Red Wine With Fish?

Fish is delish! Red wine, too! Is fish and red wine right for you?

Well- the short answer is no. But, as always with wine, there’s more to it than that.

Most fish to be found on our tables is delicate in taste and preparation. Light sauces, short cooking times and an emphasis on freshness and subtle herbs means that red wine is generally too flavorful, full-bodied and intense to pair with fish- it will dominate the dish, not compliment it.

In most circumstances just reach for a white wine instead, but keep an open mind sometimes depending on two things- the fish and the preparation...

Some types of fish are stronger tasting than others. Salmon is a good example- it has a distinctive and relatively strong character which can pair very nicely with a light red. Mackerel, Bluefish and Sardines are also oily fish with flavors that delicate reds can enhance.

Similarly, stewing or a grilling can create stronger flavors than other preparations, and their intensity will balance out slightly stronger tastes in wine.

Actually rosé wine pairs well with these flavors as well!

Hey- there are many white wines out there that will be easy and delicious pairings with fish- so drink them! Just keep in mind that lighter-bodied Pinot Noir, Spanish Mencia or young, fresh Italian Nebbiolo are all good examples of subtle reds that match well with fish under the right circumstances.

learn about wine, one sip at a time >