Which wines go perfectly with a halibut dinner? You’ve probably heard that white wine pairs best with seafood, but white wine in itself is a diverse category. Choose the perfect wine to pair with halibut by keeping these helpful tips in mind.
Think About the Fish
What characteristics does halibut have? It boasts a mild flavor profile, without the fishy aftertaste many other seafood dishes have. It’s also relatively low in fat.
The reasoning behind pairing red wine with red meat and white wine with seafood often boils down to the fat content. Steaks are generally much richer than fish, and a sip of red wine between bites of filet mignon helps clear the extra fat off your tongue.
However, because halibut is so lean, you don’t need such a powerful palate cleanser. Refreshing white wines can easily complement the mild taste.
Think About the Preparation
How are you cooking your halibut? It’s such a mild fish on its own that it lends itself well to a plethora of sauces, marinades, and methods for cooking. Halibut soaks up flavor very well.
Halibut’s closest match in the wine world is Chardonnay. This wine is fairly neutral in flavor, but depending on its aging process, it can pick up the flavors of, say, an oak barrel.
Next time you buy Alaskan halibut for sale, pick up a bottle of your favorite Chardonnay. If you plan to be adventurous with cooking the halibut, choose a more neutral, tank-aged Chardonnay. However, if you simply want to grill it with a little salt and pepper, pair it with a Chardonnay aged in an oak barrel.
Keep Your Flavor Options Open
Chardonnay isn’t the be-all, end-all of halibut wine pairings; it’s only one of many options that halibut lends itself well to. Because it’s such a mild fish, you’ll have to take your sauces and seasonings into account when pairing flavor profiles.
Sauvignon Blanc is another popular choice due to its zesty, acidic notes. If you’re grilling your halibut with lots of herbs and veggies, the brightness of Sauvignon Blanc will elevate the whole meal.
When choosing a wine to pair with halibut, you could also go for one with high aromatics and medium body. Pinot Gris, Chablis, and dry Rieslings all fit the bill. If you’re a red wine devotee and feel like breaking the “rules,” try a lighter red like Pinot Noir. When looking at red wines to pair with any fish, make sure they’re lower in tannins.
Looking for the perfect wine to pair with halibut? Don’t feel like you have to limit yourself! However, keep the flavor profile of the fish in mind, as well as all your sauces, sides, and seasonings. Choose a wine that will complement without overpowering the sweet, mild taste of Alaskan halibut.