Most wine aficionados agree that champagne goes perfectly with lobster and in previous posts I have provided basic serving suggestions. Now I am delighted to be able to share some expert advice on lobster and champagne pairings from my friend, Tara O’Leary. Tara works as a champagne specialist for Moët Hennessy and is an all around wine enthusiast and expert (see her full bio below). I provided Tara with details of five of my favorite lobster recipes and she was kind enough to offer recommendations on champagnes which would complement each of these lobster dishes perfectly. Enjoy!
Lobster Newburg with Grand Vintage 2006 by Moët and Chandon
A creamy sauce needs a champagne with some age, but that is also fresh enough to refresh the palate with each sip. The Grand Vintage 2006 by Moët & Chandon is the perfect pairing due to the complexity and depth of flavor from seven years of ageing in the cellars, combined with bright fruitiness that is the hallmark of the Moët style.
Julia Child’s Lobster Bisque with Veuve Clicquot 2004
This decadent lobster dish needs a champagne that is able to go toe to toe with the cream and butter, and the bittersweet tang of the tarragon, and the Veuve Clicquot 2004 is the ideal choice. The structure and intensity conveyed by the high proportion of Pinot Noir (62%) from twenty Grand and Premier Cru vineyards, add to the robust, layered generosity of the 2004 vintage. The hazelnuts, quince and brioche notes on the palate lead to a fresh finish that keeps you coming back for more.
Basic Steamed/Boiled Lobster with Ruinart Blanc de Blancs NV
This dish is about purity of flavor and the elegance of simplicity. Chardonnay is the soul of Ruinart, the world’s oldest champagne house (founded in 1729). This Blanc de Blancs (100% Chardonnay) is the height of elegance – it is bright and bursting with citrus and subtle white flower aromas and flavors. The delicate purity of the Chardonnay pairs beautifully with the sweet succulence of lobster ‘au natural’.
Lobster Fettuccine Alfredo with Veuve Clicquot Rosé NV
Comfort food with a luxurious twist. Creamy, cheesy fettuccine Alfredo is taken to new heights with the addition of lavish lobster, and the array of tastes and textures needs a champagne with equal amounts of style and substance. The Veuve Clicquot Rosé is that champagne. Elegant bright raspberry and wild strawberry notes are expertly balanced with an unexpected intensity from the high percentage of Pinot Noir that red wine lovers will adore. The richness of the sauce and the depth of the champagne make for a most satisfying combination.
LobsterRoll with Dom Perignon 2004
Simple and spectacular. The seeming contradiction of pairing Dom Perignon 2004 with a lobster roll is precisely what makes it the perfect match. Dom Perignon itself is a paradox – a contrast of freshness and maturity, of vibrancy and intensity, making this champagne as comfortable at an exclusive black tie gala, as at a weekend backyard barbecue. Dom Perignon is only made from the best grapes in the best years, and with 9 years of ageing, the 2004 has a complexity as textured as the lobster, and yet is youthful and vivacious, and makes a playful partner for this traditional lobster favorite.
Tara Devon O’Leary is author of the Every Wine Tells a Story book series and the popular blog WinePassionista.com. She holds a Diploma certification from the world renowned Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), has served as judge at major annual international wine competitions and also currently works as a champagne Specialist at Moët Hennessy.