Fish and Shellfish Pairings
Fish and shellfish have always traditionally been paired with white wines, however when pairing this food category it is more helpful to consider the sauces used in each dish. Heavier sauced seafood tends to work well with red wines although lightly grilled entrees are still best served with white wine. Anchovies, for example, would go well with a Sauvignon Blanc or Spanish sherry. Foods that can be prepared in more than one way should be paired with complimenting wines. For example, fried calamari is best served with a fruity wine such as a Chenin Blanc or Pinot Grigio while calamari with tomato sauce would go best with a Sauvignon Blanc. Although caviar has traditionally been served with Champagne, an unoaked Chardonnay would also serve to bring out the rich textures and layers of flavor of caviar. Clams that have been steamed go exceptionally well with a white Bordeaux, Sauvignon Blanc or dry rose wine. Clams served with creamy sauces tend to require more acidic wines such as the Sauvignon Blanc or Muscadet. Clams with wine sauce can be taken with the same wine that's been used in the sauce to enhance the flavors of the meal altogether. Different kinds of fish also benefit from different wines. The flounder, for example, would be best served with an unoaked Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay while the Halibut goes better with a Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc, or Chardonnay. Lobster, on the other hand, when broiled, is best served with a Burgundy or Chardonnay. All other methods of serving do well with Chardonnay or Pinot Noir. Muscles are another treat that can be served many ways. In steamed form, they go best with a dry Riesling, unoaked Sauvignon Blanc, or Pinot Blanc. In a cream sauce, mussels are best served with lightly oaked Chardonnays or Rieslings. Oysters can be served with a dry Riesling or a good sparkling wine. They also tend to enhance the flavors in an unoaked Suavignon Blanc or a Pinot Noir when served in raw form. Salmon always goes best with red wine. If it must be white, consider a slightly oaky Chardaonnay. Tuna is another fish that can benefit from a read wine such as a Rhone or lively Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, or Merlot. Buttery Chardonnays also tend to do well with this hearty fish.