Halibut: Whether Baked or Grilled, Halibut Is a Delicious Fish
Hands-down, halibut is a popular whitefish on the market, delicate, refined, and sweet. It pairs well with tomato sauce, brown butter, and lemon. Halibut is essentially a flatfish – meaning a fish with both eyes on one side of its body – and lives down on the ocean floor. In addition, halibut refers to any flatfish of the Pleuronectiformes family. However, the most commercially sold halibut is Pacific halibut, scientifically known as Hippoglossus stenolepis. Pacific halibut comes from Alaska, where it is more commonly known as Alaskan halibut. The fish has a sweet flavor, with firm-textured flesh that turns opaque when cooked. Halibut is not considered endangered but a sustainable fish option, which is great news for fish lovers.
How to Cook Halibut
There are four ways to cook halibut:
- Baked: Place your halibut on baking sheets in the oven at 400-450°F (200-230°C) for 20 minutes, or at least until the halibut is opaque in color. Try to bake your fish with butter, olive oil, or some citrus-based sauce to prevent it from drying out.
- Grilled: Brush your halibut with oil or butter and place it on hot coals. Cook moderately until opaque.
- Steam: Alternatively, you can steam your halibut in the oven if you like. To do this, simply place the fish in foil packets with lemon juice or soy sauce for the best result.
- Poached: If you decide to poach your halibut, do it delicately in tomato sauce or some broth of lemon and Chardonnay, garlic, and parsley. Simmer for 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish.
What Wines Pair Well With Halibut?
Halibut is perfect to pair with any dry white wine, to be honest. That said, Chardonnay seems to be the best choice when it comes to halibut wine pairing. The reason for this is that Chardonnay shows creaminess and crispiness, at the same time, with vibrant citrus and stone fruit flavors, perfect to accompany a lean fish like halibut.
Apart from Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc is also a fantastic wine option to serve when halibut is the main course. Sauvignon Blanc displays a core of citrus and herbal flavors, like asparagus and grapefruit, with enough substance and texture to match the tenderness of the fish. On top of this, combining halibut with more aromatic varieties like Viognier or even Pinot Noir is also a clever choice, as these wines essentially lift halibut’s flavor profile. In short, pair halibut with whatever white wine you would uncork when enjoying seafood or lean, white fish.
Best White Wines With Halibut
- Winery — Cass
- Country/Region — United States, California, Central Coast, San Luis Obispo County, Paso Robles
- Type — Californian Viognier
- Aroma — Wildflowers, Pineapple, Guava, Cinnamon Spice, Ginger, Orange Blossom
- Grapes — Viognier
- Taste — Mango, Banana, Lemon, Honey, Citrus Blossom, Tangerine, Nectarine, Coconut
- Alcohol Content — 14.9%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Halibut, Sea Bass, Turkey, Pork Chops, Fried Chicken, Brie, Délice De Bourgogne
Highly perfumed with exotic spices of cinnamon spice, ginger, and wildflowers, Cass Viognier captivates from the get-go. In the mouth, bold flavors of tropical fruit, like mango and banana, interlace with touches of blossoms and custard. Brisk acidity and a delicate finish synthesize an impressive conclusion.
Bright aromas of wildflowers grace the bouquet as they mingle with scents of pineapple, guava, cinnamon spice, ginger, and orange blossom. In the mouth, flavors of mango, banana, lemon, and honey run towards the mid-palate, while the lively acidity provides freshness and balance. Some gentle touches of citrus blossom, tangerine and nectarine emerge, as well, and drive to a fine, coconut-driven aftertaste.
Wine-Making Perfection in Paso Robles
Established in 2005, by co-owners Steve Cass and Ted Plemons, Cass Winery produces 10,000 cases of 100% estate wines per year. The famed Cass vineyard, which was one of the first California vineyards entirely planted with ENTAV French certified clones, comprises 145 planted acres, growing eleven great grape varieties. For the most part, Cass is categorized as exclusively Rhône house, yet, over half of the vineyard is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon.
Furthermore, the Paso Robles region helps the grapevines with its fantastic soils, warm days, and cool ocean breezes. The diverse alluvial soils also create an expressive terroir that gives highly expressive fruits. At the same time, the long growing season and cool, refreshing evenings give concentrated fruit that delivers dynamic wines.
Golan Heights Winery Yarden Chardonnay
- Winery — Golan Heights
- Country/Region — Israel, Galilee
- Type — Israel Chardonnay
- Aroma — Apple, Pear, Pineapple, Grapefruit, Cinnamon Spice, Lavender, Smoke
- Grapes — Chardonnay
- Taste — Guava, Passion Fruit, Meyer Lemon, Asparagus, Tobacco, Clove, Honey, Peach, Apricot
- Alcohol Content — 14%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Halibut, Asian Duck, Roasted Chicken, Grilled Salmon, Seafood Pasta
This Chardonnay has a solid background in French oak, accompanying beautifully appealing aromas of apple, tropical fruit, and citrus. Flavorful and medium-to-full-bodied, the wine exhibits a juicy palate and a lingering, lengthy aftertaste. Whiffs of bright apple, pear, pineapple, and grapefruit grace the aromatic bouquet of this Chardonnay, alongside hints of cinnamon spice and smoke. The palate is textured and rounded, showing pronounced creaminess and flavors of guava, passion fruit, Meyer lemon, and asparagus.
On top of that, wine enthusiasts can taste cloves, tobacco, and honey. Moderate in acidity with a lingering, long finish of peach and apricot. Yarden is the premium label of Golden Heights winery. In fact, each year, the best grapes from some of the best graveyards in Galilee, Israel, are reserved exclusively for the production of Yarden wines. Yarden translates from Hebrew to mean the Jordan River, which bisects Golden Heights from Galilee. The label displays an oil lamp decorated with a mosaic tile, the symbol of ancient Israel.
