Summer in Nova Scotia is enchanting for countless reasons, but enjoying the bounty of the province’s seafood is surely one of the greatest pleasures the season has to offer. And, of course, there’s no better pairing to a feast of fresh, local seafood than a bottle of Nova Scotia wine.
Not sure where to start with your NS seafood and wine pairing adventures? Not to worry, we’ve put together a handy guide to help you find the perfect match. Of course, we also encourage you to remember that there is no such thing as a ‘bad pairing’. If you love how a particular wine brings out the flavours in a meal (and vice versa), that’s all that matters!
There’s nothing quite like a feed of freshly caught NS lobster to remind you of life’s simple pleasures. Its sweet, delicate meat lends itself well to pairings with Riesling varietals, which tend to be high in acidity and offer complimentary fruity and floral notes. Chardonnays are also a fantastic match for boiled lobster as well as any creamy, buttery lobster dishes. Some Chardonnays are crisp and fruity, while others showcase buttery, oaky notes – no matter which type you prefer, it will elevate your lobster dinner.
Suggested Pairings: Blomidon Chardonnay, Luckett Vineyards Riesling
Freshly shucked NS oysters are a true delight on their own, but pair them with a crisp sparkling wine or Sauvignon Blanc and the experience becomes pure bliss.
Suggested Pairings: Benjamin Bridge’s Pet Nat, Lightfoot & Wolfville 2019 Terroir Series Sauvignon Blanc
Nova Scotia is world-famous for its sea scallops and rightly so! Not to be confused with their smaller cousin, bay scallops, sea scallops (also known as giant scallops) are revered by seafood lovers for their sweet, succulent meat and large size.
You’ll find NS scallops on almost every restaurant menu and fish market across the country. There are plenty of ways to prepare sea scallops, though poaching, searing, and grilling them are the most common. And, of course, the scallop dish’s other dominant flavours will influence the wine pairing. In general, however, you can’t go wrong with a pairing of Nova Scotia’s signature Tidal Bay. For heavier scallop dishes, a rose or light red with mineral and herb notes is a lovely match.
Suggested Pairings: Mercator Tidal Bay, Avondale Sky Sizzler Fizzy Rosé
Nova Scotia mussels are a delightful way to start any meal, whether you’re hosting a gathering or dining out. You’ll find many Nova Scotia chefs getting creative with the broths and sauces they cook mussels in. The resulting flavours will play into your best wine pairing options. For example, mussels steamed in a light broth pair well with a dry white, while mussels cooked in a tomato sauce or with bacon tend to pair well with wines that have some body and fruity notes.
Suggested Pairings: Gaspereau Muscat 2019, Domaine de Grand Pre Rose
FISH & CHIPS
Humble though it may be, a platter of freshly caught NS fish paired with hand cut fries is truly a thing of beauty. The mingling of salty and sweet flavours, along with crunchy and soft textures make for an epic culinary experience, even if it’s served up in a paper bag!
Pair your salty fish & chips feast with a wine that’s acidic, fruity, and/or crisp for maximum enjoyment.
Suggested Pairings: Planter’s Ridge L’Acadie, Bear River Bearly Baco