Shellfish, caviar and fish all have unique tastes, so choosing a complementary wine will depend on what exactly you are serving. Here are some insights to help you pair wine with a seafood dinner for delicious results.
This full-bodied white wine has hints of butter and a grassy flavor that makes it great for pairing with a wide variety of seafood dinners. Chardonnay pairs well with crab, lobster and raw oysters, as the strong flavors of shellfish are a perfect match for the bold taste of this classic white wine. Hearty white fish are another fine match for chardonnay. Pair a glass with a well-prepared bass or swordfish and watch your guests enjoy their meal.
Dry and light, this is the wine that goes with everything from salmon to clams, as well as a wide variety of white fish. Sauvignon blanc also matches quite nicely with most salads and sides that are served with seafood dishes, as its fresh, crisp taste pairs perfectly with most vegetables and even fresh fruits like strawberries.
Despite popular opinion, it is possible to pair red wine with seafood. Pinot noir is just the right red wine – a light variety that pairs amazingly well with a wide selection of seafood dinners. With pinot noir, red wine lovers with a taste for fish can have their cake and eat it too. Serve pinot noir with full-flavoured items like scallops and shrimp, or enjoy it with hearty fish like tuna and swordfish. This is also the wine of choice for tomato-based seafood dishes, like cioppino, an Italian stew of mixed shellfish and white fish in a garlic and tomato broth.
Sparkling wines, such as champagne, are an excellent choice for seafood brunches and go exceptionally well with raw seafood dishes. Try some bubbly with sushi, sashimi and tuna tartar for a flavor match made in heaven. Of course, champagne is also the perfect companion to a plate of raw oysters on the half shell. You can also pair champagne with a variety of lighter white fish dishes, such as cod or halibut, for a refreshingly light combo.
The advice above provides some basic guidelines to help you choose tasty wine and seafood pairings, but remember: when it comes to wine, ultimately what matters most is that you and your guests should drink what you like!