Wine and fish: this is a particularly interesting pairing to make. Indeed, fish, and its variety of recipes, presents many organoleptic qualities for which the association of the right wine is crucial. Although absolutely delicious when successful, this association is not always the easiest. In this article, the Chateau Cantenac Brown team has set out to discover how to pair wine and fish to finally delight your taste buds.
Wine and fish: the rules of pairing
There is a wide variety of fish species and a wide variety of recipes for cooking them. It is subsequently not easy to give you a single rule of thumb on how to pair wine and fish. That being said, here are few elements that will guide you in your wine and food pairing.
First of all, we can distinguish fine fish (cod or sea bream) from fatty fish (sea bass or salmon). For the former, it is preferable to turn to dry white wines made from Sauvignon with a great minerality. On the other hand, the latter are better suited to wines with a greater roundness, even buttery.
Choosing your wine with different fish recipes
The wine and fish pairing is the last element that allows you to sublimate your dish. However, this pairing can vary depending on your recipes and your different preparations. So, if you are wondering what wine to drink with fish, we have the answer for you.
Wine and grilled fish
Whether in the oven or on the barbecue, grilling fish is often a safe bet. This type of cooking allows you to develop certain smoky aromas on your fish and to highlight, very simply, all its qualities. To pair this dish, a great white wine from Bordeaux is essential. The Sauvignon, dear to this vineyard, will be perfect to accompany your grilled fish and enhance it.
Wine and seafood
From the first gambas to the seafood platter, the ideal accompaniment is a white wine. To accompany your seafood platter, the choice of white wine is essential. You can turn to a great Chardonnay whose qualities will highlight your platter. Whether it is a Chablis or a Pouilly fumé, there is no chance that the latter will disappoint you. On the other hand, you can turn to a great white wine from Bordeaux. The roundness of the latter and the aromas of brioche will perfectly accompany your dish.
Wine and salmon
Salmon is always a bit special. However, the food and wine pairing depends greatly on the cooking of your salmon. With smoked salmon, you can choose a mineral wine made from Sauvignon. On the other hand, with baked or grilled salmon, you can turn to a red wine with little tannin. For other recipes, you can turn to a wine with citrus notes and a more developed roundness.
Wine and smoked fish
The case of smoked fish is different. If it is not a specific recipe, it is nevertheless important to choose your wine well. In this sense, you can turn to white wines from Burgundy with a great minerality or to a white wine based on Sauvignon. Alto de Cantenac Brown, our Bordeaux blanc, can be an excellent match. In addition, it should be noted that you can also match your smoked fish with red wine. We will explain in the next section how to make this match.
In the case of smoked fish, it is important to take into account their accompaniment. Indeed, some preparations include vinaigrettes or toasts. The latter can play an important role in the food and wine pairing. Be careful with them.
Wine and oysters
Opening the shell of oysters without hurting your hand can be a challenge. Matching oysters with wine is another. With oysters, traditionally served fresh, we recommend a Muscadet, an Alsace wine (Sylvaner or Riesling) or a Sauvignon-based white wine from Bordeaux.
Wine and mussels
With mussels, as with seafood, white wine is the best choice. Indeed, the proteins contained in the mussels do not go well with the tannins of the wine (even if the tannins were very low). We therefore recommend a dry white wine with a fruity or mineral taste. A Pouilly-Fumé, a Pouilly-Fuissé, a Muscadet or an Alto are all possible matches that will enhance your dish.
It should be noted that mussels and red wine are not totally incompatible if the mussel is cooked (in croquettes for example). However, these are very precise agreements for which the establishment of an absolute rule is delicate.
Wine and red mullet
The name of this fish can almost seem premonitory. Indeed, red mullet is one of the fish that goes perfectly with a red wine with melted tannins. Thus, the character of the red mullet allows you to choose an advanced red wine. If you prefer, you can of course pair it with a white wine: from the Loire to Burgundy, you should find what you are looking for.
Red wine and fish: a (im)possible agreement?
Matching fish and red wine is possible. That being said, you must make the right choice. Indeed, the flesh of fish contains proteins that are very different from those contained in meat: these proteins are very resistant to tannins. Therefore, if you wish to choose a red wine, we advise you to turn to a wine with tannins already more evolved and therefore older vintages. The choice of a red wine is particularly a good idea if your fish is accompanied by a spicy sauce or with smoked fish.