Pairing seafood and wine

It's summer, time for seafood and wine!

Seafood is traditionally paired with white wine for good reason. Much like that squirt of citrus we like so much with seafood, white wines bring a spark of acidity when paired with fish, brightening the fish flavors and cleansing the palate. That’s not to say that red wines can’t also be paired with seafood, those cases are simply very particular.

Most seafood dishes share a certain delicacy of flavor. When pairing wine and food, you should  always match the intensity of flavors on each side of the equation. Most white fish and shellfish are among the most delicate of foods, thus requiring some of the most delicate of wines. Among the classic pairings for seafood are delicate wines like unoaked or lightly oaked Chardonnay, such as Chablis, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Albarino from Spain and Muscadet from France.

If you are thinking about pairing red wines with fish, look for heartier fish like tuna and salmon made with robust preparations and seasonings. Grilling or blackening will impart assertive seasonings that will pair with the wines as well as with the fish itself.

Shrimp Recipes

Shrimp is a delicate seafood but it is not always prepared in the most delicate of ways. Fried shrimp are ideally paired with simple, bright white wines like Albarino and Pinot Grigio, though there are many examples of shrimp dishes that can stand up to more intense wines. Shrimp scampi, with all that butter and garlic, can handle a rich white wine like Chardonnay, but some bitter-edged Italian whites can work splendidly with scampi as ...

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Lobster Recipes

Lobster is one of the richest yet most delicate seafood dishes. Traditionally steamed and served with drawn butter, lobster is a natural match for a rich, buttery Chardonnay that mimics both the flavor of the butter and the intensity and silky texture of the lobster.  Other lobster preparations tend to either be in a spicy, Asian vein, where a bright rich white like Riesling or Pinot Blanc would be in order, or along the lines of Lobster ...

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Fried Fish Recipes

Fried fish is a classic fish preparation that needs a bright, crisp wine to pair with. Like lemon or malt vinegar, a bright wine helps to cut through the grease of deep frying while brightening the flavor of the fish and pushing it to the forefront. Muscadet and Albarino are perfect examples of wines with enough acidity to act as a foil for these flavors of deep fried fish. There are also some niche wines that are all about acid and are perf...

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Grilled Fish Recipes

Grilling lends the fish flavor profile a smoky and sometimes lightly charred element. This is particularly true of skin-on fish, where the layer of fat just below the skin melts and creates the oil needed for frying and crisping of the skin. Grilled fish tends to go very well with barrel-aged white wines, but you don’t have to stick to only Chardonnay. Barrel-aged Sauvignon Blanc can be superb with grilled fish, as can Chenin Blanc. A barrel...

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Salmon Recipes

Salmon is one of the most versatile fish both in methods of preparation and pairing with wine. One of salmon’s advantages is its size, which allows for steaks, fillets and smaller cuts to cook perfectly through many cooking preparations. Another reason for salmon’s flexibility is its natural oil content, which keeps salmon moist when cooked but also allows for a fairly broad range of wine pairing options. One thing to keep in mind is that...

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(Source: SNOOTH)