Pairing food and wine is a pleasurable experience for both novice and expert wine drinkers. In fact, finding the perfect wine to accompany any dish can be an easy and rewarding task that begins with a wine drinker’s favorite varietal. For particular dishes, there are certain wines that seem to pair very well, such as a well-balanced white wine paired with summertime foods such as shrimp. For garlic shrimp, there are a number of wine varietals that are recommended.
Chardonnay is a versatile white wine that pairs well with many dishes. In fact, it has become a staple wine for pairing with garlic shrimp dishes. An off-dry Chardonnay can help offset the spiciness of garlic shrimp, and a particularly rich chardonnay can even add to the flavor of the dish. One recommended dish to serve with a chardonnay is shrimp cooked over tossed pasta, preferably linguine, with garlic sauce and a spritz of fresh lemon flavor. For those more adventurous, add some chardonnay to the garlic sauce in the dish.
California Sparkling Wine
A sparkling wine long associated with end-of-year celebrations, sparkling wine also pairs well with certain specialty dishes. One dish is garlic shrimp, which typically combines fresh shrimp with peeled garlic, olive oil, sherry and a handful of fresh spices and herbs, from parsley to hot peppers. In particular, wine aficionados have recommended California sparkling wine. Sparkling wine can help to reduce the spiciness of any garlic shrimp dish, especially those with hot peppers. In addition, the fruitiness associated with California sparkling wine can act as a perfect contrasting taste to the garlic flavor.
Spanish White Wines
Spain is one of the largest harvesters of the wine grape. The country is home to a range of spectacular wines, including two white wine varietals often recommended for pairing with garlic shrimp: Albariño, from a grape predominantly grown in northwestern Spain, and Godello, also grown in Spain’s northwest. The wines are known for not being overly complex, and have a pleasant taste. They pair well with the heavy garlic overtones of the shrimp dish, without overpowering the dish’s flavors. To many, the two wines are considered very similar.
When looking for a wine to pair with garlic shrimp, Riesling is often recommended as fitting the bill. The white wine has its origins in the European country of Germany, and, along with chardonnay and sauvignon blanc, is one of the most popular white wines in the world. A light wine, it does not overpower the garlic shrimp flavors, which can be subtle at times, and its crispness and dry finish help to accentuate this characteristic. The wine can also be substituted as an ingredient in a garlic sauce for shrimp and pasta.
References and ResourcesShrimp-Magic: Paring Wine and Shrimp
Wine Review Online; Wine With Garlic Shrimp; Paul Lukacs and Marguerite Thomas; Dec. 25, 2007
Wined In: Pair Food and Wine
Heron Hill Winery: Blue Heron Cafe