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Wine Pairings with Seafood & Sushi

Wine Pairings with Seafood & Sushi

These Pairings are a Great Catch!

Okay, we need a show of hands here – who out there has a mild obsession with sushi and seafood? Wow … that’s quite a few of you! Welcome to the club, you’re in good company. Now, the next thing we need to know is, how many of you sushi and seafood lovers want to learn how to pair the perfect glass of wine with your next tuna roll? … All of you? Awesome, that means you’re in the right place!

With a few tips and some general wine pairing know-how, finding the right glass of wine to complement your favorite sushi roll is easy-peasy. We won’t keep you waiting – let’s get into the info you need to know when pairing wine with sushi and seafood!

Pairing Wine with Seafood

Pairing Wine With Seafood 

The featured protein in your seafood dish will, more often than not, determine which wine you should reach for. In general, it’s best to pair lighter proteins with more crisp, acidic wines, while more savory, fatty seafood marries well with fuller-bodied vinos. To show you exactly what we mean, we’ve outlined a few pairing examples below:

Whitefish like Tilapia and Wine

Tilapia and Other White Fish

We love a fresh selection of white fish! Tilapia, Mahi Mahi, cod, and red snapper are all examples of fish that fall into this category. Because of its light flavor, you don’t want to overpower this fish with an especially bold wine. Instead, these dishes are best served with bright, acidic wines like a Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. Rather than drowning out the delicate flavors of these dishes, the refreshing taste and acidity of the wine will complement and accentuate the pleasant, mild taste of the fish. 

Salmon or Fatty Fish with Wine

Salmon and Other Fatty Fish

Hearty, fatty fish like salmon, tuna, or swordfish taste absolutely incredible when paired with a variety of light red wines or a full-bodied white like Chardonnay! Light Beaujolais, Burgundy, or a light Pinot Noir are all excellent options to pair with a more robust fish. The acidity in these wines will cut through the fat in the fish while also offering a pleasant balance to the texture and rich flavors. 

Pairing Shellfish and Wine

Crab, Lobster, and Scallops

The rich, almost buttery flavors of crab, lobster, and scallops call for a wine that has an equally unctuous texture. Full-bodied white wines are the ideal choice for a perfectly seared scallop or a decadent she-crab soup, offering a delicious balance of velvety mouthfeel and nutty flavors. A few examples that you’ll want to try include full-bodied, oak-aged Chardonnay, a white Burgundy, or Chablis, which is typically made with Chardonnay grapes. 

Pairing Wines with Seafood Based on Cooking Method

Wine Pairing by Cooking Method

Depending on the way seafood is prepared, it can take on completely new characteristics that add depth and complexity to its flavor. The same piece of fish will taste very different when it is fried versus if it is served grilled or raw. Let’s take a look at these different preparation methods and talk about which wines work best with them!

Grilled Seafood and Wine Pairing

Grilled Seafood

Grilling a piece of fish or shellfish imparts a deep, savory, and sometimes smoky set of flavors that are unmistakably delicious. For grilled seafood, try out a dry Rosé to balance out that smokiness and create a tasty balance of aromas and flavors. 

Raw Seafood and Wine Pairings

Raw Seafood & Shellfish

With raw fish, you’d be hard-pressed to find a one-size-fits-all answer for which wine works best. Instead, there are a couple of general rules that you should keep in mind! Whitefish, mussels, and oysters all work well with bright, acidic whites like Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, or dry, sparkling Champagne. On the other hand, fatty fish like salmon and tuna work best with full-bodied whites like Chardonnay or light reds like Burgundy (mostly made from the food-friendly Pinot Noir grape). 

Fried Seafood and Wine Pairings

Fried Seafood

Fried (or tempura) seafood pairs exceptionally well with a festive glass of sparkling wine such as Prosecco, Cava, or Champagne. While this may seem like an unlikely pairing, it is actually a rather exceptional balance of flavors! The bubbles in sparkling wine cut through the heaviness of the fried food while also offering a bright contrast to the rich, savory flavor. Trust us, this pairing is worth a try!

Sushi and Wine Pairings

Pairing Wine With Sushi

Typically, sushi is enjoyed with a light beer or traditional, Japanese sake (which we will talk more about later). Wine may seem like a strange beverage choice to pair with your favorite sushi roll, but the right glass can make all the difference in elevating those mouthwatering flavors!

