The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel is home to some of the best seafood you will find on the Gulf Coast of Florida. However, the delicate nature of seafood can make selecting an appropriate wine pairing a bit challenging. Don’t worry, our culinary expert, Karen Feldman, has got you covered. Treat yourself to any of these exquisite wine and seafood pairings and take note of some of our local restaurants that pride themselves on helping you find the right match.
Shrimp: If it’s a cocktail or the peel and eat variety, the odds are the shrimp will have been cooked in a seasoned broth. To balance that, look for a white wine with some spice and a tinge of sweetness, such as a Washington state riesling or a flinty Muscadet. And, you can never go wrong with prosecco or cava. Red wine lovers should think about a light-bodied pinot noir, perhaps from Oregon.
Shrimp scampi: This dish has plenty of garlic and will hold up to a sturdier wine, such as Rombauer chardonnay (or a similar Chard), a malbec, which has solid tannins to help balance the garlic or a tempranillo.
Blackened grouper/snapper/redfish: Blackening adds lots of flavor and spice to the dish, so this preparation calls for a big wine. Consider a Rhone blend, such as grenache/syrah/mourvedre or an oaky chardonnay.
Fried grouper: A craft beer is ideal with this but if you don’t drink beer try an unoaked chardonnay or a sauvignon blanc.
Fish tacos: These will often have cilantro, avocado and salsa, so an albarino, with its light, dry and fruity flavors will compliment these nicely.
Tuna: This meaty fish is similar to beef, especially grilled, and so it works well with reds like a full-bodied pinot noir or a light cabernet sauvignon.
Scallops: If cooked in butter and wine, they pair well with chardonnays. If cooked in olive oil, try a sauvignon blanc. Prosecco or cava works well with either preparation.
Stone crabs: Typically served cold with mustard sauce or hot with melted butter, these delectable delicacies pair beautifully with a crisp, fruity sauvignon blanc from New Zealand.
On Sanibel Island, both Sweet Melissa’s Cafe and the Blue Coyote Supper Club have excellent wine lists and staffs that are well-versed at helping customers match wines and food. Both are contemporary American establishments, with Sweet Melissa’s specializing in small plates, although larger ones are also available.
Bayfront Bistro on Fort Myers Beach offers a prime view of Estero Bay, along with plenty of fresh local seafood and a wait staff that is happy to help you pick a glass of wine to go with your meal.
The Fish and Vine is a fairly obvious choice for those who are especially partial to the pairing of seafood and wines. Both are found in abundance here.
Harold’s is a cozy little bistro whose chef/owner, Harold Balink, is as talented at selecting wines as he is at crafting inventive contemporary American dishes from local and sustainable sources. And rest assured, his staff knows their wines too.
Angelina’s Ristorante offers thousands of wine choices and a well-versed sommelier to help you select just the right pour to accompany the upscale Italian fare served here.
The Veranda is a historic establishment in Downtown Fort Myers where Southern hospitality thrives. Their highly professional wait staff excels at helping patrons select the right wine to complement each of their Southern-style dishes.
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