8 Best Wines For Scallops & Why it Works!

wine for scallops wine with scallops

Quick Answer: Albarino, seafood lover's wine, is ideal for simple and ceviche recipes, as well as other seafood dishes. For scallops with rich sauces, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is a great choice.

So if you’re looking for the best wine for scallops, look no further!

In this article, we will discuss eight (8) different wines that pair well with all scallop dishes and give you a few reasons why they work.

Whether you’re cooking your scallops in a skillet or on the grill, we’ve got you covered. So sit back, and enjoy reading about some of the best wine pairings for scallops!

Table of Contents

What are the Different Types of Scallops?

There are two types of scallops that you might find at your local grocery store or fish market: sea scallops and bay scallops.

  • Sea scallops (a.k.a. Diver scallops if hand-harvested) are the larger of the two, with a diameter of about one to two inches. They have a mild, slightly sweet flavor with a firm meaty texture that’s more chewy. Therefore better for grilling due to the size.
  • Bay scallops are smaller, with a diameter of about half an inch. Bay scallops are typically found in the shallow waters of bays and estuaries. They have a sweeter flavor and a more delicate texture.

Different Ways to Cook/Prepare Scallops

bacon wrapped scallops sweet wine pair nicely oaked chardonnay

A scallop dish can be cooked in a variety of ways, but the most common methods are raw, ceviche, pan-searing, grilling, and baking.

  • Raw scallops – Sushi or crudo
  • Ceviche scallops– Cooked in lime juice
  • Sautéed/seared scallops – Pan-seared/sautéed scallops typically served with sauce that has variations of garlic, lemon, and herb butter sauce
  • Baked scallopsOven-baked with variations of butter, garlic, cheese, and oil. Including oven baked bacon wrapped scallops.
  • Grilled scallops – Little char and smoke on the scallops bring out the sweetness

What are the Best Wines for Raw Scallops?

sake and scallop pinot grigio

1) Sake

Though maybe not a grape wine, Sake is still a rice wine? Sushi and Sake need I say more?

Okay, I will. The delicate sweetness and umami of sushi-grade scallops are perfectly complemented by the bright acidity of Junmai Daiginjo sake.

Junmai Daiginjo sake normally has light, fragrant, fruity aromas and subtle aromas that will harmonize well with the scallop dish.

2) Sancerre

Sancerre taste profile

A French wine made from Sauvignon Blanc, Sancerre is light-bodied with high acidity. It has flavors of citrus, herbs, and flint with a hint of salinity

The crisp freshness of the white wine will match the fresh scallops, while the delicate sweet taste of raw scallops is enhanced by the perfect hint of salt and minerals in the wine.

What are the Best Wines for Ceviche?

3) Albariño

albarino wine taste occasionally orange zest

A white wine grape from Galicia in northwest Spain, Albariño is dry with high acidity and a light body. It has citrus and stone fruit flavors with a touch of minerality and is highly regarded as the seafood pairing wine.

A light, citrusy ceviche dish goes well with a white wine that has mouthwatering acidity and citrus flavors. The dish will be balanced by the acidity of the wine and the complementary notes of citrus that both have. And the salty characteristic of the wine pairs perfectly with the sea flavors of raw scallops. Probably my favorite wine for scallops!

What are the Best Wines for Seared or Sautéed Scallops?

pinot noir herb infused sauce pinot gris pinot grigio red wine

4) New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc wine taste

A New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is dry with high acidity and a light-medium body. It has herbal, grassy, grapefruit, and gooseberry flavors. And the high acidity of this white wine helps to cut through the richness of the buttery herb sauce often served with sauteed or seared scallops.

Plus the grassy, citrus flavors of the wine will also complement the seared scallops themselves. And if your sauce for the scallop dish has a lot of lemon or other citrus flavors, then this wine will also pair well.

5) Sparkling Rosé

Sparkling Rosé is dry sparkling wine, a Rose wine with bubbles. It has with high acidity and a light body. The touch of sweetness in the wine is balanced by the acidity, making it a perfect wine pairing for seared scallops served with a creamy sauce. Because the dish’s creamy texture will be cut through by the acidity and bubbles.

What are the Best Wines for Baked Scallops?

bacon wrapped sea scallops red wine pinot grigio sweet wine

6) Chardonnay

An oaked, buttery California Chardonnay is a dry white wine with a rich texture and a full body. It has tropical fruit aromas along with buttery and creamy flavors with hints of vanilla. The wine’s buttery characteristics will complement the scallops baked in butter, emphasizing the dish’s creaminess.

7) Champagne

A Champagne is a dry sparkling wine that has citrus and stone fruit flavors with hints of toast and brioche. The acidity in the wine will help to cut through the richness of the scallop dishes, while the bubbles will add another layer of texture. Also, not only will the nuttiness of a Champagne go well with the creaminess of this scallop dish, but it will also add more flavor.

What are the Best Wines for Grilled Diver Scallops?

8) Chablis

By grilling scallops, the natural sweetness of the seafood is brought out and the flesh becomes caramelized. Additionally, a smoky flavor is added to the dish. A Chablis a dry white wine made with 100% Chardonnay grapes with fresh acidity and a light-medium body along with citrus, pear, and mineral flavors. A good substitute would be a white burgundy wine. 

The wine’s acidity will help to accentuate the freshness of the scallop dish, while the minerality will complement the smoky flavor of the grilled scallops.


Does Red Wine Go With Scallops?

Yes. While it’s not a traditional pairing, some red wines can work well with scallops if they have low tannins and a lighter body. For example, Pinot Noir, with its fruity and earthy notes, can complement the sweetness of scallops, especially if they are prepared with a savory sauce or seasoning.

Does Pinot Noir Go With Scallops?

Pinot Noir can be a good red wine pairing for scallops. Because it’s a light-bodied red wine with fruity and earthy notes, and its low tannin levels make it a good match for delicate seafood like scallops.

However, as I mentioned above, it’s important to note that white wine (ex. Pinot Grigio) is the more traditional wine pairing for scallops, as it tends to complement their delicate flavor and texture. But ultimately, the best wine pairing for scallops depends on personal preferences and the specific preparation and accompanying flavors of the dish.

What wine is best for shrimp and scallops?

When it comes to pairing wine with shrimp and scallops, a light-bodied white wine is generally a good choice as it won’t overpower the delicate flavors of the seafood. Here are some white wines that can pair well with shrimp and scallops:

  • Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio: These wines is known for its high acidity and citrusy flavors, which can help to cut through the richness of shrimp and scallops.

  • Albariño: This light-bodied white wine has crisp, refreshing flavors that can complement the delicate sweetness of shrimp and scallops.

  • Chardonnay: Chardonnay can also be a good pairing for shrimp and scallops, especially if the dish is prepared with a creamy sauce. Look for a Chardonnay that is unoaked, like a Chablis, as this will allow the natural flavors of the seafood to shine through.

Overall, it’s important to choose a wine that won’t overwhelm the flavors of the seafood, but rather complement and enhance them.


We hope you enjoyed this blog post on the best wine pairing for scallops.

If you liked this article, be sure to check our other food and wine pairings like:


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