Shrimp Cocktail pairs best with crisp and refreshing white wines such as Muscadet, Riesling, Prosecco, Torrontés, Pinot Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc.

Shrimp Cocktail is cooked, and unshelled shrimp served with a cocktail sauce.  Typically, this sauce is made from ketchup, horseradish, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and a squeeze of lemon.  The sweet ocean kissed flavours of the shrimp work wonderfully with the spicy horseradish, and tangy sweetness of the ketchup.  Meanwhile,  the Worcestershire sauce adds a savoury element.  In some instances, the shrimp may also be breaded, and the pairings below will work in this case as well.

Best wine with Shrimp Cocktail

TypeBeverageFoodRating
out of 5 stars
BeerIndia Session AleShrimp Cocktail
White WineRieslingShrimp Cocktail
Rosé WineRoséShrimp Cocktail
White WineProseccoShrimp Cocktail
White WineTorrontésShrimp Cocktail
White WineMuscadetShrimp Cocktail
White WineChampagneShrimp Cocktail
White WineCavaShrimp Cocktail
Sparkling WineSparkling WineShrimp Cocktail
White WineSauvignon BlancShrimp Cocktail
White WineAligotéShrimp Cocktail
White WinePinot BlancShrimp Cocktail
White WineChardonnayShrimp Cocktail
White WineChenin BlancShrimp Cocktail

Riesling & Shrimp Cocktail Pairing


When pairing wine with Shrimp Cocktail, you want a wine that is low alcohol, as the horseradish and hot sauce heat will make higher alcohol wines burn. A touch of sweetness helps too as it helps mitigate the heat, and an off-dry Riesling (which is slightly sweet), has enough residual sugar to be pleasant on the tongue without making your cavity fillings ache.

The most famous Rieslings are found in Germany, however, you can buy some outstanding Rieslings from Canada, Australia, Austria, France and Chile.  With Riesling, expect lots of lime, mineral, and peach, along with aromas of green apple, apricot, honey and pear.

An off-dry Riesling works well with shrimp cocktail as it softens the punch of the cocktail sauce, allowing you to enjoy that initial kick, but allowing your tastebuds to bounce back so you can enjoy the mild flavours of the shrimp.  Meanwhile, the wine’s mineral flavours will saddle up nicely to the ocean flavours you will find in the shrimp.

If you are not a fan of slightly sweet wine, Riesling is also produced bone dry, and will work great with a not so spicy cocktail sauce.  When wines are considered ‘dry’, it often means we taste the alcohol a little more, and as such hot sauce and horseradish will make that alcohol feeling bite a little sharper, which is why I recommend you keep dry wines away from spicy foods.

For producers, you have lots of options.  In Australia, Jacob’s Creek, Penfold, Wolf Blass and many others make exceptional Riesling.  In Canada, I’m a big fan of Cave Spring and Ravine.  However, once again, there are many delicious examples.  In Germany, Dönnhoff, Dr. Loosen, Egon Müller are classic examples and always appeared on any wine lists I compiled.  Finally, in NY state, Dr. Konstantin Frank Riesling is noteworthy and delicious.

Prosecco & Shrimp Cocktail Pairing


If you are serving Shrimp Cocktail, you are most likely having a party, and there’s no better way of kicking off a gathering with a bottle of bubbly.

Prosecco is an Italian Sparkling wine that is fun, lively, and incredibly frisky.  With notes of apple, almond, pear and apricot, along with its pretty bubbles, Prosecco is certain to bring a smile to anyone you pass a glass to.  Prosecco will also go great with Shrimp Cocktail as it’s low in alcohol, meaning it will offer plenty of refreshment against the heat of the cocktail sauce.

I should be ranking this three and a half stars out of five as Prosecco will probably not hold up to the cocktail sauce (meaning many of the wine’s delicate flavours will be erased), but I’m sticking to my four stars for now.  My reason being is that if you are having Shrimp Cocktail at a party, there will be many other dishes served up as well.  Prosecco is incredibly food-friendly, so it will pair up with any other Hors d’oeuvres you may be serving up, such as chicken satay skewers, bacon-wrapped water chestnuts, charcuterie, or crudité.

With hot cocktail sauce, you’ll be able to find slightly sweet Prosecco easily enough (look for extra-dry or dry on the label).  However, dry Prosecco will be available wherever you buy wine (look for the word Brut on the label).

As Prosecco is rather inexpensive and of good quality, I recommend it for large gatherings where you’ll want to keep your budget down.  Champagne is just as delicious with Shrimp Cocktail, but you’ll often end up paying a little more for that treat.  Cava from Spain or any sparkling wine from a local producer in your region also offer the same strengths as Prosecco, assuming the sparkling wine comes from a quality producer.

Rosé Wine and Shrimp Cocktail Pairing


Rosé is another exceptional pairing with your Shrimp Cocktail.  Given its pink colour, you’d expect this wine to be sweet, however, Rosé is often quite dry.  In North America, many men are too masculine to drink Rosé (they don’t want to be seen with a pink drink), so I’m putting it below Prosecco, however I think it pairs much better.

With Rosé, you’re going to find lots of Cherry, Raspberry and Strawberry flavours that give a perceived sense of sweetness, and this makes it jive well with the Ketchup component of the Cocktail Sauce.  High in acidity, and low in tannin, Rosé will help soften some of the kick found in the cocktail sauce rather then fuel its fiery bite.

If you are having Shrimp Cocktail at an all-girl event, such as a bridal shower, the ultimate pairing would be a Sparkling Rosé, where you’ll have the fun of the bubbles and the delicious fruit flavours of the Rosé.

Muscadet & Shrimp Cocktail Paring


Muscadet is a French white wine from the Loire Valley known for being light and crisp. It is made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape, and it is probably my personal choice to drink with Shrimp Cocktail if I were having it on my own.

Muscadet has fresh flavours of lemon and green apple that are very refreshing. However, what makes Muscadet fantastic with Shrimp Cocktail is that this wine has a hint of salt, which many people describe as saline or as a ‘sea breeze’. For me, this makes Muscadet a joy to drink with shellfish, and it still works well with Shrimp Cocktail as for each shrimp, you have options. You can dip it in the cocktail sauce, or you can skip a turn and enjoy the simple beauty of your Shrimp with the crisp flavours of Muscadet.

Torrontés & Shrimp Cocktail Pairing


Our final pairing is Torrontés, and here we have a medium to full-bodied white wine that is dry, high in acidity and features aromatic flavours of peach, lemon, green apples, flower blossoms, apricot and minerals.  Thus, Torrontés is going to offer plenty of refreshment against the spiciness of the cocktail sauce, but it also has enough flavour left behind where you can appreciate the wine.

The nose of Torrontés is very perfume-like, however, the body is quite fresh along with a natural sweetness that makes it lovely with shrimp.  Torrontés is also very inexpensive. It’s not a popular wine, meaning if you are hosting a large banquet, this could be a budget-friendly wine that will offer a lot of value with its fragrant aroma and fresh body.

I tend to buy my Torrontés from Argentina, typically either Susana Balbo Crios, or Zuccardi, however, there are many other fine producers of Torrontés out there.

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