Lobster Bisque is a creamy lobster broth made by cooking and straining the shells of lobsters for a flavourful soup. As sherry is often used in a lobster bisque recipe, a dry sherry like an Amontillado is often recommended. If sherry isn’t you’re thing, other excellent pairings include a rich Champagne, Sauternes, Chardonnay and Madeira
Dry Amontillado & Lobster Bisque Pairing
Any dry Sherry will go well with Lobster Bisque, however, I recommend an Amontillado or a Palo Cortado Sherry if I had a choice. Amontillado is fuller in body than a Manzanilla or Fino sherry but not as full-bodied as an Oloroso sherry which might overwhelm the flavours of the bisque. As most Lobster Bisque recipes call for Sherry, pairing it up with this style of wine only makes sense.
Amontillado Sherry has a nutty and savoury character that matches the weight of Lobster Bisque and ensures you taste both the wine and the bisque on the finish. A lighter sherry might get lost in the finish, and a heavier Sherry like Oloroso might mask some of the delicious Lobster Bisque flavours.
Sherry, in general, pairs with just about everything, however, it’s not a fan favourite in North America. Thus, if you are pairing up wine at a wedding reception or banquet, we’d probably recommend one of the pairings below.
Champagne Blanc de Blanc & Lobster Bisque Pairing
Most dry sparkling wines will go great with Lobster Bisque, but as Lobster Bisque is so elegant and rich, Champagne Blanc de Blanc is the ultimate sparkling wine pairing. Made exclusively from Chardonnay grapes, Champagne Blanc de Blanc is crisp with chalky mineral tones and perfumed apple notes. This sparkling wine may also have toasty notes, which makes the pairing even more luxurious.
Champagne will be expensive, so if budget is an issue, look for a dry but rich sparkling wine to pair up with your lobster bisque. The bubbles in sparkling wine, along with its crisp acidity, ensure your taste buds are cleansed in between sips of Lobster Bisque, making each spoonful taste as delicious as the last.
Sauternes & Lobster Bisque Pairing
Another expensive, but decadent pairing with Lobster Bisque is Sauternes. Lobster Bisque is a culinary treat, so why not treat yourself to one of the most celebrated wines in France. Sauternes is a sweeter wine from France that is made all due in part to the ‘noble rot’ of grapes. Essentially the wine is infected by mould and shrivels up. When you press that grape, a single drop of liquid gold emerges that creates a significant punch of flavour.
With Sauternes you’ll find bright flavours of honey, apricot, butterscotch and caramel that provide a decadent contrast to the bisque’s savoury flavours.
Chardonnay & Lobster Bisque Pairing
With Lobster Bisque being creamy and savoury, a full-bodied Chardonnay provides similar nuances that complement the dish. An oaked Chardonnay will have notes of toast, butter, vanilla that mesh perfectly with the creamier aspect of Lobster Bisque. Meanwhile, the lush tropical fruit flavours of the wine provide ample refreshment against the savoury flavours of the bisque.
Out of all the pairings we mentioned, Chardonnay will be the easiest to acquire and possibly the least expensive, making it ideal for a wine served at a wedding, a banquet, or a dinner party where you want to reign in the expenses offset by lobster which is pricier the further you are away from the ocean.
Verdelho Madeira & Lobster Bisque Pairing
Madeira is a fortified wine that ranges from dry to sweet. For Lobster Bisque, we recommend a Verdelho Maderia which is off-dry and has a kiss of sweetness that complements the sweetness of lobster. You’ll also find notes of smoke, spice and caramel which work splendidly with this creamy and flavourful soup.
A proper Verdelho Madeira might be troublesome to find in your area, however, it is worth the effort.