The 15 Best Wines for Pairing with Seafood in 2023
Top Wines to Drink with Seafood
As a general rule, the best food and wine pairing is a wine you enjoy and a food that you love. For the most part, you’re bound to enjoy both, no matter what you’re eating or drinking. However, if there’s one pairing that might be considered tricky, it’s seafood.
It’s due largely to the fact that seafood dishes tend to have delicate flavors, which can be overpowered by bigger wines. So, we’ve put together this list of wines for pairing with seafood, both red and white. These selections will help make your seafood dish the star of your meal.
> Check out GAYOT’s Seafood Guide.
1. Pascal Jolivet, Attitude, 2021 Sauvignon Blanc | Val de Loire, France
Origin: Loire, France
Varietal: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
The house of Pascal Jolivet was founded in 1987 and is one of the most dynamic domaines in France’s Loire Valley. Pascal Jolivet is a firm believer in natural winemaking and practices environmentally friendly techniques in both the vineyard and the cellar. The philosophy of the estate is to let nature take its course as much as possible. The juices are fermented with wild yeasts in stainless steel tanks with thermoregulation.
This Sauvignon Blanc has a brilliant, pale-yellow color. Aromas of grapefruit, green apple and lemon unfold in the nose. The palate has a soft texture with flavors of citrus, apple and a touch of minerals, all evolving into a long, smooth finish.
> For more information, visit Pascal Jolivet official website.
2. Buena Vista, Champagne “La Victoire” NV
Origin: Champagne, France
Varietal: 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay
Arpad Haraszthy, the third son of the Count of Buena Vista, spent over two years in Epernay, France, in the heart of Champagne, learning the craft of making sparkling wine. Upon his return to the winery in Sonoma, he became the first to master Méthode Traditionelle sparkling wine in California. In partnership with the largest family-owned proprietors of vineyards in Champagne, the winery pays tribute to his legacy with their La Victoire Champagne: the Victory of Buena Vista and Champagne!
The wine has a bright straw color with persistent effervescence. The elegant bouquet displays apple, Meyer lemon, white flowers and a touch of yeast. The palate is full and complex, with good length and elegance.
> For more information, visit the Buena Vista official website.
3. 2020 Ram’s Gate, Carneros, Sauvignon Blanc
Origin: Carneros, California, USA
Varietal: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
With its cool climate, Carneros produces wines of great depth and distinction. Situated upon a rolling hillside, where the San Francisco Bay meets the edges of Napa and Sonoma counties, Ram’s Gate Winery patiently awaits. Director of winemaking Joe Nielsen is parlaying the estate vineyard into a model of thoughtful precision farming and sustainability, while also elevating each wine in the portfolio to its highest vineyard expression.
Two clones of Sauvignon Blanc were used for this wine: clone 1 (64%) and Musque (36%). They were fermented separately and blended at bottling, creating a compelling and dynamic wine. Using a combination of new French oak, neutral oak and stainless steel gives the wine layers of texture, fullness and complexity.
The wine shows a bright yellow straw color and a nose of melon, apple, stone fruit and spice. The palate unfolds a beautifully balanced wine with nice complexity, notes of Meyer lemon, grapefruit and a touch of minerality.
> For more information, visit the Ram’s Gate official website.
4. 2016 Fort Ross Winery Sea Slopes Pinot Noir
Origin: Sonoma Coast, California
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is a popular varietal for pairing with salmon these days. However, this tends to work best when the fish is cooked simply, so that the preparation doesn’t outshine either the fresh seafood or the wine. We would also suggest this wine with trout or even a tuna steak, but the same recommendation applies. Of all the wonderful Pinots in the world, we’re selecting this one because of its faint salinity. A thread carrying through from aroma to finish is reminiscent of breathing and tasting fresh ocean air. It’s a delightful effect in a wine, particularly when you’re pairing it with seafood.
> For more information, visit the Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery official website.
5. 2019 La Valentina, Pecorino Colline Pescaresi
Origin: Abruzzo, Italy
La Valentina is a leading example of the modern renaissance of winemaking in Abruzzo. The region has a history as a source of inexpensive bulk wine production, but a new generation of winemakers has dedicated themselves to harnessing the excellent terroir to produce high quality rather than high quantity—and La Valentina is at the forefront of this movement.
Pecorino is one of the most exciting native white grape varieties to have been “rediscovered” in Italy in recent years, and Abruzzo is the source for many of the best. The name Pecorino is derived from Uve delle Pecora (grape of the sheep), a reference to the sheepherders who ate the grapes while accompanying their flocks across the hills and valleys of Abruzzo and the Marche.
This Pecorino has a light yellow color. The nose mixes apple, citrus, floral and spices. On the palate, pear, Meyer lemon zest and some tropical fruit shine through, wrapped up in juicy acidity and a touch of minerality.
> For more information, visit the La Valentina official website.
6. 2016 Moraga Estate Sauvignon Blanc
Origin: Bel Air, California
Varietal: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
If you want an air of glamour with your seafood feast, this is the wine for you. Made from grapes grown in the tony Los Angeles community of Bel Air, this lush Sauvignon Blanc makes an elegant partner for pairing with seafood. It offers concentrated tropical fruit and slate aromas. Its acidity positively bursts onto the tongue with notes of lemon, passion fruit and tangerine. A touch of French oak adds complexity and a luxurious mouthfeel. It is a truly indulgent wine and one worthy of a decadent seafood meal.
> Watch GAYOT’s exclusive video interview to learn more about Moraga.
> For more information, visit the Moraga official website.
