Wine Pairing With Crab Cakes & Why It Works?

wine pairing with crab cakes

Quick Answer: For white wines, I'm partial to Chardonnay or Albariño for two different reasons. But if you're serving crab cakes as an appetizer, a sparkling wine will add the perfect touch. And to truly savor the flavors of the crab cake dish, Pinot Noir would be my top pick for reds!

Crab cakes are a delicious appetizer or a main course. And one of the best ways to enhance the flavor of crab cakes is by pairing them with the right wine.

So in this article, we will explore the different types of wine that are best suited for crab cakes, and why they make such a perfect pairing.

Table of Contents

6 Best Wine Pairings With Crab Cakes

1) Chardonnay

The buttery notes in Chardonnay make it a natural pairing for crab cakes, which are often made with butter and mayonnaise. Additionally, the oak notes in some Chardonnays can complement the flavors of the dish, particularly if the crab cakes have been grilled or pan-seared, giving them a slight smoky flavor.

Lastly, the creamy texture of the Chardonnay will match the creamy and tangy tartar sauce accompanying the crab cakes.

2) Sauvignon Blanc

This crisp and refreshing white wine is a great option if you prefer a lighter wine to pair with your crab cakes. Its high acidity and herbaceous notes complement the sweetness of the crab meat and the tanginess of any accompanying sauces.

Plus, the crispness of Sauvignon Blanc can also cut through the buttery texture of the crab cakes, creating a refreshing contrast.

3) Pinot Noir

If you prefer red wine, Pinot Noir is a great choice to pair with crab cakes. Pinot Noir is a light-bodied red wine with delicate flavors of red fruit, earth, and spice. Its lightness makes it a suitable pairing for lighter seafood dishes like crab cakes. Also, the wine’s fruitiness can also provide a nice contrast to the savory flavors of the dish.

When pairing Pinot Noir with crab cakes, it’s important to consider the preparation of the dish. If the crab cakes are heavily seasoned or spicy, a Pinot Noir with a bit of tannin can help cut through the flavors and refresh the palate. A Pinot Noir with higher acidity can also provide a nice balance to the richness of the crab cakes.

4) Rosé

A dry rosé can also make an excellent pairing for crab cakes. Its refreshing acidity and light fruit flavors work well with the delicate sweetness of the crab. Additionally, the color of the wine can complement the color of the crab meat, creating a visually appealing presentation.

5) Albariño

This Spanish white wine’s bright acidity can balance the sweetness of the crab meat, creating a harmonious pairing. Plus, the wine’s citrus notes can also enhance the sweetness of the crab meat, making the dish taste even more delicious.

Also as a light-bodied wine it won’t overpower the delicate flavors of the crab cakes, allowing the dish’s flavors to shine through. Additionally, the wine’s minerality can also complement the briny flavors of the crab meat.

6) Champagne or Sparkling Wine

Champagne’s effervescence can help cleanse the palate between bites, preparing the palate for the next mouthful. Also, the bubbles and high acidity can also create a contrast to the rich, creamy texture of the crab cakes.

Lastly Champagnes have a toasty or nutty character that can complement the flavors of the crab cakes’ crust. Plus, the wine’s yeasty notes can also enhance the savory flavors of the dish.

What are Crab Cakes?

wine pairing with crab cakes

Crab cakes are a popular seafood dish made from crab meat that has been formed into patties and then pan-fried, baked, or broiled until crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. They are a popular dish in many coastal regions and are often served as an appetizer, main course, or in sandwiches.

As for the preparation of crab cakes, they typically include a combination of crab meat, breadcrumbs, egg, mayonnaise, mustard, and seasonings like Old Bay seasoning, parsley, or chives. Some recipes may also include diced onion, bell pepper, or celery. Also, the quality of the crab meat used in the dish is essential to the taste of the final product, and many recipes call for fresh lump crab meat. Then the ingredients are mixed together, formed into patties, and then cooked until golden brown.

Finally, crab cakes are typically served with a dipping sauce, such as tartar sauce or remoulade, and may be accompanied by sides like coleslaw, fries, or a side salad.

Why Wine Pairs Well with Crab Cakes?

Crab cakes are a dish that is rich in flavor and texture. They are typically made with a combination of crab meat, bread crumbs, and mayonnaise, which all work together to create a dish that is both savory and slightly sweet.

Wine works well with crab cakes because it helps to balance out the richness of the dish. The acidity in the wine can either help to cut through or compliment the buttery notes of the crab cakes, while the fruit and herbaceous notes can enhance the flavors in the dish.

Another reason why wine pairs well with crab cakes is that it can help to cleanse the palate between bites. This can be particularly helpful if you’re serving crab cakes as an appetizer and want to prepare your guests’ taste buds for the next course.

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