Picture this: You’ve spent a nice weekend relaxing and enjoying the weather with your family. For your dinner plans, you’ve decided to take advantage of the weather that’s warming up while we have it, and you’re firing up the grill for dinner tonight. You’re sitting down to a delicious meal of grilled walleye to enjoy with the company of your family. The only thing that could make this meal even better is the fresh, light, slightly sweet wash of your favorite glass of wine. There are many choices for fish and wine pairings that will ensure your weekend continues to go swimmingly.
The age-old saying, “Red wine with meat, white wine with fish” is a general rule that is great to follow for flaky freshwater fish like crappie, bass or walleye, but some rules are meant to be broken. According to food writer Fiona Beckett, it’s okay to allow your fish to swim with a different pair, but only in certain situations. For meatier, less flaky cuts such as salmon or trout, a Pinot Noir could add just the right body and taste to your meal. If you’re roasting, searing, grilling or barbecuing fish-like you might for eelpout, bass or walleye-a light, chilled red wine such as Pinot Noir, or a rosé can work well with your favorite Minnesota fish cuts. For fish made with a spicy or warm blend of herbs, a red can help to balance the heat. Sauces made with white wine are an easy choice for fish dishes, but a red wine sauce can be a fun twist on a classic to bring body and a more robust flavor to your meals.
For white wine enthusiasts, there is a plethora of choices for you as well. A flaky, lean cut such as crappie and walley pairs effortlessly with Chardonnay or a dry Riesling. For eelpout, lovingly nicknamed “poor man’s lobster,” Sauvignon Blanc or another dry white wine will help to balance the rich taste of the fish.
These short, general tips are only the diving off point for the endless fish and wine pairing possibilities. Focus on balancing the flavors of your dish with a glass of wine, and you can’t go wrong.