|1. Calabria||2. Cornelio Dinastía||3. Yellow Tail|
Halibut is the biggest flatfish to be found in the ocean, living in freezing cold waters off Norway, Iceland, Scotland, and Newfoundland. It has a meaty texture without being too heavy and has the light flavor versatility to be prepared with a range of spices, herbs, and sauces.
At its best when baked, pan-fried, or poached, if you have halibut on the menu, you are in luck on the wine front. Sharing similarities with cod and haddock, this firm-textured, mild, flaky fish pairs beautifully with a range of wines whether it is served in its simplest form or dressed with a tasty sauce. Furthermore, it absorbs flavors very well which makes finding the right wine an exciting challenge.
Broadly speaking, there are two categories of white wine that go well with halibut; those that are medium-bodied and aromatic and those that are oak-aged, rich, and full-bodied. That leaves you with a huge range of choices so enjoy reading on for the best wine to serve with halibut.
Top 6 Best Wine with Halibut 2021
A heady antipodean take on the famous grape from Bordeaux is Three Bridges Reserve Sémillon. Produced in different styles with great skill and imagination around Australia, this New South Wales wine has the textural complexity to stand up to the feel of halibut and the crispness to frame the light flavor of the fish.
It is best to go with a simple grilled halibut recipe with a touch of lemon and gentle seasoning for this white. The fresh green apple and cumquat of the palate plus a touch of toasty cinnamon of a fruit pie crust act as a backdrop for the gentle fish flavor and complement its slight sweetness. This Sémillon’s finish is long and vibrant with cashew nut hints that play beautifully with the grilled halibut flavors. Just delicious.
Eight months of fermentation in American oak gives Cornelio Dinastía Fermentado en Barrica Blanco from Spain its rich body – a perfect match to the firm texture of halibut. It is made from old vines which means greater concentration and quality. With a grassy, citrus nose and a floral, ripe stone fruit mouth these powerful white complements the delicate taste of this flaky fish.
This white goes particularly well with a piece of halibut shallow poached in a lemony broth infused with onions garlic, capers, and herbs. Toasty, pastry notes in this gloriously intense white rioja added to the fresh fruit of its palate embrace the tangy notes of the fish dressing.
A regular winner of silvers and golds in leading wine competitions, this complex white is an ideal choice for a powerful halibut dish.
Another good wine to pair with halibut is that South African favorite Chenin Blanc. At first taste, this light varietal might seem neutral – and this deception is its beauty as it allows the slightly sweet flavors of this firm white fish to shine.
Take Spier Signature Chenin Blanc for instance. At first, it seems light but then crisp orchard fruit, guava, and lovely lychee peep through enhancing any halibut dish. It has a great, intricate structure and a full body with just enough delicate brawn to match the density of the fish.
An interesting feature of this white is how it was made. Hand-harvested, crushed, and pressed, unusually for white wine, the fruit had some skin contact which accounts for its satisfying texture and richness.
Pair this with halibut with a delicate tomato and bell pepper sauce for an absolutely delicious match.
Dry Italian wine from the Veneto area, when you hit the Classico level you can expect something special and a good match for white fish.
The rich golden color of this Ca’ Rugate Soave Classico Monte Fiorentine hints at the layers of texture and flavor in the bottle. The nose boasts exotic fruit that broadens and deepens in a rich, structured palate. A zesty edge and good acidity add character to this lovely white and if it has aged in bottle for a couple of years, all the better.
The fresh, crisp acidity of this fine Soave goes well with an extra savory halibut recipe. How about preparing the fish wrapped in salty prosciutto served on a bed of olives? The flavors of the wine will balance those of the dish perfectly plus its lively palate goes well with the firm layers of halibut.
Halibut has that bit of extra weight without being heavy or oily. Alsace Riesling has that vicious clout and spicy notes to stand up to a creamy, sweet recipe that features halibut as its centerpiece. This dense white fish is diving seasoned with cilantro, salt, pepper, and cumin and drenched in sweet coconut sauce. The only thing that is left to make this dish perfect is that Alsace Riesling.
Riesling from Alsace has a rich, spicy nose with hints of vanilla and cinnamon with a lush, rounded buttery palate loaded with pear. Highly acidic with touches of honey, it has a slightly syrupy texture and sweet tones to make a gorgeous match with coconut halibut.
If you want to turn up the chili heat, whip up a green curry sauce, coat your halibut, and bake in tin foil. The flavors will quickly soak into the layers of fish creating an irresistible combination of curry heat and fir texture.
This is the time to break out the fizz and none other than a sweet Moscato d’Asti will do to both enhance the spicy heat and cool it down at the same time.
Mosketto Delicate Sweet White is fresh, fruity, playful, and sweet with god, balancing acidity. Melon, pineapple, lychee, and passions fruit all play with one another in a vibrant nose and crisp palate. A light fizz freshens your mouth after each bite of this spicy dish. This light bubbly texture also lifts the rich, dense feel of the halibut.
Firm and flaky, halibut is like a blank canvas onto which you can paint a wide selection of flavors and textures that work wonderfully. This means you can pair this popular fish with an interesting array of wines. This selection is by no means exhaustive. Explore and enjoy!