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What Is The Best Wine To Go With Fish?

It can be tricky to know what wines will pair best with fish - there are so many different textures and flavours, which are important to factor in when choosing.

You want the pairing wine to enhance the flavour of the fish for a delicious resulting meal!

Pairing Your Type Of Fish With The Right Wine

As mentioned, different wines suit different flavours and textures of fish better. Generally, fish is divided into four different groups that are categorised by their type;

  • Mild lean and flaky white fish - sea bass, tilapia, plaice etc.
  • Medium-textured fish - trout, cod, haddock etc.
  • Meaty fish - salmon, tuna, swordfish etc.
  • Strong-flavoured fish - herring, mackerel, sardines etc.

Typically, white wine pairs best with fish because reds can leave a metallic aftertaste. However, lighter reds or sparkling wine can pair well with certain fish dishes.

White Wines

Chenin Blanc

Chenin can pair brilliantly with medium-textured fish especially for flavourful dishes that contain spices, herbs, or a creamy sauce.

Try: Cape Heights Chenin Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is an all-rounder. It pairs best with textured fish, but can also work well with flaky and meatier fish too. This is because it has a zesty flavour which can combat the fattiness of batter and also provide flavour for raw fish marinades and herb-focused dishes.

This means it can work well with salmon dishes, but can also balance the delicacy of flaky fish.

Try: Los Pastos Sauvignon Blanc

Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio is a lighter white wine so it acts as a perfect partner to flaky fish with milder flavours. This means that it doesn't overpower the taste of the dish and balances out the delicacy.

Try: Cortefresca Pinot Grigio

Sparkling Wines


When prepared with fish, Prosecco is typically integrated into the sauce alongside strongly flavoured fish. However, it can also be used to complement thicker and textured fish.

Try: Le Dolci Colline


Cava makes for a great pairing with textured fish. This is especially the case if you are working with fried fish as the bubbliness boosts flavour.

Try: Summum Cava Lacrima Baccus

Red Wines

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir can be a good pairing for fish depending on how it is prepared. It works well with strong flavoured, meaty, and pink fish as the wine combats the fattiness of the fish. It can also enhance some flavours and boast a fruity and spicy taste.

Try: Sileni Cellar Pinot Noir


Are any types of fish better with red wine?

If you are working with strong flavoured fish such as anchovy, the stronger taste of red can make for a better wine pairing than white.

What's the best wine for smoked salmon?

It will depend on how you are preparing it, but Gamay can pair nicely with grilled salmon. Chardonnay and Pinot Gris can also make for suitable wine pairings with salmon.