Concha y Toro

Ania Smolec 20/06/2016

Guide on how to pair shellfish with wine

The wine pairings with seafood depend on their type and preparation. We present you a guide to match them with our best wines.

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Shellfish are a family of species of different sizes, colors, textures and flavors. The wine pairings with seafood depend on their type and preparation. We present you a guide to match them with our best wines.

Seafood can be divided depending on their structure. That would be our base to understand and find their perfect pairings. Also keep in mind that crustaceans are different to mollusks. Different seafood can have a similar structure, but its flavor can be delicate or very intense, as oysters are softer than sea urchins.

Another very important factor to consider is the type of preparation of the products.For example, shrimp cocktail calls for a medium bodied delicate white wine as Trio Sauvignon Blanc, while the same shrimp, but grilled will need a wine with more body, such as  Trio Chardonnay.

Univalve mollusks or gastropods

empanadas- mariscoOne-shell seafood is characterized by delicate textures and flavors. This group includes delicacies such as abalone, limpets, and locos (Chilean abalone).

They can be eaten raw or cooked. Its soft aromas do not support heavy dressings, so just eat them with a drop of mayonnaise. I recommend you to pair this kind of mallusks with a white wine with medium body as Trio Sauvignon Blanc.

In Chile this kind of seafood is often part of the filling of fried empanadas. In this case I recommend enjoying them with Casillero del Diablo Chardonnay.

Bivalve mollusks

The common denominator of clams, cockles, mussels, scallops, razorclams and oysters is the name that describes their two shells. They mostly have a soft, delicate flesh. Differences exist in the flavors. For example, mussels have a slightly salty and iodic taste, whereas clams are more metallic.

For oysters and clams I recommend Casillero Diablo Devil’s Collection Brut. The most famous Chilean oysters come from Calbuco and are recognized by its black border. They have a dark, salty, metallic taste, fresh and iodized.

machas parmesanaThe same wine will be a great choice to serve with sautéed scallops. But if you prefer raw scallops in a type of sea tartar, I recommend Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc. And for scallops prepared with a cream based sauce, try a more complex wine, such as Casillero del Diablo Chardonnay.

Razorclams are the favorite seafood of Chilean cuisine, often prepared “parmigiana” (baked in their shells for a couple of minutes with a layer of grated cheese). For this dish, I recommend Casillero del Diablo Viognier.

Mussels have an orange color meat covered in a black shell. They are one of the emblematic ingredients of the curanto from Chiloe Island. They are very versatile for cooking. They can be included in a paella and prepared as a soup, stew or salad. When added as a protein in a salad, they automatically raise the weight of the dish. You can accompany it with a rosé as Casillero del Diablo Rosé. If you want to prepare an oriental recipe as mussels in a curry sauce, I recommend Casillero del  Diablo Pinot Grigio. And if you like a classic recipe, such as moules frites (mussels served with fries) I recommend a white wine to cut the frying sensation: Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc.

Cephalopods

freid calamariThe scientific name means creatures that are “head-footed” as the construction of the octopus. Octopuses and squids have a meat of moderately fibrous texture and no external shells.

If you choose fried calamari I recommend you to try them with Casillero Diablo Devil’s Collection Brut. Squid cooked in a sauce of tomatoes, on the other hand, needs Casillero del Diablo Shiraz Rosé.

The octopus cooking point has to be very precise so that its meat feels delicious and smooth, not rubbery. A well prepared octopus needs only few accompaniments to illuminate it. Just a pinch of sea salt, a drop of lemon juice, maybe a touch of fresh parsley and of course a delicious white wine of medium body: Casillero Diablo Devil’s Collection White.

Echinoderms and Tunicates

Sea urchinThis seafood has a shell type textured coarse, but not a shell. So the animal’s flesh absorbs much more iodine from seawater. In this category we find piures and sea urchins.

Sea urchins have a very fine texture, but their flavor is very intense. They’re often eaten raw as a delicious type of ceviche, but in a shot format. I recommend you try them with Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc. In Chile there is a traditional dish which consists in sea urchins served with red meat broth. With this dish I recommend Casillero del Diablo Pinot Noir. Intense piures, one of the world’s most exotic seafood, can be found in southern Chile into delicious fried turnovers. Do not forget to uncork Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc.

Crustaceans

Look crustaceans, such as crab, king crab, shrimp, lobster and prawns. In all cases their bodies are constructed of several segments of a fairly hard shell. The meat of crustaceans can be thin and delicate, like crab or lobster, or more firm and fibrous, such shrimp.

King crab meat has a very delicate texture and a fine, sweet and creamy taste. For natural crab meat I recommend Casillero del Diablo Chardonnay. Another delicious wine that carries a great pairing with crab, mainly for its rich acidity and elegance, is Casillero Diablo Devil’s Collection Brut, especially if your crab is baked with a touch of cheese.

shrimp pastaThe Chilean crab is very popular in Chile and is frequently cooked in a traditional recipe called chupe. Its meat is mixed with bread crumbs and fresh cream and then baked au gratin with cheese. I recommend you try this dish with Casillero Diablo Viognier.

The most prized Chilean lobster comes from Juan Fernandez Island. Its delicious, soft and salty meat is served with butter. Try this divine ingredient with Casillero Diablo Devil’s Collection White.

Finally prawns are most known crustaceans worldwide and come in different sizes and colors, from pink to gray. Depending on their preparation, they will need several styles of wine:

For a simple appetizer of shrimp as a snack, I recommend Casillero del  Diablo Pinot Grigio. For pasta with a creamy shrimp sauce you should uncork Casillero del Diablo Chardonnay. If you prefer to replace the cream with coconut milk and season your dish in a Thai style, I recommend you try it with Casillero Diablo Viognier. Shrimp paella, on the other hand, deserves a rosé wine as Casillero del Diablo Rosé.