Not everyone knows that it can be tricky to pair red wine and fish together – not even the experienced waiter at your local restaurant, or the supplier of online wine. Often, you only find out after it’s too late that maybe that delicate fish would have been better with a Riesling instead.
However, while there are more instances where red wine and fish don’t work than there are situations when they do, you may find this information below helpful. In fact, these tips may be something you can keep in the back of your mind the next time you order fish at your local restaurant.
Chilled for Grilled
If you are going to be eating grilled fish, or fish that has been barbecued, seared, or features an intense marinade or sauce, then chilled red wine is going to pair beautifully. If it’s light enough and it can cut through even the oiliest of fish and intense flavors to gel beautifully in the mouth. Read the descriptions on the bottles when you’re buying from an online wine provider to make sure it’s not going to be too rich.
Served with Meat
There is nothing better than a delicious Surf ‘n’ Turf at your local restaurant. But, it soon calls for a beverage with which to wash it down. Believe it or not, when you pair seafood and fish with meat, red wine seems to work quite well. In fact, in Spanish cuisine, it’s not uncommon for chilled wine to accompany fish and chorizo dishes.
If you’re eating quite a substantial fish that tends to lean more towards “meaty” than “fishy,” then a light Pinot Noir or Rosé from an online wine provider or your local bottle store will work beautifully. Substantial fish can be anything that tends to not fall into the category of delicate such as tuna, monkfish, and even salmon. Because their flavour tends to be a little stronger, they won’t be overpowered by a more intense red wine like cod would, for example.
When you go to a restaurant for dinner, you often try to look for meals on the menu you typically wouldn’t prepare for yourself. More often than not, you will find a fish served in a sauce, and sometimes that sauce is red wine. This is one situation where a robust red wine works well with fish. However, it has to be both the right fish and the right wine. A strong-flavoured fish such as Halibut is an excellent choice but be sure to avoid high-alcohol red wines or those with too much tannin. Instead, opt for a lighter Merlot.
There is a fine art to serving red wine with fish, and it’s not something everyone learns to master. In fact, even the most experienced restaurateurs or online wine providers won’t have the combinations down to a fine art. If you take note of these standout combinations above, you’re sure to find you have a recipe for success the next time you eat out at your local restaurant.