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How To Pair Wine with Fish: Freshwater Edition

Here’s how to pair wine with fish to make sure you’re making the most of your food and drink combos.

There’s a great deal more to fishing than baiting a hook and casting a line. Weeks can go into finding the perfect spot, honing your skill, and practicing with your gear.

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More Wine Paring Ideas

More Wine Paring IdeasHow To Pair Wine With Wild Game

When all is said and done, you want the reward to be the perfect trophy and the perfect meal. You want to really taste the rich flavors of the fish you sank so much time and money into catching.

By knowing the perfect wine to pair with your prize, you’re guaranteed to enjoy the success of your fishing trip to the fullest.


Like most freshwater fish, bass goes best with a wide variety of white wines, either sweet or savory. Chardonnay is smoky if you want a savory pairing. For a sweeter alternative, try a dry Riesling or a Syrah Rose.


Like most lake and river fish, perch is light and flaky, calling for a dry white wine. Good pairings include Saumur Blanc, Muscadet, a sleek burgundy like Meursault or a serious white.


Perhaps one of the most popular fish for fine dining, salmon is versatile, taking well to either sweet or savory recipes. When thinking about a pairing, try Syrah Rose, Orange Muscat, Pinot Noir, or White blends of Grenache Blanc and Albarino or Viognier.


Catfish is a popular freshwater fish for the southern regions and, like most freshwater fish, pairs very well with a Chardonnay. Be careful not to choose a wine with a high alcohol content, as that can easily overwhelm the fish.

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With carp, the suggested wine pairing varies depending upon the way it has been prepared. If it is braised, a Sauvignon Blanc is recommended. If sweet, pair it with a nice Riesling from the Pacific Northwest or Alsace regions. Or if you feel daring, prepare your carp Hunan style and pair it with a light Pinot Noir.


Whether it’s baked, fried, or grilled, trout is another versatile and popular fish to eat at home or in the outdoors. Try pairing trout with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, or Grenache.

What’s your favorite wine and fish combination?

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How To Pair Wine with Fish: Freshwater Edition