15 Best Wines To Pair With Lobster

Although lobster was historically considered to be a dish unfit for any sort of fine dining experience, its image and perceived value changed significantly in the late 1800s. What was previously reserved for prisoners, enslaved people, and kids became associated with more of a luxurious status in the Northeastern U.S. Nowadays, lobster adorns menus in high-end restaurants, though it maintains its popularity as a seasonal staple in coastal communities.

If you're shelling out for lobster and making a night out of it, you'll want to ensure your wine selection is up to par. With its delicate and mildly sweet taste and meaty texture, lobster can be prepared in a wide variety of ways. Depending on the method, be it grilled, poached, or baked, you'll find that certain wines are better suited to complementing the crustacean's natural flavor. Whether you've got a lobster recipe in mind or prefer to choose it based on the wine, we have a versatile selection to satisfy your palate. From crisp, refreshing whites to sparkling wines and light-bodied reds, read on for our favorite pairings.

1. Chardonnay

As the most popular white wine in the world, it's fair to say that there's a bottle of chardonnay for just about every occasion. When it comes to lobster, various styles of this classic grape variety make suitable pairings. If you're looking for a fresh and lively option, unoaked chardonnay like Chablis from France, is a great choice. With high acidity and refreshing notes of green apples and citrus, it complements zesty lobster dishes. Try serving a glass of Chablis by Domaine du Colombier with lobster sushi, or seasoned with a lemongrass broth, or a crisp seafood salad. In contrast, you could serve this edgy wine with a creamy lobster dish to cut through the richness.

On the flip side, oaked chardonnay offers an entirely different experience. To avoid overwhelming the delicate sweetness of lobster, opt for a chardonnay that's midway on the oak spectrum. Richer styles from Burgundy or balanced ones from Napa work, or try a bottle from South Africa. Boschkloof Wines' chardonnay features notes of lime, apricot, and citrus, with a rounded palate thanks to partial oak aging. Serve this dazzling wine to pair with butter or cream-based lobster recipes. Alternatively, take advantage of its weight by pouring it alongside a grilled lobster dish.

2. Rhône white blend

To meet lobster at its sophisticated stature, it's worth choosing a white wine with a bit more depth and complexity. The Southern Rhône in France features a dozen white grapes in the appellation, offering a range of aromas in every sip. The region of Châteauneuf-du-Pape may be especially known for its rich and earthy red blends, but the whites have just as much to flaunt. Famille Perrin produces an excellent version featuring clairette, roussane, and grenache blanc grapes, producing flavors like white floral notes and hints of honey dance on the palate, rounded out by white fruits and almonds.

An element of oak keeps this wine pleasantly bold, making it a complementary pairing for complex lobster dishes. Lobster poached in butter with spices has a solid backbone to pair with the textural white wine. Grilled lobster seasoned with spices would be nicely rounded out with a Rhône white as well. Although Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the most prestigious appellation of the Southern Rhône, other regional white blends would make a delicious pairing too.

3. Sparkling wine

If you're all about opulence, sparkling wine with lobster is a must. For peak luxury, Champagne is the obvious selection. However, plenty of traditional method sparkling wines can make a delightful stand-in, too.

If you're going for the French classic, stick with a non-vintage brut Champagne with a touch of residual sugar. Extra brut or brut nature styles are a bit austere as a pairing for meaty lobster, whereas a subtle hint of sweetness plays to the crustacean's taste. For a timeless choice, Laurent-Perrier's Champagne La Cuvée is a stellar match. With delicate notes of citrus and white flowers, its creamy mousse won't overpower the taste of lobster. Pair it with a buttery or creamy lobster preparation, or try a high-low pairing with lobster mac and cheese or lobster grilled cheese.

Meanwhile, if you're looking for a tinge more depth, try a rosé sparkling wine from Tasmania. The Australian region produces top-level traditional method wines that are sure to impress even the most discerning oenophiles. Pair a bottle of Premium Rosé by Jansz with a creamy lobster bake or lobster rolls. The brioche bun will bring out the yeasty notes in the wine, while the acidity in each sip will wash down every creamy bite.

4. Chenin blanc

As another versatile white variety from the Loire Valley in France (also grown in large amounts in South Africa), chenin blanc is a star player on the table with lobster. The grape can be vinified sweet or dry and still or sparkling, offering a wide range of pairings. It features an aromatic profile with an element of acidity to keep it balanced and pair well with richer preparations.

Vouvray Sec Silex by Vigneau-Chevreau highlights both the grape's elegance as well as its seamless pairing with lobster dishes. Notes of pear, quince, and citrus mingle with a stony finish, offering a fruity and mineral essence in each sip. Serve this sophisticated sip with dishes like steamed lobster dipped in butter, curried grilled lobster in coconut milk, or lobster bisque. Add an element of smoke with a broiled lobster tail, contrast the floral notes in the wine with an herb-heavy preparation, or serve a chilled glass with sushi or a lobster roll. Yes, it's really that versatile.

