South Australia Seafood Pairing

With a seafood and wine festival approaching in the McLaren Vale, it seems like a good time to discuss which wines go with particular seafood dishes.

As with any grape variety, results differ from one winery to another. This means that no one varietal is necessarily ideal in every case. Moreover, various seafood dishes make differing demands on the palate. At Wine Australia, they encourage an experimental and personal approach. The writer suggests that diners not be intimidated by rules and just try to pick out flavors which complement one another.

As for basic matches, Winedin makes a good starting point. Since I was looking at an Australian festival, it seemed fitting to fill my theoretical wine rack with Australian vintages.

For example, a suggestion for seafood paella is Grenache. Rice is a very flexible base and could combine well with the dark fruit flavors of an example such as Noon Winery’s Solaire (if you can find such a rare bottle). Winery notes call this a strong, rich example of the grape which pairs nicely with equally strong or even fruity flavors. I guess it would depend on the seafood, but certain styles can be fairly ‘sweet’ and definitely strong.

Cascabel vintners go out of their way to create Spanish-style wines,  ideal for pairing with Mediterranean foods. Their Tempranillo known as Jovan shows summer-berry flavors like strawberry and raspberry. The oak is light, allowing fruits to show through. Try it with seafood gumbo to compete with the richness of crab and shrimp, but also to help you find their sweet side.

Many readers will have heard that sorbet is served in certain restaurants to cleanse the palate between courses. The Kangarilla Chardonnay is said to feature hints of lemon sorbet amid citrus and green apple aromas and flavors. Sip this between spoonfuls of seafood chowder.

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