Best Wine With Shrimp Scampi – Wine Pairing Guide

There is a reason why there are wine connoisseurs, and it is that wine and food are not that easy to pair.  Many people know the basics, like which wine goes with meat and which one with fish, but some know nothing about it.

In this article, we will be looking into the best wine and Shrimp Scampi pairing you can make for your next dinner night, so keep reading below to see what’s in store!

Best Wine With Shrimp Scampi - Wine Pairing Guide

What Is Shrimp Scampi?

Shrimp scampi is a twist of the Italian “scampi” dish that replaces the “scampi” (i.e. a crustacean type) component with fresh shrimp.

This Italian-inspired dish was first made in the U.S. by Italians who immigrated there and wanted to bring their traditional dishes with them.

Since the original scampi they used back in Italy wasn’t available in the U.S., they replaced them with shrimp as those were much easier to get.

Shrimp Scampi is thus a dish made with shrimp marinated in garlic, salt, pepper, and oil and then lightly fried.

What follows is the preparation of a sauce that’s made primarily with garlic and butter, but has other ingredients too, like lemon juice, white wine, and red pepper flakes.

Once the sauce has thickened, the shrimp are again added to the pan, coated with the sauce, and fully cooked for a couple of minutes extra.

This delicious combination of shrimp with a butter-and-garlic sauce is typically served on bread, with pasta like linguine or spaghetti, or on a bed of rice.

What Is The Best Wine And Seafood Pairing?

The truth is that it all depends on the seafood included in your dish. Tuna and salmon are fish that go great with a red wine like a Pinot Noir or a Zindanfel, whereas a seafood soup together with a Rose is a combination that will stun you.

However, most seafood – and we included shrimp in this group – pair better with white wines, either dry, sweet, or sparkling.

That is because shrimp just like other fish (e.g. tilapia, cod) need something to enhance their subtle fishy flavor and add some earthiness, fruitiness, and extra freshness to them than a red wine, which is typically ‘heavier’ on the mouth can’t do to that extent.

What Is The Best Wine And Shrimp Scampi Pairing?

Shrimp scampi is a simple yet sophisticated dish. As a result, you’ll need a wine that complements the flavors and aroma of the dish without out-competing it.

Acidity is your no.1 priority when it comes to finding the perfect wine to pair with shrimp scampi. That is because this kind of tartness washes away the rich butter and garlic flavors that are pondering in your mouth.

If you pair shrimp scampi with a wine that doesn’t have any acidity, then your meal will not taste that good after a few forkfuls, since the garlic and butter will overpower the rest of the tastes, making it too much to eat.

With that being said, let’s have a look at the best wines to pair with Shrimp Scampi are:

What Is The Best Wine And Shrimp Scampi Pairing?

Prosecco

Prosecco is a sparkling wine from the northeastern region of Italy that was given its name after the Italian town of Prosecco, a suburb of Trieste.

Even though Prosecco is considered an Italian wine, the grape used to make it was introduced to Italy from Slovenia.

Previously known as glera grapes, it was in 2009 that Italian vintners agreed to ditch the grape’s Slovenian origins and rebrand it as Prosecco.

Very fruity and citrusy at the same time, with flavors of pear, apple, and lemon, but also with a nutty note of almonds and a custard-like sweetness, it is a complex sparkling wine.

It is also acidic and sharp, helping in the same way as Verdejo and Sauvignon Blanc by removing the buttery and garlicky mouthfeel and freshening up your taste buds.

This is helpful because garlic and butter can block up your taste buds, turning a delicious shrimp scampi dish bland, boring, and no longer appealing.

Even though Prosecco has all those flavors, it is nonetheless a subtle and bubbly wine, which makes it easier to drink.

The bubbles also help with better cleaning your mouth of the fatty content and oily texture of the Shrimp Scampi, with its fruity, nutty taste prevailing in the end.

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is a sharp white wine, and its varieties are of a light or medium body, dry, and citrusy, making them ideal for a shrimp scampi dish.

