What wine goes with Paella?

Seafood paella pairs well with a variety of wines. In this article, we give you an insight into what wine to pair your paella with and why.

Seafood Paella

Aromatic or crispy wines tend to combine well with seafood paella. The combination of flavors between the aromatic wines and the paella offers a sensation that is worth experiencing.

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is an appreciable wine to pair with seafood paella because of the crispiness and the citrus flavors it offers. The citrus flavors create a remarkable combination with the seafood. Typically, seafood and citrus flavors pair well with one another, just as when you have lemon with your fish. Check out what we said about pairing with Salmon here.

It is also worth mentioning the impact of the other fruity flavors sauvignon blanc offers. The contrast between sweet flavors such as green melon, and the seafood offers an incredible experience. The sauvignon blanc helps balance out the savory taste of the paella, and in return, the paella balances out the sweet, fruity flavors of the wine. 

Fruity flavors such as lime, gooseberry, melon, white peach, and grapefruit, are all flavors you may experience in a glass of sauvignon blanc

Dependent on where the wine is produced, the flavor will vary. Cooler climates such as the Loire Valley in France produce flavors such as lime and gooseberry, whereas, in warmer temperatures, such as California, white peach and melon may be more prevalent.

Paella

Viognier

Another wine that pairs well with seafood paella is Viognier

Viognier consists of vanilla flavors, and nuts such as nutmeg and almond. These flavors create a pleasant contrast with the fish and vegetables. Flavors such as peach, citrus, and pear are also prevalent in a glass of Viognier. This contrasts with the savory flavors produced in the dish, offering a pleasing taste sensation.

Like the Sauvignon Blanc, the contrast in sweet and savory flavors allows the flavors to balance out. The fruitiness of the wine ensures that the savory flavors are not overpowering the wine. In return, the savory flavors of the paella ensure that fruity flavors are not overwhelming the dish.

As mentioned above, there are a variety of tropical fruits that are present in a glass of Viognier. Fruits such as tangerine, mango, apricot, and pineapple are also prevalent.

In cooler climates such as the Rhône Valley, France, fruits such as orange and apricot may be more prevalent. Whereas, in warmer regions, fruits such as mango and pineapple are more prevalent. This is because the grapes are riper in regions that are warmer.

Consequently, it is vital you pick a wine from a specific region to get the most out of it. Despite this, typically any Viognier will pair well with paella, it comes down to personal preference on what fruits you would rather taste with a paella dish. You can read more about how richer white wines like Viognier work so well with paella in this article.

chenin blanc

Chenin Blanc

Like the sauvignon blanc and Viognier, aromatic wines that are dry pair well with seafood paella. So another wine you may want to try is Chenin blanc.

The Chenin blanc is a fruity wine that consists of flavors such as lemon, yellow apple, pear, pineapple, and even honey. The combination of lemon and seafood is a combination worth trying. The citrus flavor will offer a zingy sensation, offering a remarkable combination with the seafood.

Again, this varies depending on where the wine hails from. Cooler climates may produce a wine that gives off a more citrusy flavor, like lemons. Whereas in warmer temperatures, the grape becomes riper and may produce flavors such as pineapple and honey.

Therefore it is key to know what flavors you wish to experience with your paella dish. Ultimately it does come down to personal preference on what flavors you prefer. If you prefer a Chenin blanc with citrus and apple flavors, go for a Chenin blanc from a cooler climate, such as France. If you wish to experience more tropical flavors but still get that tangy sensation, go for a wine from a warmer climate, such as the USA or Australia.

Chicken Paella

For chicken paella, there is a range of wines that offer a unique pairing. Typically crisp and rich whites or fruity and smooth reds are wines that pair nicely with a chicken paella. 

pinot blanc

Pinot Blanc

A white wine that offers flavors that combine perfectly with chicken paella. 

The creamy flavors of Pinot blanc complement poultry and vegetable dishes. Therefore if you are looking for a wine to pair with your chicken paella, pinot blanc is the right wine for you. 

The creamy fruit flavors create an incredible experience once combined with the chicken paella. The stark contrast between the two flavors immediately makes the meal outstanding. One reason for this is because pinot blanc pairs nicely with light to medium flavored dishes, chicken paella being one of them.

