The Best Scallops Wine Pairing: What Wines Do Experts Pair With A Scallop Dish?

scallops wine pairing - featured image

Last Updated: May 5, 2021

Scallops are popular seafood that is served around the world.

Before I became interested in cooking and expanding my skill set, I had no idea how to work with scallops to create a tasty dish.

And I discovered...

This versatile seafood can be cooked in various ways to create many different flavorful dishes. The decadent taste of scallops pairs well with wines that enhance the flavors of the dish. You might be thinking, what wine goes with scallops?

The Best Wine With Scallops

wines for scallops

Let’s take a look at some of the different scallop wine pairings I have tried that perfectly complement the dish it’s served with.

Grilled Or Seared Scallops

Grilling or searing scallops is one of the most popular methods of cooking scallops because it brings out the sweetness of the shellfish. 

The best scallop wine pairing with this method is a dry wine like a chardonnay.

The oaky notes of the chardonnay will enhance the taste of the scallops and please the palate. A white burgundy or champagne can also complement the dish. You need to make sure to avoid fruity wines, as they will alter the intended flavor of the scallops.

Scallops With Herb Butter Sauce

For scallops marinated in herb butter sauce, I look for a white wine with strong acidity like a pinot grigio to make a great scallop wine pairing. 

This wine has a citrus and floral flavor which complement the buttery flavor of the dish. My favorite kind of pinot grigio for this dish is one with an acidic and lemony finish.

Salted Scallops

Salted scallops enhance the brininess of the shellfish, so you need a wine with fruity notes to make sure the saltiness is not overpowering.

A satisfying scallops wine pairing for this dish is a rosé with crisp berry notes and strong acidity will ensure your dish will have a nice salty flavor without being too briny.

Scallops With Pea Puree Or Pea Shoots

This type of dish is best served with a dry wine that has a sharp finish in order to give the pea base an enhanced flavor. You can try champagne or an Albarino for a great wine pairing with scallops and peas.

scallops & wine dinner

If you prefer sparkling wines, dry champagne adds just enough tartness to this dish.

Another option is an Albarino which has a hint of salinity and zippy acidity that also pairs well with the flavors in this dish.

Scallops With Lobster Or Crab

Incorporating lobster or crab into a scallop dish creates a heavy and rich flavor. If you want to enhance the rich flavors of the dish, you should pair it with chardonnay. 

Another scallops wine pairing that works well for this dish is a sauvignon blanc that adds a delightful crispness. You have to decide if you want to match or contrast the richness of the dish when pairing a wine.

Scallops With A Creamy Sauce

Scallops in a creamy sauce create a rich dish that is typically served with pasta. To counteract the heaviness of this dish, light white wine or chardonnay pairs well here. 

If you prefer a wine that will directly contradict the creaminess of the dish, you should go for a crisp and dry wine like a pinot grigio. This wine has a more neutral aroma and helps keep the dish light and flavorful.

Ceviche Or Raw Scallops

Like other seafood, scallops can also be served raw. This enhances the natural saltiness and overall flavor of the dish. A light white wine with a citrus finish balances the richness of the raw scallops.

An Albarino has the right amount of acidity and light-bodied profile for a great pairing to this dish. This white wine has a hint of salinity that adds to the brininess of the scallops.

Scallops With Pork

A popular way to serve scallops, and one of my favorite methods, is to wrap the scallops in bacon. Sometimes scallops are also paired with pancetta or chorizo to create a robust flavor. 

Due to the richness of the pork and scallop combination, you need a wine that complements these flavors. A pinot noir balances the smokey flavor of these dishes and is served slightly chilled.

scallops beautiful plating

Frequently Asked Questions

What white wine goes best with scallops?

The most popular white wine to pair with scallops is chardonnay. However, the best wine with scallops depends entirely on the type of dish the scallops are prepared in. The wine pairings in this article provide various white wine options that work well with scallop dishes. 

Does pinot noir go with scallops?

If you plan on pairing scallops with bacon, pancetta, or chorizo, a pinot noir will help complement the richness and smokey flavor of the pork. The pinot noir should be served slightly chilled in order to enhance the wine’s flavors. 

Does rosé go with scallops?

Rosé can be paired with salted scallops. The semi-sweet fruity flavors in the wine balance out the saltiness of the dish. Make sure to choose a rosé that has a citrus and berry taste and isn’t too sweet.

wine selection for scallops

Final Thoughts

When choosing a wine pairing for your scallop dish, you need to pay attention to the flavor profile of the meal you are creating before choosing a wine. Scallops are incredibly versatile and can be cooked into lots of dishes with very different flavors.

The wine you choose should ultimately complement and enhance the flavors of the dish, rather than take away from the sweet and salty nature of the scallops. No matter the dish you serve, make sure to pair it with a wine that provides a nice balance for your palate’s enjoyment.

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