Indeed, the predominant flavors of Sauvignon Blanc are citrus and grassy greens, with an additional albeit slight green peppercorn taste.

The citrus taste can remind you of lemon, lime, or even grapefruit, and it brings a greatly refreshing balanced taste to your mouth following that garlic-rich bite of Shrimp Scampi you’ve just had.

Not only that but it also highlights the shrimp’s delightful yet subtle mineral taste.

Moreover, the tartness of a Sauvignon Blanc is necessary when it comes to washing that buttery taste off your mouth and reducing the garlic’s effect.

While a Shrimp Scampi will taste amazing either way, if you don’t have it with some white wine, then it won’t be many forkfuls before your mouth is overwhelmed by the fat and carb content of the dish and all you can taste is the smooth, buttery texture, gradually losing the point and taste of your meal.

Therefore, sipping on some Sauvignon Blanc will reinstate the balance for your taste buds and make this meal worth it from the first to the very last bite.

Fiano

Fiano is another white wine coming this time from the south of Italy, specifically from Campagna. It is also one of the very few white grapes that age well while remaining incredible in its youth!

Its taste and tones can vary from being bright and tense to being citrusy and light, while it offers a broad array of fruity scents, from citrusy fruits like lemon and grapefruit to autumn ones like pear and summer ones like apricot.

This wine has an exquisite zesty uniqueness and sometimes hints of jasmine, in addition to a nutty, subtle flavor that reminds you of charred almonds and hazelnuts.

It has a bold acidity and a fruity mouthfeel with wholesome plumpness on the taste buds. Therefore, it is yet another white wine that can help with balancing the fat content of the Shrimp Scampi.

There’s also a slight sense of white pepper and smoke that match the garlicky Shrimp, which further accentuates the dish’s rich flavor.

While you can go for a sweet Fiano, it’s best to have a dry one with this specific dish, as you are otherwise going to end up with too pulpy and buttery mouthfeel.

Fiano’s nuttiness enhances the cheesiness and saltiness of the parmesan sauce, while the strong tastes of fruit like apple, apricot, and pear make this white so enjoyable to drink even once you’re done eating.

Verdejo

Verdejo is a white wine from Spain, particularly in the region of Rueda. Not to be confused with Verdelho, Verdejo is a northern Spanish grape that has traditionally been used to create fortified wines.

However, in the 1970s, one winemaker turned it into a zingy contemporary dry white – a kind of Spanish Sancerre.

This wine presents a fragrant, floral, citrusy, and nutty flavor profile, and is currently regarded as one of Spain’s finest white wines

Of course, it goes great with Shrimp Scampi. It is its bold citrus flavoring that balances out the compact garlic taste of the dish, making this a fantastic pairing.

That fruity, citrusy taste brings about the right sourness which refreshes your mouth while enhancing the subtle and sweet shrimp flavor.

Moreover, Verdejo’s subtle herby and fennel aromas perfectly match the garlic taste of the dish, offering a refreshing, grass-like mouthfeel.

It is certainly one of those wines you must try if you like Sauvignon Blanc and are looking for something more special to escape the ordinary.

Pino Grigio

Even though a Pino Grigio would never make it to the top of this list as it’s certainly not the best white wine for this dish, it is still a great option and one that is greatly available around the world.

Because not every dining establishment has an extended wine list, your alternatives when going out to eat on Shrimp Scampi may be narrowed from time to time, and a Pino Grigio is a safe choice that’s always on the menu.

Another dry white wine, a Pino Grigio helps wash away the excess butter and garlic of your dish and renew your tastebuds’ freshness.

Moreover, its fruity and smoky flavors make the garlic less sharp and strong in taste, while its smokiness goes great with the star of the dish, the shrimp.

The Bottom Line

There’s no doubt that a Shrimp Scampi dish needs a dry white wine to accompany it, and the best options are listed above.

So, head to the store and get yourself a nice Sauvignon Blanc or any of the other alternatives we have to enjoy your Shrimp Scampi meal!

Rachel Edwards
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