How To Pair Wine With Bay Scallops, According To A Sommelier

Bay scallops presented on scallop shell plate
Bay scallops presented on scallop shell plate - bonchan/Shutterstock

You may know exactly what to look for when buying scallops along with all the tips and tricks you need to know when cooking them. But if you really want to make the most of your scallop dinner, it's all about serving the meaty mollusks with the right wine. After all, a good glass of vino can help bring out a food's flavor, complement its profile, and sharpen your senses, allowing you to truly savor your feast.

In order to figure out the best wine pairing to go with your dish, however, you'll first have to consider the type of scallops you're preparing. There are quite a few differences between bay scallops and sea scallops, the two main types you'll come across in the seafood section of your grocery store. Tasting Table spoke with sommelier Scott Mattson, co-owner of Nocturne, a jazz and supper club in Denver, Colorado, to explore the topic further. According to Mattson, bay scallops are "much smaller and sweeter and much less briny" than their seafaring counterparts. Not only does that determine their typical cooking method but also what type of wine to wash them down with. Still, it depends on how the tender seafood bites are served.

"A common use for bay scallops is in ceviche, in which case I would have a bottle of Txakolina rosé on hand," Mattson explains. The pink pour, hailing from Spain's Basque country, is fresh, lightly fruity, and subtly effervescent, providing the perfect complement to a citrusy scallop ceviche.

Read more: 13 Liquors Your Home Bar Should Have

Other Wine And Scallop Combinations To Try

Hands toasting rose wine over dinner table
Hands toasting rose wine over dinner table - fornStudio/Shutterstock

When it comes to enjoying shellfish, a good rule of thumb is to pair the briny bites with a light and crisp white or rosé wine. Scott Mattson tends to agree, even if your scallops are presented in a slightly heavier dish. "Bay scallops are also commonly used in cream-based pastas, [and] in that case a really good Verdicchio or Vernaccia di San Gimignano would be lovely," he says, calling out two Italian whites. While Verdicchio is known for its "sweet, peachy aromatics," according to Wine Folly, Vernaccia di San Gimignano is hailed for being bright and citrusy, with notes of apple, pear, and lemon. Either one can cut through the flavors of the creamy sauce to highlight the mollusks.

Finally, "if you are going with a classic French scallop presentation by way of Coquilles St. Jacques," Mattson recommends popping open a bottle of a rich Bandol rosé. Indeed, the French dish, which sees bay scallops baked in a creamy sauce and topped with breadcrumbs and cheese, works well with the full-bodied profile of the bold French wine. It comes from the Bandol region of Provence, where the wines produced are recognized for their robust flavors and undertones of darker fruits, like cherry and blood orange. Finished off with a breezy touch of the Mediterranean Sea, Bandol rosé surely rises to the occasion when it comes to the decadent scallop dish. Cheers — and bon appétit!

Read the original article on Tasting Table