Pairing Shrimp and Grits with Chardonnay

Fresh shrimp, rich grits, and a wine to match both

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Are there many dishes more iconic to the South than shrimp and grits? This Low Country favorite combines the fresh, ocean-breeze taste of shrimp with the rich, comforting soul of grits cooked with plenty of butter and cheese. What to pour in your glass to accompany these classic flavors? How about a chardonnay?

Unlike more delicate seafood, shrimp can handle a wine with some weight and oak (as is the case with many chardonnays). When you add in the decadent amounts of butter and cheese in many grits recipes, it’s clearly no time for a feathery-light wine. Francophiles can look to rich examples of chardonnay from that country’s most famous chardonnay location: Burgundy. Try a bottle from the village of Meursault; these wines tend to be opulent.

Of course, still chardonnays are not your only option. Shrimp and grits would be fantastic with sparkling wine, and a blanc de blancs sparkler or champagne fits within the chardonnay category. Yeasty characteristics provided by a secondary fermentation in the bottle make any blanc de blancs a memorable match. And the high acidity and delightful bubbles provide a refreshing counterpart to all that richness. Of course, if you are a hedonist, why not have both a still chardonnay and a blanc de blancs on your table?

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