Paella Wine Pairing (Seafood & Traditional)

rice dish with wine

Paella is an amazing dish on its own, but what really takes it up a notch is a good wine pairing. Known for its origins in Valencia, Spain, paella is a flavorful rice dish that captures the essence of Spanish cuisine.

Today, we will explore the best wine pairings for paella, both for seafood and traditional.

Which Wine Goes Best With Meat and Seafood Paella?

Due to the light consistency of the dish, paella pairs very well with a wide variety of wines.

Paella & White Wine

Seafood paella pairs wonderfully with a crisp Albariño from Rías Baixas, featuring refreshing acidity, green apple, and citrus notes.

Traditional meat paella comes to life with a vibrant Verdejo, adding aromatic nuances that balance the rich meat flavors. Explore other white varieties like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio for diverse pairing options.

A buttery Chardonnay complements the richness of both seafood and meat paella, adding a touch of elegance with its smooth texture and notes of ripe fruits.

paella with prawns and mussels

Paella & Sparkling Wine

Bubblies like Cava or Prosecco add a lively touch to seafood paella, harmonizing with oceanic flavors.

Traditional meat paella comes alive with a sparkling Rosé or Blanc de Noirs, where the fizz enhances the savory meat notes.

Try other sparkling options like Champagne or sparkling Chenin Blanc for a celebratory twist when you pair paella.

Paella & Rosé Wine

For a paella with seafood, try a dry rosé with red berry and floral notes for a balanced harmony with the seafood flavors.

Traditional meat paella shines with a fuller-bodied rosé, adding sophistication to the savory meat mix.

Experiment with different rosé varieties, such as Provence Rosé or Spanish Garnacha Rosado, to find your perfect match.

paella with seafood

Paella & Red Wine

Surprisingly, paella pairs well with red wine.

For seafood paella, try a smooth Tempranillo with red berry notes. Traditional meat paella shines with a robust Garnacha or Rioja.

Explore lighter options like Pinot Noir or Merlot for versatility. Or, consider international choices such as Italian Chianti or French Côtes du Rhône for a diverse experience.

Regional Pairings

The special thing about pairing Spanish food with local wines is the wonderful blend that happens, creating a dining experience connected to the flavors of Spain.

Seafood paella finds its ideal companion in Spanish Albariño from Rías Baixas. The crisp acidity and citrus notes of this regional white wine seamlessly harmonize with the maritime essence of the dish.

The traditional meat paella aligns perfectly with bold Spanish red wines like Tempranillo or Garnacha.

The indigenous grapes and winemaking techniques inherent to Spanish wines amplify the essence of the food, creating a magical interplay of flavors that couldn’t be replicated elsewhere.

paella with meat

Guidelines for Pairing Wine with Paella

Pairing wine with paella involves considering the diverse flavors in the dish, whether it’s seafood, meat, or a combination of both:


  • White Wines: Albariño, Sauvignon Blanc, or Verdejo complement the delicate flavors of seafood.

  • Sparkling Wines: Dry options like Cava or Prosecco can add a lively touch.


  • Red Wines: Tempranillo, Garnacha, or even a Rioja work well with the savory richness of meat paella.

  • Medium-Bodied Reds: If the meat is not too heavy, consider medium-bodied reds like Merlot or Pinot Noir.


  • Spanish Reds: For paella that combines both seafood and meat, sticking with Spanish reds like Tempranillo provides a harmonious balance.

Regional Considerations

  • Spanish Varietals: Choose Spanish varietals that complement the dish’s origin. Explore wines from regions like Rías Baixas or Rioja.

  • International Options: Don’t be afraid to experiment with international options. Italian Chianti, French Côtes du Rhône, or even a Portuguese Vinho Verde can offer interesting pairings.

Balance Intensity

  • Lighter Paellas: Opt for lighter wines to avoid overwhelming the delicate flavors. White wines or light reds work well.

  • Heavier Paellas: For heartier paellas, choose fuller-bodied wines to stand up to the robust flavors of the green vegetables, beans, and olive oil.


Which Spanish White Wine to Drink With Paella?

Wine pairs best with food that shares the same soil and origin. Therefore, a Spanish Albariño would be the optimal choice.

Which Red Wine Pairs With Seafood Paella?

My favorite red wine pairings with paella are Pinot Noir or Tempranillo.

Is Paella Considered as Spanish Food?

Yes, paella is considered a traditional dish from Spain.

Stan Kushkin

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