As with every food and wine pairing, it can be a little daunting. Sure, white wines are the most sensible choice for having with seafood, but which ones are the best? And what about lean, aromatic red wines, like Pinot Noir or Beaujolais? Well, worry not, as we’re going to cover everything you need to know about pairing wine with delicious seafood. So, hang tight and read on! You definitely, don’t want to miss out on this one.
What Wines Pair Well With Seafood?
As mentioned above, pairing wine with fish seems challenging. For starters, the obvious choice is to go with a full-bodied, rich white wine, such as a creamy Chardonnay. Yet, on second thought, what about seafood with tomato-based or barbecue sauces? And, do you serve the same with grilled calamari and shrimp that you use with oven-baked grouper or pappardelle lobster?
It can be confusing. Generally, if you’re unsure, you can go with the following practical rules: Fish with a heavy texture, like tuna, salmon, or trout, go incredibly well with lush white wine, such as oaked Chardonnay, or a medium-bodied red wine, like Pinot Noir. Light cuts of fish, like branzino, sea bream, and sea bass, pair nicely with refreshing whites that show a few herbal characteristics, like Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Austria’s signature Grüner Veltliner.
If you’re into sushi or catfish, you can go with an aromatic white, like a Sémillon or a white Rioja. Albariño is great with any seafood, too. For crustaceans, like crab and lobster, or shellfish, including mollusks and clams, a medium-bodied acidic white, like an unoaked Chablis, a Riesling, or a red Beaujolais seems the best choice. In the case you’re preparing your fish with some special sauce, like teriyaki or curry, you might need to consider the following:
- Spicy sauces, like curry, are excellent with sweet, low-alcohol white wines, like Moscato and some Rieslings.
- Sweet sauces, including Teriyaki pair well with an off-dry white or rosé, like California’s signature White Zinfandel.
- Herb-based sauces with parsley, basil, coriander, or mint go nicely with herbaceous whites. Sauvignon Blanc and Torrontés are good choices.
- That’s enough, though. Let’s get to the meat of the article: The wines! Here is the first best white wine with seafood on our list! Enjoy!
Best White Wines With Seafood
Catena Alta Chardonnay
- Winery — Catena Alta
- Country/Region — Argentina, Mendoza
- Type — Argentinian Chardonnay
- Aroma — Peach, Pear, Apple, Meyer Lemon, Honeysuckle
- Grapes — Chardonnay
- Taste — Pineapple, Passion Fruit, Guava, Lychee, Ginger, Crushed Stones
- Alcohol Content — 14%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Seafood, Grilled Grouper, Linguini Lobster, Fried Shrimp, Pork Chops, Gouda, Goat Cheese
The Catena Alta Chardonnay has a vibrant nose of white fruit aromas, including stone fruits, interwoven with citrus. The palate is rich and concentrated. Complex finish and crisp mineral acidity. The wine begins its tasting journey by presenting a green-yellow hue. It accompanies the elegant and bright bouquet nicely.
Aromas of peaches, pears, and apples, join notes of citrus and white flowers for a wonderful nose. As the wine flows into the mouth, concentrated flavors of apricots, pineapples, passion fruits, and ginger dominate with a light touch of crisp minerality. The lingering finish is long and pulls wine enthusiasts back for more.
One of Argentina’s Best Wineries
Bodega Catena Zapata is considered one of Argentina’s prestigious wineries and a pioneer of high-altitude Malbec. The Catena family began producing wine in Mendoza in 1902 when Nicolas Catena realized the potential of Mendoza’s mountain vineyards for exceptional quality Malbec. Since then, the family has been working hard to keep the tradition of high-quality wines by incorporating sustainable practices and soil and climate analysis.
- Winery — Champalou
- Country/Region — France, Loire Valley, Middle Loire, Touraine, Vouvray
- Type — Loire Chenin Blanc
- Aroma — Apple, Pear, Nectarine, Honeysuckle, Cinnamon Spice, Chalk, Pepper, Flint
- Grapes — Chenin Blanc
- Taste — Pineapple, Mango, Peach, Apricot, Stones, Vanilla Spice, Chamomile
- Alcohol Content — 12.5%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Enchiladas, Chicken Marsala, Smoked Salmon, Seafood, Sushi, Orzo, Asparagus Mousse
The Champalou family are masters of Loire Chenin Blanc, and this is shown in this particular Vouvray. Aged in stainless steel, the wine is refreshing and gentle, boasting a balanced minerality and luscious honeyed fruit. Opening with aromas of orange flower petals, apples, pears, and a bit of marzipan, Champalou Vouvray promises a delicious tasting journey.
The palate shows a touch of citrus, including Meyer lemons, grapefruits, and oranges, as well as touches of pineapples and passion fruits. Hints of vanilla spice and butter are also presented inside the mouth and accompany sensations of honey and cream. The finish is almond-driven, accentuated by the moderate acidity.
Harvesting According to The Lunar Calendar
The Champalou winery was founded by Catherine and Didier Champalou in 1983. The family had a background in winemaking and knew how to produce highly-acclaimed Chenin Blanc wines in Vouvray.
The Champalou has 21 hectares of vineyards and embraces sustainable practices while, at the same time, using the lunar calendar to determine when to harvest. On top of this, the soils are rich and deep, aerated through continuous plowing. Elegant and balanced wines, full of tenderness and aromas, are the characteristics of these passionate winemakers.
Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc
- Winery — Brancott Estate
- Country/Region — New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
- Type — New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
- Aroma — Grapefruit, Lime, Gooseberry, Lemon, Grass
- Grapes — Sauvignon Blanc
- Taste — Passion Fruit, Blood Orange, Asparagus, Straw, Flint, Stones, Campfire
- Alcohol Content — 14.5%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Sardines, Mackerel, Prawns, Roast Chicken, Passion Fruit Tart
A vibrant Sauvignon Blanc with a pale straw color and green-yellow highlights. Zesty aromas define the nose, while flavors of tropicals and citrus give substance to the palate. Balanced with moderate acidity.
Tangy aromas of pink grapefruit, Meyer lemons, gooseberries, and lychees jump from the glass as they give way to the jammy flavors of the palate. There, tropicals, such as passionfruits, pineapples, and guavas, combine with touches of blood oranges and limes, giving a balanced, delicious result. The acidity is fresh, while the short finish leaves you wanting more.
Always The First
Opened in 1977, the Brancott Winery is one of the oldest and most respected wineries in Marlborough. The Brancott Winery has produced one of the world’s largest grape tipping tanks and has always been a pioneer when it comes to vinification. At the same time, it was also one of the first wineries to plant Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough in 1973 and sell it commercially. In this way, the Brancott Winery helped New Zealand’s South Island become one of the most prominent Sauvignon Blanc regions worldwide.
Best Red Wines With Seafood
Ken Wright Cellars Pinot Noir
- Winery — Ken Wright Cellars
- Country/Region — United States, Oregon, Willamette Valley
- Type — Oregon Pinot Noir
- Aroma — Strawbery, Cherry, Forest Floor, Cherry Cola, Blackberry
- Grapes — Pinot Noir
- Taste — Plum, Fig, Blueberry, Prune, Strawberry Jam, Vanilla Spice, Underbrush, Ginger
- Alcohol Content — 13%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Seafood, Roast Beef, Roasted Pork Loin, Tuna, Emmenthal, Epoisses
A balanced Pinot Noir, showing a fruit-filled purity on the nose and tastes of orange zest, ginger, and cedar wood on the palate. Dusty tannins and a long, pleasing finish. This is a good, well-balanced Pinot from Willamette Valley. It starts with loads of red fruit aromas, such as strawberry and cherry, and nuances of dried soil, cherry cola, and blackberries.
In the mouth, the wine has a rounded and fruity character of plums, figs, blueberries, and prunes. On top of this, elements of strawberry jam, baking spices, and underbrush surface, adding complexity and juiciness. Dusty tannins and high acidity drive into a ginger-influenced finish. Notes of leather and cedar wood conclude the tasting profile.
Fine Oregon Winemaking
Ken Wright Cellars is the work of Ken Wright, who for over 40 years produced fine wine in Carlton, Oregon. His main grape variety is Pinot Noir, which he considers the ultimate vehicle for conveying the aroma, flavors, and texture of his locale. The best Pinot Noir example of Ken Wright Cellars is a single vineyard Pinot crafted from fruit sourced from 13 different vineyards sites in the Northern Willamette Valley. It makes it a perfect seafood wine match.
Clos de l’Élu Maupiti
- Winery — Clos de l’Élu Maupiti
- Country/Region — France, Vin de Pays
- Type — French Pinot Noir
- Aroma — Cherry, Strawberry, Blueberry, Pepper, Ginger Cinnamon Spice
- Grapes — Pinot Noir
- Taste — Plum, Fig, Anise, Leather, Mushroom, Raspberry, Toasted Oak, Butter, Leather
- Alcohol Content — 13.5%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Seafood, Duck, Game, Beef Bourguignon, Salmon, Mushroom-based Soups
A vivacious red from the Loire Valley, it seems perfect for a fine evening with friends or a sunny lunch with a platter of fried calamari and shrimp. This wine is essentially a blend of Cabernet Franc and Gamay (Beaujolais) with the intention of producing a highly aromatic, refreshing, and low-tannin red. Aromas of cherries, strawberries, and blueberries dominate the nose, where touches of pepper, ginger, and cinnamon spice surface.
Medium-bodied, Clos de l’Élu Maupiti has a smooth, rounded texture that shows a slight effervescence. The tannins are low and unobtrusive, while bright flavors of raspberries, plums, figs, anise, leather, and mushrooms draw wine fans in. Moderate acidity and lengthy finish.
The Terre de l’Élu winery (previously known as Clos de l’Élu), lies on the schist-rich terroir of the Anjour Noir in the Loire Valley. There, 20 hectares of grapevines are farmed organically, offering a structured assortment of diverse wine styles. Chenin Blanc, Grolleau, Pineau d’Aunis, Cabernet Franc, and Gamay are some of the most common grape varieties produced by the well-respected winery. They’re full of expressiveness and finesse. Possibly the best red wine with seafood.
These wines are, according to our expertise, some of the best for your seafood wine pairing. Yes, there are way more wines to enjoy with your fish or shellfish, but these were easy to find and equally easy to quaff. If you need some additional recommendations, feel free to go for Torrontés, Albariño, Assyrtiko, and White Zinfandel. Until next time, enjoy a hearty seafood platter!