Want to treat your friends to a restaurant-style seafood feast? Whether you’re preparing an entire seafood barbecue or just some prawns and salmon on the grill, finding the best wine for your seafood helps bring out its flavours and elevate your meal. In this article, we’ll walk you through the best practices for pairing wine with seafood. You’ll find a list of the best wines for oysters, shrimps, seafood pasta, and more to spice up your palate. Read on and experiment with these dish pairings!
How to Choose the Best Wine for Seafood
Whether the wines make a suitable pairing depends on the texture and flavour of the seafood. Lean, flaky white fish fillets such as cod and seabass work best with lighter white wine. As they are often grilled and served with lemon wedges, lemony wines like Italian Whites can cut through each zesty, juicy bite of a fillet.
Meatier fish and seafood, on the other hand, are best paired with a glass of red wine. Lobsters, tuna and salmon can stand up to the red colour pigments and robust tastes of an oaked Chardonnay, Viognier, or rosé. Other oily, full-flavoured fish, including sardines and herring, have a fishiness that crisp, refreshing wines can offset.
Best Wine for Oysters
As the epitome of seafood royalty, oysters have a subtle fishy flavour with briny mineral notes and are best paired with a wine like Klein Constantia Methode Cap Classique. Made using the same double fermentation process as Champagne, it has a bready taste that complements the saltiness of raw oysters. Its residual sugar dissolves into the refreshing minerals between bites to add extra sweetness to the oyster’s salty profile.
Sauvignon Blanc is also high on our list for oysters. It has a unique blend of vibrant acidity and steely minerality, making it an ideal wine pairing for dishes like BBQ oysters, oysters on the grill, or deep-fried oysters with cream sauce.
Best Salmon Wine Pairings
Many scrumptious dishes are made with this omega-rich fish, such as garlic salmon and salmon salads. To complement a meaty fish like this, opt for a full-flavoured white wine pairing such as Cape Rock White Blend made from Viognier, Rousanne, Marsanne, and AA Badenhorst Raaigras Grenache. These wines can add depth to the richness and umami of a salmon steak. For smoked salmon, elevate your tasting experience with a sparkling rosé. Every fizzy sip cuts through the soft fattiness of delicious salmon and marks a fantastic contrast in flavours. Unlike other seafood, grilled salmon can even stand up to light reds like Beaujolais and Pinot Noir!
Best Wine with Grilled Prawns and Shrimp
The mineral scent of shrimps and prawns is manifested in their intrinsic freshness and salinity, which make an excellent match with the minerality of Riesling. Grilled shrimps and prawns come with a subtle sweetness and work well with the crisp dryness of a Provencal-style Rosé. If they are accompanied by spicy sauces like curries, a sweeter, low-alcohol white wine like Moscato or Riesling can help balance the hot spices. All in all, whites and roses are the best wines with grilled prawns and shrimp.
Best Wine for Seafood Pasta
If you want the best wine pairing for seafood pasta, choose something slightly fruity to complement its rich and delicious flavours. Having spaghetti with mussels or linguine with crabs for your next meal? Pair it with a Chenin Blanc, unoaked Chardonnay, or Prosecco to indulge in a culinary experience! Choosing the best wine for your seafood pasta also requires a deep understanding of different pasta sauces. For instance, crisp white wines are an incredible pairing to the mild and garlicky linguine in clam sauce — and so with sourer tomato sauces. On the other hand, creamier pasta sauces like carbonara and fettuccine alfredo call for lighter Chardonnay blends. After all, the right wine pairing will add unique flavours to the seafood pasta to exhilarate your tastebuds!
Best Wine with Fish
The best go-to white wine for pairing up with any fish is Chardonnay. They’re excellent at highlighting the delicate texture and flavour of oceanic dishes. We suggest pairing medium-textured fish like trout and sea bass with lighter wines, namely Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Grigio. Try experimenting with matching light-bodied whites and reds with meaty species, including tuna and salmon.
Honourable Mentions & Other Pairing Recommendations
You can pair a wine with everything from light appetizers to bold-flavoured meals. Once you grasp the principles behind pairing wine with seafood, you will know how to pair them with other recipes to spice things up.
Salads with sour dressings pair well with tart wines like Sauvignon Blanc. Its fruity and less acidic taste can complement the acidity of your salad dressing to bring a nice balance of flavours.
Like bold-flavoured seafood, steaks are best served with red wines. Their natural tannins can soften the fats of grilled steaks, while their lush grape taste can clean your palate up between bites. Biltong Chief offers a host of red wines ranging from light reds to full-bodied reds to elevate your delicious steak dinners. You can also browse through our impressive collection of butchered steaks to pair with your favourite wine!
Shop the Best Wines for Seafood and Fish
As a premier online butcher & grocer in Hong Kong, Biltong Chief offers an impressive selection of meat, seafood, and wine with a fast and professional delivery service. Shop our variety of seafood and wine to experiment with the above recipes. Find the best wine pairing for your grilled prawns, oysters, salmon, and seafood pasta today!