When deciding which glass of wine you’ll pick, think about the overall flavor of the sushi rather than nitpicking the flavors found in each roll. For example, spicy rolls will pair beautifully with fruit-forward rosé, stonefruit-forward Gruner Veltliner from Austria, or German Riesling, while light rolls with whitefish will taste best with light-bodied whites like Pinot Gris or Chenin blanc. 

If you’re searching for a wine that can pair with just about any sushi roll that your heart desires, look no further than for a glass of sparkling wine. Prosecco and Champagne are both famously food-friendly wines, bringing out the best flavors in just about any dish without overpowering your chosen cuisine. Plus, a glass of bubbles is just plain fun! Simply put, you can’t go wrong with a little sparkle. 

Sake and Sushi Pairing

Sake with Sushi

Remember when we mentioned sake earlier? Well, it’s time to take a closer look at this unique beverage. Sake is a fermented rice beverage with a similar ABV to wine, typically anywhere between 15-20%. While sake can be served cold, it is often served warm in a kettle that looks like a teapot. When enjoyed with sushi or seafood, sake has the interesting effect of eliminating the fishy flavors that are often experienced in seafood. Most sushi restaurants will likely have sake on their drink menu, but if you’d rather try out an alternative, dry sherry and dry vermouth are both fairly comparable options.  

So, who’s ready for sushi night? Great, so are we! Let’s split those mouthwatering rolls and bring some wine into the mix to prepare for, quite possibly, the most delicious night ever. We can’t wait!

Rosé of Sangiovese

Andiamo

Sangiovese can be found in both the Chianti and Montalcino regions of Tuscany (it all sounds so romantic, right?) and is known for producing classic medium-bodied wines. Rosé wine is actually made from red grapes, and this is where the Rosé of Sangiovese comes to play. Crisp, fruit-forward, and easy-to-drink, it's everything you want in your bottle of Rosé and more.

$19.99

Montepulciano

Andiamo

Big, bold, and full of flavor—exactly what you’d expect an Italian wine to be! This classic Italian grape produces some of Italy’s most straightforward red wines and is often used as a blending grape. Not here, though. We let Montepulciano do the heavy lifting as a heavy red wine and shine on its own. If you enjoy the smell of leather bound books, nibbling on dried fruit, and complementary notes of bitter, dark chocolate and sweet plums, you will love this Italian wine. No need to pair it with any certain dish—Montepulciano tastes great with all the Italian classics.

$20.99

Pinot Grigio

La Pluma

If you’re looking for more zest in your life, a bottle of Pinot Grigio can provide that. We included a classic Pinot Grigio in the La Pluma collection because we’re all about light and easy here, which is exactly what this grape from Italy is. It has that dry sense of humor that seems so effortless with a punchy acidity to keep you on your toes, all while offering notes of lemon, limes, green apples, and honeysuckle. Long story short; when it’s been a heavy day and your soul is seeking light things only, you’ll be happy to have this bottle on hand.

$19.99

Pinot Noir

Unprecedented

We couldn’t create the In Good Taste Unprecedented collection without the Golden Retriever of wines: Pinot Noir. Pinot is likable, it’s easy, and its natural state of being is simply charming. It’s an incredibly easy red wine to love, which is why so many people do. The grape itself is from the Burgundy region of France, but has made its way to California, Oregon, Australia, Italy, Argentina, and Germany since. Our Pinot Noir has no surprise twists—it’s a classic light red with just the right amount of sweetness to keep you coming back for another glass (or two).

$25.99

Coteaux Bourguignons

Passport

The Burgundy region of France is home to their best Pinot Noirs, but we took the grapes into our own hands to create something extra special with our Coteaux Bourguignons. It’s a blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay, which results in a French red that’s light in body but full in flavor. The ripest blueberries and freshest herbs can be easily detected in this French burgundy blend. May we suggest pairing it with some creamy brie and freshly baked bread? It’s a oui-ning combo.