Hubert Brochard Tradition Sancerre
- Winery — Hubert Brochard
- Country/Region — France, Loire Valley, Upper Loire, Sancerre
- Type — French Sauvignon Blanc
- Aroma — Grapefruit, Meyer Lemon, Bell Pepper, Gooseberry, Thyme, Elderflower, Honeysuckle
- Grapes — Sauvignon Blanc
- Taste — Pineapple, Pear, Apple, Limestone, Flint, Wet Stone, Grass, Straw
- Alcohol Content — 12.5%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Halibut, Scallops, Oysters, Basil Risotto, Ravioli With Green Peas, Lamb Brochette, Brie
Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc is meant to be enjoyed as a classic expression of Loire Valley’s terroir. Aromas of citrus, herbs, and white flowers dominate the nose. In the mouth, crisp acidity and dynamic mineral components combine and make this Sauvignon appetizing. As soon as the bottle is uncorked, expect to encounter bright aromas of grapefruit, Meyer lemon, bell pepper, gooseberry, and thyme, as well as sweet, gentle fragrances of elderflower and honeysuckle. Medium-weighted, with a rounded texture, the wine shows great balance and flavor concentration on the palate.
Tastes of pineapple, pear, and apple, interlace with components of limestone, flint, and wet stones, lending a mineral character to the aftertaste. Based in Chavignol, Domaine Hubert Brochard produces classic Sancerre white, red, and rosé from their family-owned winery. The Domaine was first established in the 1900s when Aimée Brochard inherited her father’s grapevines and goats! The intention was to produce wines and goat cheese with her husband Hubert, proving to be a great help. Today, the winery cultivates vines in Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé, and Vin de Pays du Val de Loire, maintaining the French wine-making tradition. Possibly the best white wine with Halibut for many wine enthusiasts.
Best Red Wine With Halibut
Gran Moraine Pinot Noir
- Winery — Gran Moraine
- Country/Region — United States, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Yamhill-Carlton District
- Type — Oregon State Pinot Noir
- Aroma — Guava, Pineapple, Strawberry, Cherry, Thyme, Sage, Tarragon, Campfire, Soil, Cocoa
- Grapes — Pinot Noir
- Taste — Raspberry, Redcurrant, Orange, Grapefruit, Game Meat, Violet, Anise, Pine Sap, Stone, Tea
- Alcohol Content — 13.9%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Halibut, Venison, Pheasant, Pork Chops, Lamb Stew, Indian, Brie, Manchego
Elegantly complex, this Pinot Noir is polished with very expressive fragrances of red berries and dynamic flavors of dark fruit, earth, game meat, and smoke. The tannins are fine-grained and silky, while the acidity is brisk. Heady fragrances of strawberry, passion fruit, guava, and cocoa, mingle with lemongrass, thyme, and campfire for a complex nose. In the mouth, flavors of cherry, plum, brambles, game meat, and underbrush join a core of pine sap, cinnamon spice, blackberry, and pronounced smoke. Smooth tannins provide structure and find vibrant acidity. The finish is tight and focused.
Gran Moraine produces high-end Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and sparkling wines from Oregon’s renowned Willamette Valley. The estate vineyard is based on some of the oldest marine sedimentary-based soils in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. In this way, the cultivated grapes attain very expressive characteristics. On top of this, the cool climate of Yamhill-Carlton extends grape-growing conditions and helps grapes preserve acidity and increase earthy characteristics. Pure perfection!
Best Rosé Wine With Halibut
- Winery — Elouan
- Country/Region — United States, Oregon
- Type — Oregon State Rosé
- Aroma — Jasmine, Honeysuckle, Kiwi, Banana, Grapefruit, Pear, Dried Soil, Vanilla Spice, Wet Grass
- Grapes — Pinot Noir
- Taste — Strawberry, Strawberry, Plum, Juniper, Pepper, Sugar, Cloves
- Alcohol Content — 13.7%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Halibut, Duck, Goat, Red Snapper, Seafood, Grilled Chicken, Niçoise Salad, Feta, Mozzarella
Bright red berry fruits from Oregon’s premier Western vineyards deliver an intense rosé packed with vibrant acidity and adequate structure. Elouan Rosé is great to serve with grilled halibut or on a picnic. In fact, you can even enjoy it as a standalone aperitif! Vibrant on the nose, Elouan Rosé presents aromas of jasmine and honeysuckle, alongside nuances of kiwi, banana, grapefruit, and pear. At the same time, fragrances of dried soil, vanilla spice, and wet grass emerge, collapsing on the fruit-forward palate.
There, flavors of apple, peach, pineapple, and rhubarb blend for mouthwatering sensations. In addition, slight touches of strawberry, raspberry, and plum find notes of juniper and pepper as they drive to the moderate, sugary finish. The acidity is crispy and effervescent. The fruit Elouan uses in their wines is brought together from three of the best terrains of Oregon’s prestigious Western vineyards. The cool climate distinguishes these locates and combines with the long grape growing season to create wines with pronounced flavor concentration, richness, and refreshing acidity.
As we reach the
Halibut is an incredible fish, ideal for every occasion. Whether you enjoy halibut on the patio as the main course or grilled during a relaxing Sunday barbecue, you have to combine it with the perfect wine choice. For us, wine pros, pairing halibut with any of the above wines guarantees total satisfaction and an immersive dining experience. That said, if you feel you’d prefer your fish with heavier or even sweeter wines, then that is perfectly fine, too. Just remember to complement your fish with aromatic, creamy wines for the best halibut wine match!