Best wine for Shrimp Scampi

You are cooking Shrimp Scampi. This salty, sweet seafood dish has a strong garlic flavor, mixed with the earthy tones of parsley and the bright citrus sharpness of lemon. So, what is the best wine with shrimp scampi?

To get that first bite enjoyment every time you should try these wines as a pairing. Let’s look at 10 of the best wines for shrimp scampi that hit the spot.

Sauvignon Blanc

This is my number one choice for Shrimp Scampi. The acidity and bright citrus tones keep the strong garlic flavor under control so that you can fully taste the shrimp. Also, a great palate cleanser to ensure you taste every morsel and maximize this dish every time.

Sauvignon Blanc has a refreshing acidity that works well with many dishes but is perfect for seafood such as shrimp. It pairs well with other shellfish too and those with a delicately spiced heat.

Another tip is this wine also goes extremely well with fresh cheese, so if you can start or finish the meal with a crisp, chilled glass of Sauvignon blanc.

Also, pairs with Sea Bass, Red Mullet, and Lobster/Lobster bisque.

Pinot Grigio

Pinot grigio is great with seafood such as shellfish or sushi. No surprise then that it’s a recommended choice when it comes to pairing with Shrimp scampi. This light-bodied wine with crisp citrus aromas of lemon, lime, and green apple is a great accompaniment to Shrimp Scampi.

It’s also a low alcohol wine with medium to high acidity, that maintains a freshness on the palate. Serve your pinot grigio chilled to maximize the pairing and you won’t regret it.

Also pairs well with white fish, scallops, chicken, and veal.

Arinto

This dry Portuguese wine is high in acidity so immediately you can be confident it will work with your shrimp scampi. The notes are floral with green apple, citrus lemon, and lime with peach and mineral quality. This makes it a great choice for shrimp scampi and many other seafood dishes. 

Add a salad and some cheese and you have a very fine pairing that will impress.

Also, pairs with John Dory, Shrimp chowder, or smoked Salmon.

Gavi (Cortese)

The Cortese grape variety is grown in northwest Italy and is used to produce Gavi. It is harvested early to capture that high acidity and it is this which gives it excellent pairing qualities and freshness which is popular in the region’s restaurants.

Instantly fresh with a crisp zest, Gavi is another light to medium-bodied wine, high in acidity that works well with shrimp scampi. Ideal with seafood and garlic it is also perfectly fine when paired with creamier pasta dishes and risotto.   

Also, an excellent pairing with Sea Bass or Tuna steaks.

Chardonnay (Oaked)

A fuller-bodied wine but still dry with a medium level of acidity, the oaked Chardonnay has a citrus aroma and notes of stone fruits.  It is creamy and rich with hints of vanilla from the oak barrels, which have softened the acidity during maturation. 

This is a good match for strongly flavored dishes and is excellent for Shrimp scampi and its pungent garlic.  It also works well with creamy seafood dishes and white meats such as chicken, pork, or even veal.

Don’t go too cheap when selecting Chardonnay.  It is mass-produced but if you search out the smaller producers you will be rewarded for spending a little more.

You can also pair very well with Salmon, Lobster, or Halibut dishes, especially those creamier in nature.

Godello

A Spanish wine this time from the Galicia region in the northwest. Godello is dry with medium to high acidity that will cut through the garlic in Shrimp scampi.   It has flavors of apple, apricots, lemons, limes, and stone fruits.

A perfect pairing for shellfish and seafood, it also goes well with stronger flavored fish dishes and white meats too. It will work with lightly spiced dishes but stronger spices will overwhelm it.

Another good choice with fresh cheeses, the Godello is rewarding so start or finish with it.

Also, pair with crab, scallops, white fish, and John Dory.

Semillon

A true Summertime wine that is dry, with flavors of lemons and nectarines.  Best with the stronger flavored dishes and pairs well with Shrimp scampi. Semillon is not high in acidity and is medium to full in the body.

Semillon is produced in the Bordeaux region and in South Australia’s Barossa Valley.

Pairs well with Tuna, Lobster, and Thai seafood dishes.

Vermentino

A very food-friendly wine that gives a citrus aroma with herbal, almond, and floral notes.  It retains a medium to high acidity level that will always work with Shrimp scampi and other seafood dishes.  It is usually light to medium in the body, but fuller-bodied varieties are available.   Avoid the oaked versions for this variety and pairing.

Vermentino is another great Italian wine usually grown in coastal areas where the marine climate feeds the flavor.  It is big in Sardinia and in Tuscany and is popular right up the Ligurian coastline to France.  It is this coastal character that works so well with seafood.  Try it and have no regrets.

Sauvigon Blanc & Semillon Blend

The only blend to make the list but this one is worth searching out. It is dry but also creamy and fuller in the body.   With a medium to a higher level of acidity, it works extremely well with seafood dishes. 

The combination of these two grapes is what delivers the blend.  The fresh nature of the Sauvignon Blanc married to the fuller body of the Semillon delivers a balance that works in dishes from Shrimp scampi to fuller flavored dishes such as John Dory, Salmon or white fish varieties.

Prosecco

My final choice is Prosecco.  Not the first wine that springs to mind but don’t discount it.  On the contrary, it may be more accessible for those who don’t usually drink dry wines. A sparkling white wine that tames the garlic with citrus, cleansing the palate to enjoy each bite. It’s hard to go wrong with Prosecco and shrimp scampi.

Prosecco pairs well with most seafood but its acidity and citrus sweetness mean that it complements the natural saltiness of Shrimp scampi. 

Again, as with several of the wines mentioned above, you can serve Prosecco with cheese for a knockout pairing.  Italians serve it with cheese as an antipasto before the main meal.   Burrata, Ricotta and Gorgonzola work particularly well with Prosecco.   For those less adventurous a simple buffalo mozzarella is just as rewarding.

If you enjoyed this post, check out my post on the Best Wine with Shrimp and Grits.

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