Best Wine With Lobster

If you’re serving lobster, then you’re probably looking to impress. This delicious seafood has become almost synonymous with luxury, and there are few items more suited for a decadent meal.

With a smooth, sweet, richness, it’s a stand-out item on any table – and it needs a wine to match.

With lobster, it can be a tricky task of balancing the flavors of the meat with the sharpness of the wine. Too powerful and it overwhelms the meat, too weak, and it simply can’t compare.

This also isn’t an area where you want to hold back. For expensive food, a good quality wine is a must.

Thankfully, lobster is a flavor that cries out for a wine accompaniment. There are several choices that can match any preparation of lobster, creating a painting you might even impress yourself with.

Choosing wine with lobster 

Whether you’re ordering lobster in a restaurant, or cooking it at home, then you want to appreciate the delectably subtle flavorings of the meat itself.

This brings us to the first rule of pairing wines with lobster: the wine shouldn’t overpower. Lobster is a light meat, so it needs a light pairing. Something that balances and enhances the taste, rather than distracting.

What you choose will also depend on how you intend to eat your lobster. A lobster smothered in butter benefits from a different pairing than lobster in a tomato sauce.

Similarly, if you’re eating lobster roll, you’re probably looking for a different wine experience.

What color wine goes best with lobster

White wine is the obvious choice for enjoying with lobster, and a classic pairing. White wine has a high acidity, which gives a complementary crispness to the smooth lobster. Wine with lobster refreshes the palate, rather than sitting on it. 

However, that doesn’t mean a red can’t work. Avoid anything with a heavy tannin, and look for delicacy. For lobster cooked in a tomato sauce, a red wine can actually be the perfect pairing, despite what tradition would have you think.

Lobster can also suit a playful rosé, with an enjoyable blend of weight and subtlety. 

Of course, we can’t forget the sparkling wines. Champagne is a classic lobster pairing, and one that’s hard to get wrong. Cava and prosecco also offer acidity and bite, the fun of the bubbles elevating sweet lobster.

Best wines for lobster

Chardonnay

It would be impossible not to start with the best. Chardonnay is considered to be the obvious choice for lobster, and for good reason.

There is a great variety within the grape, so Chardonnay can be adapted to suit every style of cooking lobster. At times, it’s sharp and fruity, other bottles are rich with butter and oak. Chardonnay is the go-to choice for anyone trying lobster for the first time.

Chablis is heavier with minerality, but balanced with notes of citrus. For a simple grilled lobster in a butter sauce, there is rarely a better option than a quality glass of Chablis.

Any coastal Chardonnay, those with a greater mineral level, has the perfect complexity for a dish of lobster.

Chardonnay can also be oak aged, which contributes to a more buttery finish. This goes best with dishes cooked in a heavier sauce. It highlights the sweetness of the lobster, without overpowering.

Chardonnay has a creamy body, with a decent weight, so there’s nothing better for lobster. 

Best with… Almost anything. Look for crisp chardonnays to go with light, grilled lobster. Heavier oak Chardonnays can match lobster bisque, lobster thermidor, and creamy sauces.

Gewürztraminer

If you’re interested in a playful combination, Gewürztraminer could be your perfect option. This white wine may not have the same profile as Chardonnay, but it may be almost as good a match for lobster. 

Gewürztraminer doesn’t have the acidity we traditionally associate with a seafood pairing, but it makes up for that with the rich aroma. This is a surprisingly spicy wine, with notes of pepper and ginger. It goes particularly well with lobster cooked in Asian flavorings.

To add to the layered complexity, this is a wine with fruity overtones and a subtle floral perfume. Tasting in parts of lycée, apricot, and rose, the powerful aroma is one of Gewürztraminer’s most defining features. Combined with the rich color, this is a white that stands out. 

Best with… Asian flavors and plenty of spices. Otherwise, pair a simple grilled lobster with the swirling aroma of Gewürztraminer.

Riesling

Packed full of fruit and acid, Riesling is a dry wine with layers of taste. The first mouthful may seem to be nothing but fruit, until that acidic bite comes in. A perfectly balanced Riesling has sweetness and sharpness, but neither are too much for the lobster.

