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What Wine Goes With Surf and Turf? Pairing Guide

What Wine Goes With Surf and Turf? Pairing Guide

Surf and turf is not your average weekday meal. Surf and turf is reserved for weddings, graduations, or other special occasions.

It is a celebratory meal. What goes better with celebratory meals than a glass of wine? Absolutely nothing!

Tips for Pairing Surf and Turf With Wine

Pairing wine with steak and seafood can be intimidating. However, if you keep these wine pairing tips in mind, pairing the wine with surf and turf will be much easier.

Generally, most people assume that red wines work with red meats such as steak. In contrast, white wines are paired with white meats or seafood.

However, seafood served with a rich, dense sauce can pair well with red wines. In contrast, other steak dishes pair well with full-bodied white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc.

Therefore, you must consider the type of seafood paired with the steak and the type of steak paired with the seafood. Additionally, you must also consider how the steak and seafood are cooked.

First, you must pair the right seafood with the right type of steak. For example, if your steak is served with a compound brown sauce, do not pair it with scallops or shrimp that the sauce will easily overpower. 

In contrast, pair braised steaks with oysters. Oysters will pair perfectly with the rich sauce the steak is braised in. This style of surf and turf will pair with rich red wines such as Zinfandel, Shiraz, or Cabernet Sauvignon.

Roasted or grilled steaks pair well with lobster or shrimp. This pairing works well with full-bodied white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc.

What Wine Pairs With Surf and Turf?

Wine and surf and turf are the perfect pairings. However, not just any wine will do with delicate seafood and rich and robust steaks.

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is the wine of choice for red wine lovers when it comes to surf and turf. Pinot Noir has a complex flavor profile.

Pinot Noir has flavors of vanilla, baking spice, raspberry, cherries, and baking spice.

While these pair well with surf and turf. However, not just any wine will do.

It’s best to pair a high-quality Pinot Noir with surf and turf. The wine should have a moderate amount of tannins.

It should also be acidic with a fruity flavor. The wine will enhance the flavor of the surf and turf without overpowering the delicate seafood.

Chenin Blanc

Chenin Blanc is excellent but different pairing. Chenin Blanc has a subtle flavor that is reminiscent of peaches and apples.

It has subtle fragrant aromas of apples, peaches, and herbs. It works well with surf and turf that contains lobster or shrimp. The wine is subtle to cut through the rich flavor of the steak, but it won’t overpower the power of the seafood.

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is a classic pairing for surf and turf. It is a light yet crisp white wine that is loaded with lime zest and green apples.

Make sure you choose a dry Sauvignon Blanc. These wines have notes of citrus and peaches. They also have subtle undertones of white pepper and green grass.

It works particularly well with wagyu beef and lobster tails topped with fresh caviar.


If you serve surf and turf, you may as well serve it with a glass of bubbly. Champagne is the perfect option for lobster and steak or steak and lobster. 

Champagne has a rich acidity that will cut through the meaty steak. It will also enhance the seafood’s delicate flavor and cleanse the palette.

It is bold enough to stand up to the beef but subtle enough not to overpower the seafood. So, splurge on a bottle of Champagne to go with your surf and turf.


Rose wines have a bright, fruity flavor. It has notes of strawberry, cranberry, raspberry, and the slightest touch of orange zest.

Medium-bodied rose wines are the best wines for surf and turf. They have a well-structured yet silky texture that is perfect for scallops and steak.

It also pairs perfectly with lobster and steak. The fruity flavors provide a nice contrast to the delicate seafood and robust beefy steak. At the same time, the subtle acidity cleanses the palette.


Viognier is another classic pairing for surf and turf. It has a light yet fruity flavor with subtle notes of peach and apricot.

A dry viognier will work well with surf and turf. However, it also has a subtly sweet flavor for those who prefer sweeter wines.

If you are looking for a dry Viognier, French styles such as Domaine de la Solitude are perfect for surf and turf.

The citrus, cantaloupe, melon, and honeydew flavors contrast with the steak beautifully without overwhelming the seafood.

Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio is a versatile wine that pairs well with many foods. When it comes to white wines, Pinot Grigio is one of the world’s most popular wines.

Although it is in high demand, Pinot Grigio is relatively inexpensive. So, it’s perfect if you spend most of your money on surf and turf ingredients.

Furthermore, Pinot Grigio is perfect for steak and seafood. In fact, Pinot Grigio works well with several types of seafood, including salmon, scallops, oysters, and shrimp.  

You can pair dry Pinot grigio with surf and turf, or you can pair it with Pinot Grigio with a higher minerality.

Dry pinot grigio has a peach pear aroma, while its flavor is crisp and super refreshing.

The flavors of lemon zest and grapefruit accentuate the flavors of the rich steak and cut through rich cream or brown sauces.

In contrast, Pinot grigio with higher minerality works well if the surf and turf have mushrooms or herbs. The fruity flavor and subtle spice notes enhance the earthy flavor of the mushroom and herbal notes of the herbs.

Final Thoughts

Surf and turf is a delicious dish perfect for special occasions. So go all out and serve your surf and turf with a glass of wine. Trust me; you won’t be disappointed! The wine will enhance the entire meal.