Wine and Brine

Island Creek Oyster Bar's Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli offers unconventional pairings for all your seafood favorites.

Photograph by Dave Bradley

Photograph by Dave Bradley

Fried Shellfish

The classic platter with fries.

What to Look for: A sparkling chenin blanc, such as a dry Vouvray or Montlouis; it’s bright enough to cut through the richness of the fried food.

A Perfect Pour:
François Chidaine Montlouis Brut NV. “What I love most about this wine is the crisp acidity and beautiful ripeness of the fruit. Think green apple and pear.”

$20 per Bottle: Gordon’s Fine Wines and Liquors, 894 Main St., Waltham, 781-893-1900,

A Lobster Roll

Cold with mayo or hot with butter.

What to Look for: A lushly textured white, which will stand up to the roll’s dense meatiness. White Burgundy is the classic pairing with lobster, but other wines made with the chardonnay grape can also work.’

A Perfect Pour: 2008 Nino Negri Ca’ Brione Valtellina. “It has incredible aromatics — mountain herbs and ripe fruit, hints of olive.”

$65 per Bottle: Island Creek Oyster Bar, 500 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, 617-532-5300,

Cured fish

Gravlax, smoked trout, or lox.

What to Look for: A pale rosé with a hint of spice, which will help balance the smokiness and saltiness of a cured fish dish.

A Perfect Pour: 2010 Jean-Luc Colombo Cape Bleue Rosé. “It’s vibrant and fresh, with hints of peach and rose petal, pepper, fresh thyme, and rosemary.”

$13 per Bottle: Urban Grape, 7 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill, 617-232-4831,

Grilled Oily Fish

Sardines, dorade, or bluefish.

What to Look for: A medium-bodied red, if you’re daring. Though red wine is rarely recommended for seafood, one that’s high in acidity can work surprisingly well with richer fish, especially if it’s been grilled.

A Perfect Pour: 2008 Occhipinti il Frappato, Sicily. “This wine tastes as if you took cherries and rolled them in black pepper. It’s ready for anything grilled; the wine plays off the char.”

$67 per Bottle: Island Creek Oyster Bar.