Sea scallops are a delicious seafood dish that can be prepared in many different ways. But what wine should you pair with them? In this blog post, we will explore some of the best options for wines with scallops. From dry whites to fruity reds, we have got you covered! So read on to learn more about the perfect wine pairings for sea scallops.
Scallops go best with a robust Chardonnay, dry Champagne, briny Albariño, or tart and crisp Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc. Scallops are hefty, fleshy, and already prepared, making them an ideal seafood dish. While you can sear, grill, poach, and sauté Scallops to enhance their flavor profile, the meaty taste is mild in contrast to the savory saltiness.
Scallops are typically cooked in butter or garlic-lemon sauce, although you may also find them served with tomato-basil sauce, cream, ginger, and mustard. As a result of this, the sauce you use will have an impact on your wine pairing. Scallops wrapped in bacon are another well-liked dish; they’re particularly popular as an appetizer.
Sea scallops, bay scallops, and calico scallops are the three types of scallops found in North America. The most delicate and delicious of the three is bay scallops, while calico scallops tend to be less meaty and flavorful. Sea Scallaps are by far the most widespread variety, but they can sit on a boat for up to 10 days after being caught and shucked before spoiling. To preserve them even further, sea scallops may be soaked in a solution called sodium tripolyphosphate that makes them plump up with water.
If you want the freshest Scallops, go for still-living ones or quick frozen scallops, which have been frozen right after being caught and shucked.
Best Wine with Scallops
The best wine with scallops will depend on how they’re prepared. For scallops that are simply pan-seared or grilled, white wine with moderate acidity is the best choice. A Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc will complement the scallops without overpowering their delicate flavor.
If your scallops are served in a cream sauce, try pairing them with a richer white wine like an oaked Chardonnay.
For scallops wrapped in bacon, a crisp Riesling or Albariño makes an excellent pairing.
And finally, for scallops served in a tomato-based sauce, a light-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir is the way to go!
Scallops Seared in Butter with Chardonnay
This dish pairs well with a rich and dry Chardonnay, which will complement the buttery flavors in this combination. The toasty and vanilla components of this flavor combination would go well with the carnalized scallops’ flesh. Finding a Chardonnay that exhibits some restraint with the buttery tastes is the real challenge.
Cheating has long been a problem in the wine business. Certain winemakers have resorted to chemicals and wood chips (similar to as they would a buttered popcorn jelly bean) in order to save money while still imparting taste. As a result, certain Chardonnays can be excessively pungent, with an unpleasant burnt-toast flavor that I find them frequently tasting like rancid buttered popcorn.
Stick to well-known Chardonnay producers who created balanced Chardonnays when selecting with scallops. Bogle Vineyards, Eden Road, Stag’s Leap, and Cakebread Cellars all make wonderful buttery Chardonnays. For example, the Long Road Chardonnay from Australia balances butter with flinty mineral notes while complementing the seared buttery scallops and flinty minerality complements the sea-breeze tastes of your Sea Scallops.
Another fantastic combination with Sea Scallops is Burgundy, which lends a well-balanced oak aging for a striking contrast of vanilla and fruit notes. While Burgundy is definitely worth looking for, it usually has a higher price tag and should be sought after once you’ve had some experience with wine to figure out why White Burgundy is so lovely.
Blanc de Blanc Champagne & Grilled Scallops Pairing
The ideal partner for Scallops is a dry, bubbly Blanc de Blanc Champagne. When grilling scallops, the cooking process brings out the sweetness of the scallop and caramelized flesh. Grilling adds a delicious smoky flavor to food as well. Because Scallops can slip through gaps in your grill easily, they’re frequently served as Shish kebab skewers so they don’t fall through the cracks. This is fantastic for an outdoor event or backyard party because you can have a glass of Champagne in one hand while eating your wonderful Shish kebab with the other.
Chardonnay grapes are used to make a Blanc de Blanc Champagne. As a result, you’ll get wonderful tastes of toast, vanilla, caramel, and smoke that go great with your grilled scallops’ sweet and smoky characteristics. Mineral and chalk nuances come in to complement the sea-kissed tastes of sea scallops. On the other side of the spectrum, contrasting citrus, honey, lemon, peach, and pear notes provide delicious appetizers.
Sauvignon Blanc & Sautéed Sea Scallops
Scallops that have been treated with tripolyphosphate tend to simmer in their own fluids rather than browning. This is due to the fact that a lot of the water they are retaining dissipates as soon as they become heated. To improve the natural scallop juices, you may wish to add other ingredients such as lemon, herbs, butter, garlic, shallots, white wine, or pesto to create a sauce.
The flavor of the sea scallops is more prominent in this wine, due to its combination of crisp acidity and delicate sweetness. The acidic nature of Sauvignon Blanc encourages the delicate flavors of the sea scallops to stand out against any sauce you add. Additionally, sauvignon blanc has herbal tastes that enhance with any sauces containing herbs, garlic, pesto, or shallots.
Albariño and Raw Scallops Served with Ponzu Sauce
The flavor profile of a Spanish Albariño is similar to that of a Sauvignon Blanc, with the fresh grapefruit, lemon, and lime notes of a Sauvignon Blanc, as well as the peachy apricot nuances of a Riesling. Additionally, there is minerality in Spanish Albariño that complements the salty sea tastes of raw Sea Scallops.
Scallops are fine to serve raw as long as the live scallops are shucked within an hour of serving them. Slice them into thin disks and arrange them on chilled plates to serve them raw.
Squeeze a little lemon juice on them or add a pinch of salt to them, if you like.
At home, you may also dip raw scallops in soy sauce combined with wasabi or, even better, a Ponzu sauce for a sushi experience.
I prefer the milder Ponzu sauce, which is a kumquat or lime juice-based sauce, over traditional soy and wasabi dipping sauces.
Rosé & Bacon Wrapped Sea Scallops Pairing
The delicate and buttery tastes of scallops are combined with the smoky and salty tastes of bacon to make one of the greatest Surf and Turf pairings. Rosé is a pale pink wine that has fresh raspberry, strawberry, and watermelon undertones as well as a tart pop of lime and cranberry.
The saltiness of the bacon is balanced by the refreshing acidity of the rosé, which goes well with the smoky flavor of the bacon and sweet caramelized flesh tastes of the Sea Scallops. In addition, I appreciate how light Rosé’s texture contrasts with that of bacon-wrapped Sea Scallops in terms of texture.
In North America, Rosé is not preferred by men because many males feel emasculated while consuming something pink. If you want to provide a unique alternative at a dinner party, I’d go with sparkling wine if the scallops are served as Hors D’vors. With your Bacon Wrapped Sea Scallops presented on a platter, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Beaujolais, and Pinot Noir all work nicely as pairings.
Pinot Noir, on the other hand, goes really well with the bacon; it’s a wonderful choice. Pinot Noir, on the other hand, is expensive and may not be affordable for your budget at a large banquet. As a result, it’s preferable to keep Pinot Noir and Bacon Wrapped Scallops for private consumption.
The delicate sweetness of scallops makes them a versatile ingredient when it comes to wine pairings. I’ve provided some of my favorite scallop and wine combinations, but feel free to experiment with other types of seafood as well.
If you have any questions about pairing wines with scallops or any other type of seafood, please leave them in the comments below! I’ll be happy to answer them to the best of my ability. Happy cooking (and drinking)!