Top pairings | Which wines to pair with calamari/squid

Top pairings

Which wines to pair with calamari/squid

Calamari or squid is often served as a starter or appetiser with other dishes so you need to bear that in mind when you’re choosing a wine to pair with it. It also depends on the way you prepare it.

Except when it's cooked with red wine I'd say that almost any crisp citrussy white would work, sauvignon blanc being the obvious option but plenty of French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese whites would work too: Picpoul, albarino, Rueda, vinho verde - squid is really white wine-friendly.

Fried calamari or chipirones

Fried food is great with anything fizzy so a sparkling wine such as cava or a crémant would be perfect. Or if it’s part of a selection of Greek mezze, a crisp citrussy white like Assyrtiko. Chilled manzanilla sherry would also be brilliant especially with Spanish-style chipirones (baby squid).

Salt and pepper squid

A popular dish in Chinese restaurants. It may be more or less spicy but a dry riesling should work really well or, if it includes other Asian flavours as in this dish of this crispy chilli lime squid with edamame bean and coriander salad - maybe a pinot gris.

Chargrilled squid

Often squid is cooked on the grill or over an open fire which makes the dish more robust. A slightly richer white such as a good albarino can handle that. A Provençal rosé - especially a Bandol rosé - would also be great.

Braised squid with red wine

A chef friend of mine used to cook a dish of squid with red wine, orange and fennel which definitely made it a red wine rather than a white wine dish. A juicy Spanish red such as Bobal or a young rioja would work really well

Risotto nero, squid ink linguini and other dishes with squid ink

Squid ink adds a savoury, slightly saline boost to a dish but basically it’s a case of the same type of crisp dry white. Something like a Greco di Tufo or a Rueda as in this pairing from a Spanish holiday a couple of years ago. Albarino should work well too as you can see from this pairing with arroz negro.

And if you want to try cooking squid for yourself try this delicious recipe for Barbequed brochette of prawns, squid and courgette with sauce vierge.

Photo ©rondon at

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