We’d like to propose a toast, Seafoodies!
On #SeafoodSundays — especially during the summer — all we want to do is chill. No disrespect to Ladies Who Lunch and Gentlemen Who Golf, but we decidedly are in the camp of Seafoodies Who Sip! There’s just something about wine that makes a great seafood meal even better. Whether your pour of choice is red, white or rosé, still or sparkling, full-ABV or alcohol-free, summer wines pair wonderfully with seafood.
Consider, for example, a crisp sauvignon blanc. Its high acidity and mineral notes play especially well with mild-tasting fish like cod, for a pairing that tastes like the essence of summer. A fruitier wine such as pinot grigio, on the other hand, brings out the best in sweet shellfish. Try it with shrimp, crab or lobster!
You might have heard that red wine shouldn’t be served with seafood, but let’s debunk that myth! Truth is, there are plenty of seafood-wine pairings at the higher-tannin end of the spectrum. Pinot noir, for instance, is a fine match for mustard-glazed salmon, offsetting its richness with a fresh and fruity finish. And smooth merlot, another summer-worthy red, nicely balances flavor-forward fish dishes like tomatoey tuna puttanesca.
And let’s not forget that it’s still rosé season! This is our go-to wine for picnics and barbecues, where we can savor every drop while admiring its gorgeous color. The subtle sweetness of rosé works especially well with grilled seafood that has a bit of a char. Think shrimp skewers or scallop kabobs.
But at the end of the day, the first (and only) rule of Seafoodie sipping is to have fun — anything goes! If you’re looking for some guidance, though, we’ve put together a few of our favorite summer wine and seafood pairings. So, pop open a bottle of vino, and c’mon into the kitchen!
Suggested wine pairing: sauvignon blanc
Briny and aromatic, this Mediterranean cod needs a light wine that complements its complexity rather than competing with it. We’re pairing it with a fresh-tasting sauvignon blanc that has notes of citrus, to cleanse the palate while enhancing each bite.
Suggested wine pairing: pinot gris
This citrusy tilapia recipe is low-maintenance–your wine should be, too. Go for a full-bodied pinot gris, which has just enough fruitiness to balance the acidity of the fish.
Suggested wine pairing: chardonnay
Oven-roasting brings out the natural sweetness of this crab-stuffed squash (the Parmesan and cream cheese don’t hurt, either). Buttery chardonnay matches the richness of this dish without overwhelming the crab.
Suggested wine pairing: pinot grigio
These luscious lobster tails are simply broiled with garlic butter. Our potable pick: a refreshingly light pinot grigio, which rises to the occasion, and then some.
Suggested wine pairing: pinot noir
Here, we dare to tread into previously forbidden territory: pairing red wine with fish. Boldly flavored salmon — served up with a turmeric cauliflower mash and garlicky wilted spinach — demands a stand-up wine, and earthy pinot noir is up to the task.
Suggested wine pairing: merlot
While you could play it safe and pair this pasta with a dry white wine, we love how a plummy merlot balances the tuna, briny olives and acidic tomatoes of this dish.
Suggested wine pairing: zinfandel
Oily fish like salmon can take on the most robust of summer reds. We suggest pairing it with a smoky, spicy zinfandel that brings plenty of fruit to the party!
Suggested wine pairing: rosé
Few dishes are as simple as shrimp on the barbie. Complement the slightly bitter char of these grilled shrimp with a semi-sweet rosé that’s tailor-made for outdoor sipping!