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White wines to pair with Fish and shellfish

It is important to choose the right wine to pair with fish, especially when it comes to delicate and precious ingredients such as lobsters, shrimps and crabs with a typical sweet note. A good white wine can be the best solution, especially if it is floral, fruity and has a marked freshness. Discover the wines we have collected in this category and the perfect match: you will find the wine that matches perfectly with your next dinner of fish and shellfish.
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Fish and shellfish

WHAT TO DRINK WITH FISH? 

The most obvious answer to the question ‘What to drink with fish?’ is always wine. Fish dinners are usually a refined occasion where a beer or cocktail would not be suitable. Plus, fish often has a particularly delicate taste, which could be covered or even weakened by a very strong drink. Having established that wine is always the best option for a fish-based meal, the second question that springs to mind is which wine to choose? There is no universal answer to this question – the truth is it depends on your taste. Although tradition would have it that the best wines to pair with fish dishes are still or semi-sparkling white wines, some prefer the unique flavour of a rosé, while others even dare to opt for a red wine – especially for tomato-based fish dishes. Apart from personal taste, another factor to consider is the type of fish and the recipe. A wine that goes well with the oily flesh of salmon, like Prosecco, is not necessarily the best choice for lean and delicate fish like sea bass. To summarise, there is a wide, diverse selection of wines for fish, but don’t worry: we have narrowed down the options and chosen only the best still and semi-sparkling white wines for your fish dishes. Let’s look at them together. 

THE BEST WHITE WINES FOR FISH 

Fish and white wine: the perfect combination for a lunch by the sea or if we want to pretend it’s summer during the colder seasons. Each fish dish has unique flavours and aromas, and the best way to enhance it is with the perfect still white wine. But which white goes with which fish? The most important thing is to distinguish between the types of fish. Still white wine is the best choice for lean fish, while fish like salmon and smoked fish are better with sparkling wines. For the more delicate flesh of river fish, lake fish and also oily fish, a light, dry white wine like Pinot Grigio is ideal. Aromatic, full-bodied white wines like Gewürztraminer are perfect for molluscs and shellfish. For fried fish, on the other hand, it is better to opt for more firmly structured, acidic wines with a higher alcohol content, such as Chardonnay, to tone down the oily taste and cleanse the palate. 

SEMI-SPARKLING WHITE WINE FOR FISH DISHES 

At one time, semi-sparkling wine was relegated to the initial toast. Today, spumantes and all the other sparkling white wines can be used to accompany the entire meal, especially when it comes to fish. One pairing that all your guests are sure to appreciate is Franciacorta and salmon. The dry taste of Franciacorta finds a perfectly harmonious balance with a Scottish salmon tartare or wild salmon carpaccio. Semi-sparkling wine in general is also an excellent accompaniment for smoked fish – not only salmon but also swordfish carpaccio or smoked tuna, especially if the flavour is enhanced with pink pepper. Another pairing that never fails is fried fish with sparkling white wine. Sparkling wines will always counterbalance more intense cooking methods like frying. 

WHICH WINE TO CHOOSE FOR SUSHI AND RAW FISH? 

In recent years, sushi has become one of the most popular dishes in Italy and across the world, but which Italian wines can be paired with such an exotic dish? Literally “rice seasoned with vinegar”, sushi is a traditional Japanese dish that is particularly widespread in the version with raw fish. As such, it may seem that wines that would pair well with sushi would be the same wines that work well with carpaccio, fish tartare and crudités in general. However, the truth is it is more complicated than that. If the dishes have an intense marine flavour and very delicate meat – like carpaccio or tuna tartare, swordfish, or prawns, sea bass and sea bream fillets – you need to choose tasty dry white wines with low acidity and low alcohol content. The wines that work best with sushi are those that pair well with carpaccio marinated with spices, oil or lemon, i.e. softer, more firmly structured and full-bodied white wines. Basically, for sushi, we recommend choosing wines like Chardonnay, Riesling, or even sparkling wines. However, sushi is also excellent for rosé lovers. Vibrant like the whites but quite complex to manage the more intense flavours of this typical Japanese dish, rosé wines will make the perfect accompaniment for your sushi-based dinners.