The best white wines to pair with Lobster are a buttery Chardonnay, White Burgundy or a crisp Champagne. Flavourful wines like Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier or Manzanilla Sherry are also exceptional with Lobster.
Known for its tender meat and subtle flavours, Lobster can range from buttery and creamy to slightly sweet and briny, depending on the cooking method and preparation. Its delicate nature calls for wines that enhance, rather than overpower, its nuanced taste. The ideal wine pairing should be able to complement the richness of the Lobster without overwhelming its delicate flavours.
A classic choice for lobster pairing is Chardonnay, a white wine that often exhibits a lush, creamy texture with notes of butter, vanilla, and tropical fruits. Chardonnay’s inherent richness and medium to full-body make it an ideal partner for butter-poached, steamed or grilled Lobster. Chardonnay paired with Lobster Bisque or Lobster Thermidore are also excellent pairings. Even better, Chardonnay with baked Lobster is exceptional, as the baked flavours provide deeper flavours for the wine to work with!
The wine’s acidity cuts through the Lobster’s natural sweetness, creating a harmonious balance on the palate. Look for Chardonnays from regions like Burgundy, California, or Australia, as they often offer the desired characteristics for this pairing. More on Burgundy is below!
White Burgundy & Lobster Pairings
White Burgundy is a Chardonnay from France and is a holy grail of wine pairings with Lobster. What makes Burgundy such a perfect wine pairing with Lobster is that this wine is grown in limestone-rich soil. Some White Burgundy, like Côte de Beaune, is oaked, and others, like Chablis, Mâconnais and Bourgogne Blanc, are not. All of the above will pair well with Lobster. However, I am going to break it down as to what would be best with what lobster dish below.
Côte de Beaune Wine & Lobster Pairings
An Oaked Côte de Beaune is going to be a richer and creamier white wine, and as such, I’d pair this with rich lobster dishes like Lobster Thermidor, Lobster Ravioli, Lobster Bisque, or Lobster Newburg. With a Côte de Beaune, you’ll find fresh apple and lemon aromas and an earthy nose of truffle and toasted almond. The rich, powerful flavours of the wine complement and enhance the decadence of the lobster dish, and your mouth will be in heaven!
I also love Côte de Beaune or White Burgundy with a baked Lobster Tail served with lemon-butter.
Mâconnais & Fresh Lobster
For fresh Lobster caught off the boat in PEI or perhaps Maine, I’d suggest an unoaked White Burgundy. These wines have an essence of minerality that draws out the seafood goodness of fresh Lobster. On top of that, you have zippy and lean notes of lime and melon that bring the melding flavours of Lobster and Chardonnay to life.
Given a choice for an unoaked Burgundy, I’d pick Mâconnais (also known as Mâcon Villages) over a Chablis or Bourgogne Blanc for lobster pairing as it has always tasted a little more fresher to me. However, all three are excellent with boiled lobster, steamed lobster, or grilled Lobster.
Champagne, Blanc de Blancs & Lobster
Champagne from the Blanc de Blancs region is essentially made from Chardonnay, and they are bursting with crisp tart tones and chalky mineral flavours. You’ll discover a hint of toastiness along with perfumed apricot, apple, peach and pear notes on the nose.
Champagne is a spectacular pairing with Lobster because these crisp and mineral flavours blend incredibly well with rich lobster meat. Furthermore, any butter or cream in the lobster dish will instantly be scrubbed away, making each bite taste as fresh as the next.
Manzanilla Sherry and Lobster Pairing
This melding of the cool east coast with the humid Spain weather is a gorgeous pairing. Manzanilla Sherry has a salty, iodine-like tang that complements nearly any lobster dish.
Sherry is a hard sell in North America, so I’d avoid this pairing if you were having a dinner party. People do enjoy the pairing and will admit it’s excellent. However, Sherry is often seen as an old woman’s beverage. I think it has to do with the fact that any woman over the age of 100 contributes to their long life due to a glass of Sherry every evening. But I digress. Even if you are an old lady or a young woman/man, it’s best to enjoy and savour Sherry and Lobster individually and silently mock all of us surrounding you for our lack of culinary taste.
