The summer is in full swing and we are all enjoying some outdoor entertaining with close friends and family. What’s better than an evening under the stars with a great meal of seasonal fish and, of course, a perfectly paired bottle of wine?

For wine connoisseurs, pairing wine with any dish is a fun and tasty endeavor. For the layperson, however, a lesson or two in how to match a wine with your fish meal may be in order. Here is a quick guide in what wine you may want to purchase for your next dinner party. 

salmon on bed of veggies
salmon on bed of veggies

A General Rule…

While some wine specialists may beg to differ with this next statement, most wine lovers will agree that, as a general rule, white wine should be served with fish. 

According to Wine Folly online, “Red wines contain higher levels of tannin which interact with fish oils on your palate. In most cases this interaction can leave a metallic aftertaste in your mouth.”  They go on to state that if you insist on pairing fish with red wine, it is best to opt for a low tannin red wine.

Obviously if your guests prefer a certain type of wine, indulge them, but remember these simple guidelines to bring out the fresh flavor of your fish. 

shrimp cocktail

Pairing By Type of Fish 

If you are trying to pair a specific type of fish with a wine that will bring out the flavor, try these guidelines. 

Lean and Flaky fish such as Sea Bass, Flounder, Perch, Porgy, Sole, Fluke, Tilapia, Wild striped bass, Pollock, and Haddock look for zesty and refreshing whites to balance the delicate fish flavor. Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, or a Chardonnay may be a great choice. 

Meaty fish such as tuna, bluefish, salmon, mackerel, mahi mahi, shark, monkfish and swordfish will do well with rich white wines such as: Dry Rosé, Italian Chardonnay, Marsanne, or Roussanne. 

A medium firm and textured fish such as Trout, Arctic Char, Catfish, Red Snapper, Grouper, Skate, Cod, Hake, Black fish, Haddock, Redfish, Halibut, and Black Cod would do best with a medium bodied white wine. These could include: Dry Riesling, Chardonnay California Sauvignon Blanc, or a Pinot Gris.  

When choosing your wine talk to the sales associate or wine specialists what might be best to pair with your fish and the sauce you have chosen to go with it. Bon Appetit!