5. Sauvignon blanc

If you love sipping a zesty glass of sauvignon blanc, then chill a bottle to go with your lobster feast. With tropical fruit and herbal notes on the palate, this variety makes a great match for fresh lobster recipes. Pick up Salvestrin Winery's sauvignon blanc from Napa Valley for a bold take on this crowd-pleasing grape. With structured acidity and a mineral character, this wine pairs beautifully with some of our favorite lobster meals. Or, try a French Sancerre wine for a pleasantly lean take.

For a simple preparation, pair this zingy wine with steamed lobster and serve it with herby compound butter. Alternatively, try it with a seafood stew that features herbs and mixed shellfish to add a crisp contrast to every bite. For a more refreshing take, prepare a cold lobster salad with grapefruit and avocado and let the sauvignon blanc complement the citrus notes.

6. Vermentino

Although not as well known as the region's red wines, vermentino from Tuscany is a pleasant alternative to standard whites that pairs well with lobster. Coming from a coastal climate, this grape variety is already accustomed to salty sea breezes. Thanks to the Mediterranean heat, it ripens beautifully, teasing out rich aromas balanced by a note of acidity. Try a bottle of vermentino by Famiglia Castellani to savor the interplay of fruity and floral flavors. A mineral element gives it added structure, making this white wine a suitable match even for grilled lobster.

Serve a chilled glass of vermentino with grilled lobster tails dipped in herby butter or take advantage of its acidity and pour it to contrast a creamy lobster roll. The subtle citrus notes in the wine add a lively boost to each bite, while the saline essence complements the sweet lobster meat. Thanks to its fuller body, this Tuscan white wine won't get washed out by bolder flavors.

7. Albariño

When choosing a wine to pair with lobster, it helps to look at coastal regions. After all, things that grow together tend to go together. Located in northwestern Spain, Galicia is home to the wine region of Rías Baixas, where albariño dominates. The white grape variety features notes of stonefruit and citrus, with a saline minerality that keeps it lively. Its zippy acidity and tasting profile make it an excellent match for fish and seafood dishes. Val de Meigas winery only grows the albariño grape, so it's fair to say it's well-versed in the category.

The fruity palate mingles with floral notes and a stony finish, making for a refreshing wine to sip. The smooth mouthfeel and light body are a great match for seafood. This wine offers a seamless pairing served with grilled lobster meat and a lemony garnish. Or keep it fresh and toss a cold lobster salad with a tangy dressing to match the high-acid wine.

8. Pinot grigio

Just because you're serving lobster doesn't mean you have to go all out by pairing it with grape varieties you've never heard of. Sometimes, classic standbys are the right move. Pinot grigio is made in a wide range of styles and quality points, but look toward Alto Adige in Italy for one worthy of your lobster dinner. The mountainous region benefits from plenty of sunlight at high altitudes, producing rich and balanced wines. Cantina Terlano's pinot grigio is no ordinary wine, thanks to its optimal growing conditions. Notes of pear, lychee, and white melon complement the citrus element and floral fragrance.

This pleasantly aromatic wine pairs well with a delicate lobster dish, such as a lightly poached recipe or a lobster mousse canape. Alternatively, channel the wine's Italian origin by preparing lobster risotto, a true feast of flavors that could do with a vivacious wine to brighten it up. If you can't source a pinot grigio from Alto Adige (it is a very small region with limited production), try a pinot gris from Alsace, France. Its subtly sweeter profile complements the sweet taste of lobster meat for a delicious duo.

9. Grüner veltliner

Although Austria is landlocked, its number one white wine grape pairs well with several fish and seafood dishes. With notes of citrus, nectarine, white pepper, and herbs, grüner veltliner is vinified into savory white wines that are a great match for food. Weingut Nigl is a standout producer, and Freiheit is one of its popular grüner bottlings. Notes of yellow apples are balanced by a creamy texture and structured acidity. Subtle spice dances on the palate, making this wine a vibrant choice for various lobster dishes.

For an easy pairing, serve a bottle of grüner veltliner with a smoky grilled tail to highlight the meaty nature of the crustacean and bring out the spice in the wine. If you're serving lobster with grilled asparagus or other tricky-to-pair green vegetables, grüner is a no-brainer pairing. Its herbal characteristics complement the compounds in these foods, making for a seamless combination. In that vein, try pairing this Austrian wine with lobster sushi, which often incorporates various ingredients in each roll.

10. Riesling

Don't knock riesling if you haven't tasted a quality dry version. Whether it be from its homeland in Germany or the ever-up-and-coming regions in Australia, it's well worth your time. Thanks to its citrus undertone, floral essence, and lively aromas, it complements a wide range of ingredients, especially once its characteristic streak of acidity hits the palate. Pikes Wines in Clare Valley, Australia, is well regarded for its riesling production, which includes the "Hills & Valleys" riesling. This dazzling wine showcases its acidity front and center, balanced by a fruity undertone and a hint of honey and spice.

