There are endless variations of shrimp dishes. After all, shrimp is versatile seafood.
Since shrimp is so versatile, it needs a wine that can stand up to its preparation methods without overpowering its delicate flavor.
Tips for Pairing Shrimp and Wine
You cannot pair any shrimp with wine. Otherwise, it will ruin the shrimp’s flavor.
The cooking method will drastically impact the wine pairing, so choose wines that complement the flavor of the shrimp. For example, pair shrimp cooked in cream sauce with acidic wines.
Geography can also impact shrimp and wine pairings. Shrimp from different regions have characteristic flavors.
For example, shrimp from the Spanish Mediterranean region has a salty flavor. Therefore, the geographical location the shrimp were harvested from can also affect the pairing.
In contrast, Massachusetts bay rock shrimp have a firm texture.
Do not serve salty shrimp with dry wines. The salt can make your wine feel dry.
Drinking a dry wine on top of the salty shrimp can make your mouth feel like a dessert. Serve salty shrimp with juicy wines.
Additionally, wines that come from the same region as the shrimp are the perfect combination. The season will also impact the pairing. You can use shrimp any time of year.
You can make light summer dishes or hearty fall dishes using shrimp. Serve the shrimp with a wine that is identical to the meal’s density.
For example, if you are serving shrimp scampi, it’s best to serve them with acidic wines. Acidic wines will cut through the rich, fatty flavors of the dish.
What Wine Pairs With Shrimp?
There are probably a million ways to prepare shrimp. These are some of the most popular ways to cook shrimp and the best wines that pair with them.
Shrimp and Grits
Shrimp and grits is a dense dish that features hearty, cheesy grits, spicy Cajun sausage, and tender, mildly flavored shrimp.
Spanish Albariño works well with shrimp and grits. Albariño has flavors of lemon zest, honeydew, salt, nectarines, and grapefruit.
However, it has a subtle astringent finish. The Albariño will cleanse the palette for the cheesy grits and spicy sausage.
You can also pair the shrimp and grits with bolder wines such as Gewürztraminer or Riesling. These wines will give the shrimp and grits a nice burst of citrus flavor.
Sauvignon Blanc has a citrus, herbaceous flavor that works perfectly with grilled shrimp.
The Sauvignon Blanc will take the dish to the next level if you serve the grilled shrimp with pesto or salsa Verde.
Sauvignon Blanc is also great, with grilled shrimp served with a simple green salad. Rosé wine also
has savory yet toasty, robust flavors also pair well with grilled shrimp.
If the shrimp are wrapped with bacon or served with a rich sauce, choose a full-bodied, fruity Rosé.
Prawn or Shrimp Linguine
If you serve the linguine with a tomato-based sauce, choose a dry Italian white wine or a light-bodied Rosé sauce such as Provencal Rosé.
In contrast, if it is a creamy pasta, serve it with a Chenin Blanc or Chablis. These wines have more weight and can stand up to the rich, creamy sauce.
Fried shrimp is a delicious, crispy dish that is perfect with fresh lemon juice or a cocktail sauce. A citrus-forward Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect fit for fried shrimp.
The bright citrus flavors of the wine will cut through the greasy flavor of the shrimp without overpowering its flavor.
Grüner Veltliner is a dry white wine that is mostly grown in Austria. Grüner Veltliner has a spicy, nutty flavor that’s bursting with grapefruit, lemon, nectarine, and lime.
It also has subtle notes of gingery, white pepper, radish, and honey.
Grüner Veltliner has a kick of acidity that cleanses your mouth of the sweet yet acidic cocktail sauce. It also cuts through the spice in the sauce and tones down the flavor.
Shrimp Paella contains other meats, such as spicy chorizo, and other intensely flavored seasonings, such as fresh garlic, saffron, and paprika.
Therefore, this spicy dish needs a wine that can stand up to these bold flavors. Rioja and Navarra pair well with shrimp paella.
Rioja has flavors of plum, dill, vanilla, cherry, and leather. These flavors provide a beautiful contrast to the shrimp paella.
Navarra has a bright, fruity flavor, but it is also acidic. The acidity cleanses the palette from the densely flavored dish. However, the fruity flavors contrast beautifully with the strongly flavored elements of the dish.
Shrimp scampi is a dish that’s filled with garlic and salty butter. Garlic and white wine go hand and hand.
Most medium to full-bodied white wines works well with shrimp scampi. However, an unoaked Chardonnay is a perfect pairing for shrimp scampi.
The wine is acidic enough to cleanse the palate from the intensely flavored garlic and cut through the rich buttery sauce.
Sauvignon Blanc or Semillon wines work well with shrimp salad, especially if it has a citrus-based dressing or contains rich ingredients like mango or mayonnaise.
The citrus notes in the wine will pair with the citrus in the dressing. However, the acidity can also be cut through the rich ingredients in the shrimp salad.
Asian shrimp is filled with delicious spicy flavors.
Serve shrimp curry with Pinot Grigio. Pinot Grigio will help tame the shrimp curry’s spicy flavor.
Viognier or a semi-dry Riesling can also pair well with shrimp curry. These wines have a rich, fruity flavor that lightens up spicy Asian shrimp dishes. A fruity Rose wine also pairs well with tandoori-style shrimp curry.
Whether you are new to pairing wine and food or are a wine enthusiast, pairing shrimp with wine is a challenging task. However, your job is much easier since you have read this guide.
Anytime you are in the mood for shrimp, peruse this guide and choose a wine pairing that matches the shrimp dish.