Best Wine for Cioppino

Cioppino is a very traditional fish stew or soup that originates in San Francisco. It is often made with fish, shellfish, and other types of seafood. Fish stew has become a classic in American cuisine due to its interesting history, amazing flavors, and flexibility.

Typically, it is served with sourdough bread to complement the savory broth. Cioppino contains many different types of seafood including crab legs and mussels so when choosing wine pairings it’s best to select wines that complement those ingredients without overpowering them.

San Francisco Tradition

Cioppino is a very traditional fish stew or soup that originates in San Francisco. It’s named after the fisherman who made it, Giuseppe Cipriani. The name comes from the Italian word “ciuppin” which means “small dish”.

In Cioppino, you’ll find whatever fresh seafood is available at your local market: shrimp, scallops, and crab are popular choices as well as mussels and clams (depending on where you live). You can also add salmon if that’s what you have on hand.

In addition to the seafood mentioned above, tomatoes and onions give this dish its unique flavor while parsley adds color. In order to get all the flavor out of these ingredients while they simmer in broth with wine or beer during cooking time; marinate them beforehand with salt (or no salt depending on how much sodium content you’re comfortable consuming). This helps draw moisture out which makes for faster cooking times when searing them later on over high heat before adding liquid ingredients like broth or water into the pan again.”

Best Wine Pairings for Cioppino

There are many wines that go great with cioppino, but these truly stand out:


This white wine has a crisp, fruity flavor that will enhance the seafood in this dish. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for something light and refreshing that won’t overpower your meal. I recommend the following examples:

Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay

This vineyard is located in California, and it’s a great place to start your search for a good Chardonnay with crab legs. This wine is made from grapes grown in the Sonoma Valley, where the climate is ideal for growing them. Fermented and aged in French and American oak barrels for richness, toastiness, and complexity.

J. Lohr Chardonnay

This California winery has been making award-winning wines for over 30 years, and this Chardonnay is no exception. They use grapes from their own vineyards in Monterey County, which means that you can be sure the quality is always high. This wine has a rich golden color with notes of citrus and vanilla on the nose.

Ladera Vineyards Chardonnay

This Chardonnay is made from grapes grown in the Santa Lucia Highlands, which is a cool climate area. It’s aged in French oak barrels for about 15 months before being bottled and has notes of vanilla and toasted hazelnuts on the nose.

Hagafen Cellars “Reserve” Napa Valley Chardonnay

Made from grapes grown in Napa Valley. It has a rich golden color with notes of citrus, vanilla, and toasted hazelnuts on the nose. It’s aged for about 18 months in French oak barrels before being bottled.

Pinot Grigio

If you prefer white wines with more depth of flavor, try Pinot Grigio. This wine is perfect for pairing with fish or poultry dishes like cioppino because it has hints of citrus fruits and herbs that pair well with seafood. One of my favorites. Try one of these great examples with your Cioppino:

2021 St. Michael-Eppan San Michele Appiano Pinot Grigio Sudtirol – Alto Adige

This wine has grown in popularity and is appreciated for its freshness, nice acidity, and pleasant, lingering aftertaste. Well worth seeking out.

2021 Pradio Priara Pinot Grigio Friuli Grave

From the Pradio Italian family estate, this Pinot Grigio presents as pale yellow in color. Notes are blended wildflowers and ripe fruit (apple, pear, banana). This wine has a long finish that is fresh and lingering on the palate.

2021 Cantina Zaccagnini Terre di Chieti IGT Pinot Gris

The color is straw yellow with a very pleasant aroma. It has clear fruity notes of pear and green apple, as well as slight hints of aromatic herbs. The taste is dominated by freshness and savoriness; it’s light enough for crisp white fruit but still flavorful enough to appeal to those who prefer something on the sweeter side.


Another great option for light-bodied whites is Riesling. A delicious dry white wine from Germany or Alsace (France). It’s easy to drink on its own or paired with food like cioppino; either way, it tastes great.

Try one of these fine examples:

Georg Albrecht Schneider Niersteiner Riesling Kabinett 2017

This Kabinett is a fresh, crisp wine with lingering sweetness balanced by tart lemon-lime acidity. Delicate wisps of smoke and earth lend touches of complexity throughout, adding dimensions to its fruity character.

Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese

Spätlese Riesling is richer and more intense in flavor than Kabinett. It comes with a lively minerality that perfectly balances the bright white peach and lemon fruit you’ll find here. Worth seeking out.

Ransom Sunnyside Vineyard Riesling (Willamette Valley of Oregon)

From the vineyard themselves, “This single vineyard, old vine bottling from the South Salem Hills is a classic, terroir-revealing Riesling. Opening with fresh fruit aromas of key lime and pineapple, the palate offers vivid acidity and flavors of Meyer lemon zest and candied ginger wrapped around a mineral vein. The wine finishes fresh and bright, with a beguiling note of honeysuckle blossom. A delight to drink now, but also exceedingly age-worthy.” 

Sauvignon Blanc

If you want something full-bodied but not too heavy, consider Sauvignon Blancs from regions such as New Zealand or France’s Loire Valley (where Sancerre comes from). These wines pair well with fish dishes like this one because they have bright acidity when young but can develop richer flavors as they age over time (if stored properly).

They also go well alongside spices used in cooking Cioppino, such as thyme and oregano so if those ingredients show up often in recipes then try pairing them together.

I recommend that you check out one of these Sauvignon Blancs:

Bread & Butter North Coast Sauvignon Blanc

This Sauvignon Blanc has bright aromas of lemon zest and hints of tropical fruit, lively flavors with citrus notes followed by a rich texture and a clean finish.

2021 Decoy California Sauvignon Blanc

Aromas of pineapple, lemon, and green apple lead the way for this crisp Sauvignon Blanc. Underneath those fresh scents is a layer of lime zest that adds another exciting dimension to what you taste, which lingers in your mouth long after each sip.

Lieu Dit Sauvignon Blanc 2017

This Sauvignon Blanc has aromas of ripe kiwi, lemon, and lime accented by hints of green apples. The palate is full and creamy with a rich mouthfeel that is balanced by crisp acidity.


As you can see, there are many different wines that go well with cioppino but there are some excellent pairings. Chardonnay is a great choice but I personally prefer Pinot Grigio. It has more flavor and the citrusy notes are delightful with Cioppino.

Making your own? You’ll want to try this outstanding recipe by Bobby Flay on for San Francisco Seafood Stew (Cioppino)

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