For discerning epicureans, a poor food and wine pairing can be very disappointing, especially when it comes to a sumptuous dish like lobster. However, finding the perfect wine to serve with lobster isn’t always easy. With a little preparatory research and planning, though, you can avoid an otherwise unsavory process of trial and error. Below, we’ll discuss the basics of pairing wine and lobster dishes and share a few prime recommendations.
Choosing Wine to Serve with Lobster: The Basics
Lobster’s essence can be difficult to encapsulate because it spans several taste profiles: the texture can be firm but smooth and creamy as well; the flavor savory but with a hint of buttery sweetness. And while lobster tail compares with both crab and shrimp, lobster offers an altogether singular culinary experience.
In general, white wines are a classic choice for pairing with lobster and its fellow sea-dwellers. The best white wines to serve with lobster tend to be crisp, light, slightly acidic wines such as Riesling, Chardonnay, or Sauvignon Blanc. Sparkling wines like Champagne often pair especially well.
Lobster can also match well with red wines if chosen with care. As with the white wines, you’ll want to look for light-bodied reds that offer soft, subtle tannins and good acidity. Pinot Noir, Gamay, and Sangiovese are all reliable options.
Delectable Wine Pairings for Popular Lobster Dishes
Like any food, lobster’s exact flavor profile and texture will depend on how it is cooked—grilled, boiled, baked, or steamed, with seasonings ranging from classic herbs like rosemary or thyme to sweet cream sauces and tarragon marinade. For this reason, the most successful lobster and wine pairings will be informed by the flavors inherent in specific lobster dishes.
Below are some specific wine recommendations for popular lobster dishes, including recommended vintages to try that have received high praise from professional reviewers.
|If you’re having…||Try pairing it with…||Recommended vintage:|
|2013 Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Les Preuses Grand Cru|
|2011 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru|
|Lobster Fra Diavolo||Chianti
|2006 Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé|
|Lobster a l’Americaine||Champagne
|2000 Krug Vintage Brut|
|Lobster Newburg||Chenin Blanc
|2017 Domaine Huet Haut Lieu Vouvray Le Haut Lieu Demi-Sec|
|2009 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel|
|2017 Domaine Leflaive Meursault Sous Le Dos D’Âne Blanc 1er Cru|
|2002 Dom Pérignon|
|Lobster Thermidor||Pinot Noir
|2016 Domaine Bruno Clavelier Corton Le Rognet Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru|
This, of course, is not an exhaustive list. There are many possible lobster recipes, just as there are more wines that may pair well with each dish. It all depends on the ingredients present—and your personal tastes.
Pair Lobster and Wine According to Your Tastes
The following guidelines can help you decide on a food and wine pairing for your lobster dish.
- First, take note of the specific dish you’re having and its main flavors. Many lobster dishes are creamy and tend toward the sweeter side of savory, but others may be saltier or more acidic.
- It’s also important to notice the strength of the flavors in your dish. A sweetly simple bisque will pair differently than a heartier, more complex dish like Thermidor.
- Choose your wine variety based on flavors that either complement or contrast your dinner. As a general rule of thumb, complementary pairings are best for more intensely flavored dishes and wines, while contrasting pairings add a layer of intrigue to subtler combinations.
- Finally, do a bit of research into which vintages within your price range have received high praise from reviewers and are currently drinking well, and choose a bottle (or a case) accordingly.
Ultimately, the tasting notes that will serve you best will be your own. Keep a notebook—or use an online database—to keep track of specific vintages you’ve tried, how they tasted, and how well they paired with a given dish. This will help you remember your favorite wines and pairings while also making it easy to compare your tastes to those of professional reviewers.
You’ll be able to clearly see whose tastes resemble your own. This will help you make better-informed wine and pairing choices in the future—whether you’re choosing a glass to go with the lobster rolls at your favorite restaurant or trying to decide which bottle in your cellar will taste best with the risotto you’re preparing for your next dinner party.
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