August 10, 2021 by Arden Montgomery

Best Wine for Seafood

How often do you daydream about seafood and wine enjoyed on a red brick patio on some blue-sea’s coast on a summer evening? Do you think about the white table cloth, the warm breeze carrying the aroma of salt spray, a ceviche app with perfectly seared sea bass for mains followed by mango sorbet and bubbly for dessert? And what will you be drinking tonight, esteemed guest?

Clearly this is a fantasy we have often, and you bet we know which bottles will be gracing our table depending on what style of ocean cuisine is being served. If you haven’t gotten quite that far, here is a guide to finding the perfect wine pairing to complete your seafood fantasy. 

How to pair wine with seafood

Choose a wine you like, and drink it with seafood. No seriously. The most important thing about pairing wine with food is that you enjoy the wine you’re drinking. Sure a 2005 Zin will allow you to experience that honey-garlic salmon in a whole new atmosphere of flavor (we’re drooling, honestly) but do you like Zinfandel? If not, no worries. You do you. 

But if you’re new to the world of wines, or if you want to challenge your palate and have that match-made-in-heaven pairing experience, here are some tips for drinking with the fishes. 

The two goals of wine pairing are to one, enhance the flavors you are able to experience in both the food and the wine; and two, not overwhelm the food with the flavor of the wine. Since seafood is in general less flavorful on its own than other meats, such as beef or lamb, lighter, sweeter wines are typically recommended. 

This of course depends on how it is prepared. One basic guideline for wine pairing is to match the wine to the sauce rather than the protein. This means cheese-forward, creamy, spicy, or otherwise bold dishes can stand up to tougher vintages. 

If that wasn’t detailed enough for you, listed below are some of our favorite wines to drink alongside the fruit of the sea. 

Best red wine for seafood

  • 2018 Domaine de la Cote ‘Memorious’ Pinot Noir – $100
    This luxurious and complex red dares you to try to pin it down. An enchanting aroma defies identification, but the tongue won’t fail to recognize cherry, pepper, orange, and loam. A dense, delicious, and utter magical wine, it must be served with something as special as it is. A sesame-seared ahi steak will love this wine.
  • 2018 Tenuta di Bibbiano Chianti Classico – $23
    This dark but balanced Chianti demands to be imbibed alongside something smothered in tomato sauce and cheese. The acidity of the wine perfectly matches the acidity of the tomato, and will help to both enliven and enhance the fattiness of a mozz or burrata. Or, enjoy with linguine with clams, roasted tomatoes, and a generous grating of parmesan.  

Best white wine for seafood

  • 2019 Ermes Pavese Blanc de Morgex et de la Salle – $40
    This bottle is crafted from a native grape which grows nowhere but the Valle d’Aosta, Italia. Naturally it is an incredible experience of its unique terroir, offering a taste of citrus, stone and herbs in its bouquet. To uplift the sheer locality of this wine, drink with a serving of Pesce all’Acqua Pezza — sweet and savory vegetables with poached freshwater fish.  
  • 2018 Hendry Barrel-Fermented Chardonnay – $18
    Created in the Napa Valley of California, this Chard takes on distinctly oaky notes from its time spent inside wooden barrels. Sharp but earthy, it can be sipped casually accompanied by a pile of crab legs and melted butter.  
  • 2019 Maison d’Amis Clarksburg Chenin Blanc – $23
    Flowers, overripe fruit, and buttery pastry make up the bouquet of this fan-favorite Chenin Blanc. Its dryness and lightness make it an ideal pairing for more delicate seafood preparations. Try with Seared Scallop, or mackerel sashimi. 

Best rose՛ wine for seafood

  • La Spinetta Il Rose di Casanova Toscana Rose – $20
    The citrusy aroma of this gorgeous rose will draw you in, and peach, strawberry and floral essence will delight your palate as you sip. It’s sharp, tart, and best paired with a bright serving of greens and fatty fish. We suggest a simple arugula salad topped with garlicky seared salmon.  
  • NV Domaine de la Taille Aux Loups Triple Zero Rose Pet Nat – $39
    This delightful bottle of bubbles from the Loire Valley, France is a berry-forward blend of Gamay and Grolleau and goes wonderfully with pizza, salad, and everything in between. If you’re craving fish, we recommend pairing the Pet Nat with Pesce Alla Puttanesca — white fish served in a spicy, pungent tomato sauce.  
  • 2019 Storm Santa Barbara County Grenache Rose – $25
    This Rose is a summery treat, with a watermelon and rose aroma followed by a mineral-forward red-berry palate. Grown on the Central Coast of California, this wine was practically designed to be paired with fresh-caught fish. Sip with a serving of Mango-Habanero Ceviche.

Argaux’s wine pairing solution

If you’re pairing wines with oceanic delicacies, you probably already have some expertise in the world of wines. But if you’re looking to spice things up, order one of Argaux’s amazing Food and Wine Pairing Kits. We teamed up with Vanessa Price — author of the ingenious Big Macs & Burgundy — to bring you a curated selection of delicious wines carefully paired with both traditional and outrageous foods you might never have thought to have alongside a glass of your favorite Pinot. This book includes such watery delicacies as lobster rolls and grilled salmon, and Argaux provides you with 2 to 4 beautiful bottles to match. Learn and enjoy!

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