What Alcohol Goes With Fish? Ultimate Guide For Fish Selection


I love to have a drink with my dinner. It’s the perfect way to end a busy day. But the alcohol needs to match the protein for the meal to be enjoyable. So, what alcohol pairs best with fish?

Damian from PolishTinctures

There are a few types of alcohol that you can use. Beer, vodka, tincture (nalewka), bourbon, and mixes are all good selections. However, wine tends to be the most popular choice. You’ll want to choose a light white wine for delicate types of fish. If you have a meatier variety, you can pick a glass of red wine.

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There are plenty of types of alcohol that you can use with your fish. Let’s look at how you can find the right one for your palate.

What are the Most Popular Alcohol Pairings For Fish?

There are few classic pairings that you might want to try. The best one will often depend on the type of fish you are serving. As an example, many people enjoy going to the local pub for fried seafood. In this setting, it might be best to choose a beer. In this case, the fruity tastes of a PBR might be a good accompaniment to the meal. 

Another option to consider is vodka or tincture (nalewka). This is a more powerful flavor. Because of this, it’s often mixed with something else. For example, it’s often paired with citrus. This will help enhance the flavor of the fish.

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Some of tinctures that go well with fish

You might also want to think about using bourbon. This is another drink that has a powerful flavor, so you want to be careful about what drink you pair it with. However, the strong taste will be an ideal choice for dishes that have gravy. It can also work well with meatier fish.

It’s also a wise idea to consider some mixes. These will let you craft a more delicate flavor, which is designed to blend with the flavor of the fish. There are plenty of options for you to experiment with. As an example, you might want to think about pairing a lime Margaretta with fish tacos. A White Peach Sangria can a light accompaniment. Additionally, you can try using sweet tea. This is especially good with grilled fish varieties.  

What Type of Wine Should You Pair With Fish?

Wine is one of the most popular types of alcohol to pair with fish. This will allow you to add some acidity to the meal, for an extra dimension of flavor. The right type of wine will depend on the type of fish you are eating. As a general rule, delicate fish flavors will be best served by a light white wine. If you have a meatier fish, you might want to use a glass of red wine. Let’s take a closer look at some of the meal combinations that you might want to explore.

What Wine Goes With Blackened Fish?

When you blacken a fish, you will be adding a lot of flavors. This often can produce a strong spicy taste. Because of this, you will need to pick a wine that can cut through this. There are a few ways you can do this. For example, you might want to use a Rose. They will have lighter flavors, which will help refresh your palate.  A dry white wine will also go with this type of fish. A third option is a Pinot Noir. These are more heavily oaked and have higher alcohol content. Because of this, they can leave a burning flavor on the tongue, leaving a stronger impression.

What Wine Goes With Sea Bass Fish?

Sea bass is a very popular menu choice. Often, they will be cooked very lightly and won’t be served with any sauce. Because of this, it will be best to pair them with dry wine. Some of the best options include. Unoaked white wine or a dry Rose. If you want a more exotic flavor, you can also use sake.

What Wine Goes With Beer Battered Fish?

In this case, you will need to try to find a beer that will be better suited to go with deep-fried foods. Because of this, you might want to try a Sauvignon Blanc. These will provide a clear, crisp flavor. This is especially good if you are using a tartare sauce. If you prefer to serve with mushy peas you might want to use an unoaked white wine. If you have a higher budget, you can try using a Champaign.

What Wine Goes With Halibut Fish?

Halibut has a more delicate flavor. Because of this, you will need to choose lighter wines. One of the best wines to try might be a Rose. You can also try a Sauvignon Blanc or a Pinot Noir.

What Wine Goes With Lemon Fish?

These types of fish will often have some acidity. Typically, they will be seasoned using some lemon and salt, to make them even more acidic. In this case, it’s important to make sure that you’re getting a mineral-driven white wine. This will cut through the flavors and leave you feeling refreshed. There are a few types of wines that you can try. For example, you can try a dry Champaign. You can also try a Chablis.

What Wine Goes With Lime Fish?

Like the lemon fish, you will want a lighter wine, to cut through the acidic flavors. This can make Champaign or Chablis a good option. You might also want to try a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc.

What Wine Goes With Monkfish?

Monkfish is one of the most versatile types of wine. In this case, the flesh will be very meaty. Because of this, you will be better of choosing a red wine. You should try to avoid lighter wines. The delicate flavors can be overwhelmed by the Monkfish. A good choice might be a Chardonnay.

What Wine Goes With Mango Fish?

Mango salsa can be the ideal accompaniment for fish. It’s best to choose a wine that has tropical fruity flavors, to pair with the sweetness of the mango. Because of this, many people prefer to use things like New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. A sweeter Chardonnay can be a good choice. If there is a bit of spice in the salsa, you might want to try Pinot Gris.

What Wine Goes With Trout Fish?

Trout tends to have a lot of oil. Because of this, it will need a flavorful white wine, to cut through. The best choice will usually be a Chardonnay. Though you can also use a Pinot Gris. If you prefer a bottle of red wine, you can use a Pinot Noir.

What Wine Goes With Tuna Fish?

Tuna is similar to trout. They are both very oily. Because of this, you will be best served by the same combination of wines. Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. Pinot Noir can be a good pick. It can also be a good idea to look for a cold-climate Rose.

What Wine Goes With Turbot Fish?

Turbot is one of the most expensive types of fish. Because of this, it’s important to get the right pairing of wine. It’s usually best to choose something like a high-quality dry wine. A good option can be a White Burgundy. You might also want to choose a more aromatic wine. A White Rhône can be an excellent pick.

What Wine Goes Well With White Fish?

The type of white fish will determine what flavors you want to highlight. If you have a more delicate fish, you might want to choose a lighter wine. Rose, Pinot Noir, or a dry white wine can be good picks. If it’s a little meatier, you will need to get something like an oaked Chardonnay. You can also choose a Viognier.

Wine Reference Chart

As we’ve seen, the ideal type of wine will depend on the type of fish you are eating. To make things easier, you can use this table to quickly identify the best wine.

Type of FishWine Recommendation
Blackened FishRose, Dry White, Pinot Noir
Sea BassUnoaked white wine, dry Rose, Sake
Beer Battered FishSauvignon Blanc, Unoaked white wine, Champaign
HalibutRose, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir
Lemon FishChampaign, Chablis
Lime FishChampaign, Chablis, Chilean Sauvignon Blanc
MonkfishChardonnay
Mango FishChardonnay, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris
TroutChardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir
TunaChardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Rose
TurbotWhite Burgundy, White Rhône
White FishRose, Pinot Noir, dry white wines, oaked Chardonnay, Viognier

Final Thoughts

Pairing the right type of alcohol with your fish is important. It can complete the meal and enhance the flavors. There are plenty of options for you to choose from. If you have a meatier fish, you might want to choose red wine, bourbon, or rum. If it’s grilled, you can use beer. For more delicate fish, you can choose white wines or add some lemon to vodka. You can also use sweet tea or margaritas. It’s best to experiment with these. Try multiple types of alcohol, to find what works best with your palate.

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