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Pairing Wine With Mussels

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Mussels are tasty and delightful seafood. Easy to prepare and delicious to eat, this mollusc is a great aperitivo when you’re in front of the sea, or as a main dish if you are having dinner out. 

Mussels can be cooked in several ways, following the traditional recipes of many countries all around the world: Italy, France, USA, Spain, Belgium…And, of course, each receipt has to be paired with the right wine! Generally speaking, mussels have sapid and saline characteristics, so the wine in pairing should ideally be high in acidity and with medium or less structure, to elevate the experience to a new level.

Wine Characteristics To Pair With Mussels

Characteristic Detail
Sweetness Dry
Acidity High
Tannins Low 
Body Medium to full Bodied White, Light Reds
Tasting Notes Citrus fruits, Peach, Apple, Red Fruits, Rose

Best Red Wine To Drink With Mussels

If we want to choose a red wine for the pairing, we should think about a low body, high acidity and low tannic red. In fact, choosing these styles of red allows us to not overwhelm the saline characteristics of the seafood. 

Pinot Noir

Versatile and polyedric, Pinot Noir is alway a faithful fellow when we find light body, low to medium tannins and low to medium alcohol wines. The best examples came from the region of Bourgogne, in France, but anywhere else in the Old World can also be a good option.


This very perfumed grape variety comes from the North of Italy, which gives us interesting low tannin, light bodied red wines with flavours of little red fruit and lemon. Interesting option for those who want to experience something new. Little tip: serve slightly chilled!

Best White Wine To Drink With Mussels

When we approach the white wine field, there are more options to choose from. Starting from a light – medium body with high acidity, we can fly everywhere with our pairing. From France, with Chardonnay or Aligotè from Bourgogne, to Portugal with Vinho Verde, passing through Greece with Assyrtiko to enhance the flavour of the mussels.


Because there are several ways to make Chardonnay, there are several ways to enjoy it. Aging in small oak gives more body, mouthfeel and vanilla or smokey aromas, while aging in stainless steel tanks means the wines will be fresher with a more vibrant acidity and lime and lemon flavours. Which is your style? 

Vinho Verde

From Portugal, with acidity! Light body, dry, low alcohol fruity wine with a reminiscence of lime, lemon and blossom. Consider this; you are enjoying your fresh mussels as aperitif whilst watching the waves. Isn’t your mouth watering yet?


This underestimated Greek grape variety is capable of making wines with vibrant acidity and minerality that reminds us of the saltiness of the mussels. Assyrtiko wines are dry, with flint and saline characteristics. 

Wine With Mussels Prepared Different Ways

As stated before, mussels are fresh seafood and can be the base for more elaborate preparations.  

Wine With Mussels in White Wine & Cream Sauce

Sauvignon Blanc

Onions, garlic, pepper, parsley.. This preparation is definitely for aromatic dish lovers! So the wine pairing here should reflect the dish, to enhance the aromatic sensations of both and create a balance in the mouth. Ideally, the wine in pairing should be the one used in the preparation of the dish.

Wine With Black Pepper Mussels

Greco di Tufo 

Traditional from the South of Italy, this delicious preparation has very ancient roots. It’s easy to prepare and very tasty! The principal ingredients are black pepper, lemon and parsley, and mussels, of course. Here the wine pairing can be something following the local traditions, as for example a Greco Di Tufo. High acidity, as always, and lemon, blossom and apricot notes for this dry white wine.

Wine With Moules Frites


This is one of the most eaten foods in Belgium, the Netherlands and the north of France. Here, the mussels are accompanied with French Fries. Following the traditions, Muscadet (a white wine made from Melon de Bourgogne grape) is one of the best picks. It’s dry, with low body but high acidity, which is what we need here to balance the fat of the fries and not overwhelm the delicate aromas of the mussels. 

Best Wine To Drink With Mussels

  • Pinot Noir
  • Schiava
  • Chardonnay
  • Vinho Verde
  • Assyrtiko
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Greco di Tufo 
  • Muscadet