We like to be rule breakers here. We’ve all heard the old wisdom- “red wine with red meat, white wine with fish.” The truth is, food & wine are much more complex than that! The spices you use, the method of cooking, even the type of fish or meat influences the pairing. While there is some truth behind this rule, we find it helpful to understand where the notion comes from. The tannins in red wine can make the fish taste metallic. One of the most underestimated possibilities for pairing wine is red wine and fish. The tannins in red wine can make the fish and some light meats taste metallic, especially in light, white fish such as sole. This can be avoided by pairing the dish with a red wine lighter in tannin, such as a Pinot Noir. In fact, one of the most classic modern pairings is salmon and Oregon Pinot Noir! This also works for other darker, fattier fish such as trout or tuna.
The way you cook the dish can also influence the pairing. If you’re grilling the dish, the smokiness is often great with a more savory, darker wine. The same effect applies to when a dish is heavily seasoned with herbal spices, such as thyme and oregano (one exception to this rule is spicy food, which is usually better with an off-dry white, which tames the heat with the sweetness!).
So play with your pairing, my friend! Be bold. Drink what you like!