Red wine and fish? The nightmare of every sommelier! But as we firmly believe that no one should be oppressed about wine and food, we are here to give solutions to all unrepentant red wine lovers!
The main reason why red wine does not match with fish is its tannins. This magical chemical compound that adores the red meat protein, unfortunately don’t go well with the fish protein, resulting to a metallic flavor and an unpleasant fishy taste! First of all, one way to avoid it is to choose fruity reds with extremely smooth tannins (Agiorgitiko, Pinot Noir, Grenache, Beaujolais Villages). Another suggestion is to choose more "sturdy" fleshy fishes such as tuna, salmon or even a “gamy” dusky grouper. To become clearer, I will give you 4 unbeatable pairings to get a taste of what I mean.
1. Tuna tataki with sesame oil - soy - lime vinaigrette with chili + Pinot Noir from Villa Wolf. Explosion of strawberry and violet with sharp acidity and zero tannins will rock this Asian dish.
2. Grouper with dried plums + Malbec Natural of Bodegas Krontiras. The juicy red fruit, the succulent acidity, the fine tannins and the herbal notes will go perfectly with this intense, hearty dish.
3. Salmon with honey and mustard sauce, with caramelized carrots with cumin + Nemios from Estate Gofas. The well-integrated oak and the spices will work wonders with this spicy and robust dish, as salmon is quite intense itself.
4. Swordfish fillet with sun-dried tomatoes, capers, garlic and herbs + Mademoiselle from Haritatos Vineyard. This very "feminine" version of Mavrodaphne has the nerve, the fruit, the acidity and the complexity (bay leaf, rosemary) to cope with this Sicilian recipe.
Bonus tip: Slow roasted dusky grouper with wild mushrooms and Parmesan puree + Sangiovese (a Vino Nobile Di Montalcino or Chianti) or + matured and soft Xinomavro. The earthy base of the dish and the wine matches perfectly. Also, the fish has a meaty texture that can "definitely" put up with bolder red wines.