To many enthusiasts, wine is the most sophisticated and classy of all beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. However, like all other drinks, you can’t just take any wine to go with any type of food. The choice of pairings with wine and food is that both are meant to compliment and enhance the other. Just like you wouldn’t drink a margarita with a stack of pancakes at breakfast, you can’t expect to drink a glass of good white wine with a bag of potato chips.
White wine is renowned for being a great pairing with a seafood dish. Not only is it a great drink accompaniment with the meal, white wine tends to be in many seafood recipes. However, the question remains when the recipe calls for a cup of white wine, which is the best white wine to use? Each recipe may require a different type of white wine to complement whatever seafood you are using, but it can also be used to enhance the flavour during cooking, and it may be desirable to have some of the remaining flavour in the recipe once it is served.
When cooking with white wine, the choice of wine should be able to give the dish a unique taste to it and even give it a bit more of the “WOW” factor. However, if you are cooking with red meat, then red wine should be used. But for seafood, nothing enhances the taste of seafood like a good white wine. Here are a few suggestions and tips for the next time you are cooking recipes that require white wine.
If you are making a nice seafood stew or chowder, a Pinot Noir is a great choice. Raw oysters are always associated with romance and seduction, so why not enhance the environment by having a nice chilled Chablis, or even better, go for real Champagne! If you are a fan of sushi and sashimi, you might consider using Vouvray or Albarino. If your seafood is going to be a fried dish, nothing will beat combining a nice sparkling wine. If you are having a seafood cocktail, consider trying a Pinot Blanc, while Marsanne is quite nice with crabs. If you are cooking a seafood soup that is tomato base, you may think that it should be the realm of the red wine (as if you are making pasta)…Fear not!! Simply use a nice Rosé wine. If your prime ingredient is shrimp or prawn, Dry Fino Sherry is the perfect choice because, no matter if they are fried, sautéed or in another soup, the flavour of the shrimps or prawns will be enhanced greatly.
When you are cooking with wine and seafood, here is an easy way to remember what type of white wine to use if your choice is limited to what is in your wine fridge. If you are cooking a fish that is fairly light in texture (ie snapper, coral trout, etc), then you would need to use a light white wine. If you are using a fish that is fairly oily in texture (ie tuna, mackerel, etc), then a heavier white would be the best choice. The idea of this is that one doesn’t overshadow the other unless the idea is to highlight the taste of the wine.
To finish off whatever recipe you are cooking, the best idea to to stick to the original recipe. While it is always fun to get creative, there will always be certain recipes where the ingredients, such as the type of white wine, where you cannot substitute anything else. Good white wine for seafood is the goal, and getting it right can be the difference between a fantastic meal and a fairly average one. It can really give the recipe a rich taste as it has the ability to blend with other ingredients quite well.