No matter if Calamari is deep fried or grilled, it’s delicious. When I’m at the pub I like to squeeze a bit of lime or lemon on my Calamari, which makes a dry Riesling perfect, as they often have lots of lemony or lime notes. A refreshing and off-dry Riesling works even better if there is a spicy dipping sauce accompanying the dish as the sweetness in the wine will put out the fire in your mouth.
Sparkling Wine is another great choice for Calamari, especially if it is fried. Sparkling Wines are fantastic with deep fried foods as their bright and citrusy flavours cleanse the mouth of oily foods.
If you like a little butter on your grilled Calamari, reach for an oaky Chardonnay, with lots of buttery overtones. The combination will melt in your mouth.
For Grilled Calamari, look no further than Albariño. This Spanish white wine is perfect for Tapas dishes such as grilled Calamari as it’s acidic, yet creamy, meaning it complements the calamari, while also adding a splash of citrus to the overall dish.
Finally, Sauvignon Blanc, Vermentino, or a Pinot Grigio all work great, especially if the Calamari is part of a hors d’oeuvres selection. The Sauvignon Blanc is crisp, and often citrusy, which again combats the fried Calamari. Meanwhile, the Pinot Grigio is light and fun, and again has a crisp citrus component that brings out the flavours in the Calamari. A dry Fino or Manazilla sherry will go great with grilled calamari, as well as any other sort of finger food you throw at it.
Not a Blancophile? Try a Beaujolais, which is a light, fruity and acidic red wine that which will go great with deep fried calamari.
Beer and Calamari Pairings
For Fried Calamari, try a Pilsner. The light, dry finish of a Pils is a perfect match for the equally light and crispy fried calamari. If the Calamari is battered and deep fried, try an IPA beer, where the citrus flavours of an Indian Pale Ale, cut through grease and draw out the flavours of the squid.
Cocktails and Calamari
If you’re in more of a cocktail mood, and you’re enjoying fresh calamari as an appetizer, try this dish with a margarita or a Tom Collins. The lime/lemon essence in these beverages will pair up nicely with the squid.