Pair a dry riesling with a creamy dish to contrast the weighty texture. For a unique pairing, serve it with a lobster mashed potatoes recipe to infuse the dish with a zippy note. Similarly, it will highlight the richness of lobster risotto or a creamy lobster-based pasta sauce. A slightly off-dry riesling will also pair well with spiced dishes, too, such as lobster curry or spicy stir-fry. And for some people, sushi paired with riesling is the best match, so pop open a bottle with a loaded lobster roll.

11. Rosé

When you're stuck for the ideal food and wine pairing, rosé is often a suitable option. Thanks to its refreshing nature, fruity quality, and crisp acidity, it is a solid match for a wide range of dishes. Picking a bottle from the South of France is a winning combination with seafood, thanks to the coastal landscape of the region. Tavel is revered for its high-quality rosé production, setting it a step above ordinary options and placing it on par with lobster.

Château de Trinquevedel is a popular producer in the area, and its Tavel rosé features a blend of grenache, cinsault, clairette, syrah, and mourvèdre, for a well-balanced result. With notes of red berries and an elegant finish, this bottle is the perfect accompaniment for your lobster dinner. Serve it with grilled lobster for a refreshing palate cleanser contrasting the smoky dish. It also makes a nice pairing for a lobster salad or creamy lobster rolls featuring fresh Mediterranean herbs, mayo, and citrus.

12. Sangiovese

You might not be used to serving red wine with lobster, but certain dishes call for something a little bolder on the palate. Sangiovese is the primary grape in Chianti wines from Tuscany, and it features a generous acidity, with notes of sour cherry and dried herbs in every sip. Along with its earthy element and subtle tomato back notes, it makes an excellent pairing with tomato sauce — it's no surprise it's so ubiquitous at Italian dining tables.

Pagliarese produces an excellent Chianti Classico from traditional vineyard areas known for growing top-quality fruit. Aromatic berry notes pair with earthy notes and hints of spice in this classic wine. Smooth tannins complement the meatier essence of lobster without taking over its subtly sweet taste. Serve this savory red with a tomato-based lobster pasta or risotto dish. Use only lobster to make the crustacean stand out, or incorporate other shellfish for a versatile meal.

13. Cinsault

The key quality to look for when selecting a red wine to pair with lobster is a grape variety with a lighter body and minimal tannins. This prevents it from dominating the taste profile of the shellfish. Cinsault is often used in red blends or vinified as a rosé wine, but it's well worth seeking out a single-varietal wine. You'll primarily find it in wines from France, South Africa, Lebanon, Chile, and the U.S., where it grows most commonly.

Mother Rock Wines in South Africa produces a rosé and red Force Celeste cinsault, which are both great pairings with lobster. The red version features bright ripe fruit flavors, with notes of cranberry and cherry, as well as a floral essence infusing fragrance. This juicy wine fares well paired with savory dishes such as a Moroccan spiced lobster recipe. Or, pair it with a smoky grilled lobster tail rubbed with Indian spices to contrast.

14. Gamay

As a light-bodied favorite among red wine lovers, gamay is often the answer when seeking a silky smooth red with fruity aromas. While it grows in various places around the world, the source is in Beaujolais, France. Here, you'll find everything from young and vibrant styles to age-worthy renditions. Domaine Lapierre is a top producer in the area, known for its high-quality organic wines. Le Beaujolais is a perfect example, showcasing raspberries and cherries on the palate. The elegant mouthfeel, subtle spice, and floral highlights make it a fantastic choice to serve with your lobster feast.

Complement the spice with a lobster recipe featuring aromatic spices, such as a curry or a grilled tail seasoned with a dry rub. The wine's acidity and freshness keep it lively and refreshing, preventing it from weighing down the mild-tasting protein. Thanks to these qualities, gamay also makes a suitable pairing for a tomato-based dish, such as spaghetti with lobster and tomato sauce.

15. Pinot noir

Pinot noir's popularity is in part owed to its wide versatility and crowd-pleasing characteristics. From more austere styles to juicy fruit-forward numbers, it spans just as many food pairings with its variability. For a vibrant rendition, look toward California, where the grape can ripen fully thanks to endless hours of sunshine. Joyce Wine Company in Monterey is a prime example of quality pinot in the area, and its Submarine Canyon bottling is our go-to pick to pair with lobster.

This wine is complex, with notes of ripe cherry, strawberry, and pomegranate and hints of herbs. A gentle minerality and earthiness keep it well-rounded and make an excellent complement for slightly heartier lobster preparations. Try pairing this pinot with lobster pasta or a BBQ lobster tail seasoned with spices or buttery herbs. You could even go all out and prepare lobster thermidor, a broiled butterflied lobster tail stuffed with a rich white wine lobster sauce and browned cheesy topping.