Your One-Stop Guide to the Best Wines for Seafood

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seafood and wine dinner
Photo by ANDI WHISKEY on Unsplash

Seafood speaks for itself. Its flavors undoubtedly stand out on their own. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t use sauces, spices, and the perfect wine pairings to elevate your seafood dishes. In fact, wine can be one of the most perfect tastes to add to your meal, both to bring out even more of the natural flavors of seafood and to freshen up your palate.

This guide will suggest some of the best wine pairings for your favorite seafood, from fish to delectable lobster, so you’ll know exactly what kind of wine to have ready for your next seafood dinner. Break out the wine glasses and read on!

Why Seafood and Wine?

Coming home after work and enjoying a glass of wine with dinner is something many people look forward to. Wine has relaxing properties that can quickly curb the day’s anxieties and help you get into a more relaxed mindset. Pair it with seafood – some of the healthiest group of foods you can digest – and you’re giving your body and mind nourishing benefits.

But there’s also a science behind the whole drink-wine-with-dinner thing. Wine includes tannins, which are compounds that give the wine its dry taste. They also help your mouth get more flavor from your food by binding with the food molecules and breaking everything down in an intense way. So, drinking wine with your lobster could bring out those flavors you love even more!

Red Versus White Wine with Seafood: Which One is Best?

Red wines tend to pair best with steak because they’re full of tannins that bind well with fat molecules to soften the meat and bring out its flavors. Seafood is a lot more delicate than steak, though, and contains very little fat. Therefore, white wines, which have more subtle and fruitier flavors than red wines, usually make the best pairing with seafood, as red wine tends to overpower lobster, crab, and other subdued flavors.

The Best Seafood and Wine Combinations

Are you looking for just the right wine and seafood combinations for your favorite fish or crustacean? We have everything you need to know about pairing your favorite fish and other seafood with the perfect wine to enhance flavor and please your palate.

Lobster and Wine Pairing

Let’s start with lobster, one of the most delectable types of seafood to ever grace the ocean. Lobster is one of those flavors you don’t want to mask with a bunch of sauce and seasonings. Usually, all it needs to brighten its natural flavors is some butter or a light wine sauce, as anything else might overwhelm its decadent, yet delicate, flavors.

For lobster, we recommend Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, both of which lend well to non-complex seafood dishes with subtle flavors. They don’t overpower the natural taste of lobster but instead help to brighten it up with their fruity tastes. Pinot Grigio comes in a variety of fruity undertones, from citrusy to peachy, so you can find one that matches your fruit preferences, too.

Fish and Wine Pairing

There are so many kinds of fish to choose from that it can be a challenge to know what wine will work best with your favorites. Ultimately, we can separate fish into two categories: Very fishy flavors and subtler fishy flavors.

For fish with bolder flavors, like herring and mackerel, stand up to robust wines well – and may even pair with your favorite red wine. For strong-tasting fish, try Rosé, Pinot Noir, or champagne. They can match the intense flavors of the fish, bringing an elevated calmness to your palate instead of overwhelming it.

Fish with less intense flavors, like haddock and tilapia, need a wine that won’t overpower them. For these fish, you can use the same kinds you’d pair with lobster or switch it up a bit with a Greek or Portuguese Whites, which have subdued flavors with a lively body to perk up your palate.

Pairing Wine with Shrimp, Crab, and Scallops

We’re grouping this shelled seafood because they’re quite similar in their flavor profiles and pair well with similar wines. One of our favorite pairings is Riesling, a German variety with fruity flavors and high acidity to release their natural flavors.

Albariño wine is another excellent choice. This white wine comes mostly from Spain and has a slightly salty taste that works wonders with shelled seafood.

What About Rich Seafood Dishes?

If you prefer your seafood in rice or pasta dishes, like scallop risotto or shrimp linguine, then the flavors you want to match with your wine will be a little different. If you want to match the richness of your dish with vibrant wine, then go for something like chardonnay or Viognier. To cut down on the richness, stick with something light, like Pinot Grigio or Chenin Blanc.

Conclusion: Best Wine to Pair with Seafood

Now you know what wines work best with your favorite seafood. Are you ready to try some of the best-tasting seafood straight from the coast of Maine? Here at Maine Lobster House, we specialize in shipping fresh live lobster from Maine, lobster tails, Maryland crab cakes, king crab legs, scallops, swordfish, salmon, and other favorite flavors of the sea straight to your door. It’s never been easier to cook up delicious seafood in your home.

Be sure to check out our latest deals and sign up for our Lobster Rewards program to make the most of your money!