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Best Wine with Crab Cakes

When it comes to pairing wine with seafood, crab cakes are a classic favorite.

glass-of-red-and-white-wine-with-crab-cake

The rich, savory flavor of crab cakes can be complemented and enhanced by the right wine pairing. While there are many different types of wine that can pair well with crab cakes, there are a few general guidelines to keep in mind.

Understanding the basics of wine and crab cake pairing can help you choose the perfect bottle to complement your meal. The flavors and textures of both the wine and the crab cakes should be taken into account when making your selection.

Some of the most popular wine choices for crab cakes include medium-bodied whites and sparkling wines, but there are also some unique options that can be surprisingly delicious. Keep reading to discover some of the best wines to pair with crab cakes and take your meal to the next level.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the basics of wine and crab cake pairing is essential for choosing the perfect bottle.
  • The flavors and textures of both the wine and the crab cakes should be taken into account when making your selection.
  • Some popular wine choices for crab cakes include medium-bodied whites and sparkling wines, but there are also some unique options that can be surprisingly delicious.

Understanding Wine and Crab Cake Pairing

Pairing wine with crab cakes can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Understanding the basics of wine pairing can help you choose the best wine to complement your crab cakes and enhance your dining experience.

glass-of-wine-with-crab-cake

When it comes to wine pairing, there are a few general rules to keep in mind. First, consider the weight and texture of the food. Lighter dishes pair well with lighter wines, while heavier dishes call for fuller-bodied wines. Crab cakes are typically a lighter dish, so a lighter wine would be a good choice.

Second, consider the flavor profile of the dish. Crab cakes have a delicate, sweet flavor that pairs well with wines that have a similar profile. Wines with high acidity can also help cut through the richness of the crab meat.

Some of the best wines to pair with crab cakes include:

  • Pinot Blanc: This white wine has flavors that range from apples to pears to peaches to citrus. It’s not overly acidic and has a light body, making it a great choice for crab cakes.
  • Chardonnay: This classic wine can be a perfect match for crab cakes, but it’s important to choose the right type. A rich, buttery Chardonnay can be overwhelming and not the best pairing for a fried crab cake, but a lighter, unoaked Chardonnay can work well.
  • Prosecco or Cava: If you prefer bubbly wine to still, Prosecco or Cava can be a great pairing option for crab cakes. Both of these wines are on the sweeter side, which makes them taste great alongside almost any crab cake dish.
  • Sauvignon Blanc: This wine has a crisp, refreshing acidity that pairs well with the sweetness of crab meat. It’s also a great choice if you’re serving a crab cake with a citrus-based sauce.

In general, it’s best to avoid red wines when pairing with crab cakes. The tannins in red wine can clash with the delicate flavor of the crab meat.

White Wines with Crab Cakes

When it comes to pairing wine with crab cakes, white wine is the way to go.

glass-of-wine-with-crab-cake-on-the-table

White wines tend to be lighter and more acidic than red wines, making them a perfect match for the delicate flavors of crab cakes. Here are some of the best white wines to pair with crab cakes:

Chardonnay

Chardonnay is a classic white wine that pairs well with crab cakes. It is a medium-bodied wine with flavors of apple, pear, and vanilla. Chardonnay is also known for its buttery texture, which complements the richness of the crab meat.

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is another great white wine to pair with crab cakes. It is a crisp, refreshing wine with flavors of citrus and tropical fruit. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, in particular, is known for its intense flavors and aromas, which make it a perfect match for the bold flavors of crab cakes.

Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio is a light, crisp white wine that pairs well with seafood. It has flavors of lemon, lime, and green apple, which complement the sweetness of the crab meat.

pouring-a-glass-of-Pinot-Grigio-wine

Pinot Grigio is also a great choice if you prefer a wine with a lower alcohol content.

Pinot Blanc

Pinot Blanc is a lesser-known white wine that is perfect for pairing with crab cakes. It is a medium-bodied wine with flavors of apple, pear, and almond. Pinot Blanc is also known for its crisp acidity, which helps to cut through the richness of the crab meat.

Crisp White Wine

If you prefer a more generic recommendation, then a crisp white wine is always a safe bet. Look for a wine that is light and refreshing with flavors of citrus and green apple. A crisp white wine will complement the delicate flavors of the crab meat without overpowering them.

Medium-Bodied Whites

If you’re looking for a white wine with a bit more body, then consider a medium-bodied white. Wines like Viognier and Roussanne have a richer texture and more complex flavors than lighter white wines. They pair well with the richness of the crab meat and add a bit more depth to the pairing.

Red Wines with Crab Cakes

Red wines can be a great pairing with crab cakes, especially when they have high acidity and earthy aromas. Two of the best red wines to pair with crab cakes are Pinot Noir and aged Sangiovese.

Bottles of different wines, closeup.

These dry reds can accompany crab cakes unexpectedly well because of their rich, rounded tannins, high acidity, and earthy aromas. When aged, these wines will produce complex flavors. Their acidity will cut through the rich buttery texture of the crab cakes.

Cabernet is another popular red wine that can pair well with crab cakes. It has a bold flavor and high tannins that can complement the richness of the crab cakes. However, it is important to choose a lighter-bodied Cabernet to avoid overpowering the dish.

Beaujolais is a light-bodied red wine that can also be paired with crab cakes. It has a fruity flavor with a hint of acidity that can balance out the richness of the crab cakes. It is important to choose a Beaujolais that is not too sweet to avoid clashing with the flavors of the dish.

Unique Wine Pairings for Crab Cakes

While classic wine pairings for crab cakes include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Blanc, there are some unique wine pairings that can enhance the flavors of crab cakes and make the dining experience even more delightful.

Rosé

A dry rosé with bright acidity and notes of strawberry and raspberry can be a surprising but delicious pairing with crab cakes.

rose-sweet-wine-with-grapes

The acidity in the wine can cut through the richness of the crab meat, while the fruit notes complement the sweetness of the crab.

Albariño

Albariño, a white wine from Spain, has a bright acidity and minerality that can pair well with crab cakes. The wine has flavors of citrus and stone fruit, which can complement the flavors of the crab.

Vermentino

Vermentino, a white wine from Italy, has higher acidity and notes of citrus and green apple. The wine can pair well with crab cakes, especially those with a citrus-based sauce.

Grüner Veltliner

Grüner Veltliner, a white wine from Austria, has high acidity and a mineral-driven flavor profile. The wine can pair well with crab cakes, especially those with a spicy or herb-based seasoning.

Sancerre

Sancerre, a white wine from the Loire Valley in France, has a bright acidity and flavors of citrus and green apple. The wine can pair well with crab cakes, especially those with a citrus-based sauce.

When selecting a unique wine pairing for crab cakes, consider the sweetness and acidity of the wine. A wine with too much sweetness can overpower the flavors of the crab, while a wine with too little acidity can make the meal taste flat. Experiment with different wine pairings to find the perfect match for your crab cakes.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

Written by Rocco

Rocco is a Florida State University alumnus with years of bartending and hospitality experience. From slinging hundreds of vodka sodas a night in jam-packed college bars to serving carefully crafted cocktails in upscale restaurants, there’s not much he hasn’t done behind a bar. Now, Rocco shares his knowledge and passion for all things alcohol-related here on My Bartender for bibulous readers everywhere to enjoy.

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