The flavors in the chicken paella do not obstruct the flavors of the wine, and vice versa, creating a smooth experience. Beginners who are trying wine pairing for the first time may appreciate this pairing because it is a light to a medium meal with a fruity wine that does not have a lot of kick, making it more appreciable.

Green apples, creamy fruit flavors, and aromas of flowers are all flavors you may taste in a glass of pinot blanc. It is a dry wine, with low to medium acidity and is medium-bodied. Pinot Blanc originates from Alsace, France. Flavors such as soft, creamy fruit and green apples are likely to be prevalent in a glass of pinot blanc if it is produced in this region.

Germany is another region that produces pinot blanc. It is oaked and comes from the Baden region of Germany.

Italy also produces Pinot blanc and in particular the Alto Adige region. The wines produced in this region tend to be crisper rather than rich, which pairs perfectly with the chicken paella, offering flavors that create a pleasant sensation.

malbec

Malbec

As we mentioned before, red wines are also a great choice to match with your chicken paella, Malbec being a solid candidate.

The dark fruity flavors of the plum and blackberries mixed with the chicken paella create an excellent combination that brings something different to the table compared to the other wines.

Malbec is an extremely fruity wine, red plum, blueberry, and black cherry are just a few of the flavors that Malbec offers. The combination of dark fruits and the chicken in the paella, creates a sweet and savory contrast, thus balancing out the flavors. 

Cooler climates such as France will produce flavors such as red plum and black cherry. Warmer climates, such as the USA, will produce flavors such as sugar plum and blueberry. 

Therefore, it is down to you to pick what type of malbec suits your preferences. You may find that a malbec from the USA will suit your preferences more than a malbec that is from France because they offer different flavors. 

Mixed paella

rioja

Tempranillo

For mixed paella, Tempranillo is a great choice. Typically, Spanish wines compliment a Spanish dish, the safe option can be the best option. The traditional rule is what grows together, will usually go together. 

Rioja is made from the Tempranillo grape and offers flavors that pair nicely with the vegetables and meats in a mixed paella dish. Despite the fact that white wines are known to pair well with seafood, so does Rioja. Therefore you have a wine that is versatile with meats, vegetables, and seafood. What else do you need for your paella?

The fruitiness of the wine is a vital part of how well it pairs with mixed paella. If the wine is not too fruity, then the chances of it working nicely with the flavors are high. Tempranillo is not a fruity wine, compared to some. Of course, there are some fruity flavors such as cherry, strawberry, and raspberry, but these flavors are not overpowering and do not disturb the flavors of the mixed paella.

Tempranillo is mainly produced in Spain, followed by Portugal and Argentina. In cooler climates such as Argentina, flavors such as sour cherry and strawberry sauce may be more prevalent. Whereas in the warmer regions such as Spain, expect flavors such as dried blackberries and raisins.  Read more on this pairing here.

Conclusion

There are several very good pairing options for your paella.

Sauvignon blanc, with its sweet, fruity flavors prevents the paella from disturbing the flavors of the wine. In return, the flavors from the paella also stop the flavors from the wine from becoming too overwhelming. The nutmeg and almond flavors in the Sauvignon Blanc also appeal, adding that nutty flavor to the paella, creating a great combination. 

Chenin blanc offers flavors that must be tried with seafood paella. The cooler climates produce a Chenin blanc that gives off citrus flavors, which taste remarkable with seafood paella.

A great wine to have with your chicken paella is the Pinot blanc. The creamy fruit flavors that it offers allow a great contrast with the chicken.

Moving onto the red wines, Malbec is worth a look. The dark fruit flavors offer something different from the white wines, adding that berry kick to the meat, creates a combination worth experiencing. 

Finally, don’t forget the Spanish pairing. Tempranillo is excellent for mixed paella. It is an incredibly versatile wine, that can pair with any meat and vegetables. The other great feature is it is not too fruity, which means it does not disturb the flavors of the paella. It offers fruity flavors, but it does not overpower the dish and is nowhere near as fruity as the Sauvignon Blanc, allowing you to appreciate all the flavors in your paella.