When it comes to finding the best white wines to pair with your shrimp scampi, there’s a lot to consider.
- Are you serving white wine along with the dish?
- Are you using it in the cooking process?
- What are the right kinds of white wines?
In this post, we’ll cover all of these questions—and more—to make sure that your next plate of shrimp scampi is the best plate of shrimp scampi you’ve ever had.
Why choose a white wine at all?
White wines are generally more aromatic than reds, so they tend to pair well with foods that have strong flavors, like garlic and butter.
A good white wine will also contain some acidity, which will help “cut through” the richness of your sauce and keep your mouth from getting coated with fat (and therefore not tasting anything).
So, what’s the best white wine for shrimp scampi?
The best white wine for shrimp scampi is a Riesling. Riesling is a deliciously refreshing aromatic wine with crisp flavors of apples, apricots, peaches, and pears. It has high levels of acidity and can be perfectly paired with shrimp scampi.
So grab a glass of your favorite white wine and let’s dive in!
6 Best White Wines for Shrimp Scampi (in Cooking)
If you’re a fan of shrimp scampi—or just wine, in general—you might be wondering what kind to serve with this tasty dish.
The answer depends on whether you’re looking for a wine that’s served along with the meal or one that’s used in the cooking process.
We’ll cover both options here, and help you determine what to look for and how to choose the best white wines for shrimp scampi.
Note: If you’ve ever cooked with wine before, you know how much of a difference it can make. A good wine really takes your recipe to the next level, and we have 6 of the best white wines for shrimp scampi that are totally worth the extra trip to the grocery store.
Here they are:
Chardonnay is a French wine originating in Burgundy that can taste different, depending on where it grows and how it’s made.
Chardonnay is generally medium- to full-bodied. Its flavors range from apple and lemon to papaya and pineapple, with an occasional note of vanilla if you’re lucky.
It’s also a dry wine, so you don’t have to worry about sweetness getting in the way of whatever sauce you decide to pair with your shrimp scampi!
2. Pinot Gris
White wine is often used in shrimp scampi.
If you’re looking for the perfect white wine to use in your next batch, consider pinot gris.
Pinot gris is a mutant clone of the pinot noir variety.
Is tastes fruity and light-bodied, with aromas of lemon-lime, pear, and stone fruit like peach and apricot.
It hails originally from France’s Burgundy region, and can be bought dry, semi-sweet, or sweet.
It contains between 12.5% and 13.5% alcohol by volume—not enough to get you tipsy but enough to accentuate any flavors you’d like to highlight with your dish.
Pinot gris is affordable, widely available at liquor stores, and can be stored for up to a week after opening (if it lasts that long!).
3. Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc is a great choice for cooking shrimp scampi because it’s a dry but bold white wine that pairs well with the bold flavors of spices commonly found in scampi.
It’s also an easy-to-find, affordable bottle at most grocery stores, so you won’t have to worry about how much it’ll cost to make this dish.
Sauvignon Blanc is a green-skinned grape variety that originates from the Bordeaux region of France.
It’s used to make both dry and sweet wines and is now one of the most widely cultivated grape varieties in the world.
It even has its own species: Vitis vinifera, part of the Vitis genus that includes all grapevines.
Notable wines made using Sauvignon Blanc include Sauternes and Sancerre, both also from France.
4. Dry Riesling
Originating in the Rhine region, Riesling is known for its high acidity and sweet-not-quite-tart flavor.
Depending on when the wine was harvested, it can be either dry, semi-sweet, or sweet.
It is also among the most transparent of grapes, meaning that you should be able to taste the subtle notes of citrus and honeysuckle that make this particular variety so appealing.
If you’re looking for a pleasant white wine to use in your shrimp scampi dish, a dry Riesling is a great choice that won’t break the bank while still offering a delicious texture/flavor combination and providing an experience that will leave you wanting more!
5. Pinot Blanc
When it comes to white wine pairings, shrimp scampi is a classic that’s hard to mess up. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t aim for excellence!
If you love Pinot Noir but want an option with fewer tannins, Pinot Blanc is a perfect choice.
Did you know that Pinot Blanc is actually a genetic mutation of Pinot Noir?
It was first documented in Burgundy in the 15th century, but over time it spread throughout Europe; today it is grown in France, Germany, Italy, Alsace, Austria, Palatinate, Czechia, California, Baden, Luxembourg, Slovakia, and Hungary.
While the taste varies depending on where the grapes are grown and how they’re processed, unoaked pinot blanc tends to exhibit notes of citrus and pear flavors—with occasional smoke or mineral undertones.
And if you’re looking for something sweet?
The sugar content is also variable depending on where it’s grown (and whether or not it has been botrytized), but typically pinot blanc falls on the drier side of the spectrum.
Vermouth is one of the best white wines to use in shrimp scampi.
What makes vermouth a good choice?
- It has a light, aromatic taste that complements the shrimp without overpowering it.
- It’s an aromatized fortified wine, which means it has a higher alcohol content than most other wines.
- It’s flavored with various botanicals (the exact blend depends on the brand). Because of this, you have some flexibility with your choice of vermouth. If you prefer one taste over another, you can choose from among the many different brands available and find the one that tastes best to you.
- It’s sometimes colored. This can be helpful if you’re serving your dish for company and want to make it look as good as possible.
- A 1-ounce serving of dry vermouth contains about 45 calories. That’s significantly lower than most other white wines, so if you’re watching your weight or counting calories, this could be a good option for you.
