While my wife and I both enjoy a good glass of wine, neither of us were big beer or liquor drinkers. However, when we were recently planning a big holiday party, we realized that we needed to learn more about beer and liquors, so we could ensure we had alcoholic beverages that all of our guests would enjoy. Thankfully, my wife's brother used to be a bartender, so he taught us which liquors, mixers, and varieties of beer we should have on hand to please everyone at the party. He even showed us how to mix a few popular cocktails, so we could prepare them for guests. Our party was a great success and we are now prepared for future parties. Since we both love sharing our wine knowledge and now enjoy sharing our beer and cocktail tips and tricks, we decided to create a blog to share them on!
Whether you are on a first date with a new fling or a night out with your one and only, there are few things as romantic as dining by the sea. The gentle sounds of waves against the shore and seagulls overhead make for the perfect backdrop to an evening that's just for the two of you. Of course, nothing pairs with good food and good conversation like the right wine.
Luckily, wine pairs wonderfully with seafood, although it may not always be obvious which wine to choose with a particular dish. You may have heard that white wine and white fish are the archetypal seafood pairing, but there are so many more possibilities. There is a limitless world of interesting and complex combinations to try and a few simple pieces of advice will help get you started on the right track.
Pair Like Flavors Together
If you are already familiar with a variety of wines or if you have your own personal favorites, then one of the best pieces of advice is to simply pair like flavors. This means selecting a wine that has qualities in common with your main dish. For a light fish, this may mean choosing a Chablis or Pinot Grigio. On the other hand, seafood dishes that use fish with a strong flavor may demand a more unusual pairing. In these cases, you may want to select a rosé or even a red wine.
Mild Fish with Light White Wines
Does your main course include fish with a mild flavor, such as tilapia or sea bass? Choose a wine that won't overwhelm your palate with a bold or strong flavor. Dry white wines such as Pinot Grigio, Chablis, or Muscadet work well as they allow the fish to remain the centerpiece of the dinner. If you prefer something a little more flavor, consider a Sauvignon Blanc. Although dry wines are generally the recommended pairing with light and flaky fish, don't be afraid to try something sweeter that is still on the light side, such as a Riesling.
Bold Fish deserve Bold Wine
If your main course includes heavier, meatier fish such as salmon or tuna, then you should consider pairing your meal with a bolder wine. Since more of the fish's flavor will be up front, it is now more important that your wish choice is not overwhelmed by the meal itself. In these cases, consider selecting a Chardonnay for an easy choice that is guaranteed to work well. If you want to experiment, try a Viognier. Viognier tends to be more floral than Chardonnay and can provide an interesting pairing with the right fish.
Oily or Strong Fish? Go Red
It may seem like sacrilege if you are from the old school of fish with white wine only, but for very strongly flavored or oily fish a red wine is an excellent complement. If you aren't quite ready to take that leap just yet, ask your server to recommend a good rosé. Once you are more confident, don't be afraid to try bold red wines such as Pinot Noir.
The key is to experiment and have fun, and perhaps even make your wine pairing choices a fun part of your date. Wine, like romantic evenings and waterfront dining, is meant to be enjoyed. Be confident in your choices and never be afraid to try something new.