3 Tips For Ordering Wine With Seafood

The right wine can really complement the flavor of the food that you're eating. However, if you don't know much about wine pairing, finding the right wine can be tricky. Seafood is one of the more difficult types of meat to pair with wine because many people are less adventurous when it comes to seafood. If you don't know much about the different seafood flavors, it's hard to know how to pair your seafood dishes with wine. Take a look at some tips that can help you order the perfect wine the next time you're dining at your favorite seafood restaurant.

White Wines

Even if you don't know much about wine and food pairings, you've probably heard that white wine is the correct wine to pair with fish. While this isn't always the case, it's true that white wines go well with a wide variety of fish dishes. But which white wines?

Choose crisp Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio with simply-cooked lean fish. The dry, light flavor won't overwhelm the simple ingredients and light taste of the fish. On the other hand, when you're ordering a richer, fattier fish like catfish or striped bass, choose a fuller white wine like an oaky Chardonnay. A Fume Blanc or Pinot Gris can go well with an oily fish, like mackerel.

Red Wines

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to pair red wines with fish. However, you have to be careful about which types of red wines you choose and how the fish is prepared. Red wine paired with spicy seafood can produce an unpleasant metallic taste. Heavy, full-bodied red wines are almost never appropriate for seafood, but they may work when paired with a fish cooked with a bold sauce that contains ingredients like mushrooms or soy.

Lighter red wines, however, can be delicious when paired properly with the right fish. Try a Pinot Noir or Grenache with meaty, flavorful fish like salmon, tuna, and swordfish. Chianti pairs nicely with clam sauces, octopus, and squid.

Rosé Wines

Rosé wines pair particularly well with tomato flavors, so use them when you're ordering fish served in a tomato-based sauce. They pair well with Manhattan clam chowder, cioppino, zuppa di pesce, or any other tomato-based fish soups. Rosé wines also go well with the smoky flavor that accompanies grilled seafood.

Sparkling Wine

Sparkling wines like Champagne, Prosecca, or Cava are perfect with very rich, fatty foods. In addition to obvious pairings like caviar, sparkling wines go well with shellfish. It's also particularly tasty when paired with fried foods, so order your favorite fried shrimp, tempura, or fish and chips, and complement it with a glass of your favorite sparkling wine.

Pairing the right wines with your seafood can give your meal new layers of flavor, and introduce a new complexity into your meal. The next time you order seafood, try a wine pairing that you've never tried before and enjoy the flavor enhancement that it brings.