Food blog

Unlocking the Perfect Pairing: Tinned Fish and Wine Take Center Stage

Eating canned fish? Let your wine pairing do the heavy lifting

Canned fish has become increasingly popular lately, and for good reason. Not only is canned fish nutritious, but it’s also versatile and affordable. While many of us may associate canned fish with simple dishes like tuna sandwiches or sardines as pizza toppings, the truth is that canned fish can be used to create more sophisticated and indulgent meals. And if you want to take your canned fish experience to the next level, the perfect wine pairing can make all the difference.
To help us navigate the world of canned fish and wine pairings, we turned to a renowned expert in the field, Troy Bowen. As a sommelier and co-owner of Denver’s Noble Riot, Bowen is well versed in the art of wine pairing. According to Bowen, when it comes to canned fish, there’s one wine that stands out above the rest – Lambrusco.

Canned fish and Lambrusco: The Unexpected Pairing

Bowen explains that tinned fish calls for high-acid wines, and Lambrusco fits the bill perfectly. While simple whites like Sauvignon Blanc or Muscadet can complement canned fish, Bowen feels that they don’t do justice to the rich flavors of the fish. He jokes, “They’d be letting the fish do all the work, and I feel like they’ve already done enough, crammed together as they are.” Instead, Bowen recommends reaching for a dry, deep red Lambrusco to truly elevate your canned fish experience.
Lambrusco is a sparkling red wine, often made in the same region as balsamic vinegar. The best versions of Lambrusco boast intricate and sublime balsamic notes that add depth and complexity to the wine. The bubbles in Lambrusco enhance the richness of the red wine, creating a unique combination of richness and refreshment rarely found in other wines.

Embrace the adventure

If you’re ready to explore the world of canned fish and wine pairings, adding Lambrusco to your repertoire is a must. The marriage of canned fish and Lambrusco promises to be a delightful sensory experience, with the wine enhancing the flavors and textures of the fish. So, the next time you indulge in tinned fish, grab a glass of Lambrusco and prepare your taste buds for a truly remarkable journey.


Tinned fish doesn’t have to be limited to simple and mundane preparations. By pairing it with the right wine, such as Lambrusco, you can transform a can of fish into a gourmet experience. The acidity and complexity of Lambrusco complement the flavors of canned fish, creating a harmonious and indulgent combination. So whether you’re enjoying a can of tuna, sardines or any other canned fish, let your wine pairing do the heavy lifting and open up a world of culinary possibilities. Cheers to the adventure!


Why should I consider pairing wine with canned fish?

Wine pairing can enhance the flavors of canned fish and improve your overall dining experience. The right wine can complement the richness of the fish and add a new dimension of flavor.

Can I pair canned fish with any type of wine?

While you can pair canned fish with a variety of wines, a sparkling red wine such as Lambrusco is highly recommended. Its high acidity and balsamic notes complement the flavors of canned fish exceptionally well.

What other wines can I pair with canned fish?

If you prefer white wine, options such as Sauvignon Blanc or Muscadet can work. However, according to experts, these wines may not fully enhance the flavors of canned fish compared to a dry, deep red Lambrusco.

Are there specific types of canned fish that pair best with wine?

Wine pairings can vary depending on the type of canned fish. However, the general consensus is that Lambrusco pairs well with a wide range of canned fish, from tuna to sardines to anchovies.

Can I combine canned fish with soft drinks?

While wine is a popular choice for pairing with canned fish, you can also explore non-alcoholic options such as sparkling water or lightly flavored beverages to complement the flavors and refresh your palate.

Are there any special serving suggestions for enjoying canned fish and wine?

It’s recommended that canned fish be served chilled or at room temperature, depending on personal preference. For wine, follow the serving temperature guidelines for the specific type of wine you choose to ensure optimal enjoyment.

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