A Sommelier's Favorite Wine To Pair With Raw Scallop Dishes

tray of raw scallops and glass of white wine
tray of raw scallops and glass of white wine - Larisa Blinova/Shutterstock

While a raw scallop may seem intimidating, this delicate, sweet cut of seafood is something every foodie should experience at least once. A good raw scallop has a melting, buttery feeling and a lightly sweetened flavor. A dish of such caliber needs to be served with a drink highlighting the wonderful taste and mouthfeel of this delicacy. When Tasting Table spoke with Scott Matson, sommelier at Nocturne, he shared with us some guidelines for pairing wine with raw scallops.

"If you are going raw, Albariño from the coast of Spain, or a Picpoul de Pinet from the South of France would be perfect picks, as they have zingy acidity and nice salinity," Matson suggests.

An Albariño is a coastal white wine, loved for its stone fruit-forward flavors and higher acidity. A Picpoul de Pinet is similar but is known for being crisp and citrusy. What both of these wines have in common is a high level of acidity. This high acidity is crucial to balancing the mellowness of the scallop, using a more mouth-puckering wine brings out the subtle flavor profiles in the scallop. Matson also notes the salinity of these wines. Salinity refers to the saltiness, in wine, this refers to the distance a vineyard might be from the ocean. This oceanic touch makes these wines a complementary pairing for fish dishes.

Read more: 15 Different Ways To Cook Fish

Other Wine To Pair With Raw Scallops

raw scallops on shells with glass of white wine
raw scallops on shells with glass of white wine - Larisa Blinova/Shutterstock

If you're looking for other potential wines to pair with a raw scallop dish there are several others you could turn to. As a general basis for deciding what wines pair best, you'll want to look for acidic, bright, and most commonly white wines. Another great choice is Vermentino wines. This wine has a citrusy flavor profile with a hint of almonds and floral notes. The dryness of this wine allows the sweetness of the scallops to shine and makes for a lovely pairing.

You could also turn to a unique option with sake. Sake is a traditional Japanese rice wine used for drinking and cooking, it is commonly paired with sushi and other raw seafood dishes in Japan and makes for an excellent pairing. In particular, Daiginjo sake is a wonderful pairing, as the light floral and fruity notes are similar to the other wines mentioned. But, this sake is slightly less acidic than other wines and has a more delicate mouth feel to match the tenderness of the scallops.

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