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Aug 18, 2012 07:51 AM

wine pairing or go with beer

I am making spicy beer steamed mussels and shrimp - would like a wine to pair along with beer as an option for dinners who don't care for beer.

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  1. Sparkling could work assuming the prep is light and fresh.). A champagne will work (but don't get one that's "extra brut" it should be brut or sweeter due to the spicy-ness).

    A off-dry or dry riesling will work as well.

    If the food isn't chili-heat spicy, then a chilled albarino or vinho verde or sancerre (high acidity, green apple wine) can work well. If it is chili-heat spicy than the severe acidity can be unpleasant with the heat of the spice.

    Just stay away from anything with wines that are "steely" they can create this unpleasant metallic twang to seafood.

    1 Reply
    1. re: goldangl95

      I find pairing with spicey food to be rather challenging. For my palate, except at very low levels of spice, wine pairings with spicey food become just workable, rather than "good", pairings.

      Something with a little residual sugar is the default recco (as already noted). I first thought of an off dry riesling, but the other recs are good too as a stand-in for the guests who don't care for beer.

      Lastly, while this is a bit of a parlor trick, try to get the guests who drink the wine to have at least a couple sips of it before eating the mussels. Sometimes you can trick the palate a little by creating a "memory" of what the wine tasted like before the application of heat to the tongue.


    2. German riesling (kabinett or spatlese), German schuerebe, Vouvray demi-sec or sec tendre. This all assumes spicy means spicy.

      1. okay for last night when it was eating the mussels and peel and eat the shrimp and corn on the cob we went with beer. Since the left over steamed shrimp and mussles ended up not being too spicy, going to sear some scallops and put all three in linguini with a light garlic citrus sauce and serve with albarino. Thanks for the suggestions.

        1. I paired the spiciest shrimp I ever had in my life with an Albarinho from Riax Baixas -- the residual sugar amount was a lifesaver, literally.

          As for beer, any Belgian will do the job nicely -- although I'd go with a Dubbel or Quadrupel (personal preference).

            1. re: collioure1

              ditto gewurztraminer... for the same reason that gewurz works with spicy seafood, riesling is also a great choice... ditto scheurbe.