Who doesn’t love pan seared sea scallops? Let’s find the perfect wines.
Pair Wine With Scallops:
Scallops are known for their sweet, rich texture and delicate flavor that readily absorbs the elements of a sauce or seasoning. When it comes to selecting the right wine, matching the intensity of the seasoning, sauce and cooking method is essential. This article focuses on sea scallops and explores the perfect wine pairings to enhance their flavors and create a delightful dining experience.
Sauvignon Blanc: A Refreshing, Flavourful Match
When preparing grilled or sautéed scallops with a white wine butter herb sauce and chives, Sauvignon Blanc emerges as the perfect companion. This wine possesses a high level of acidity that complements the richness of the scallops without neutralizing their flavors. Sauvignon Blanc is renowned for its citrus fruit notes, such as grapefruit zest and lemon zest, which beautifully highlight the slight sweetness of the scallops.
Moreover, the wine’s acidity allows for the expression of flavors in the dish, creating a refreshing and cleansing counterbalance to the butter sauce. Notably, Sauvignon Blanc from the Pouilly Fume region of Loire Valley, France, often exhibits a distinctive gunflint minerality, which pairs harmoniously with grilled scallops. Even in British Columbia wine regions, you can find examples of this intriguing minerality. With its herbal notes, Sauvignon Blanc further complements the fresh chives and parsley in the dish, creating a fully satisfying experience for your palate.
Pinot Noir: An Earthy, Harmonious Pairing
For a different approach, if you choose to wrap the scallops in bacon or prosciutto, consider exploring a Pinot Noir pairing. The earthiness of Pinot Noir brings out the char-grill flavors from the cooking method, creating a delightful combination. The cherry fruit notes in the wine elevate the natural sweetness of the scallops while enhancing the savory flavors of the prosciutto.
Both scallops and Pinot Noir boast a soft texture, allowing them to harmonize beautifully on the palate, resulting in a truly enjoyable dining experience.
Gewurztraminer: Contrasting And Bold
Another pairing that could work with prosciutto wrapped scallops is Gewurztraminer as it will be a contrast with the salty briny character of the bacon and prosciutto. Scallops are so delicate that the exotic and floral notes of the Gewurztraminer could be overpowering however the bacon and prosciutto allow us to play with more boldness. The scallop will take on the salty flavour of the wrapping because it is so delicate on its own.
This sets up a perfect match with the exotic lychee fruit and round body of the wine. If you were to grill the scallops and serve with spicy barbecue sauce the Gewurztraminer could still be a good match because it will match sweet and tangy in the sauce with the off dry sweetness and exotic spice character and ginger notes in the wine.
Spicy BBQ Sauce – Medium Bodied Red Wine
Adding a spicy bold barbecue sauce also opens options to more medium to full-bodied red wines such as a Syrah and Zinfandel – both go so well with BBQ dishes. A Pinot Noir could go well with barbecue sauce if the Pinot Noir is a more full bodied style with good concentration of fruit. Sweet tangy and earthy notes in both will be elevated.
Whatever you decide, enjoy!
-Katherine McEachnie, DipWSET