Escargot – a French word for snails – is considered to be a real delicacy in France, Spain and Portugal. It can be prepared in lots of different ways, with many different cooking methods being used.
Most ways of preparing escargot call for a crisp, dry and refreshing white wine with a high acidity, citrus flavor profile and a medium body. It all depends on the cooking method, since it can be prepared in a richer, meaty sauce which can call for a red wine.
Wine Characteristics To Pair With Escargot
|Acidity||Medium to High|
|Body||Medium to full bodied white, Light red|
|Tasting Notes||Citrus, green fruit, ripe berries|
Sweetness – Dry whites and dry reds would generally pair well with escargots.
Acidity – Higher acidity level helps to cut through the snails and can go head to head with the lemon juice which is commonly added to the dish.
Tannins – Tannins are not quite necessary for snails in any way they are prepared, so we would recommend sticking to a red wine with low tannins.
Body – Depending on the method of preparation, medium bodied to full bodied whites will do the trick, however you won’t make a mistake if you go for a crisp, light white. For red wines, the lighter the better in this case.
Tasting notes– Wines with lots of citrus fruit, green fruit, fresh herbal aromas will pair amazingly. For red wines look for ones with light red fruit aromas.
Best Red Wine To Drink With Escargot
Several recipes for escargot call for red wine marinades which actually open the door to some wonderful possibilities.
When prepared with rich red sauces with red wine added, you can go for a light red wine to complement the dish. Light body, medium to high in acidity with low tannins it will make a pretty good pairing with the escargot.
Pinot Noir from Burgundy
A classic pairing with Escargot a la Bourguignonne, Pinot Noir is just what you need. Its light to medium body, with lower tannin level and earthy aromas will pair well with your main course. However if you are looking for even lighter expressions go for a German Spatburgunder from the Ahr valley or even a Alsace Pinot Noir.
Frappatto from Sicily
Commonly planted on the island it produces nice, light, refreshing wines which will pair well with escargots cooked in red wine.
Best White Wine To Drink With Escargot
Escargots tend to have a bit of a firmer texture which calls for wine with higher levels of acidity. White wines are generally more fresh, acidic and lighter than red wines and for that reason they make better pairings for dishes such as escargot.
We would suggest looking for wines with high acidity, fresh citrus aromas with the body ranging from light to full bodied.
Pinot Grigio from Italy
A classic, dry Pinot Grigio tends to be light to medium in body with high acidity and a surprising freshness. It’s loaded with crisp citrus fruit aromas, green fruit and a bit of stone fruit aromas which will complement the escargot quite nicely.
Most of the time, a characteristic feature of Italian wines is an aroma that reminds a lot of Italian herbs, which will just enhance the herbal component of the dish.
Chardonnay from Burgundy
Actually a very classic pairing since Escargot de Bourgogne is a staple of French cuisine. As it’s prepared with lots of butter, garlic and parsley, what better to serve with it than chardonnay from the same region. The wine itself displays citrus fruit aromas, with butter and cream coming from barrel aging.
Riesling from USA
For our next pairing we would recommend a Riesling and just to introduce something new for you we would like to move to the USA. Riesling has a nice home at the Finger Lakes in the state of New York where it makes wines with soaring acidity, great freshness, citrus fruit aromas and just a small hint of sugar. This wine is still dry, but with just a bit of sugar it may balance the saltiness of the escargot.
Best Wine To Drink With Escargot
We will shortlist a couple of options to look for when you’ll be having this wonderful French dish. The wines below will complement the dish perfectly, making it one of the most sophisticated dining experiences you ever had.
- Chardonnay from Burgundy
- Riesling from USA
- Pinot Grigio from Italy
- Sauvignon blanc from New Zealand
- Greco di Tufo from Italy
- Pinot Noir from Burgundy