Rainbow Trout has a delicate herbaceous quality that pairs best with crisp white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Chablis.  Rainbow Trout will have low to moderate fat levels depending on whether it is farmed or caught in the wild, or migrated out to sea.  Low to moderate levels of fat means that Rainbow Trout could easily be overwhelmed by full-bodied wines like an Oaked Chardonnay, so stick to unoaked whites.  On the other hand, Lake Trout is a very rich and fatty trout that requires acidic white wines such as Riesling, Chablis and Sancerre, to cut through the fat.

Best Wine with Trout

TypeVarietalFoodRating
White WineRieslingTrout Smoked
White WineSancerreTrout Smoked
White WineGodelloGrilled Trout
White WineSauvignon BlancTrout Smoked
White WineRieslingGrilled Trout
White WineAlsatian RieslingGrilled Trout
White WineRieslingTrout Sautéed
White WineAlsatian RieslingTrout Sautéed
White WineSavennièresGrilled Trout
Red WinePinot NoirGrilled Trout
White WineChablisTrout Smoked
White WineAltenberg de Wolxheim Grand Cru - RieslingTrout Smoked
White WinePouilly FuméTrout Smoked
BeerWeissbockTrout
BeerWeissbierTrout
BeerRauchbierTrout Smoked
BeerPiwo GrodziskieGrilled Trout
BeerOrval Trappist AleTrout
BeerPale AleTrout Smoked
BeerLagerTrout Smoked
BeerPilsnerTrout Smoked
White WineChardonnayTrout Smoked
White WineChablisTrout
Sparkling WineSparkling WineTrout
White WineGewürztraminerTrout
White WinePouilly FuméTrout
Sparkling WineProseccoTrout
White WineKabinett RieslingGrilled Trout
White WineChenin BlancGrilled Trout
White WineKabinett RieslingTrout in a Cream Sauce
White WineChardonnay, UnoakedTrout in a Lemon Sauce
Sparkling WineChampagne, Blanc de blancs Trout in a Soy Sauce
White WineJurançon, Dry AOCTrout
BeerKentucky CommonGrilled Trout
White WineGrüner VeltlinerTrout
White WineBrand - Grand CruTrout Smoked
White WineEst! Est!! Est!!! di MontefiasconeTrout Sautéed
White WineGrilloSmoked Trout Salad
White WineSavennièresTrout
White WineMontrachetGrilled Trout
White WineMeursaultGrilled Trout
Red WineSt. LaurentGrilled Trout
Red WineBeaujolais VillagesGrilled Trout
White WineViognierGrilled Trout
White WineRioja, WhiteGrilled Trout
White WineChardonnay, UnoakedTrout Smoked
Sparkling WineChampagneTrout Smoked
White WineGewürztraminerTrout Smoked
Sparkling WineSparkling WineTrout Smoked
SherrySherry, FinoTrout Smoked
SherrySherry, ManzanillaTrout Smoked
White WinePinot BiancoTrout
White WinePinot BlancTrout
White WinePinot GrisTrout
White WineSancerreTrout
White WineSauvignon BlancTrout
White WineVouvrayTrout
White WineMeursaultTrout in a Butter Sauce
White WineBordeaux AOC WhiteTrout in a Butter Sauce
White WineKabinett RieslingTrout in a Butter Sauce
White WineBordeaux AOC WhiteTrout in a Lemon Sauce
BeerVienna LagerTrout Smoked

What Are the Different Species of Trout?

Rainbow Trout is the most common species of farmed Trout, so if you haven’t caught the fish yourself, it’s most likely what you are eating.  Rainbow trout are often used to replenish rivers and streams in Western America, while Brook Trout is more common in Eastern Canada and America.  Wild Trout you catch yourself will be much more delicious than farmed Trout, which can sometimes have a muddy taste and a mushy texture.

Lake Trout is very high in fat and should be smoked to reduce the oiliness and strong fishy flavours.  You’ll find Lake Trout in the Great Lakes of Canada and America, where they can grow up to 100 pounds (however, most caught in the wild are about 10 pounds).  This can be an oily fish, and it is best served smoked.  Smoked Lake Trout pairs best with a steely Sauvignon Blanc with smoky or gunflint elements such as Sancerre and Pouilly Fume.

Another species of Trout is the Brown Trout which was brought over from Europe.  Brown Trout can live in lakes and streams, but it’s also known to swim out to the ocean, where it will be called sea trout or salmon trout.  Rainbow Trout might also swim out to sea, where it is then called Steelhead, and it tastes even more delicious than Rainbow Trout. When a fish can migrate between the ocean and freshwater lakes, it is called an anadromous species.

Trout will taste fresh for up to seven days after being caught and doesn’t require any scaling. The fish will taste much more flavourful when cooked with its bones in.  For grilled Trout, always use a grilling basket to prevent the skin from sticking to the grill.  Otherwise, steam, bake or poach your Trout for best results, and always avoid deep-frying it (as it’s high in fat).

Grilled Rainbow Trout & Sauvignon Blanc Pairing


Rainbow Trout, especially when caught out in the wild, should have a firm texture and a delicate herbaceous quality that makes it wonderful with a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc.  While known for its crisp grapefruit, lemon and citrus flavours, Sauvignon Blanc also has green notes of grass and herbs that complements the delicate flavours of your Rainbow Trout.  Finally, the high acidity of Sauvignon Blanc acts as a highlighter, brightening the delicate flavours of your grilled fish.

Baked Rainbow Trout & Chablis Pairing


Chablis is an unoaked Chardonnay from France that features notes of lemon, chalk, pears, green apple and minerals.  The chalk and mineral flavours of Chablis complement the river or lake water influence found in the Rainbow Trout, making for a wonderful pairing.

If you’ve bought your Trout from a supermarket, chances are it will be farmed (at least in North America).  And there’s nothing wrong with that, however, most farmed Trout isn’t going to be as flavourful or fatty as Trout caught out in the wild.  Acidic and dry, Chablis brings out the herbaceous and subtle fish flavours of farmed Rainbow Trout, allowing the fish to taste even more delicious.

Smoked Lake Trout and Sancerre Pairing


Lake Trout is an oily fish and not up to everyone’s tastes, as at its oiliest, it will taste extremely fishy.  Another issue is that you never know how oily the fish might be until you are cooking it.  One Lake Trout might be perfectly delicious, while the other might taste too rich.  Smoking the fish does help reduce the fishy flavours, making it more palatable.

Sancerre is a French Sauvignon Blanc full of acidity that cuts through the oiliness of Lake Trout.  The oil can easily clog up your taste buds, however, the steely acidity of Sancerre whisks it away with every sip with its bright flavours of citrus, grapefruit, grass and herbs.  Meanwhile, you also find smoke and mineral that complements the smoked flavours of your smoked Lake Trout.

Grilled Sea Trout & Pinot Noir Pairing


Tasting of cherries and wild strawberries, Pinot Noir pairs better with moderately Fatty Trout, such as Sea Trout or Steelhead Trout that has migrated out to sea.  In this instance, I’d go with an Oregon Pinot Noir or a Burgundy, where the Pinot Noir’s truffled earthiness will complement the richer flavour of Sea Trout.

For grilled farmed Brown Trout, choose a crowd-pleasing California Pinot Noir where the chocolate and vanilla flavours will complement the caramalized skin of grilled Trout.

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