I love shrimp. Whenever Red Lobster rolls out its “Endless Shrimp” promotion, I am so there.
This year, for example, the restaurant chain is spotlighting its new Sriracha Grilled Shrimp, described as “wood-grilled shrimp topped with a spicy Sriracha glaze and served with creamy Sriracha aioli.”
Of course, anytime I read or hear a description of a menu item, I immediately start to think about what kind of wine I’d pair with it. In the case of almost anything with that spicy (too spicy for me!) Sriracha sauce, the only real option is sparkling wine, well chilled.
But when it comes to the other shrimp dishes being featured by Red Lobster — Parmesan Shrimp Scampi, Hand-Breaded Shrimp, Garlic Shrimp Scampi, Shrimp Linguini Alfredo, and Coconut Shrimp Bites — my go-to wine is Pinot Grigio (a.k.a. Pinot Gris).
Traditionally, Pinot Grigio is made in a not-too-heavy, extremely food-friendly style, and shrimp is one of its finest pairing partners.
Keep in mind that when pairing wine and food, it’s best to concentrate on the primary flavor of the dish, such as the aforementioned hot Sriracha sauce. Put that sauce on almost anything, and it pretty much obliterates the other flavors on the plate.
But with preparations such as Parmesan, garlic, Alfredo sauce or coconut, the added flavors are not overpowering; they complement the dish. And when you add any of those “ingredients” to shrimp, Pinot Grigio works wonderfully as a pairing partner.
All three of the wines featured in today’s Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris Cyber Circle Sampler are made in a style that accommodates a wide range of dishes, including shrimp. They come from different parts of the world, which means they have unique aroma and flavor nuances, but all are food friendly and shrimp friendly.
Here’s a recipe for a dish that would pair perfectly with them. The recipe yields 12 tacos — or about six servings, depending on your appetites…
SHRIMP AND AVOCADO TACOS
- 3 limes
- 1 cup chopped seeded tomato
- 1 avocado, diced and peeled
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-lb. cooked peeled medium shrimp
- 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
- Finely grate rind from limes to measure 1 tablespoon, then juice limes to measure 1/4 cup. Place rind and juice in a large bowl.
- Add tomato and remaining ingredients except tortillas, and toss well to combine.
- Cover and chill for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Heat tortillas according to package directions.
- Spoon about 1/2 cup shrimp mixture down center of each tortilla, and fold in half. Serve immediately with a glass of Pinot Grigio (a.k.a. Pinot Gris).
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