Top pairings | Wine with lobster: 6 of the best pairings

Top pairings

Wine with lobster: 6 of the best pairings

There’s such an obvious wine match for lobster (great chardonnay) that you might wonder if it was worth considering anything else but there are other interesting alternatives.

Most of them are admittedly similarly weighty whites - white Rhône, oaked white Rioja, white Bordeaux and Viognier but you could if you were feeling adventurous consider a red, especially with a powerful sauce like a thermidor. A full-bodied red burgundy like Volnay should be able to cope.

Despite the fact that lobster has become a lot cheaper in recent years it’s still a luxury ingredient which makes a good excuse to splash out. Here are my top 5 choices:

Premier or grand cru Chablis

The best match with cold lobster with mayo on the evidence of this pairing I enjoyed in Ireland a few years ago with a just-caught fresh lobster from Ballycotton. No reason why you shouldn’t drink such shellfish favourites as Albarino, Sancerre or Pouilly Fumé of course

Meursault, other serious white burgundy or world class chardonnay

The ideal match for grilled lobster. Also works brilliantly with a lobster burger as you can see I discovered here.

Vintage - or good non-vintage - champagne

Great for a splash-out occasion. Particularly good with lobster and chips


A recent discovery as you can see from this Match of the Week. (A rare, glorious and expensive appellation for viognier, if you haven't come across it before.)


One of the best lobster pairings ever was at a restaurant called Everest in Chicago run by an Alsace-born chef called Jean Joho. It was a dish of lobster cooked with ginger and gewurztraminer (the two have a great affinity) and served with the same wine. Ever since I’ve thought gewurz the perfect match for spicy lobster dishes.

Bandol rosé or other top-of-the-range Provençal rosé

An unusual pairing but one I think works with lobster dishes with an intense shellfish sauce like lobster thermidor or even a lobster bisque (though those will go with chardonnay too). Tavel would be another good pairing.

In the unlikely event you have any leftover lobster you may enjoy this recipe for Lobster thermidor baked potatoes from Mark Hix and there’s a ‘cheat’s’ way of jazzing up a cooked lobster here.

Image © Olga Lyubkin -

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Comments: 6 (Add)

Ennis on January 9 2020 at 13:22

I find gruner veltliner a good match as well

Rodrigo Mainardi on March 31 2017 at 13:11

A very old Sauternes goes very well with lobster. Have you eve tried?

Edetària on December 31 2014 at 10:29

Bravo! Lovely and thrilling pairings all of them, may I suggest a grenache blanc as well ...

Geoff Bolton on December 30 2013 at 11:00

At Opus restaurant in Birmingham, I was once recommended a NZ Pinot Noir to accompany half a lobster. The sommelier assured me it would match, so - despite my doubts - I followed his suggestion. It was a wonderful combination. The NZ PN was full rather than obvious and its restrained fruit sweetness picked up the sweetness in the white meat and the richness in the sauce. Bravo to the sommelier.

Fiona Beckett on December 28 2013 at 22:14

Interesting idea, David. Wouldn't have thought of that

David B on December 28 2013 at 20:38

For reds you might also try a light Nero D'Avola (parts of Sicily do to this day) if you have it with a tomato sauce. Or maybe an Etna Rosso.

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