September 16, 2021 by Arden Montgomery

Best Wine for Scallops

Their shells symbolize beauty, grace and love, and their succulent and delicate meat is unlike any other seafood we’ve ever tried. A mouthwatering mollusk which is also capable of producing pearls, scallops are a rich delicacy often associated with luxury and many of the finer things in life — art, opera, and wine, to name a few. 

A really fantastic scallop recipe can anchor a meal, even if it’s served as an appetizer, and pairing the right wine with these delicious morsels is an artform in and of itself. Here, we’re going to teach you how to go about choosing a viticultural delight to match your fruit de mer, and give our recommendations for delicious scallop-ready bottles we have in our collection. 

How to Pair Wine With Scallops

In general, scallops prefer to be paired with white wine (bonus points if it’s bubbly.) Fatty, cream-forward preparations work well with smooth and buttery whites like a Chardonnay, and more acidic whites will help to elevate a finer dish and bring out the mollusk’s complexity. 

When in doubt, match your wine to the sauce rather than the fish itself. Cream sauces and butter preparations love a crisp, dry wine like a Pinot Grigio to cut the fat. Raw dishes pair well with a wine on the more mineraly side. Smoked, grilled or seared scallops call for something sparkling. 

You can invite a red wine to your scallop dinner, but we urge caution. While rich and unctuous in texture, the flavor of scallops on their own is subtle, delicate, and easily overwhelmed by the bolder tasting notes and heavy tannins in some of the more full-bodied reds. Err on the side of sweet and light if you’re a red-wine-only type. 

Best Red Wine for Scallops

  • 2019 Domaine de La Bonne Tonne Morgon ‘Côte du Py’ Beaujolais – $45
    Earthy, rich, and bragging that beautiful and storied terroir of its Burgundy appellation, the Côte du Py is a surprising but undeniably delicious pairing for a simple seafood dish. Fruity with notes of overripe cherries and raspberries in the nose and cooked cranberries on the tongue, we recommend drinking this wine alongside a serving of seared salted scallops.
  • NV Anthill Farms North Coast Pinot Noir – $28
    As one of the lighter reds, a good Pinot is usually the red you’d reach for if you’re serving scallops. And this is a great Pinot. Moderate tannins and light acidity give it an unusual and uplifting texture while spice, plum, cherry, and apples make it distinctly delicious. Anthill Farms focuses on producing Pinot Noir, so you know they know what they’re doing. Pair with sauteed bacon-wrapped scallops, or these miso broiled scallops for an umami-forward treat. 

Best White Wine for Scallops

  • 2020 Cherrier Frères Sancerre Blanc – $28
    Say that three times fast. This crisp Sancerre fronts citrus, white flowers, and a curious tinge of gunflint that will have you transported to summery aftertoons in the countryside, sitting under a hot tin roof. Bright and balanced, we recommend pairing this wine with your favorite butter or cream-centric scallop dish.
  • 2019 Orso Friuli-Venezia Giulia Pinot Grigio – $28
    Fresh, green, fruity, and floral, this Pinot Grigio injects a badly-needed dose of liveliness into an otherwise blase varietal. A balanced flavor and crisp texture make it an ideal pairing for the mollusk of the day, and it’s versatile enough that it will match any number of different preparations. We say do the bear on the label proud and have this wine with raw scallop sashimi in ponzu sauce.
  • 2019 Pierre Girardin Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru – $295
    An exquisite bottle bearing all the regal pedigree of the 60-year-old Burgundy vines from which its grapes were harvested. This is a special wine that should absolutely be shared on a coastal cliff with one or two of your favorite people. Serve reverently alongside ginger-boiled scallops.
  • 2017 Peay Vineyards Estate Chardonnay Sonoma Coast – $32
    A surprisingly acidic Chardonnay that’s here to break all the rules. Fruity and citrusy with a hint of almond, it still clings to that baked-good flavor so typical of a tasty Chard, but its salinity and notes of mint make it an utterly unique experience. But still a Chard, this wine pairs well with caramelized scallops in onion butter. 

Best Rose Wine for Scallops

  • 2020 Girolamo Russo Etna Rosato – $34
    An island Rosato with a balanced bloom that brings us back to the days when Sicily was inhabited by priestesses of Aphrodite. Raspberry, peach, and pepper aromas make way for a delightfully saline and mineral-forward finish. Pair with a classic scallop and pea shoot salad.
  • 2020 Purity Wine Co “The Estates” Pet Nat – $26
    It’s dessert in a bottle. This Pet Nat is a spectacular, natural blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel grown primarily in Mendocino County, California. Fruit and flower forward with a delightful note of strawberry sorbet at the end, this wine should be paired with something spicy, like these Thai chili scallops

Best Wine for Scallops from Argaux

Argaux’s number one mission is to help budding oenophiles learn about wine. And the fastest way to do that is to drink wine — preferably alongside your favorite snack. That’s why Argaux has released our Food and Wine Pairing 101 kit, coming complete with 2-4 bottles of hand-selected wines from our collection, and a copy of Vanessa Price’s Big Macs and Burgundy to help you learn what wine to drink when. 

Or, reach out to us and tell us what’s on the menu for scallop night and we can give you a special recommendation straight from our cellars.

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