Are you planning a dinner at home? Should you get red wine or white? Different recipes of meats, chicken, pasta and even desserts each go with different types of wine depending on how they are cooked. But what about seafood? Seafood have so many different varieties and can also be prepared in so many ways that there is no one wine that would perfectly go with everything. This article is a guide to choosing what wine goes with seafood. So keep reading to find out which wine pairs for different types of seafood meal preparation.
Why You Should Pair Wine and Food
For an elevated meal experience, it’s important to know what wine goes with seafood. This will make you feel like you’re eating at an expensive fine dining restaurant even when you are just at home. The perfect wine enhances and brings out the flavor of your food. Wine and food react to each other, that’s why the perfect combination of the two will make you enjoy your eating experience even more. You will also impress your guests with the feast you have prepared if you serve them the perfect wine.
What Wine To Pair with Seafood
If you’re wandering around the town looking for the best wine store and trying to figure out what wine goes with seafood before buying, here are a few suggestions.
Sparkling wines: Champagne, Prosecco, Cava
These wines have the perfect balance of dryness, bubbles, and fruitiness. The bubbles in sparkling wine are caused by significant amount of carbon dioxide in it. This feature makes it a versatile drink. Because it is fizzy, it is especially perfect for fried food. The fizz cuts through the heaviness of deep fried batter and the saltiness of fish. Pair your sparkling wine with:
- Fish and chips
- Crab cakes
- Other shellfish
- Any light, flaky fish
Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio
These wines are dry, crisp, sweet and simple. They pair perfectly with white fish that are cooked in a simple way. Seared, fried in a pan with some butter or oil, or poached. It goes with anything light. Pair these wines with:
- Raw or cooked clams
- Raw Oysters
Chardonnay, Fumé Blanc, Viognier, Pinot Gris
These wines are a fuller than the previously mentioned white wines. These have a rich and complex flavor, can sometimes be tart or buttery. It is matched with heavier types of dishes- soups with a heartier broth, oily fishes, and pastas with creamy sauces. Because of the buttery undertones of this wine, butter-based sauces also go well. These wines go perfectly with:
- Grilled or roasted seafood
Pinot Noir, Gamay, Sangiovese, Grenache
For wines in the light red category such as these, you can pair them with dishes that have a heavier and filling base as their sauce such as tomato based pastas, and seafood that is fatter and meatier. These wines are aromatic, full, fruity, and pair perfectly with the following:
Dry Fino Sherry
This wine originated from Spain, so for the best and most authentic tasting Dry Fino Sherry, try to get one that was aged in Spain. The perfect pair for this wine is shrimp that is cooked in any and every way- steamed, grilled, fried, stir fried, shrimp cocktails, or gumbo. Nothing else taste as good with Dry Fino Sherry than shrimp!
Rosé sits right in between the red and white wines not only in color, but in terms of taste and texture as well. So look to this kind of wine when you are eating something that is not quite light, but also not too heavy. Perfectly in the middle. Its taste swings between sweet and dry depending on the type of grape used. Have a glass of rosé with:
- Grilled meaty fish, such as grilled tuna
- Tomato-based seafood soup, such as cioppino
- Seafood sandwiches or wraps
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How To Choose The Perfect Wine
When you are dining out in a restaurant, you would feel confident with wine pairings even when you don’t know much about wines because these places usually have their own experts called sommeliers that will happily assist you in making the right choice of wine.
But what about when you are on your own and preparing a dinner at home? Wines that you can buy in stores have labels that can serve as your guide when choosing. These labels indicate descriptions of flavor notes, characteristics of the wine and origin of the grapes.
However, if the terms written on the bottles are not familiar for you, this can confuse you even more. Here are a few terms to remember:
- Sweetness: Wine labels often use the terms “sweet,” “semi-sweet” or “dry.” A dry wine will not be sweet at all.
- Acidity: Wines with high acidity will be tarter, while wines with low-acidity wines will taste fuller.
- Tannin: Tannins are phenolic compounds in the skins of grapes. When tannins are naturally present in the winemaking process or added through aging, the wine will have a more bitter taste.
- Body: Wines get characterized as having a light body, full body or somewhere in between. The “body” of the wine refers to how heavy or light it feels in your mouth.
- Alcohol: The higher the percentage of alcohol in your glass of wine, the more it will warm your throat and the back of your mouth. Measured in percentage of alcohol by volume (ABV), most wines contain 11 to 13 percent alcohol, but can range from 5.5 percent all the way up to 20 percent.
Every individual person has their own subjective taste, and this also goes when it comes to choosing wine. While preference is important in making a choice, it is also important to go with something that is meant to be paired with your dishes. Now, you don’t have to feel nervous when you go to the alcohol section of the grocery store, and you don’t have to be confused or too shy. You can impress your friends, families and loved ones when you invite them over to eat because you are now equipped with the basic knowledge of what wine goes with seafood or other meals you will prepare. Remember these tips and guide for choosing wine for a dinner that you won’t forget.z