Learn how to pair wine with food

We are here to settle the score for good and put an end to the age-old question: can you drink red wine with fish?

If you're a fan of both wine and seafood, you've almost certainly been told that you simply cannot pair a bottle of red with fish. Many even go so far as to claim that it is the ‘golden rule’.

However, as with most things, this principle might not be quite as black and white as it first seems. We are here to settle the score for good and put an end to the age-old question: can you drink red wine with fish?


Why Do They Say Not To Drink Red Wine with Seafood?


Generally speaking, a glass of white is the right way to go when eating fish. However, this rule does not hold true for every and all occasions. When it comes to pairing your meal, the key thing to consider is the  balance between the flavor intensities. 

The taste of the wine should never completely overwhelm and overshadow the food. Equally, the meal should never overpower the taste of your drink. As reds tend to be deeper and more richly flavored, many write off the possibility of pairing it with fish.

Hence, the old saying: "White wine with fish and red wine with meat."


Steak and Wine

Should You Drink Red Wine with Fish or White Wine With Meat?

A full-bodied red can often completely blow your taste buds away, making the delicate flavors of the fish almost undetectable in the distance. Yet, not all fish is light nor is every red rich and full-bodied. Texture also has a part to play in the reasoning behind this rule.

Red meat tends to have a high-fat content. The tannins in red wine can soften this and clean it off your tongue. This is a satisfying process that refreshes your palette. Unfortunately, whites are not usually able to do this. So, reds often make a wonderful drink to have alongside meat.

Four Wines

So, Can You Pair Red Wine With Fish?

Now you have an understanding of the reasoning behind why many think you can’t have seafood with red wine, you can work out when you can throw this rule out the door! A heartier fish cooked in the oven such as a roasted salmon can work exquisitely with a red. 

This is thanks to the hearty texture. In contrast, a salmon lightly poached in oil would work better with a white. So, to work out the best red wine with fish, match the body with the texture of the seafood and the richness of the sauce.

While Merlot and Cabernet have already become household names, those from St. Emilion are famed for their unique and distinctive notes. The local Merlot has a rich, soft texture and notes of plum, blackberry and chocolate. The cabernet, on the other hand, bursts onto the tongue with distinctive strawberry and cherry flavors that work perfectly with the vanilla notes.


Grilled Salmon

Best Tasting Red Wine to Pair with Fish

Burgundy Pinot Noir or a Grenache. For deeply-flavored, heavier dishes such as grilled swordfish and tuna, this is when you can draft in the more robust reds. 

The best red wine to have with seafood that has a meaty texture would be a Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon or Nebbiolo. 


As you can see, pairing red wine with fish involves a touch of thought and consideration. The best way to get to grips with the subtleties of grape juice is to take a virtual tasting. An expert sommelier will guide you through how to appreciate the complexities behind each variety. 

Alternatively, you can jet off to an iconic wine destination and sample some of the world’s finest grape juice varieties in their birthplace. 

Become an expert on all things wine with a virtual tasting. Alternatively, why not visit an iconic wine destination for yourself? Enjoy sampling delicious varieties in stunning surroundings, as an expert sommelier will guide you through each layer of flavor and its heritage.

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