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.
1. Krug Grande Cuvée Brut
Origin: Champagne, France
Varietal: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier
We’d heard that Krug was organizing fish and Champagne events to showcase how well their wine shows off the sweetness and delicacy of shellfish and white fish — and now we know why. If you want the ultimate in indulgent wine and seafood pairing, try this world-class, non-vintage Champagne with your favorite crustacean or sushi. It’s a full-bodied bubbly with depth of flavors, yet it maintains lemony freshness and a hint of grapefruit zest on the finish.
For more information, visit the Krug official website.
2. 2016 Stags’ Leap Aveta Sauvignon Blanc
Origin: Napa Valley, California
Varietal: 78% Sauvignon Blanc, 19% Sauvignon Musque, 2% Semillon, 1% Muscat
If you’re one of those seafood lovers who can’t resist squeezing fresh lemon onto every bite, this is your kind of wine. This Sauvignon Blanc’s cutting acidity is reminiscent of that very direct acid of the lemon as it touches your tongue. Yet the wine’s fruit flavors give it roundness, a smoothness to carry that acidity. It’s a similar effect to the balance of the acid and the fish or shellfish. With bright, passion fruit aromas, juicy green apple and pineapple flavors and hint of salinity, this is a Sauvignon Blanc that’s hard to resist — especially when it’s paired with seafood. When you’re pairing this wine with seafood, consider skipping the lemon.
For more information, visit the Stags’ Leap official website.
3. 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.
4. 2017 Olianas Vermentino di Sardegna
Origin: Vermentino di Sardegna DOC, Sardinia, Italy
Varietal: 100% Vermentino
If you’re looking for a wine for an affordable price that really helps seafood to shine, this is a great pick. This Vermentino from Sardinia is faintly exotic, pleasantly light-bodied and bursting with freshness and acidity. A lingering minerality on the wine’s finish works to augment the briny notes of seafood. Not just a solid choice for serving with fish, it’s a good choice any time you want the food to shine, like when you’re serving delicate cheeses or maybe with brunch.
For more information, visit the Olianas official website.
5. 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.
For more information, visit the Moraga official website.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 2016 Wedding Oak Viognier, High Valley Vineyards
Origin: Texas Hill Country, Texas
Varietal: 100% Viognier
You wouldn’t expect that a wine with the appropriate subtlety to pair with seafood would come from a state where the motto is “everything’s bigger.” However, this Texas Viognier is surprisingly restrained and quite pretty. On the nose, chamomile and citrus dominate. In the mouth, the citrus notes provide freshness and notes of crisp apple, melon and cut herbs give added dimension.
For more information, visit the Wedding Oak official website.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.