The Absolute Best Wine To Pair With Crab Cakes

Not all crab cakes are exactly alike, especially once you start adding in new and interesting sauces to the mix. But if you're looking for a standout wine to go with your tasty seafood morsels you won't do better than a New Zealand sauvignon blanc. But let's take a step back and talk about how we got there.

The first thing you'll want to decide is if you should choose a red or white wine. With very few exceptions, seafood pairs better with white wines. Fish and crab are light on the palate. When fresh, they bring a bright saltiness to the plate that doesn't weigh you down when you're done the way a steak might. So we want to pair the brightness of the dish with a bright white wine.

There are plenty of white wines to choose from, so how do you narrow it down? Well, let's think about the flavor notes of the crab cake. It's crab meat, saltines or panko bread crumbs, and some herbs and spices, so we have the seafood taste, a chewy and crunchy texture, and a complex botanical finish. If we go with a wine that is more subdued, we can let the crab cake shine; however, the wine may come across as dull and vice versa. A New Zealand sauvignon blanc is the perfect balance. It's complex enough to compete without overpowering and its iconic tropical fruit notes pair wonderfully with the breezy ocean vibes of nearly any style of crab cake.

Sauvignon blanc recommendations

If you prefer a different white wine, you aren't going to ruin the dish by drinking something other than a New Zealand sauvignon blanc. The whole idea is to find a wine that you enjoy drinking that pairs well with the food.

That being said, if you've never had the good fortune of tasting a New Zealand sauvignon blanc you should be sprinting to the nearest wine store to remedy this tragedy. At their best, New Zealand sauvignon blancs are a veritable bouquet of passion fruit and tropical orchid undergirded by a solid foundation of mineral complexity. Of course, some wines are better than others and there are certainly some wineries that fall short of this high bar. 

If you're looking for recommendations, Lobster Reef Sauvignon Blanc and Silver Moki Sauvignon Blanc are two excellent choices. If you're having trouble finding these, Jules Taylor Sauvignon Blanc and Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc are icons of this genre that should be easier to attain. Remember to serve the sauvignon blanc chilled for best results.