Branzino is a white fish which is usually quite mild in flavor and is also known as Mediterranean bass or European bass. The meat of the branzino is white, lean and it has a bit of a sweet flavor. It is native to the western and southern coasts of Europe and it is very popular in Italian cuisine.
Branzino is usually served grilled or roasted which gives a bit of smoky aromas to the meat. Generally a light, crisp, zippy white wine will be a great pairing for this lean fish and even more so if it is served with lemon as it usually is. However, light reds might go well too.
Wine Characteristics To Pair With Branzino
|Acidity||Medium to High|
|Body||Light to Medium Whites,
|Tasting Notes||White Wine Notes – Citrus, green fruit, herbal
Red Wine Notes – Red fruit
Sweetness – Dry, crisp wines go extremely well with lean white fish. We would recommend sticking with low sugar levels.
Acidity – Medium to high levels of acidity are necessary to cut through the fish and to refresh your palate.
Tannins – Low levels of tannins are recommended if you opt out for a red wine with branzino.
Body – Stick to light to medium bodied white wines so that you don’t overpower your main course. As for the reds, don’t go heavier than a light body.
Tasting Notes – Citrus fruit aromas, with green fruit such as apple and pear will make you pairing crisp and fresh. Red fruit aromas with hints of spice and herbal notes for your red wines.
Best Red Wine To Drink With Branzino
You have surely heard that red wines should be paired with red meat and white wines should be paired with lean fish. In general this is correct as red wine contains tannins which do not sit well with fish oils, as they create a metallic taste on your palate.
However, if you would prefer to have a red wine with your dinner, we would suggest having a light red with low tannins.
Valpolicella from Italy
Valpolicella wines come from the Veneto region in northeast Italy and they are usually blends of several different grape varieties. Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, Molinara are just a couple of grape varieties permitted in the blend and these wines usually have a lighter body, low tannin level and high acidity. They make a good pairing for grilled lean fish. Another option might be wine from Bardolino which is going to be quite similar in style.
Gamay from France
Gamay is a grape grown in Beaujolais in France and it produces wines with low tannins and medium to high acidity. It is usually very light in body which makes it pair well with fish. It can also be served slightly chilled.
Best White Wine To Drink With Branzino
Alvarinho from Portugal
Alvarinho is mostly grown in north Portugal and it is used to produce Vinho Verde, a style of wine which is quite high in acidity and it is slightly petillant, meaning that it has a bit of spritz.
It will pair perfectly with branzino, making your dining experience sophisticated.
Melon B from France
Melon de Bourgogne or Melon B is the main grape variety used for production of Muscadet Sevre et Maine wines. These wines come from the Nantais subregion in the Loire Valley, really close to the Atlantic ocean. Very high in acidity with citrus and green fruit aromas they make a great pairing for fish.
Sauvignon Blanc from France
Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre or even Pouilly-Fume makes a great pairing for fish as it is high in acidity, citrus and green fruit oriented and it has a shell like aroma complemented with a bit of smokiness coming from the soil.
Best Wine To Drink With Branzino
The wines we will mention in the list below will make a great pairing with lean fish such as branzino. They have all the necessary features to complement the main course. Acidity, richness of flavor, light to medium body and a nice texture.
- Alvarinho from Portugal
- Melon B from France
- Sauvignon Blanc from France
- Chardonnay from France
- Cortese from Italy