Ceviche is a seafood meal made with fresh raw fish or shellfish that has been cured in citrus juices and seasoned with ají, chilli peppers, salt, coriander, or minced onions. Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Albariño, Sparkling Wine, Grüner Veltliner, or Chenin Blanc are acidic and unoaked white wines with a hint of tang that combine nicely with Ceviche.
Best Wine with Ceviche
Sauvignon Blanc and Ceviche Pairing
There are hundreds of Ceviche across the region. Fish or seafood could vary from Salmon, Grouper, Tuna, Lobster, Shrimp, Crab, Oysters, Mussels or Scallops. Additional side-dishes like corn on the cob, or diced sweet potatoes may also accompany this flavourful and tangy dish.
Sauvignon Blanc is a citrusy white wine with bright flavours of lemon, lime, and grapefruit, which all complement the tangy acidity of Ceviche. Sauvignon Blanc also serves up some grassy green herbal notes that complement any fresh herbs sprinkled on Ceviche or used in the marinade. Notes of stone, mineral, and slate also lie within Sauvignon Blanc, and these flavours complement the natural sea kissed saline notes you’ll find in fresh seafood.
The high acidity of Sauvignon Blanc ensures that it will also not overpower the subtle fish flavours in Ceviche, but rather it will draw out the unique minerality the seafood has to offer.
Off-Dry Riesling and Ceviche Pairing
As Ceviche is cured in citrus juices, you need to match it up with something equally acidic in nature, or else the wine will come off as flat. If the wine is oaked, the citrus used in Ceviche may also make the wine taste ‘hot’ in an unappealing way. Fortunately, with Riesling, the wine is always acidic, and very rarely sees oak.
Riesling is a white wine that features refreshing flavours of lime, lemon, green apple, apricot and honey. Given that Ceviche is marinated in citrus juice, most of these flavours are quite complementary. Riesling also comes in a wide variety of options from around the world. Typically, the biggest choice you’ll make is if you want a dry Riesling, an off-dry Riesling, or a sweet Riesling.
With Ceviche, you’ll want either a dry or off-dry Riesling (sweet Riesling is meant for desserts), and that choice always comes down to your personal preference. Dry Riesling means the wine is not sweet, where off-dry means the Riesling is slightly sweet. If your Ceviche has chillies, I’d recommend an off-dry Riesling, as the refreshing sweetness of the wine cools down the heat allowing you to enjoy the earthier flavours of the chillies. For regular Ceviche that isn’t spicy, I also enjoy off-dry Riesling as I find the sweetness complements the citrus-cooked seafood’s sweeter flavours.
Albariño and Ceviche Pairing
Albariño is a Spanish white wine with a distinctive citrus tang of grapefruit, lemon, and lime that complements Ceviche. With Albariño, you’ll find delicious notes of melon, apple, apricot, lychee and pear. What makes Albariño stand out from the other white wines mentioned here is its salty minerality that complements the ocean flavours of any white fish or shellfish in your Ceviche.
Crisp and refreshing, Albariño is a dry white wine that tastes fresh and is outstanding with Ceviche.
Sparkling Wine and Ceviche Pairing
Ceviche is the perfect lunch time dish as it’s light, colourful and tastes fresh. It’s also high in protein and low in fat and carbohydrates, which makes Ceviche incredibly healthy if you’re watching your waistline.
A fresh Sparkling Wine like Prosecco or Spanish Cava mirrors the light and fresh quality of Ceviche while adding a ton of fun to your meal. Everyone loves bubbly wine as it adds instant fun, however, it also adds a shot of acidity that highlights all the individual fish flavours found in your Ceviche. While rather neutral in flavour, Sparkling wine does tend to serve up crisp notes and complementary notes of lemon, lime, melon, pear and apple.
Sparkling Wine is also low in alcohol, and if you stick to one drink, you’ll walk away from your meal feeling invigorated and ready to take on the rest of the day.
Beaujolais and Ceviche Pairing
Not everyone loves white wine, so if you’re serving Ceviche at a dinner party and feel the need to be accommodating, Beaujolais will make for an adequate pairing.
Beaujolais is a light and fruity wine from France that provides delicious flavours of cherry, strawberry and raspberry. Because the wine is light, it won’t swamp out the delicate fish flavours. Unfortunately, the wine won’t complement anything of the ingredients found in Ceviche, as berries and seafood aren’t a classic combination. Still, the wine is acidic enough to accentuate the various ingredients found in the Ceviche, and the high acidity of Beaujolais ensures it won’t clash with the acidic citrus marinade used to cure your Ceviche.