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Food is one of the most important parts of a vacation, and one of the best ways to enjoy your time away from home is with a good meal. One of the best ways to experience Tiburon’s new and local cuisine is by pairing your food with wine, which can enhance the flavors of your meals and bring out the best in your food. Whether you are visiting Tiburon Tavern for the first time or are back for the nth time, you can pair your seafood or fish meal with wine to create a new and exciting experience that will have your taste buds dancing in delight.

Wine is frequently paired with shellfish or fish, but it is also frequently done incorrectly. Seafood is not like other foods with which you might combine wine. Both seafood and wine have numerous facets, which can make pairing wine with seafood very tricky.

The most important consideration, like with any meal and wine combination, is whether you, the consumer, will appreciate the pairings. If you read an article that says you must serve your halibut with Sauvignon Blanc but your heart sinks because you know you don’t like Sauvignon Blanc, you won’t appreciate the dish. If you dislike a certain wine, you risk spoiling the entire meal for yourself, regardless of how fantastic the technicalities of the pairing are.

When it comes to wine and seafood, a driving wine is ideal. Fresh wines with a little texture are great for seafood pairings. It’s conventional knowledge that you should only drink white wine with fish, but as you’ll see as you read on, this isn’t always true.

Best wine for seafood pasta

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Pairing wine with seafood pasta is one of the easiest, most delicious ways to elevate your pasta meal to a new level. Whether you’re pairing your pasta with red or white wine, there are a few basic rules to follow. Red wine is usually best with meaty, red-colored seafood like shrimp and lobster. It is also great for pairing with seafood pasta because it helps bring out the natural flavors of the pasta. Pair your seafood pasta with a red wine like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Syrah to bring out the best in your pasta dish. White wine, on the other hand, is a great match with fish and other lighter white-fleshed seafood like clam strips.

Another fantastic approach to pairing any wine with food, particularly seafood pasta, is by the region in which the dish originated. This means that if you’re having seafood pasta with a Spanish flavor, try to match it with a bottle of Spanish wine, preferably from the Spanish coast. Depending on your preferences, it can be red or white. The most crucial aspect of this pairing is that the origins match up as closely as possible.

Best wine for salmon

Salmon is perhaps one of the most popular types of fish that are often served at dinner gatherings. The way you serve it will be determined by the wine you offer with it. It’s also worth noting that salmon is one of the seafood that defies expectations and matches well with a light-bodied red wine.

A chilled Pinot Noir goes well with pan- or oven-cooked salmon. Chardonnay, on the other hand, is the ideal dry white wine for salmon. The bold flavors of smoked salmon, on the other hand, work well with sparkling wine (like champagne) or sweet wine, like Riesling.

Best wine for calamari

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Calamari or squid is frequently served as an appetizer or starter with other dishes, so keep that in mind when selecting a wine to match it. It also depends on how it is prepared.

Except when cooked with red wine, Calamari would go well with almost any crisp citrusy white wine, with sauvignon blanc being the obvious choice. However, there are plenty of other French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese whites that would work as well, such as picpoul, albarino, Rueda, and vinho verde.

Best wine for prawns

Prawns are succulent white-fleshed mollusks with an edible, tasty flesh that is light-colored, firm, and meaty, and are often sold cooked or raw. Prawns are usually prized by connoisseurs, and they are plentiful in coastal waters and on many deep-sea fishing expeditions.

All prawns must be cooked, that being said, red wine makes for a better prawn the colder the better. Most reds have a higher acidity than whites, which is why they can pair well with prawns.

Best wine for lobster

For seafood enthusiasts, lobster is frequently regarded as the pinnacle of elegance. It’s rich, meaty, and tasty. If you’re planning on serving lobster as a main dish, a good wine pairing is a must. Because lobster has such strong meaty textures, it’s best to pair it with something that complements the buttery flavor of the meal with its exquisite aromatic overtones. 

A good red wine, such as a merlot or cabernet sauvignon, will be both bold and complex enough to complement the lobster meat while still being gentle enough to complement the delicate flavors of the lobster. You can also try white wine, such as a pinot grigio or chardonnay. 

If you want to further indulge your taste buds, a sparkling wine like Champagne may pair with practically any cuisine, especially lobster. For the most complimentary flavor, look for one that is produced mainly with the Chardonnay grape.

Best wine for tuna tartare

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This classic French-Japanese dish of raw tuna served on rice is a delicacy. It’s one of the most well-known foods in the sushi world, and it’s no wonder. Tuna has luxurious and fatty meat that tastes amazing when served fresh. The best wine for tuna tartare is bold and intense, but not so much that it overpowers the delicate flavors of the fish. At Tiburon Tavern, we like to serve our tuna tartare with a glass of red wine such as a pinot noir or a sangiovese, or a nice white wine such as a crisp chardonnay or a fruity pinot grigio to complement the herbs used in making the dish.

Best wine for shrimp cocktail

A shrimp cocktail is a traditional American appetizer, often made with small, raw shrimp, raw white shrimp, or cooked shrimp in a tangy mayonnaise or creamy dressing. It is similar to other seafood dishes such as ceviche, which is made with raw seafood marinated in lemon or lime juice or fish sauce, and coconut milk, which is used in both raw and cooked dishes.

If you use a horseradish sauce for your shrimp cocktail, you can experiment with the flavors more than you might be able to with a regular fish or shrimp dish. Because of the strong flavor, you may want to go with something sweet (like a Riesling) to balance out the spiciness of the horseradish, or you may work with the tomato and match it with a fruitier merlot.

Best wine for crab

Crab is one of the most versatile and delicious seafood dishes on the planet. It is a highly prized delicacy in many parts of the world and has become a staple in many American seafood restaurants. However, most people would agree that a good crab isn’t worth its salt if it isn’t accompanied by fine wine. That being said, many different wines are great choices for pairing with crab.

The best wine to pair with fresh blue crab is red wine. Red wine pairs well with blue crab because the meat of the crab is sweet and has a buttery flavor. Red wine also brings out the sweetness of the crab. A good red wine to pair with a blue crab is a Merlot or a Cabernet.

Best wine for sea bass

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Sea bass is one of the tastiest, most flavorful fish you can eat. It has a delicate, sweet flavor and a firm, meaty texture. Sea bass may appear to be in the same category as tuna and salmon when it comes to ‘meaty’ fish, but its mild flavor keeps it out. A bright white with plenty of characteristics, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, is the perfect wine to pair it with. This will give your palate a lot more flavor than simply the fish would, and it will keep the dish from being bland.

Wines from France and Italy, which have a lot of varieties, also go well with sea bass. Some of the best red wine varieties for sea bass are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah.

The best wine for fish and seafood

Sparkling wine and full-bodied dry whites like Chardonnay are practically common in seafood and wine pairings. But with such a diverse assortment of both seafood and wine, the perfect pairing can be complicated to identify. 

Whatever you select, the most essential thing is that YOU enjoy it. There are no incorrect answers when it comes to food and wine pairing, so find what you like and enjoy it.

To enjoy a gastronomic experience when you’re in Tiburon, California, make a reservation with Tiburon Tavern today at 415-435-5996 or We look forward to serving you on your visit!