The Best Wine To Pair With Fish

 In Wine, Wine and Fish

Pairing Wine with Fish

Fish and wine are truly the perfect pair. Whether you are drinking red or white wine with fish, there are many excellent and mouthwatering combinations to choose from. At Stiltsville Fish Bar, we pride ourselves on our extensive wine list that is specifically designed to give you multiple options to complement whatever seafood dish you choose. Keep reading to learn more about what wine goes with fish. 

Prosecco, Cava, and Champagne

Bubbly is the best wine for fish that is salty and savory. Many people feel that prosecco pairs best with sweet dishes like desserts, but we feel that it’s crispy, citrusy taste pairs best with a delicious plate of fish and chips, typically made with cod or haddock, creating the perfect fish and wine complement for the palate. Sparkling wine, no matter where it is from, is the best wine for fish that is fried. Prosecco, cava, and champagne also pair beautifully with caviar. 


Moscato wine is a great low abv, fizzy, and sweet wine filled with beautiful aromas, including caramel, vanilla, fruits, and florals. Many people categorize Moscato as a dessert wine, but we recommend trying it with a spicier dish such as fish tacos. The sweetness in the Moscato pairs well with mild white fish such as snapper, sole, and whitefish, especially when spicy. We know you are going to enjoy this fish and wine combo! 

Pinot Gris and Chardonnay

Wines such as Pinot Gris and Chardonnay are perfect wines with fish dishes because they are fruitier and high in acidity. Pinot Gris complements an oily fish beautifully, like a seared mackerel or bluefish, bringing out the fruity and citrus flavors of the wine. For something fuller, try Chardonnay with striped bass, raw oysters, lobster, or crab. Match a fuller-bodied wine with a fuller-bodied fish for the ideal fish and wine combo.  

Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, and Pinot Grigio

Wines like sauvignon blanc, Chenin blanc, and pinot grigio are considered the best white fish wines by many. Pair this wine with lean fish, like whitefish, to perfectly bring out the dry and crisp flavors in the wine. These wines are also paired well with seafood that is a bit fattier, like lobster, mussels, catfish, and striped bass to balance out the flavors in your meal. 

White Zinfandel 

White Zinfandel is an easy-drinking sweet wine that works well when paired with a more dense fish, like tuna. With this fish and wine pair, you will be able to better taste the flavors of fruit like blackberry or the spicy oak tannins in this wine. We especially recommend drinking this wine with tuna in its steak form, preferably grilled, to best enjoy this delightful fish and wine combination. 

Fuller White Wines

Fuller white wines, like Riesling or Gewurztraminer, tend to have a lingering sweetness to them and they pair beautifully with Asian seafood dishes, or spicy seafood options as well. Gewurztraminer is especially delicious with a spicy Vietnamese seafood dish such as spicy curry or hot pot. Albarino is a refreshing, tart, and citrusy wine that goes well with shellfish, especially clams, mussels, scallops, crab, and lobster. 


Sherry and port are fortified wines made from white grapes that have a sweeter, heavier, and richer texture than most other wines. Because it is fortified after the fermentation process, sherry is on the drier side. Because of this, sherry and port wines are paired well with smoked salmon, anchovies, tuna cruda with spiced almonds, garlic prawns, cod croquettes, and so much more! 

Rosés and Blush Wines

Sometimes you want something a bit lighter than a full-on red wine when enjoying fish such as swordfish, tuna steaks, and seafood soups. This is when you can swap for some delicious Spanish, French, or California rosé! Rosés can additionally substitute full-bodied whites such as chardonnay when you are looking for a different flavor profile than an oakier white wine. 

Rosé pairs incredibly well with summertime seafood and salads.This wine pairs especially well with salmon and avocado mango salsa or a hearty salad of fresh, citrusy greens with smoked or baked salmon. Its light and sweet profile complement a wide variety of dressings and salsas, making it a great fish and wine pairing for your brunch or early lunch. 

Pinot Noir and Gamay

There is often a debate on whether to drink red or white wine with fish, and though you may have heard that red wine is not right for fish, this is not always the case. What wine goes with fish ultimately depends on the fish or shellfish being consumed. The high tannin content in some red wines can be unpleasant with fish, but light red wines such as pinot noir and Gamay pair beautifully with seafood. This wine and fish combo works best with freshwater fish such as trout, tuna, marlin, swordfish, and salmon with denser, meatier flesh. Avoid pairing red wines with spicy seafood to avoid that metallic taste you have been warned about. 

To further bring out the best in this fish and wine combo, add a creamy tomato sauce on the side, like a pasta dish such as octopus stewed in tomato sauce, to better taste the clove and licorice vanilla and caramel flavors of the wine. When deciding on whether to enjoy red or white wine with fish, consider pairing Gamay with baked sea bass. The flavors of fish can help bring out the black currant, violet, and banana flavors of the wine. Both Pinot Noir and Gamay taste gorgeous when served chilled, especially with seafood. 

Best Wine for Fish

Ever since the wine industry took off, chefs and foodies alike have been looking for exciting and new types of wine pairings. When deciding what wine goes with fish, keep our tips in mind but stay open to your options and get creative. We are long past only pairing fish with dry white wine! When hosting, creative wine pairings show thoughtfulness to your guests and encourage people to try new things. Visit our website today to check out our menu and see what wine, beer, and cocktail options we offer on our menu. We look forward to hosting you soon! 

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