Raise a glass with Gård Vintners!

How to pair wines with different seafood dishes

Photo courtesy of Gård Vintners
Lisa and Josh Lawrence are the duo behind Gård Vintners in Royal City, Wash.

Taste of Norway Editor
The Norwegian American

Seafood is not an everyday protein at my house, so when I do serve it, it’s worthy of celebration with a bottle of wine. I often serve it with a bottle of white, but I can feel less than confident in trying a new wine or variety to serve with it.

To solve my dilemma, I reached out to my friend Lisa Lawrence, the co-owner of Gård Vintners, an estate winery with deep Scandinavian roots in Royal City, Wash. I first met Lisa and her husband, Josh, in 2009, when I interviewed them for the Norwegian American Weekly (the precursor to The Norwegian American), and I have enjoyed their wines as a wine club member ever since. I knew Lisa would have some solid advice to share with me and our readers.

“There are some basic tenets to follow when matching food with wine,”said Lawrence.

Match the color of the food with the color or depth of color of the wine. Beef pairs with deeper red wines, white fish with white wine, and salmon can go either way—white or a lighter red, for instance.

Consider the richness of the dish, and either echo that with the wine, such as a creamy soup with creamy Chardonnay, or complement it with something opposite, like a creamy soup with a bright, off-dry Riesling.

To add a layer of complexity, consider the seasoning or sauce. A lighter preparation would match with a lighter white wine, richer sauces with richer wines, sweeter preparations with slightly sweeter wines, and so on.

Photo courtesy of Gård Vintners
Gård Vintners recommends their white wines for salmon and shellfish. Their website includes suggestions for pairings and recipes.

I love Gård wines, so I asked Lawrence for her recommendations for Norwegian seafood dishes, and here are her suggestions from Gård Vintners’ lineup:

Salmon: 2020 Freyja or 2017 Grenache

Shellfish: 2019 Sauvignon Blanc or 2017 Pinot Gris Grand Klasse Reserve

White fish: 2018 Chardonnay (if it has a creamy sauce); 2020 Freyja or 2017 Riesling Grand Klasse Reserve (if the sauce or preparation is lighter in nature)

Fish soup: 2018 Chardonnay or 2017 Riesling Grand Klasse Reserve

To learn more about Gård Vintners’ wines and to order, visit gardwine.com. Their website offers more pairing suggestions and recipes, including some excellent Scandinavian recipes too!

This article originally appeared in the April 23, 2021, issue of The Norwegian American.

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Christy Olsen Field

Christy Olsen Field was the Taste of Norway Editor from 2019 to 2022. She worked on the editorial staff of The Norwegian American Weekly from 2008 to 2012. An enthusiastic home cook and baker, she lives north of Seattle with her husband and two young sons.