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Best Wine With Crab: 6 Cuisine Drinks To Pinch Your Palates


Last Updated: March 18, 2024

Crabs are delicious shellfish that are well-liked on the planet, thanks to their unique taste and quality. There are several crab dishes from different parts of the planet, with some cultures pairing them with other foods.


Did you know you can get the most out of your crab by pairing it with a specific wine brand? If you're unsure what the best wine with crab is, please read on…

The Best Wine With Crab

When pairing wine with crab, the first thing you should think about is the effect of the high acidity of the wine on your meal. Remember, the right acidity level from the wine can bring out the essence of every ingredient's flavor. Generally, most experts believe you can pair crab with a wide range of wine brands, including white and some red wines.

Some chefs avoid pairing crab with red wines with intense flavors like Zinfandel and Shiraz. You should also avoid Oaky wines when eating your crabs since it has a hard taste that can affect the taste of the shellfish, thanks to the lumberyard smell.

So while there are some wines you should avoid with crabs, you still have a lot of room to enjoy some great flavors and have fun. So here are some of our favorite red and white wines to pair with crab, but don't get us wrong, you can never go wrong with wines. After all, a mistake in wine pairings is considered being innovative and trying different things.

1. Buttery Chardonnay

Buttery Chardonnay

A white, crisp Chardonnay has more than enough acidity to complement crab meat's flavor. When serving crab legs with melted butter, then a buttery chardonnay can be the best wine for you.

The bright acidity of Chardonnay can easily slice through the melted butter; plus, its buttery notes can help hide any preparation error, particularly when crab cakes are slightly dry.

On the other hand, oaked Chardonnay can overshadow the flavors of this meal; therefore, you should stick to the unoaked or lightly oaked version. Buttery chardonnay pairs perfectly with soft-shelled crabs, crab cake, baked crab, steamed crab, crab legs, and Dungeness crab. Chardonnay is the best wine that can help you celebrate Dungeness crab season.

2. Refreshing Riesling

Refreshing Riesling

Another seafood-friendly wine that chefs love for its versatility is the refreshing Riesling. So if you're serving warm crabs, you should pair it with Riesling. The citrusy and refreshing notes of Riesling complement the taste of your deep-fried crab cake; after all, its freshness and acidity can easily cut through the grease and cleanse your palate.  

The sugar in this wine will allow you to consume spiced shellfish preparation since its sweetness will balance the heat in the meal. Another key factor you must consider is that it balances out all the crab's flavor in harmony, but make sure it has a low alcohol level. 

This white wine can pair perfectly with spicy crab boil, spicy roast crab, mayonnaise-dipped crab, and spicy crab cakes.

3. Zesty Sauvignon Blanc

Zesty Sauvignon Blanc

Zesty Sauvignon Blanc should be your first pick if you plan on eating deep-fried crabs. Its unique acidity can easily cut through the greasy food while accentuating the goodness in the deep-fried crab.

Unfortunately, many people find the Zesty Sauvignon Blanc spicy and herbaceous; it brings out crab cuisine's sweetness. But if you prefer the simpler version, you should try the unoaked version of this wine. The Sauvignon Blanc pairs perfectly with crab salad, steamed crab, and stone crabs.

4. Intense Savennieres

Intense Savennieres

Manufactured in Loire Valley, France, this less popular alcoholic drink can also pair perfectly with crab meat. Prepared from Chenin Blanc grapes, its mineral-based and citrusy tones will complement the richness and sweetness of crab meat.

Thanks to its high acidic levels, the Savennieres can easily cut the grease and fat used to prepare the deep-fried shellfish. It can also improve the flavors in shellfish prepared in creamy sauces. The intense Savennieres also pairs perfectly with crab butter legs and crab cakes.

5. Aromatic Pinot Gris

Aromatic Pinot Gris

Another exceptional white wine loved for its delicate fragrant characteristics is Aromatic pinot gris. Its unique aroma of ripe peach and pears makes it a great option for pairing with crab. Pinot Gris has exceptional citrusy notes that complement the crab meat's sweetness.

The acidity of Pinot Gris can easily cut through the fat or grease in fried crab. Like Pinot noir in our list, the Aromatic pinot gris can also pair with pan-fried crabs, cold crabs, Thai crab cakes, and crab legs.

6. Sparkling Wines

Sparkling Wines

Other than being known to make great aperitifs, the Sparkling wines are known to pair perfectly with most foods, including crabs. Shellfish meals can do great with a wide range of sparkling wines, including champagne. Several affordable options for champagnes like cava and prosecco pair well with the crustacean.

Sparkling wine pairs well with different forms of deep-fried crabs like deep-fried soft-shelled crab and deep-fried crab cake. It is also the best for your next Dungeness crab season.

Taste This: From shellfish to fowl, we got your palates covered and stuffed (pun intended)! Check our post for savory turkey cuisine -- What Wines Go With Turkey.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Red Wine To Pair With Crab Legs?

Most red wines have high tannin levels attributed to their bold flavor. The tannin can go well with red meat but affects the seafood flavors; hence, you should go for light-bodied red wines like Pinot Noir.

What Kind Of Wine Goes Well With Dungeness Crab?

The best wines for Dungeness crab are rose and white wines. The white wine will offer you the most latitude when preparing your crab legs but you may have to match it up with the sauces and dips to get the best out of this pairing.

What Drink Goes Well With Crab?

Wine is the best option for pairing with any seafood, including crabs. If you plan on getting the most out of your shellfish, however, then you should try matching it with rum, specifically white and sweet rum since they bring out the juiciness in the meat.


The best wine for pairing with crabs is a white wine that brings out the best in your meal. Unfortunately, most red wines have high tannin levels that can affect the quality of your shellfish. Tannin plays a crucial role in red wine's flavor; therefore, you should go for white wine or light-bodied red wine brands.

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