Merlot Wine And Seafood Pairing

Merlot is a popular red wine known for its soft, fruity flavor. If you’re looking to pair it with seafood, you’ve come to the right place! Picking the perfect merlot for your seafood dish can be tricky, but with the right advice and tips, you’ll get it just right. We’ll show you how to pick out an ideal merlot and how to pair it with your favorite seafood dishes for an unforgettable meal.

Understanding Merlot

You may have heard of this popular varietal before, but understanding it more thoroughly can help you appreciate its flavor nuances and choose the perfect accompaniment. Merlot is a dark-blue skinned grape variety that primarily grows in Bordeaux, France, and California’s Napa Valley. It has a medium body with notes of blackberries, currants, plums, herbs, tobacco and cedar. When made into wine it generally has a high amount of tannins which give it an edge on the palate. With careful aging techniques the tannins soften to create smooth wines with earthy notes that linger on your palate long after the sip is gone. To truly experience merlot’s full potential you will want to pick one that offers balance between its fruit flavors and oak character.

Picking the Right Merlot

To start off your indulgent seafood experience, you’ll want to find a velvety red that will make your taste buds dance. Imagine the smooth texture of the wine gliding over your tongue as it complements each and every bite. Merlot is a great choice for pairing with seafood due to its mellow tannins, which provide a softer structure than some other reds like Cabernet Sauvignon. With its fruity, plummy flavors and notes of herbs and spices, Merlot can be an excellent match for many types of seafood depending on their preparation methods. For instance, dishes with tomato-based sauces will benefit from its sweet acidity while grilled or baked fish can be paired with Merlot’s mild earthiness. To round out your pairing selections, consider adding a creamy white such as Chardonnay or Viognier to enhance the flavor profile even further. With these options in mind, you can continue on towards crafting the perfect meal for yourself and your guests!

Pairing Merlot with Seafood

Let your taste buds be tantalized by velvety reds that will make every bite sing! Merlot is the perfect accompaniment to seafood, as its light-bodied flavor and soft tannins pair nicely with the delicate nature of fish. Here are some tips for a perfect pairing:

  • Create a balance between the wine’s acidity and sweetness with the natural flavors in seafood.
  • Consider adding herbs to enhance and match the fruit notes in Merlot.
  • Experiment with smoked, grilled, or sautéed dishes – all of which go great with Merlot! To take your pairing experience to the next level, try these tips for a perfect combination.

Tips for a Perfect Pairing

Experience a flavor sensation like no other by finding the ideal combination of sweetness and acidity to bring out the best in your dish. Merlot and seafood pairings are a great way to appreciate the unique flavors of each ingredient. To create the perfect pairing, start by considering the weight and texture of each seafood dish you’re serving. If it’s a delicate fish, opt for a lighter bodied Merlot that won’t overpower its delicate flavor. Rich sauces or fatty fish can be complemented with full-bodied Merlots that are smokier and with more tannins. The fruitiness in Merlot also pairs well with shellfish such as prawns, crab, or lobster. Keep in mind that although some dishes may seem challenging to match with wine, there is always something more than capable of creating an unforgettable experience! With this knowledge on hand, you’ll be able to craft truly exquisite merlot and seafood recipes.

Merlot and Seafood Recipes

Crafting the perfect Merlot and seafood dish is like creating a symphony – one wrong note could ruin the entire piece. To ensure your masterpiece comes out just right, consider adding a few of these delicious recipes to your repertoire:

  1. Sautéed Shrimp in Merlot Sauce: Start by marinating shelled and deveined shrimp in olive oil, garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper for at least an hour. Heat up some butter in a skillet on medium heat and add the shrimp. Cook until they are pink and cooked through before adding dry white wine or chicken broth to deglaze the skillet. Reduce this liquid by half before adding some merlot wine along with chopped fresh parsley. Simmer until heated through before serving over pasta or rice for an elegant meal.
  2. Baked Mussels with Merlot Butter Sauce: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit before spreading cleaned mussels on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. In a small saucepan melt together 4 tablespoons of butter with 2 cloves of minced garlic and 1/4 cup of merlot wine over medium heat while stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes until bubbling and fragrant. Remove from heat then pour over the mussels evenly coating them all in the sauce before baking for 10-15 minutes until mussels open up completely when done cooking. Serve warm as is or sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired!
  3. Grilled Salmon With Merlot Glaze: Prepare salmon fillet by brushing it lightly with olive oil then seasoning it generously with salt & pepper on both sides of the fish before grilling it over medium-high heat for 8 minutes per side (or more if desired). While cooking prepare glaze by heating up 1/4 cup merlot wine in a small saucepan along with 2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce and pinch of salt & pepper simmering until bubbly then reducing heat to low for another few minutes until thickened slightly. Once fish is cooked brush both sides generously with prepared glaze before serving hot accompanied by steamed vegetables!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best temperature to serve Merlot?

Serving merlot at the right temperature is key for getting the most out of your wine. For optimal flavor, a red wine like merlot should be served between 62-65°F. If it’s too cold, the flavors won’t be as bold and you’ll miss out on the full experience. Too warm and you can lose some of the nuances in the taste. To ensure that your merlot is just right, chill it for 15 to 30 minutes before serving.

How long can I store an opened bottle of Merlot?

You can store an opened bottle of merlot for up to 5 days. Be sure to keep it in a cool, dark place, and recork the bottle when you’re not drinking from it. Make sure the cork is pushed all the way down into the neck of the bottle so that no air can get inside. The key is to minimize contact with oxygen as much as possible so your wine doesn’t spoil. Enjoy your merlot while it’s still fresh!

What is the difference between Merlot and other red wines?

You may be wondering, what sets Merlot apart from other red wines? Well, alliteration aside, this dark-hued delight has a few distinct qualities that make it stand out. Thanks to its thick skinned grapes and moderate tannins, Merlot is naturally softer and more approachable than many of its bolder counterparts. Its flavor can range from sweet fruit notes to deeper earthy undertones, making it a great choice for pairing with foods like seafood!

Are there specific types of seafood that work better with Merlot?

When it comes to pairing seafood with red wines, merlot is a great choice. Its low tannins and fruit forward flavor profile make it an ideal complement for many types of seafood. Merlot pairs especially well with shellfish including oysters, clams, and mussels; fatty fish such as salmon or tuna; and lighter white fishes like sole or tilapia. For the best results, choose dishes that feature herbs or spices like garlic, onion, black pepper, rosemary, oregano, thyme or parsley to bring out the complexity of the wine.

Does Merlot pair better with cooked or raw seafood?

You may be wondering if it’s better to pair merlot with cooked or raw seafood. Generally, merlots have a soft, round flavor profile and pair well with both cooked and raw seafood dishes. The tannins in the wine help to cut through the oils of cooked fish while its sweetness helps to balance out the saltiness of raw seafood such as oysters and sushi. So whether you’re having a grilled salmon dish or some fresh sashimi, a glass of merlot can make for an enjoyable pairing.


You now know the perfect pairing between Merlot and seafood. It’s a match made in heaven – the mellow, earthy flavors of Merlot make for an excellent accompaniment with your favorite fish or shellfish dishes. A great way to illustrate this is with the classic surf and turf combination – steak and lobster. The richness of the steak pairs perfectly with the boldness of a good Merlot, while the delicate sweetness of your lobster complements its light, fruity notes. With this knowledge, you can impress your guests at every dinner party!

Recent Posts