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Pairing wine with seafood doesn’t have to be complicated.

Just remember, it’s really about how you cook and in what style that affects the taste when pairing wine with seafood.

Guide to Pairing Wine with Seafood

One big no, no is pairing seafood with red wines. Why?

The tannins found in red wine are going to react badly with the fish oil on your tastebuds.

It could create a copper penny (metallic) or sanguine aftertaste. Trust, you don’t want that.

If you want to pair red wine with seafood, then stick to a low tannin light-bodied red wine.

Best Wines With Shellfish: Crab, Lobster, Shrimp, and Prawns

Most shellfish are meaty and succulent with a touch of sweetness, so you want a medium or rich full-bodied white wine.

And of course, white sparkling wines are always an excellent choice.

  • Oaked Chardonnay
  • Sancerre
  • Pouilly-Fumé
  • Semillon
  • Viognier
  • Pinot Gris
  • White Rioja
  • Fumé Blanc (California)
  • Champagne
  • Cava
  • American Sparkling Wine

Best Wines With Octopus, Fried or Grilled Calamari, and Cuttlefish

I love octopus. It’s my Greek heritage. Bring me a plate of grilled octopus, and we can be BFFs. Octopus can be prepared in a variety of ways, but the most common is grilled or stewed.

Calamari + Cuttlefish are usually grilled or deep-fried and go best with young, dry wines, and even off-dry wines would pair well.

  • Pinot Grigio
  • Champagne
  • Cava
  • Rueda
  • Rosato
  • Verdejo
  • Chilean Sauvignon Blanc
  • Pinot Noir
  • Riesling
  • Greek Whites: Assyrtiko, Malagousia, and Moschofilero

Best Wines With Meaty Fish

Meaty fish such as salmon, swordfish, monkfish, mackerel, and tuna match exceptionally well with rose and medium-bodied white wines. For a wildcard pairing, light-bodied reds slightly chilled are delicious.

  • Loire Valley Rose
  • Provence Rose
  • French Sauvignon Blanc
  • American Pinot Gris
  • Moscato and spicy, meaty fish
  • Gamay
  • German Pinot Noir or Spätburgunder

Best Wines With Flaky White Fish

White flaky fish like snapper, grouper, cod, haddock, pollock, barramundi, sole, tilapia, catfish, and sea bass are an excellent match for light-bodied white wines and sparkling wine.

  • Fried or battered fried fish: Prosecco, Champagne, or Albarino
  • Butter based sauces: Chablis, Muscadet, and White Burgundy
  • Salt cod: Duoro white
  • Spicy white fish: Gewurztraminer, Riesling, and Pinot Gris
  • Herbed white fish: Torrontes, Chilean or New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, and Assyrtiko,
  • Loire Valley Chenin Blanc
  • Riesling
  • Verdejo
  • Chablis
  • Grüner Veltliner
  • Greek Whites: Assyrtiko, Moschofilero, and Malagousia
  • Pinot Grigio

If you’re in the mood for salmon, check out my perfect salmon air fryer recipe>>

About the Author Alexandra Andersen


I founded Wine & Drama to make you laugh and help you learn all about wine, food, and living well. I love stinky cheese, my Nespresso machine, Loire Valley white wines, bold full-bodied reds, and championing ladies in winemaking.

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