There’s a delightful citrus to the acid crisp of Riesling. Lobster and lemon are perfect partners, so this is a wine that pulls on the savory flavorings of lobster meat.

Without the harshness of added acidity, Riesling removes the risks of overwhelming. Instead, you’re left with a wine that dances between dry and sweet, never falling out of balance.

Best with… Spicy sauces. Broiled lobster, or simple baked lobster.

Pinot Grigio

On the other end of the spectrum, Pinot Grigio offers a light simplicity. Pinot Grigio isn’t a particularly complex wine, but that’s what makes it so good for lobster and other seafood dishes. This is a pairing where the wine steps back, so you can appreciate the lobster on its own.

Pinot Grigio tastes like a light breeze on a summer’s day. With a citrus edge to the acidity, it acts almost as a lemon palate cleanser. A dry bottle is best, as it cuts against the buttery lobster.

Best with… Simply prepared lobster, but the citrus can go well with creamy sauces. Avoid Pinot Grigio when eating a heavier lobster dish. The streamlined simplicity won’t hold up.

Rosé

Although white may be traditional, there’s always room for rosé when it comes to lobster. Rosé is a playful wine, and a surprisingly good match.

Dry Rosé is best, although those with a sweeter finish can work. However, don’t just go for the cheapest Rosé available: a bad Rosé won’t have the citric acid that lobster needs.

A good Rosé has a strength that’s often missing from white, a pairing for any lobster cooked in a heavy sauce. This is also a particularly good choice for a lobster roll. A fun Rosé, and a roll slathered with mayo or butter, is the ultimate brunch. 

Rosé can be a refreshing choice, perfect for creamy lobster. Don’t be afraid of the darker color – an elegant Rosé plays like a heavy white.

Best with… Lobster rolls. It also cuts through heavy sauces and bakes. Lobster thermidor and lobster bisque can both benefit from a Rosé. If you’re having a barbecue, try a citrus Rosé with smoked or grilled lobster.

Chianti

Yes, Chianti is a red wine. And yes, it does go with lobster. While other reds are far too rich in tannins to complement the sweeter meat, Chianti has a seductive lightness with a smooth finish.

The problem with pairing red wines and seafood is the full body of the red tends to overpower the delicate meat. They don’t complement each other, but fight for recognition.

Chianti avoids this by being higher in acidity, and lower in tannins. While it still has more weight than the average white, it can be perfect for lobster cooked in a tomato sauce.

If you’re enjoying lobster in spaghetti, or other tomato dishes, then try pairing it with a delicate red. The lobster isn’t lost, but is instead enhanced by the easy finish. Look for unoaked Chianti, which has less body.

Best with… Tomato sauces, and particularly rich lobster dishes. Avoid when ordering simple broiled lobster.

Champagne

For many of us, ordering Champagne is a choice for a special occasion or celebration. Lobster is also a meal that many of us save for celebrations. So doesn’t it work out well that lobster and champagne is an almost perfect pairing?

Champagne is a decadent drink, so it’s best matched with decadent sauces. Boiled lobster, served with cream and butter, is balanced by the cream and bubbles of a good Champagne. 

However, Champagne can also be a surprisingly good choice for simple meals. Broiled lobster served with potatoes doesn’t need much in the way of improvement, but the toasty depth of Champagne does add a new dimension.

Sparkling wine is another strong choice, especially if ordering lobster rolls. The bubbles lighten the lashings of butter, while the crispness gives a refreshing finish.

Best with… Boiled and steamed lobster, lobster rolls, creamy sauces, or good news. 

Final thoughts

Lobster may seem like an intimidating prospect, but it’s actually surprisingly easy to pair. For the classic combination, try a Chardonnay. These can be light to match the lobster, or heavier to match the sauce.

Once you’ve experienced lobster and Chardonnay, you can begin to branch out. Look for citrus, and a balance of fruit and acidity. 

Christina Day
Follow us
Latest posts by Christina Day (see all)