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What Wine Goes With Paella? Pairing Guide 

What Wine Goes With Paella? Pairing Guide 

Paella is Spain’s National dish. Paella is a traditional rice dish that features many ingredients, such as chorizo paprika, shellfish, chicken, and vegetables.

However, with a dish as great as paella, you need to pair it with the perfect wine.

Does Red or White Wine Pair With Paella?

You can serve red and white wines with paella. Ideally, light-bodied red wines and fruit-forward white wines pair well with paella. Additionally, you can also pair paella with Mediterranean rose wines.

What Wine Pairs With Paella?

Unfortunately, not any wine can be paired with paella. The wine pairing will ultimately depend on the type of paella.

Paella Valenciana

Paella Valenciana consists of chicken, green beans, duck, Chorizo, rabbit, bell peppers, green beans, and glutenous rice.

The glutinous rice is usually flavored with annatto seeds or Kasuba. However, there are different variations of Paella Valencia, so the recipes may differ.

Paella Valenciana pairs well with Garnacha. Garnacha wines have medium-bodied red wines with high acidity that will not overpower the dish.

Full-bodied red wines will overpower the complex flavors of the Paella Valenciana. Full-bodied red wines will conflict with the acidic tomatoes in the Paella Valenciana, giving it an unpleasant metallic taste.

In contrast, if you are not a red wine enthusiast, you are not out of luck. Chardonnay, Verdejo, White Bordeaux, or Godello wines pair perfectly with Paella Valenciana. 

Seafood Paella

Most people drink Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc with seafood paella. These wines have a crisp, refreshing, citrus flavor that provides a nice burst of acidity to lighten up the heavy meal.

However, you can also pair Seafood Paella with Viognier. Viognier has a creamy texture. The apricot, peach, and honeysuckle flavors accentuate the saffron in the dish.

Oaked Viognier has a rich, creamy texture, and flavors of nutmeg, almond, and vanilla enhance the flavors of the vegetables and seafood. 

Viognier also has subtle peach, orange zest, peach, and a fruity flavor. These subtle notes cleanse the seafood from the palette while contrasting with the salty fresh flavor.

Vintage Cava can also pair well with seafood paella. The salty fresh flavor of the seafood pairs perfectly with the bright acidity of the Cava.

Paella Negra

Paella Negra is a twist on black rice. The rice is mixed with squid or octopus ink, creating a robust, intensely flavored Paella Negra.

When it comes to Paella pairings, it is best to look for wines that balance out the concentrated flavors of the Paella Negra and purify the palette. A brut sparkling Cava wine is perfect for Paella Negra.

The dry, acidic sparkling white wine will refresh the palette of the robust Paella Negra.

Still, wines like those produced in Napa Valley can also pair perfectly with Paella Negra. These wines have the body and acidity to stand up to this heavy, dense dish.

White wines such as Gewürztraminer or Muscatel also Pair perfectly with Paella Negra. They are acidic wines, but they also have a hint of sweetness that contrasts beautifully with the Paella Negra.

Mixed Paella 

Mixed paella contains a mixture of seafood, chicken, Chorizo, rabbit, or duck. Oaked Aged Roussanne is a French full-bodied white wine. It bursts with peach, minerals, melons, honey, pears, and herbaceous flavors.

The mineral elements of the Roussanne enhance the salty seafood, and the creamy texture accentuates the paella texture. The fruity flavors provide a refreshing taste that prepares your palette for another bite.

Since Roussanne is full-bodied, it works perfectly if your mixed paella has duck or rabbit. However, you should not skimp on the seafood when making mixed paella. The seafood balances out the savory flavor.

Roussanne wine may be difficult to find, but Château de Beaucastel, Bonny Doon, and Zaca Mesa are excellent substitutes.

If you want to pair your mixed paella with white wine, a young oaked Chardonnay is the perfect pairing. The creamy texture, crisp acidity, and vanilla finish complement the mixed paella perfectly.

In contrast, avoid red wines if your mixed paella contains a lot of shellfish. The tannins in red wine will give the shellfish a metallic flavor.

Rose wine works perfectly with mixed paella with a lot of seafood. The subtle citrus flavor enhances the shellfish.

Rose is acidic and bursting with raspberry, strawberry, and cherry flavors. Furthermore, these fruity flavors also pair perfectly with rabbit, duck, and Chorizo.

Overall, Rose wine contrasts nicely with the saffron and other savory flavors of the mixed paella.

Vegetarian Paella

Vegetarian paella contains rice, mushrooms, green beans, hearts of palm, asparagus, olives, and other vegetables.

Even though vegetarian paella does not contain as much fat or protein as regular paella, it is still delicious and flavorful.

Light-bodied rose wines, sparkling wines, or a high-quality Cava work perfectly with vegetarian paella. 

Rose has strawberry, flowers, raspberry, melon, and cherry flavors. These fruity flavors provide a nice contrast to the savory flavor of the vegetarian paella.

Sparkling wines have notes of nuts, apples, citrus, apples, and vanilla. High-quality vintage sparkling wines and Champagnes have a creamy texture and toasty flavor. Either way, they will enhance the flavors of the vegetarian paella.

You can also pair vegetarian paella with Prosecco. Prosecco is an Italian sparkling wine that has a light fruity flavor. Prosecco contrasts just enough that it pairs with the paella without overpowering it.

Cava has a light floral aroma. It has a bright lemon flavor has a slightly astringent finish that is reminiscent of green almonds. Cava brightens up the heavy and dense vegetarian paella.

It does not matter which wine you pair vegetarian paella with Cava, sparkling wine, or rose; the wine’s flavor profiles will enhance the dish’s flavor.

Final Thoughts

Whether it is PallaValenciana, mixed paella, seafood paella, or vegetarian paella, you need to pair it with the right wine. The wrong wine will ruin the flavor of the paella.

Luckily, you can now experiment with different types of paella and wines until you find a perfect pairing for your palette.