5 Best White Wines to Serve with Shrimp Scampi
Shrimp scampi is a light, fresh dish that most people enjoy.
It’s delicious on its own, but you can make it even better by pairing it with the right wine.
1. Pinot grigio
Pinot grigio is a wine that many people enjoy because of its light flavor.
It’s not too dry, and it pairs well with garlic, which is present in shrimp scampi.
The texture of this wine is buttery, which means that it will soften the blow of the garlic in your meal.
If you’re making spicy shrimp scampi, this wine will also help to cool down your mouth after you eat the shrimp.
You can find this wine at most restaurants or stores for around $10-13 a bottle.
2. Sauvignon blanc
Sauvignon blanc is another great choice for this meal.
This wine has a crisp flavor, and its texture has been described as “herbal”.
Because of how light it tastes, it will go well with any spices that you throw into your shrimp scampi recipe without overpowering them or tasting too heavy with the meal itself.
A chardonnay is a great choice for a few reasons:
- First, it’s readily available in most grocery stores and online.
- Second, it has a smooth texture that matches the garlic-butter taste of the scampi perfectly.
- And finally, it’s typically quite affordable, so you can stock up on several bottles without having to shell out too much cash.
Of course, not all chardonnays are created equal.
You’ll want to opt for one with a buttery finish and a touch of citrus.
This will help enhance the natural flavors of the dish and give your dinner guests an experience they won’t soon forget!
If you’re looking for something a little different, try pairing your shrimp scampi with some Riesling!
It has similar characteristics as chardonnay—smooth texture and citrus notes—but it also features hints of peach or apricot in there too (depending on how ripe your grapes were before picking).
This makes it perfect for people who like their food sweet but don’t want anything cloyingly sugary (like moscato).
5. Moscato d’Ast
If you prefer something sweeter, try a Moscato d’Asti from Italy’s Piedmont region – this sparkling white wine has notes of citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes with hints of apricot and peach that will complement any dish made with seafood like shrimp scampi or crab cakes (which may also be served alongside rice).
Try serving either one chilled before dinner starts – it’ll help get everyone excited!
How to Pick the Perfect Wine to Serve with Shrimp Scampi
When choosing the perfect wine to serve with your shrimp scampi, it’s important to consider texture, price, taste, ease of storage, availability, and flavors.
Shrimp scampi is a simple dish that can be prepared in under 20 minutes.
It is also a light dish that won’t weigh you down after a long day at work.
The best wine to pair with this meal will balance out the bold flavor of the shrimp, helping to bring out the buttery-rich flavors of the sauce.
Taste is the most important consideration when selecting a wine. Consider what you love about wine, and choose based on those factors.
Some wines are fruit-forward with hints of citrus or mango; others are earthy with notes of grass or oak; some are mineral-heavy with a slight sparkle.
Pairing these wines with shrimp scampi will create an experience that you can’t get anywhere else.
When choosing a bottle of white wine for your shrimp scampi, keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be expensive!
Often times, budget wines are just as delicious as those that cost hundreds of dollars.
This means you can focus on other aspects of your meal without worrying about breaking the bank.
Texture is an important component of choosing the right wine because it affects how your tongue perceives the taste and feel of wine in your mouth as you drink it.
Because shrimp scampi has strong flavors from shrimp, garlic and lemon juice, opt for a medium-bodied white wine to help balance those bold tastes.
You should always have some white wine on hand for those unexpected guests who may pop by for a visit during the week. Don’t forget about those weekend get-togethers either!
Make sure to stock up on your favorite white wines so you never run out when it comes time for entertaining or even just unwinding after work.
Ease of storage
If you don’t have space for a wine fridge or other wine storage area in your home, you should consider purchasing a bottle that is easy to store without refrigeration.
Chardonnay may be stored at room temperature for up to two weeks after opening.
A Sauvignon Blanc should be stored in the fridge and consumed within a few days of opening; however, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two months before opening.
Pairing your meal with the right wine can elevate your dinner experience and enhance the flavors of your food.
If you are serving shrimp scampi, then you should consider a dry white wine like Pinot Grigio because its bright flavor will balance out the bold flavor of the shrimp.
The crisp acidity will also help cut through the richness of the sauce.
What Can I Use as A Substitute for White Wine in Shrimp Scampi?
Ah, the age-old question: “What can I use as a substitute for white wine in shrimp scampi?”
While you could certainly just leave it out, since although wine is an important component of the dish, it does have a pretty strong flavor and some people would rather not cook with alcohol, there are plenty of other options.
If you want something you can get at the store without having to plan ahead, apple cider vinegar is a great option—and it’s usually just as easy to find! It has a similar texture and acidity to white wine and will add that punch of flavor you’re looking for.
Chicken broth, too, will do the trick. It’s also easy to find in any grocery store and has a similar texture to white wine.
Of course, if you don’t mind planning ahead, then apple juice will work just as well! It doesn’t have quite the same texture as wine, but it will still add some acidity and sweetness to your dish.
So whether you prefer planning ahead or just making do with what’s already in your pantry, there’s a white wine substitute for shrimp scampi that’s perfect for you!
6 Best White Wines for Shrimp Scampi
- Pinot Gris
- Sauvignon Blanc
- Dry Riesling
- Pinot Blanc
- Pinot grigio
- Moscato d'Ast
- Pick any of the wines from this list to serve or use in your Shrimp Scampi meal.
- Prepare the rest of your meal.
- Be ready to munch and drink in no time!