How to Find the Perfect Wine Pairing With Crab
Looking forward to delicious crab this summer? Sweet, juicy crab is the perfect summer meal. This versatile meat is good, plain and simple.
Even a slice of lemon and some melted butter can be enough. Or you can enjoy more decadent options like crab linguine or crab cakes. And don't forget king crab legs.
There are so many types of crabs to eat. And so many delicious recipes. But do you know which wine to pair with your delicious crab?
A good wine pairing will enhance the flavor and impress your guests. Read on to learn the best wine pairing with crab, no matter how you prepare it.
Basics of Wine Pairings
Pair wines with food based on intensity. If food is intense, the wine should be too. Wine should be more acidic and sweeter than the food you pair it with.
White wines pair best with lighter meats, such as fish and chicken. Reds go better with heavier, stronger flavored meats like venison and other red meats.
Tannins are compounds in wine that cause your mouth to feel dry. They are what cause a wine to taste bitter and impact its flavor.
Tannings pair well with fatty dishes. The tannins and fat will interact in your mouth, enhancing the flavor of the dish.
When in doubt, you can pair like wines with like dishes. For example, a French dish will often pair well with French wine. Years of culinary experimentation mean the French have perfected certain pairings.
Wines for Crab Dishes
Think of how satisfying a slice of lemon can be when you eat crab legs. In the same way, wine can be a tart, tangy contrast to your sweet, juicy crab dish. Wine can be a foil to the flavor of the crab.
If you go for a richer dish, with sauces and butter, your wine choices can go richer, too. Sweeter sauces or dishes will benefit from a sweeter wine like a Riesling.
Asian dishes, such as Thai crab cakes pair well with lighter, acidic wines. Generally, white wines pair best with seafood.
White wines fall into four categories:
Dry whites include Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio. These are fresh, light wines that tend towards acidity. They go well with fish, grilled vegetables, and lots of herbs.
Then there are sweet wines. A sweet wine, like a Riesling, can cut through grease and oils in dishes. They are sweet, which means they can pair with other sweet dishes and spicy dishes, too.
Then come the Rich Whites. These are warmer and more buttery. They're less acidic and pair well with buttery, rich dishes.
Last are Bubbly whites. Prosecco, Champagne, and Cava pair well with salt.
Even with this knowledge, you are always the expert on your own palette. Sometimes a pairing works unexpectedly. The wine contrasts in an exciting way with the dish.
You can play and experiment with the right wine for your event, using this as a loose guideline.
The Cheat List
If you're looking for a shortcut for pairing wine with a crab dish, consult this list. You can learn more about why these wines pair well with different dishes below. But here you'll find the cheat list for pairing:
- Champagne for salty and fried dishes
- Chardonnay for fatty, rich, buttery sauces and dishes
- Riesling for spicy, sweet, and oily dishes
- Pinot Grigio for lighter and plain dishes
- Sauvignon Blanc for tart, sour and citrusy meals
- A light red like a Beaujolais can work with richer crab dishes
Next time you're deciding on which crab dish to make, you can use this shortcut list to choose the best wine at the store.
Common Crab Dishes
There are so many different types of crabs to eat. You may have a favorite dish that you gravitate towards. Here you'll find a wine or two that pairs well with each dish
There are different types of crab legs. Regardless of the type, you'll want to make sure you cook them to perfection before you decide which wine to pair.
Chardonnay is a great choice. This dry wine is balanced when it comes to acidity and alcohol content. It will not overshadow the delicious, rich flavor of the crab.
Another option is Sauvignon Blanc. This crisp wine is fresh and dry. It's perfect for a tart meal, like crab legs with lemon juice.
This indulgent dish is sure to disappear quickly from your table. Oil, salt, and fat combine in this satisfyingly crispy dish. It may sound surprising, but a great pairing for crab cakes is Champagne.
Along with Cava or other sparkling wines, Champagne will cut through the salt and oil. The heaviness of the crab cake will be balanced by the airy bubbles tickling your nose.
Crab Pasta Dishes
Try a Sauvignon Blanc with crab pasta dishes. For richer pasta dishes, with buttery sauces, a dry chardonnay is great. Risotto dishes also pair well with a Sauvignon Blanc.
Spicy Crab Dishes
For a spicy crab dish, consider a fruity Riesling. These tangy, fruity wines bring some sweetness to cut through the spice.
But they are also acidic, and this sour touch will cleanse your palate. The Riesling will not get lost against strong spices.
Perfect Your Wine Pairing With Crab
With these helpful hints, you'll be set next time you serve crab. Depending on the dish, you can choose the best wine to match.
You can decide based on the dish or based on the richness of the dish. Wine pairing with crab will enhance your meal.
You'll delight your friends and loved ones. The tasty flavors of your crab dish will be enhanced by your expert wine choices.
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