10-Minute Wine Pairing: Seared Scallops and Herb Butter Sauce
Photo: Johnny Autry
This month's matchmaking finds three wine strategies for seared scallops and buttery herb sauce.
By: Scott Jones
May 10, 2012
1 of 5Photo: Johnny Autry
The Best Wine for Seared Scallops and Herb Butter Sauce
We have three different wine strategies to suit seared scallops and buttery herb sauce perfectly, no matter what you're looking for.
2 of 5Photo: Johnny Autry
Match #1: A Crisp, Fruity White
A midweight white with bright acidity plays off the tangy butter sauce and briny scallops.
ZEROING IN:Mollusks have long matched well with sauvignon blanc, but with its rich, herb-infused sauce, this dish works best with a heftier version of the varietal. Instead of a classic French sauvignon blanc, look past the Loire Valley and try one from New Zealand's Marlborough region. Vibrant citrus and fresh herbal aromas help tie a flavorful bow around each bite.
Giesen Estate,Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand, 2010 ($12)
Yealands,Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand, 2010 ($11)
3 of 5Photo: Johnny Autry
Match #2: A Fruity But Gutsy Rosé
A dry blush, with hints of white and red, is versatile enough to navigate the recipe's mix of textures and flavors.
ZEROING IN:Packed with berry aromas and refreshing acidity, rosés from France's Rhône Valley are custom built for the dish's herbs and garlicky beans. These dry wines have a wet-stone mineral quality that echoes the delicate sea saltiness in the scallops. Or, try a Spanish rosé made from tempranillo grapes in the same style.
Mas Carlot,Rosé, France, 2010 ($12)
Marqués de Cáceres,Rosado, Spain, 2010 ($10)
4 of 5Photo: Johnny Autry
Match #3: A Dry, Sparkling Wine
A brut sparkler delivers palate-cleansing bubbles and a touch of tartness to liven up the scallops.
ZEROING IN:When it comes to sparkling wine, nonvintage (NV) brut is the most food-friendly, and there are plenty of terrific values made in the traditional Champagne method coming out of California. Look for bruts using all or mostly chardonnay grapes, which deliver zippy acidity and just enough richness to handle both the buttery sauce and the robust roasted beans.
Barefoot Bubbly,Brut Cuvée Champagne, NV, California ($10)
Korbel,Chardonnay Champagne, NV, California ($11)
5 of 5Photo: Johnny Autry
Tongue-drying tannins are like kryptonite to the demure scallops, so avoid even midweight reds like merlot and Spanish Rioja. In fact, most reds, with their dark fruit and spice, overpower most seafood (except oily-rich tuna or salmon).