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Best Wines to Pair With Seafood Dishes | Rietvallei Wine Estate | rietvallei.co.za

Best Wines to Pair With Seafood Dishes


Wondering which wines pair with seafood dishes? As a general rule of thumb, white wines and sparkling wines are traditionally associated with seafood. With that said, you don’t have to skip your favourite red wines. Pairing wines with seafood comes down to the type of seafood. Some fish dishes pair well with richer wines, while many shellfish dishes are perfect with light whites or crisp rosés. 

In this guide, we share some tips on how to choose the right wines to pair with seafood dishes of various types. 

Best Wines to Pair With Seafood Dishes | Rietvallei Wine Estate | rietvallei.co.za

Which Wines Pair With Seafood Dishes?

Before we share our pairing suggestions, it’s also worth noting that wine is a personal experience. Pairing guidelines are there to enhance your experience by bringing out the flavours of both food and wine. With that said, you may have a favourite wine that you prefer drinking with a wide range of dishes. The most important thing is enjoyment. 

Moving on to our suggestions, here’s how to decide on wines to pair with seafood dishes.

Light and sparkling wines

Crisp, fruity, fresh whites work best with lighter seafood dishes. These wines include Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé and unwooded Chardonnay. Sparkling wines also pair well with lighter seafood dishes. Dishes to enjoy with these wines include fresh oysters, mussels, crayfish, seafood salads, sushi, and grilled fish such as tuna. 

Full-bodied whites

Full-bodied whites include wooded Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc. Although these are whites, they have a more complex flavour rather than a fresh, zesty flavour. These wines pair well with more full-bodied seafood dishes. Cream-based sauces, oilier fish, grilled shellfish, prawn risotto, and broth-based soups. 

Light to medium reds

While most reds are paired with red meats, some work well with certain seafood. Cabernet Sauvignon can pair well with fatty game fish such as swordfish and tuna, especially when prepared as steaks or used in richer dishes. It can also work in tomato-based seafood dishes or creamy seafood pasta. Avoid pairing any red with overly spicy seafood dishes, however, as the taste can veer towards metallic. 

If you’re looking for more inspiration on how to pair wines with seafood, be sure to view our recipe collection or sign up to receive our exclusive cookbook. 


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