|1. Vouvray||2. Beaujolais-Villages||3. Ruffino|
Light, delicious, and versatile, mussels are simple to prepare and you can flavor their brothy bath in so any creative ways. This is where wine pairing gets fun. Whether you prepare mussels with tomato, garlic, or spice, there is a wine out there that will complement the dish to perfection.
Table of Contents
Wine And Food Pairing Tips
There are some ground rules on pairing food and wine that are worth keeping in mind when exploring the best wine for mussels. Acidic wines pair very well with food that is particularly salty and savory while sweet and off-dry wines make an excellent balance to spicy dishes. If a recipe calls for a lot of tomatoes, acidic red works well while tangy flavors call for a fruit-forward red. If a mussel dish includes light meats, a red with gentle tannins, or a light fruity white both make great pairing partners.
Top 5 Best Wine For Mussels 2021
1. Spicy Mussels
Mussels steamed with hot spices and chili are delicious. There is something about the smooth, light taste and texture of fresh mussels cooked with a fresh and fiery mix of crushed red pepper, fennel seeds, parsley, and garlic that is always a winner. When it comes to selecting the right style of vino to highlight and temper the intense flavors, there are a couple of ways you can go.
An off-dry like Famille Bougrier Roche Fleurie Chenin Blanc Vouvray is the best white wine for mussels cooked in such a style. The gentle sweetness of this type of Chenin Blanc is a good accompaniment to the hot character of the dish while its acidity acts as a contrast to the gentle taste of the mussels. Another good choice of white for a spicy mussel dish is a Kabinett Riesling like Weingut H. Schwaab-Kiebel. It has a touch of sweetness, is very fresh, fruity, and acidic plus boasts those lovely petrol aromas that Riesling is known for. These make this wine stand up to the intensity of the dish on the nose without masking flavors on your taste buds. Perfect!
2. Tomato-Rich Mussels
The lead ingredients in this dish are flavorsome tomatoes and warming ginger. Blended with good stuff like fennel, a little garlic, coriander, parsley, and plenty of butter, this tangy sauce makes a tasty meal out of steamed mussels. The tomatoes lend their rich flavor and the ginger adds a mild and constant heat that just begs for a fruit-forward red.
Try a fruity red like Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages. Made from the Gamay grape, it leads with a blast of juicy red strawberry, raspberry and cherry then mellows to plum and blackberry. It all works like a dream with the sweet tanginess of the tomatoes and balances the ginger.
Another good choice for mussels with tomato sauce is a rosé and the fruitier and juicer the better. A lovely food wine is Valenciso Rioja Rose. You know when you see its dark pink hues that it will go beautifully with any mussel dish featuring tomatoes. It is light enough to allow all the ingredients to shine through but fruity enough to enhance the core tomato flavors.
3. Moules Marinière
This dish is a classic. Steamed with white wine, the cooked juices of the mussels mingle with butter and shallots to create a simple yet irresistible medley of flavors. If you want to take it up a notch, add the double cream, parsley, and thyme.
What is the best white wine for mussels made in the marinière style? Generally, the wine you use in the dish. A light dry is ideal for cooking so pair this iconic dish with a wine featuring similar qualities. A good one to go for is Ruffino Lumina Pinot Grigio. No, it is not French. Yes, it is Italian – but this wine has the right qualities to add a bit of backbone to the dish without drowning in its exquisite flavors. Whenever you cook with wine, a good rule of thumb is to pair the dish with the same one. If this is not always possible, go for the same style of wine.
4. Meaty Mussels
Cooking with mussels is a bit like making pasta or pizza; there is loads of room for creativity and experimentation and, more often than not, you will not go wrong. A traditional way to prepare Mussels on the shores of the Mediterranean is with bacon and chorizo. The light seafood flavors of the mussels go sumptuously with the salty, smoky notes in the meats.
Preparing mussels in this way gives you the chance to pair them with a red. To balance the pork products, choose a red wine a bit of body (but not too much!), and some fruit. A medium-bodied, gently acidic Pinot Noir from California would do the trick. Try Bread & Butter Pinot Noir. Its gorgeous berry notes complement the flavors of chorizo and bacon to perfection.
5. Asian-Style Mussels
Mussels love Thai treatment. A sauce of coconut, lime, and fresh coriander is delicious with light seafood like mussels and there is a perfect wine for such a dish. Domäne Wachau Grüner Veltliner Federspiel Terrassen is the best wine for mussels cooked in this fashion. It has the orchard fruits and light body to act as a backdrop for the zesty, creaminess of Thai mussels. Its mineral notes and good acidity cut through the palate without taking away from the freshness of the dish.
Mussel dishes come in all styles and so do wines. Keep in mind the basic pairing rules and you will find just the right wine to make your mussel recipe sparkle. Remember, off-dry and sweet wines are great matches for hot and spicy mussel dishes while a recipe featuring light meats such as pork and chicken pair well with a fruity red with light tannins. Mussel dishes with smoky, savory notes match acidic whites, and anything that is tomato heavy needs a fruity red or rose. Bon Appetit!