Concha y Toro

Francisca Jara 06/09/2022

Wine pairings

Wines to pair with fish (other than sauvignon blanc)


A safe card when it comes to pairing fish is sauvignon blanc. Thanks to its freshness and acidity, it goes very well with seafood. But that doesn’t mean that it is the only or best alternative. Here we invite you to leave your comfort zone, pairing fish with red, rosé or other white wines.

In this type of pairing, we not only have to consider what type of fish it is. That is, if it is lean, oily or meaty. The flavours and ingredients used are also relevant, such as its type of cooking, since these will also harmonize or not with the drink we choose. Fresh and crispy white wines, rosés, or medium to light bodied reds are considered the best alternatives. The important thing is to avoid full-bodied wines, because their tannins would clash with even a pinch of lemon juice (one of the most common ingredients added to fish). Here’s why these three non-sauvignon blanc varieties work wonders.

Pinot Noir

Among the red wine varieties, Pinot Noir is the one with the lowest tannin content. A preferable attribute to accompanying fish, in addition to its fruitiness and great acidity when it comes to cold climate samples such as Amelia Pinot Noir. This wine matches fish with a firm and meaty texture, such as tuna steaks, even more if they are cooked on the grill or bbq, obtaining that smoky note that barrel-aged wines have. Thanks to its notes of fresh cherries and black tea leaves, any burnt hints are softened. It can also work with bonito, mackerel, sardines, albacore, monkfish, grouper or preparations that include tomatoes and red peppers. Avoid adding lemon so its tannins do not feel unpleasant on the palate.

maridaje pescados
Ph: Sarah Anne Ward for WineMag

Pinot Grigio

When it comes to lean and white fishes such as sea bass, sole, pomfret or cod, to name a few, it is better to stay away from reds and go for white varieties. Given its delicate texture and smooth flavour, the idea is that the wine does not overshadow these qualities. For this reason, a wine with a light body, fruity and very aromatic such as Casillero del Diablo Pinot Grigio, will help balance the flavours. This grape variety is a good option for creamy preparations such as pan-fried, steam or sauces like Caper Sauce as it helps cleanse the palate with its bright acidity, while complementing recipes that contain lemon and herbs such as Chilean Ceviche.

Rosé Cinsault

Another option to pair oily fishes such as salmon, are rosé wines. With the freshness of a white wine but a body similar to a red wine, rosés are also a fantastic option for pink meat fishes. It can work with both cooked and raw fish. Think of a Smoked Salmon Carpaccio, a California Sushi Roll as a Thai curry. This is how versatile Marqués de Casa Concha Rosé Cinsault is.


*Bonus track: Two other almost infallible options are chardonnay and sparkling wines. Be sure to try Amelia Chardonnay or Casillero del Diablo Devil’s Brut, especially for deep fried fish!