7. 2017 Alois Lageder Schiava
Origin: Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
This wine is a great buy for any occasion but it’s also a red that’s a solid choice for serving with seafood. Its musky aromas are balanced by bright, fresh acidity. Schiava is a grape native to Alto Adige, known for its round tannins and lively fruit freshness — attributes that would make any wine a friend to seafood. Although its light red fruit flavors are fairly straightforward, the wine surprises the palate with a hint of black pepper and coriander on the finish.
> For more information, visit the Alois Lageder official website.
8. 2015 Cave de Tain Grand Classique Blanc
Origin: Crozes-Hermitage, Rhône Valley, France
Varietal: 100% Marsanne
Almond, wet stone and citrus aromas make this an inviting wine for any occasion, particularly during the warmer months. Its citrus flavors are thirst-quenching, but it’s the zesty acidity that makes it one of our recommendations for pairing with seafood. (This is another wine choice for which you’ll want to resist the urge to squeeze lemon on your plate.) The wine’s long, mineral finish leaves a lasting impression.
> For more information, visit the Cave de Tain official website.
9. 2017 Cartograph Starscape Vineyard Gewürztraminer
Origin: Russian River Valley, California
Varietal: 100% Gewürztraminer
This limited-production Gewürztraminer offers the freshness of a summer breeze. On the nose, it offers welcoming honeysuckle and honeydew aromas with underlining notes of citrus oil, lychee and even a hint of bees wax. On the palate, it has vibrancy from citrus acidity yet it maintains a silky, almost oily weight on the tongue. A surprising, herbal note of cilantro leaf enters on the finish to give the wine added complexity and freshness and makes it a compelling partner for any seafood dish.
> For more information, visit the Cartograph official website.
10. 2020 Tablas Creek, Côtes de Tablas Blanc, Paso Robles
Origin: Paso Robles, Adelaida District, California, USA
Varietal: 38% Viognier, 32% Grenache Blanc, 22% Marsanne, 8% Roussanne
Tablas Creek Vineyard, founded in the limestone hills of Paso Robles’ Adelaida District by the Perrin family of Château de Beaucastel and Robert Haas of Vineyard Brands, is dedicated to sustainably farmed wines from grape varieties traditional to France’s Rhône Valley.
This wine is a blend reminiscent of Northern Rhône white wines, and features the lushly aromatic Viognier, whose richness is balanced by the structure and minerality of Roussanne and Marsanne and the crisp acidity of Grenache Blanc.
> For more information, visit the Tablas Creek official website.
11. 2016 Eroica Riesling
Origin: Columbia Valley, Washington
Varietal: 100% Riesling
An American classic, this Riesling is a wine to serve with everything, including seafood. It’s a floral wine with fleshy fruit flavors of lime, tangerine and melon. Made in an off-dry style, it offers subtle sweetness balanced by a faintly earthy, mineral note. Its acidity can cut through the richness of creamy seafood dishes and its sweetness echoes that subtle sweetness of shellfish.
> For more information, visit the Chateau Ste. Michelle official website.
12. 2017 Ammunition Founders Reserve Chardonnay
Origin: Russian River Valley, California
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Earlier we mentioned that the problem with pairing wine and seafood can be that bigger wines might take the spotlight away from the food. Here’s a wine that proves that if big Chardonnay is your thing, you can serve this type of wine with your seafood dishes. With its vanilla and fall fruit aromas, creamy mouthfeel and bright, lime acidity, this is a wine to enjoy on its own or, if you prefer, with your favorite seafood dish.
> For more information, visit the Ammunition official website.
13. 2017 Perlage Riva Moretta Frizzante Prosecco di Valdobbiadene DOCG
Origin: Prosecco di Valdobbiadene, Veneto, Italy
Varietal: 100% Glera
Just as we began this list of wines to pair with seafood, we end it with bubbly. And what’s great about this Prosecco is that you can enjoy the heady sensations of the wine within a reasonable budget. A bright, fresh, lightly sparkling wine with aromas of wildflowers and candied citrus, it makes a pretty accompaniment to seafood but will never overshadow the food. On the palate it offers flavors of tangerine and a bit of a green apple bite. It finishes clean yet leaves the mouth watering for the next sip.
> For more information, visit the Perlage official website.
14. Champagne Deutz, Hommage à William Deutz, Meurtet 2012
Origin: Aÿ, France
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Deutz Hommage à William Deutz, Meurtet is created from an estate vineyard adjacent to the winery itself in Aÿ. The new creation by CEO Fabrice Rosset is a blend of 100% Pinot Noir and is a hommage to the founder of the house, William Deutz. The last time Champagne Deutz created a Blanc de Noirs was in 1975. Usually the wine from this vineyard is blended into Deutz’s other cuvées, but winemaker Michel Davesne was so impressed with it he suggested to put it on its own again. Only a few thousand bottles have been made.
This Blanc de Noirs shows a light golden color with vivid effervescence. The nose delivers lemon zest, apple, Asian spices and white blossom. Flavors of ripe cherries, spices and a chalky minerality develop on the palate, all in rare harmony and refinement.
> For more information, visit Champagne Deutz official website.
15. Vietti, Roero Arneis 2020
Origin: Langhe, Italy
Varietal: 100% Arneis
Located in the heart of the Langhe hills, at the top of the village of Castiglione Falletto, the Vietti wine cellar was founded in the late 1800s by Carlo Vietti. The estate has gradually grown over the course of time, and today the vineyards include some of the most highly-prized terroirs within the Langhe growing area. The Vietti family were the first to make wine from 100% Arneis grape — previously Arneis was used in white wine blends.
The wine shows a straw yellow color and a bouquet of lemon zest, peach and blossom. The mouth feel is medium bodied with juicy acidity, fruity, elegant with a lingering finish.
> For more information, visit the Vietti official website.