Best Wine for Lobster (and why)

A culinary classic, lobster is enjoyed by millions around the globe. It’s a rich, buttery taste that is on the higher end of the seafood scale and will make your bank account shudder. But once you try it, you’ll agree it’s worth every penny (especially in a restaurant). In case you don’t know how to pair lobster dishes, or wonder what to serve it with at home? What is the best wine for lobster? Read on!

Best wine for Lobster – The Short View

There are a lot of possible recipes for lobster, so there are multiple wines that can go with each one. This means you can easily find other types of wines that also go well with lobster and we will cover the best options here. Want a safe bet for Lobster? Pretty much any Chardonnay is my first choice.

We explore other choices of white wines below that work in different ways.

You will not see a lot of reds used with lobster. A couple of lighter red wines do well for a tomato-based lobster dish, and they can elevate a dish to a new level. Generally, if red wine is low in tannins and high in acidity, it will be able to boost the flavors in a lobster dish.

Let’s take a look at the options that work best.

Chardonnay

Chardonnay is usually the more obvious choice because of its medium tannin levels and high acidity. It goes exceptionally well with either steamed or cooked lobster but will work well in any dish that is rich and buttery. Chardonnay, Champagne, and sparkling wines are all excellent for buttery, steamed, and boiled lobster. Of course, being a dry white wine, Chardonnay will not overpower your lobster flavors. There are few wines that do the job of pairing with lobster well, but there is probably no better option than the internationally planted and popular grape, Chardonnay, by many standards.

With apple and citrus notes, the California Chardonnay holds up well to the buttery flavors and delicious textures of cooked lobster. If you are looking for a sharp match to boiled or steamed lobster, then look no further than California Chardonnay.

If you want to get a little more adventurous, try a Chardonnay with some oak in it (meaning it’s been aged) and maybe even some vanilla and buttery flavors. These wines tend to be more expensive, so if you’re going for value, stick with the unoaked Chardonnays.

Sauvignon Blanc

Lobster dishes are typically served with lemon, and this wine has a lot of citrus notes, making it a perfect accompaniment to the dish. The combination of the tartness and the citrus means Sauvignon Blanc goes well with either cooked or poached lobster. The wine also has a nice minerality to it that compliments the briny flavor of the lobster. Lobster is meaty seafood, and that means it pairs well with wines that have high acidity. Sauvignon Blanc has a high acidity level, making it an ideal choice for pairing with your cooked or poached lobster dish. It works well with lots of seafood. Check out our post on the best wine for Shrimp Scampi too.

Gewurztraminer

Gewurztraminer is lower acid, but it is nice and spicy, which is perfect with lobster. The zesty-sweet characteristics of Gewurztraminer are ideal for pairing with lobster, since you are complimenting the sweetness of the dish, but also providing a bit of a contrast. Since lobster has a subtle, crunchy taste, it is best paired with wines that share those notes. Lobster is a tender, typically mild-tasting delicacy, so Gewurztraminer seems like a natural pairing. The wine’s floral aromas and crisp acidity will complement the lobster’s delicate flavors while providing enough backbone to stand up to their rich buttery texture.

Pinot Grigio

The wine’s high acidity brings out subtle flavors in the lobster, making it richer in taste. The lighter nature of Pinot Grigio allows for the nuanced flavors of lobster to really come through. The Pinot Grigio brings out the sweetness in lobster, which is often lost in other wines. The acidity and body of the wine complement each other, making for a perfect pairing. The wine has a crisp, refreshing taste that goes well with lobster. The Pinot Grigio is light and fruity, which makes it easy to drink without overpowering the delicate flavors of lobster. It’s also an excellent choice for those who prefer dry wines over sweeter ones. Pinot Grigio pairs well with many different foods but especially seafood dishes like lobster!

Riesling

The best white wines for serving with lobster are generally clear, easy-drinking, lightly acidic wines like Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc but you should also consider Riesling. Riesling, which has a lot of acidity, fruit, and soft floral notes also works great when you are serving the lobster with a bit of spicy sauce. The sweet and spicy combination is a match made in heaven.

Chianti

For a red wine so bold, this popular Tuscan export is a nice mix of high acidity and low tannins, making it a better-than-good partner to lobster dishes. Chianti is lighter in the body than some other types of red wines, so you cannot really overwhelm it, particularly with a lobster dish that relies on tomatoes. This Italian classic is light, with fewer herbal notes than Sauvignon Blanc, but it still has that wonderful citrusy edge that you are looking for in wine pairings with lobster.

Best wine for lobster (Other options to consider)

With so many different types of wines, it can be difficult to figure out which is the best for pairing with lobster, especially given the different ways that you can prepare and serve it. As always, the wines on this list are not your only options when pairing lobster. Choosing a wine to pair with lobster depends upon several factors, such as the method of cooking lobster, types of sauces and side dishes, and many others.

While lobster is best with white wine, when enjoying a plate covered with a tomato-based sauce, red is an option. The rule of thumb for pairing red wines with lobster is to avoid tannin-heavy wines or those that are over-oaked. When pairing red wines, the brininess in the lobster will bring out the bitterness in reds, and tannins in wines will accentuate the briny, iodine notes of the lobster. We already covered why Chianti works, so if you are looking for an alternative, i’d suggest Pinot Noir or Gamay. Both are lower in tannins with a fruity flavor and acidity that will work with the lobster.

You could also pair cooked, steamed, or broiled lobster with Chablis, since the minerals and citrus notes will highlight the complexity of cooked dishes. Chablis works wonders when combined with steamed or grilled lobster.

Conclusion

Chardonnay is the obvious wine pairing for lobster, so you may be wondering whether you should even consider something else. But there are some interesting alternatives. The citrus of Sauvignon blanc and the sweet Riesling are excellent choices too. Pinot Grigio and Gewurztraminer are also good pairings if you are looking for alternative whites. Red wines can work with lobster and Chianti is a good example, especially when served with a tomato-based sauce.

I have to say that my own preference doesn’t stretch further than Chardonnay. The buttery flavor is there in both Chardonnay and the lobster, which is part of the reason this pairing works so well.

If you liked this post, you should check out our post on the best wine with prime rib here.