Pairing Wine With Surf & Turf

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Is there anything that feels more indulgent and decadent than surf and turf? Often reserved for special occasions, this sumptuous dish is a combination of steak and seafood; the seafood being anything from lobster, crab, shrimp or scallops. We all know that red wines pair best with red meat, and white wines pair best with seafood, so how do you choose a wine when you’re having both? Aside from selecting both a red and a white (which is always an option!) we have some suggestions on what will work best for both proteins, but ultimately, this will come down to personal preference.

Best Red Wine To Pair With Surf & Turf

If red wine is your preference, you’ll want to be sure to choose something light-bodied that will complement the red meat but not overpower the seafood. Pinot Noir is the perennial favorite when it comes to all-around, food-friendly reds, but one of the following options could work, as well.

  • Lambrusco; a slight bubbliness with strong berry notes.
  • Beaujolais; also known as Gamay, it’s very similar to Pinot Noir in flavor. 
  • Grenache; floral with strong berry flavor and notes of citrus.
  • Bobal; fruity and pleasantly acidic.

Best White Wine To Pair With Surf & Turf

If you prefer white wine, look for rich whites that are bright and fresh with higher acidity. This is going to complement your seafood, but will also cut through the rich fat of your steak. Champagne will go with just about anything; try to find one in the ‘Extra Brut’ style for this dish. Some other whites you could choose:

  • Riesling; It’s light, sweet, crisp and highly acidic. It’s also highly versatile.
  • Chardonnay; dry and buttery with moderate tannins and acidity. 
  • Marsanne; Medium-body, off-dry with mandarin orange and quince flavors.
  • Albariño; Dry with high acidity and notes of lemon and grapefruit.

Pairing Wine With Seafood & Steak

You may have a strong preference for the surf or the turf portion of your meal. If that’s the case, and you want to select a wine that will be the best possible match for that protein, check out our recommendations on pairing wine with steak or pairing wine with seafood.

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