Friday, September 9, 2022

Red Wine with Fish? Let's take a look....#WinePW

Yes we have all heard the old adage "Red wine with Meat, White wine with Fish".  Those old sayings come in very handy quite often but they are not rules set in stone.  

So what if you prefer red wine over white, or vice versa?  And what about Rosé and Sparkling Wines?  What is the rule for those?

Red Wine/White Wine fact sheet

photo from Google images

Well, today the Wine Pairing Weekend crew are going back to school where we learned the Golden Rule and I'm breaking them all......the rules that is......

Robin of Crushed Grape Chronicles invited the Wine Pairing Weekend Group to go back to school this month but as the teacher this time.

In September our theme is "Back to School". Time to be the expert! Pick a wine-related theme and teach us something about it! It can be on a specific wine, a region, pairings, flavors and tasting, viticulture, winemaking...You pick the subject and we are ready to be schooled!

Cioppino with Red wine

The thing about rules is, sometimes, they are made to be broken.  Especially the white wine/red wine thing.  I, personally, like both red and white and I am happy to serve up either as the meal calls for it but sometimes that little rule doesn't work.


Take, for instance, this delicious, hearty Cioppino that I cooked up the other day.  It would overwhelm many white wines and is much better suited for a dry, fruity, medium bodied red like this Patrizi Barbera d'Alba purchased at Total Wine for less than $15.

Many meals that you think would be served with white wines can be served with light or medium bodied reds, depending on the preparation and flavor profiles.  Roasted Turkey with a Pinot Noir is one of my favorite pairings.  

Roasted poultry, as a rule (there is that R word again) pair very nicely with heavier white wine like Chardonnay as well as a lighter red.  And, of course, a Rosé would be lovely as well.

But back to fish...which is my topic for today.  Preparation plays an important role.  Smoked fish can stand up to red wines very well. You need to look at the heaviness of the dish as compared to the weight of the wine.  A light red wine, think Beaujolais or a light Burgundy, is much more delicate than smoked fish.

vegetables in dutch oven

You also need to look at what wines pair well with the other ingredients in the dish.  My Cioppino contains jalapeno, bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes along with the seafood.  All of those flavors cry out for a red wine.


Should you be having a light, white, flaky fish with simple preparation....absolutely go with a white but if you are including flavors that match with red wines as in this Cioppino, red is the answer.

Poached fish would prefer white wine however grilled or roasted fish can be happy with a light red.

This rule is the same for poultry......take into consideration the flavor profile and preparation methods and choose your wine accordingly and, if in doubt, go with a Rosé or Sparkling Wine....they go with everything!!!

Cioppino Pin

We will all be gathering for class on tomorrow, Saturday, September 9th at 11 AM ET.  Please stop by and join us, you never know what you might learn.  You will find us on Twitter Chat following #WinePW.  Here are the topics we will be discussing......
I am looking forward to learning more about the wines that I love.......

Soup, Stew, Seafood, Entrees, One pot meals
Entrees, Seafood
Yield: 4 servings
Author: Wendy Klik


Seafood Stew in a delicious tomato base filled with calamari, squid, clams, shrimp, scallops and cuttlefish.
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 30 MinTotal time: 40 Min


  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 vidalia onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 5 mini sweet peppers, assorted colors, seeded and diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 t. tomato paste
  • 1/4 c. dry red wine
  • 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes with juices
  • 1 (8 oz) bottle clam juice
  • 1/2 c. water
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb assorted seafood mixture (I bought a frozen package of Mixed Seafood Medley)
  • Pesto for serving, if desired


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot or dutch oven over med high heat. Add the garlic, onion, jalapeno and sweet peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir until fragrant and onion is translucent.
  2. Add the tomato paste. Cook and stir for a moment or two, then add the wine and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and let cook until nearly evaporated.
  3. Add the tomatoes with their juices and cook for a few minutes, until slightly thickened.
  4. Add the clam juice and water, season again with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Add the seafood and cook for another few minutes until shrimp is pink and seafood is cooked through.
  6. Ladle into bowls and drizzle with pesto if desired.

Nutrition Facts



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  1. Love that you're breaking the taboo and featuring red wine with fish!

  2. A good substitute. Personally, I prefer red with most dishes.

  3. Absolutely! Rules are made to be broken. Sometimes, what use to be is just not true anymore. Great education

  4. Here's to being a little bit of a rule breaker! I love that you gave so many great examples. I am all about rose and sparkling with anything!
    I think your quote today was one of my favorites
    "I think that rules are like recipes. You acknowledge why they do things as they are written and then add your own personality. When pairing wines you need to look at the food's personality."
    Brilliantly said!


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