The Perfect Pairing: Discovering the 5 Best White Wines for Shrimp Scampi

The best white wines for scampi

When it comes to pairing white wine with shrimp scampi, choosing the right option can significantly enhance the flavors of this classic seafood dish. With so many varieties of white wine available, it can be difficult to determine which ones work best. In this article, we will explore the top white wines that complement shrimp scampi and discuss their flavors and characteristics.

Understanding Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp scampi is a popular Italian dish that traditionally uses scampi, also known as Dublin Bay shrimp or Norway lobster. However, modern variations often use prawns instead. The basic recipe for shrimp scampi typically consists of garlic, salted butter, and white wine to create a flavorful sauce in which the shrimp are cooked. Additional ingredients such as shallots, spices, chili, citrus juice, and grated Parmesan cheese can be added for extra flavor. The simplicity of the dish allows for creativity and experimentation, resulting in a fresh and personalized culinary experience.

Choosing a White Wine for Shrimp Scampi

Choosing the right white wine to pair with shrimp scampi can be a daunting task due to the vast array of options available. However, there are a few guidelines that can help narrow down the choices.

Type of white wine

Eliminating the types of white wine you do not prefer can significantly reduce the options. For shrimp scampi, a crisp, dry white wine is generally recommended. This type of wine enhances the natural flavors of the seafood while providing a tart and refreshing flavor. By focusing on crisp and dry white wines, you can narrow down your choices and find a wine that matches your preferences.

Wine Taste

When pairing white wine with shrimp scampi, it is important to consider the flavor profile of the wine. Choosing a wine with a crisp and dry taste will effectively complement the flavors of the dish. Look for wines that enhance the seafood flavors without overpowering them. These wines typically have mineral notes, a refreshing quality and hints of citrus or tropical fruit. By choosing a white wine that matches your flavor preferences, you can enhance the overall dining experience.


Contrary to popular belief, the price of a wine does not necessarily dictate its quality or compatibility with shrimp scampi. Expensive wines are not always superior, as individual taste preferences play a significant role in determining what is considered enjoyable. It is not necessary to break the bank to find a white wine that pairs well with shrimp scampi. If you have a reasonably priced white wine that meets the criteria of being crisp and dry, it will work perfectly with this dish.

The Best White Wines for Shrimp Scampi

Now that we’ve covered the most important considerations when choosing a white wine for shrimp scampi, let’s explore some of the best options available:

1. Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is a popular choice for pairing with Shrimp Scampi due to its versatility and crisp, dry nature. This white wine is made from a green-skinned grape variety that originated in France and is found in wine regions around the world. Sauvignon Blanc has a range of colors, typically ranging from greenish yellow to golden yellow. It has a dry and refreshing flavor profile with high acidity, making it an excellent accompaniment to seafood dishes. With prominent mineral, grass, citrus and tropical fruit notes, Sauvignon Blanc adds richness and depth to shrimp scampi recipes.

2. Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio, also known as Pinot Gris, is another versatile white wine option that pairs well with shrimp scampi. This wine is made from a berry that can vary in color from pink to gray-blue, resulting in a pinkish-gray or blue-gray wine. Known for its fresh and crisp character, Pinot Grigio offers a complex flavor profile. It features aromas of spices, tropical fruits, stone fruits and citrus. Compared to Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio tends to be less acidic, especially when made from ripe grapes. Its unique flavor profile adds depth and complexity to shrimp scampi dishes.

3. Chardonnay

One of the most popular and widely available white wines, Chardonnay offers versatility that complements a range of flavors in shrimp scampi. This varietal produces a relatively neutral tasting wine, making it very adaptable to different flavor profiles. Chardonnay wines can vary in body, with some light-bodied and others heavier. It is worth noting that certain Chardonnays are aged in oak, resulting in a more pronounced woody flavor. The flavor profile of Chardonnay includes apple, pineapple, vanilla (especially in unoaked versions) and buttery notes. The balanced acidity and smooth texture of Chardonnay make it an excellent choice for shrimp scampi, adding richness and depth to the dish.

4. Dry Riesling

Dry Riesling is a white wine variety that offers a unique flavor profile that pairs well with shrimp scampi. Riesling grapes are known for their high acidity and versatility, allowing winemakers to produce wines ranging from bone dry to sweet. When choosing a Riesling for shrimp scampi, look for a dry or off-dry version to ensure a complementary flavor profile. Dry Riesling offers flavors of citrus, green apple, peach and mineral notes. The vibrant acidity of this wine helps to enhance the flavors of the shrimp while providing a zesty and refreshing contrast.

5. Sparkling White Wine

Sparkling white wines, such as Prosecco or Champagne, can also be an excellent choice for pairing with shrimp scampi. These wines offer a light, effervescent character that contrasts beautifully with the richness of the dish. The bubbles in sparkling white wines provide a refreshing sensation and help cleanse the palate between bites. Choose a dry or extra dry sparkling white wine to avoid overpowering the delicate flavors of the shrimp. The crispness, acidity and lively effervescence of these wines make them a delightful accompaniment to shrimp scampi.

Experimenting with White Wines

While the aforementioned white wines are among the top choices for pairing with shrimp scampi, it is important to remember that individual taste preferences can vary. Personal experimentation is the key to finding the perfect white wine to complement your shrimp scampi recipe. Explore different brands, regions, and vintages to discover the flavors that resonate most with your palate. The world of white wine is vast and offers endless possibilities for enhancing the enjoyment of shrimp scampi.


Choosing the right white wine to pair with shrimp scampi can enhance the flavors of this delicious seafood dish. Considering the type of white wine, flavor profile and price range can help narrow down your choices. Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Dry Riesling, and Sparkling White Wine are all excellent options that complement the flavors of shrimp scampi. Experimentation and personal preference play an important role in finding the perfect white wine pairing. So uncork a bottle, savor the flavors, and enjoy the harmonious combination of white wine and shrimp scampi.


What type of white wine should I use with scampi?

Shrimp scampi should be served with a crisp, dry white wine. Options such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Dry Riesling and Sparkling White Wine work well to enhance the flavours of the dish.

Can I use any white wine with prawns?

While you are free to choose any white wine for shrimp scampi, it is best to opt for wines that are crisp and dry. These wines tend to complement the seafood flavours without overpowering them.

Do I need to spend a lot of money on white wine for prawns?

No, the price of the white wine does not necessarily determine its quality or compatibility with prawns. There are many reasonably priced white wines that meet the criteria of being crisp and dry and work perfectly with this dish.

Are there any particular flavours I should be looking for in a white wine for scampi?

When choosing a white wine for prawns, look for wines that have mineral notes, a refreshing quality and hints of citrus or tropical fruit. These flavours tend to complement the seafood and enhance the overall dining experience.

Can I experiment with different white wines with prawns?

Absolutely! Wine pairing is a personal experience and individual tastes can vary. Feel free to experiment with different brands, regions and vintages to find the white wine that best suits your palate and complements your prawn scampi recipe.

Are there any alternatives to white wine for prawns?

While white wine is a popular choice for shrimp scampi, if you prefer not to use alcohol or are looking for alternatives, you can consider using chicken or vegetable stock as a substitute. These options can still add flavour and moisture to the dish.