot Noir, Grenache/Syrah/Mourvèdre (GSM blend), or Sangiovese.

Be sure to take the method of preparation into account. If you’re pan-searing and serving your fish with a squeeze of lemon, stick to a bright, citrus-driven wine. Smoked fish is excellent with sparkling wine or Champagne or dry semi-aromatic wines like Riesling or Chenin Blanc.

Butter or cream sauces do best with quality Chardonnay while on the other end of the spectrum, sushi is lovely with Grüner Veltliner, Muscadet, and sparkling wine (we recommend Cava). What about a more complex dish like kedgeree? Since you have smoked haddock involved, go bigger. Dry Semillon from Australia, white Bordeaux, or New World Chardonnays all have a hint of smoky flavour to match the haddock.

How to Serve Red Wine With Fish

To a certain extent, you can treat heavier fish like a cut of meat. Richer wines are your best options here and this is the area where you can opt for something like a white Burgundy or decide on a red instead. Salmon, tuna, and mackerel can be lovely with red wine but you’ll want to go with something that is on the lighter end of the spectrum and not too high in tannins. Pinot Noir (avoid cru level Burgundy), Gamay, and certain Grenaches would all work well. Salted, oily fish like anchovies, sardines, or herring can also be excellent with red wine.

You may have noticed sparkling wine crops up often as a pairing for fish dishes. If you find yourself overwhelmed with choice, bubbles are always a satisfying safe choice that will put a smile on everyone’s faces.

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