Lobster Bisque and Gewürztraminer Pairing
An Alsace Gewürztraminer is a deep, rich and spicy white wine with a strong acid backbone. Bursting with notes of apricot, black pepper, honey and dried fruit, Gewurztraminer is a powerful wine that can stand up to the richness of lobster bisque. A dry, spicy Gewürztraminer is also wonderful with Lobster with Ginger.
Sauvignon Blanc & Lobster Pairing
Sauvignon Blanc, with its vibrant acidity and citrusy flavours, offers a refreshing contrast to the richness of lobster meat. Sauvignon Blanc’s zesty character can accentuate the Lobster’s briny notes and bring a lively brightness to the overall experience.
Additionally, Sauvignon Blanc can be an intriguing choice, especially when the Lobster is prepared with light, citrus-based sauces. The wine’s floral and fruity aromas, along with its high acidity, can add a layer of complexity and enhance the natural flavours of the Lobster.
Lobster Thermidor & Wine Pairing
Pair Lobster Thermidor with an oaky Chardonnay or a Champagne.
Lobster Thermidor is a rich French dish consisting of a creamy mixture of cooked lobster, egg yolks, and Brandy that are all stuffed into a lobster shell. An oaky California Chardonnay or a White Burgundy will be chock full of vanilla, butter and toast flavours that will further enhance this dish’s richness.
Meanwhile, a crisp Champagne or Sparkling wine will cut through the richness, making each bite seem as lively as the next.
Lobster Newberg and White Wine Pairings
A Chardonnay will go well with Lobster Newberg, as will a Gewürztraminer.
Lobster Newberg is an American dish made from Lobster, butter, Cayenne pepper, cognac, cream, eggs, and Sherry. Gewürztraminer also complements the cayenne pepper quality as Gewürztraminer has subtle pepper flavours and enough acidity to enhance this dish.
On the other hand, Chardonnay works as it’s bold enough to hold up to the rich buttery Lobster Newberg flavours. Plus, Chardonnay’s smooth buttery body complements the Lobster Newberg’s creaminess.
Lobster Bisque and Wine Pairing
An oaked Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, or Côte de Beaune are all exceptional with a rich and powerful lobster Bisque. I have a whole blog dedicated to pairing wine with Lobster Bisque where you can learn more.
Chablis and Sancerre are my number one choices for Grilled Lobster. Chablis pairs well as it is so simple yet so crisp that it won’t overwhelm the Lobster nor undersell it.
For a Sancerre, I love the minerality this wine delivers and how it will draw out that saline quality in fresh seafood. Meanwhile, the smoky gunflint aromas of a Sancerre are perfect with the grilled flavours of the Lobster. I also love Sancerre with chilled Lobster as this zingy white wine makes the flavours of the Lobster tingle in your mouth.
Other wines to consider are Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris are also fantastic with Broiled Lobster and Steam Lobster. These two wines are delicate in flavour, but feature hints of minerality which complement the subtle salty flavours of lobster. Meanwhile, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris will deliver refreshing flavours of peach, pear, and apple.
Can You Pair Red Wine with Lobster?
Red wine should never be paired with Lobster, as the red wine will overpower the sweet and subtle flavours of the lobster meat. If white wine isn’t your thing, I’d suggest pairing Lobster up with a dry Rosé. This dry wine is crisp, not too sweet and will match up nicely to any lobster dish, especially Lobster Rolls.
If your Lobster is in a Tomato Sauce, a red wine could then come into play. Chianti, Barbera and Dolcetto spring to mind as they are high in acidity and are not overly powerful red wines. While I live in Nova Scotia, where I have easy access to Lobster, I rarely see Lobster and Tomato sauce based dishes as we tend to like our Lobster with lots of butter over here.
Surf and Turf & Wine Pairings
Surf and Turf is tricky to pair with one wine as Lobster is a delicate meat, whereas steak is not. White wine is not an amazing pairing with steak, and red wine will obliterate your Lobster. In a perfect world, I’d say to match the steak with a Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, and pair the Lobster up with one of the choices mentioned above.
If you had to pick one wine to rule them all for this pairing, I think you’d have to find another wine site to offer you a recommendation as I don’t feel any one wine is up to the job for this. Pinot Noir is a good middle-of-the-road pairing with Surf and Turf; however, if you’re going to spend all that money on steak and Lobster, why do middle-of-the-road, when you can have the best of both worlds with two wines?