Crab cakes are a popular appetizer for a reason. They’re super tasty, as the meat inside is delicate and tender, and the rich breading is something we’d like to describe as deep-fried goodness. Crab Cakes require acidic white wines with crisp flavours to cut through the breading, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Sancerre, Savennières, Viognier or Riesling.
When we eat crab cakes, we like a little zing to accompany it, such as a squeeze of lemon, or a zesty Sauvignon Blanc, such as Mike Weir’s Sauv Blanc. The acidity in a Sauvignon Blanc is going to cut through the deep-fried goodness of the breading, and bring out and accentuate that delicate crab flavour.
A Sancerre, a French alternative to a Sauvignon Blanc, has more of a flinty nature to it will taste exceptionally well too.
Another great white wine to choose is a Savennières. Savennières are dry white wines with a whole lot of acidity. That acidity is once again going to cut through the ‘greasiness’ of the outer shell of the Crab Cake, and the mineral and citrus nature will complement the meatiness of this dish.
Riesling is another classic crab cake pairing, especially if the crab cakes have some heat to them, like chilli peppers. An off-dry Riesling will cut through both the heat, and the deep-fried shell.
If the crab cakes are baked, you won’t need a wine that is too high in acidity. In this case we’d recommend a Chardonnay. A Chardonnay will offer up some buttery notes, which will especially come in handy if the crab cakes are slightly dry from the baking process as the pairing will offer up some body to the dish.
Finally, Viognier, or any sparkling wine will go great with this dish. Sparkling wines will again cut through the greasiness of the dish, clearing the palate and allowing you to fully enjoy that fantastic crab flavour. In the mood for something a little bubbly? Prosecco and Cava are both amazing with fried crab cakes!
Beer and Crab Cakes
A brown ale goes quite nice with crab cakes. The malty flavours of a brown ale won’t be too overwhelming, and the gentle hop bitterness will wash away any spiciness or oiliness, while still letting the subtle crab flavours shine through.