$25.99

Verdicchio

Andiamo

A little sweet. A little tart. A little salty? You truly get it all with this white Italian wine. If you're into that biting acidity, Verdicchio will probably be high on your list of most-loved wines from our Andiamo collection. Citrus fruits like mandarin, lemon, and grapefruit are at the forefront, but what really sets this Italian wine apart is its distinct notes of almond. While our Verdicchio can start out tasting a bit tart, the more you sip, the smoother it becomes. In fact, we suggest approaching it as an aperitif (Italian for an alcoholic drink sipped before a meal to stimulate the appetite) to experience its full effect.

$23.99

Côtes du Rhône White

Passport

This was one of our first French wines to join the Passport collection and one sip will explain why. Some background on the Rhône Valley in France: While this region is known for its dark, juicy reds, a very small amount of special white wines are made in the Rhône Valley. Our Côtes du Rhône is packed with French-perfected, floral flavor and Old-World charm. Its natural tang paired with the weighty Marsanne grape and aromatic Roussanne grape results in a crisp, savory sip that’ll transport you to a sunbathing chair by the Rhône itself.

$23.99

Bordeaux Rouge

Passport

When you picture medieval folk sitting around a feast with goblets of wine, chances are they were drinking Bordeaux. This wine has been made in France since forever and is arguably the most classic French wine out there. Bordeaux is known for its full body, smoky notes, and rich, oaky taste. If you love cabs, chances are you will adore Bordeaux. For our Passport wines, we had to include this classic French red for you to sip and enjoy to your heart’s content. Best savored over a rich meal like lamb ragu, ratatouille, or BBQ.

$21.99

Ventoux Rosé

Passport

You probably know that the Tour de France is held on Ventoux Mountain in France, but did you know that the same area is known for its high-altitude rosé? This is the kind of quintessential French rosé that you don’t need to spin your wheels over—it’s simply delicious, crisp, and perfect for warm weather. Despite its delicate, pale pink color, each sip is lush with flavor, from tropical passionfruit and zesty citrus to refreshing melon. This has the potential to be your new summer go-to, so we’d suggest stocking up.

$21.99

Grenache

La Pluma

We knew the only red in the La Pluma collection had to be exceptionally good and exceptionally light. That’s why including a Grenache was a no-brainer. If smooth, fruit-forward, light-bodied reds appeal to your tastebuds, this could be your new favorite. The grape itself is tricky; depending on the climate of where its grown, Grenache wines could be light, dense, or somewhere in the middle. La Pluma’s version has all the airiness and flavor notes we wanted in our Grenache, which is how we know you’ll love it. Get the most of this red by pairing it with roasted meats, spice-heavy vegetables, and Mexican-inspired dishes with lots of cumin.

$27.99

Barbera

Andiamo

We really try not to play favorites at In Good Taste, but there is just something about an Italian Barbera that hits different in the best way. Barberas are the perfect wine for pizza night; they're low in alcohol, and medium-bodied but taste super light, and their berry and plum flavors pair incredibly well with savory tomato sauce and cheese! Another fun thing about Barberas? They actually taste great when chilled, which is not something we're in the habit of suggesting for our red wines. Our Italian Barbera lies somewhere between the body of a cab and a pinot and is the ideal choice for a "ladies who lunch" kind of afternoon.

$21.99

Vermentino

Wild Child

We couldn't not have a weird white in the mix, right?! The Vermentino grape is native along the coast of Italy on the island of Sardinia (yeah, like the fish). Because of its origin, this grape offers a salty, crisp flavor that's incredibly easy to drink and enjoy. We say it's "weird" only because it's not widely known by name, but chances are you've probably had it before if you've ever ordered white wine in an Italian restaurant. If you love peaches and lemons and get a kick out of anything that reminds you of the sea, our Vermentino is the perfect Italian white to experience on a sunny day outside.

$23.99

Viognier

Unprecedented

For the Chardonnay lovers who are looking to dig a bit deeper in the world of bold whites, a Viognier (pronounced vee-own-yay) could be your next big adventure. Viogniers tend to have more range; while they can be creamy with hints of vanilla like their Chardonnay counterpart, they also offer lighter, fruitier flavors like tangerine, mango, and honeysuckle. It’s still a more full-bodied white wine, but unlike Chardonnay, it’s softer on acidity and more perfumed. Spend an afternoon with a glass of Viognier amongst the flowers and it’ll all make sense.

$24.99

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