Looking for the perfect wine to pair with paella? You’re in luck! This blog post will discuss some great wine choices that will complement a paella meal.
Paella is a Spanish dish that consists of rice, seafood, and vegetables. It’s a flavorful and hearty dish that pairs well with a variety of wine choices.
Keep reading for more information on the best wine to drink with paella!
Seafood Paella and Mixed Paella go well with rich white wines such as Roussanne, Chardonnay, and Viognier. Lighter red wines including Garnacha, Tempranillo, Pinot Noir, and Rioja Crianza are good with paella that includes duck, sausage, or rabbit.
Paella is a Spanish rice dish that includes lobster, clams, shrimp, squid, snails, clams, rabbit, chicken, and Chorizo. Vegetables such as red peppers, onions, butter beans, and Saffron-infused rice may also be included.
Paella varies from recipe to recipe because it is a flexible dish that can include anything available. Expect a flavor of iodine with seafood Paella. Duck Paella with rabbit sausage, red peppers, saffron rice, and black olives will have a more gamey taste. Chicken and Chorizo Paella will have a smoky quality.
For wine pairings, it is best to go with a wine that compliments the seafood or meat in the dish. For example, if your paella includes shrimp, squid, and clams, you’ll want to choose a white wine that has a rich flavor. Chardonnay, Roussanne, and Viognier are all great choices for seafood paella.
If your paella includes duck or sausage, you’ll want to choose a lighter red wine such as Garnacha or Tempranillo. Rioja Crianza is also a great choice for heartier paellas that include rabbit or sausage.
Best Wines with Paella
You can match any type of wine with paella. There are several different types of wine that go well with paella, as you may see. The next time you’re eating this delicious meal, pick a wine that complements the tastes.
Viognier and Seafood Paella Pairing
Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc are frequently recommended with Seafood Paella since the crisp and citrusy characteristics offer a nice contrast to the seafood tastes of the dish.
Instead, I prefer a creamier white wine, such as an oak-aged Viognier. The round flavors of an oaked Viognier complement the Saffron notes in the creamy rice rather nicely.
Oaked Viognier is a rich, creamy white wine with vanilla, nutmeg, and almond notes that go well with the many veggies and meats included in your Seafood Paella. Peach, citrus, orange rind, pear, and tropical fruit aromas are also present.
Roussanne and Mixed Paella Pairing
In a Paella, I’m talking about a Paella that contains both seafood and flesh such as chicken, chorizo, rabbit, or duck. In North America, paella is frequently made up of “surf and turf,” owing to the readily available ingredients.
Unless you live on the coast, however, seafood will most likely be frozen unless you have access to fresh seafood.
The Rhone Valley of France produces an Oaked Aged Roussanne, which is a rich white wine with herb, honey, minerals, melons, pears and peaches characteristics. The minerality of Roussanne compliments the iodine tastes of the seafood while the smooth texture of the white wine complements the silkiness of the saffron-flavored rice.
Roussanne can handle the stronger tastes of duck or rabbit, as long as you have enough seafood in your Paella to cut down on the savory flavor.
Roussanne may be tough to come by because many of the wines imported into North America are mixed with other grapes to produce a white Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Hermitage Blanc, or Saint Joseph. Look for bottles labeled Yves Cuilleron, Jaboulet, Jean Luc Colombo, and Château de Beaucastel for high-quality Roussanne.
In the last 25 years, several wineries in California, Washington, and Australia have produced exquisite Roussanne that is more readily available. I like d’Arenberg Roussanne from Australia, Bonny Doon Rubicon from California, Tablas Creek out of California, Zaca Mesa out of California.
A lightly oaked Chardonnay would go well with Paella since to the wine’s creamy body and delicious vanilla notes.
Rosé and Mixed Paella Pairing
If you’re serving a meal with shellfish, red wines should be avoided because the tannin in red wine gives shellfish an unpleasant metallic taste. Rosé, on the other hand, is the ideal compromise for red and white wines since it’s food-friendly, versatile, and acidic. You’ll still get those luscious berry tastes you enjoy in red wine from Rosé, such as strawberry, cherry, and raspberry.
The strawberry tastes go well with any dark meat, such as chorizo, rabbit, or duck, and they stand up to the stronger flavors. You’ll also discover a zippy kiss of citrus in Rosé, such as lemon and lime, that complements the seafood element of your Seafood Paella well.
Rosé goes great with Paella on the patio in the afternoon sun. A chilled glass of Rosé is refreshing and adds a nice contrast to the saffron rice and complex tastes of mixed Paella.
Garnacha and Paella Valenciana Pairing
A rich, hearty rice dish that originated in Spain and is served during the summer months. It’s made with chicken, duck, rabbit, green beans, Chorizo sausage (a type of sausage from Andalucia), tomato, bell peppers, and glutinous rice flavored with kasubha or annatto seeds. Of course, my description is debatable given the global context we find ourselves in today.
Paella Valenciana does not include fish, so it’s best complemented with medium-bodied red wines that are high in acidity but lower in tannin, such as Garnacha.
Heavier reds will overpower the distinct tastes of Paella Valenciana, particularly any green beans, bell peppers, or herbs. The tannin in a heavier red wine would also clash with the tomatoes in the dish, giving the wine a metallic taste.
Garnacha is a Spanish variant of the Grenache grape, which is also called Garnacha. In France, Grenache is sometimes blended with other grapes such as Mouvedre or Syrah, whereas in Spain, single-varietal Garnachas are more common.
Medium-bodied and low to moderate in tannin, Garnacha produces earthy red wines with rich fruitiness including cooked cherry notes, cranberry preserves, jam-stewed raspberry, and strawberry.
These fruitier characteristics go great with the meaty tastes of duck, sausage, and rabbit while providing a mouthful of refreshment.
Meanwhile, Garnacha adds delicate tastes of black pepper, herbs, mineral, leather, white pepper, and tobacco to the savory bliss of Paella Valenciana.
Rioja Crianza and Filipino arroz a la Valenciana Pairing
Another popular Spanish red wine is Rioja Crianza, which goes great with Valencian Paella. There are three distinct levels of Rioja, with Crianza being the youngest and least oak-aged age, resulting in a light and fruity red wine.
Rioja Crianza is an incredibly versatile wine that will compliment any Valencian Paella dish by delivering tart fruit notes of black cherry, blackberry, and raspberry. Because Rioja Crianza is acidic enough to mix with any tomatoes in your Valenciana Paella, provided they don’t take over the flavor profile of the meal.
I’d choose a Rioja Reserva or a Rioja Gran Reserva if your Paella Valenciana has few tomatoes and is full of duck and rabbit. You’ll notice some oak aging in these types of Riojas, which adds incredible tastes of smoke, vanilla, leather, and dirt that go great with the tasty duck and rabbit meat.
An oak-aged Rioja, on the other hand, has more intense tastes that stand up to richer duck meat tastes. The higher prices (as oak aging is not inexpensive) of Rioja Reserva and Rioja Gran Reserva are best saved for intimate get-togethers when you have time to appreciate how fantastic these Spanish Red wines are.