Scalloped Potatoes are thinly sliced potatoes layered in a casserole dish, to which heavy cream has been added. The potatoes are then cooked until they are soft and slightly crispy. Cheese, herbs, onions, breadcrumbs and bacon may also be added to the recipe as there are thousands of recipes out there. Au Gratin Potatoes are similar to Scalloped Potatoes, so the wine pairings below will work as well.
Scalloped Potatoes are incredibly creamy and starchy and require acidic white wines, such as Chardonnay, Riesling, or Sauvignon Blanc to cut through the heavy flavours while imparting their refreshing flavours of citrus, tropical fruit and green apple. Light and fruity reds, like a young Tempranillo or Pinot Noir, also make excellent pairing partners and will complement any mains that accompany Scalloped Potatoes like Ham, Turkey, Salmon, Lamb or Roast Beef.
Chardonnay & Scalloped Potato Pairing
While classic recipes of Scalloped Potatoes rarely feature cheese or breadcrumbs, I find modern versions of Scalloped Potatoes do. In either case, Chardonnay is an excellent pairing as it is a full-bodied white wine that matches the weight of Scalloped Potatoes in terms of body. Often buttery, Chardonnay will complement the cream factor in Scalloped Potatoes. Furthermore, it has toasty vanilla notes that are excellent with any breadcrumbs used in your dish.
A large portion size of Scalloped Potatoes is delicious, but also exhausting as the cream and starch found in this dish will clog up your tastebuds. Chardonnay’s acidity will easily scrape these rich flavours off your tongue and cheek, ensuring each bite tastes as fresh as the last.
Riesling & Scalloped Potatoes Pairing
Dry Riesling is a crisp and citrusy white wine that is bright with acidity. I like to think of Riesling as a squeeze of lemon on your food, in how its acidity highlights and sharpens the subtle notes of food you might not have noticed before. The acidity in Riesling also scrubs the starchy and creamy Scalloped Potatoes out of your mouth in between bites. This way, each bite will taste amazing, as your tastebuds will be fully awake and aware.
If your Scalloped Potatoes are a side dish to Ham or Turkey, such as at a Christmas, or Easter Dinner, Riesling will complement those meaty dishes as well, along with many of the other sides like coleslaw, peas and carrots, cheesy broccoli and stuffing.
Sauvignon Blanc & Scalloped Potato Pairing
Herbaceous in nature, Sauvignon Blanc shines with Scalloped Potato recipes that use herbs. Similar to Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc is tart and acidic, so it has the same refreshment powers, along with the ability to drive the subtle features of the Scalloped Potatoes out into the spotlight.
Unoaked Tempranillo & Scalloped Potato Pairing
Tempranillo is a grape grown in Spain and can be found as a single vareital, or as the dominant grape in blended wines, such as in a Rioja. When young, Tempranillo is fruity and fresh with cherry and dried fig flavours, with peppery notes. We just love how the peppery notes of Tempranillo mingle with the cheesy, creamy and starchy textures of Scalloped Potatoes, while the young fruity notes keep your mouth refreshed.
As Scalloped Potatoes are often a side dish, such as to Easter Ham, or Thanksgiving Turkey, a young Tempranillo, or wines it is blended in, such as Rioja, is light enough to play well with these main courses. If Roast Beef or Lamb is on the menu, we’d go with an oak aged Tempranillo as it features more complex flavours and tannin to compete with the heavier meat.
Pinot Noir & Scalloped Potatoes Pairing
Pinot Noir has a bright acidity that will keep your mouth refreshed in between bites of this creamy dish. Furthermore, Pinot Noir features bright fruit flavours of wild strawberry, cranberry and cherry that liven up the starchy aspect of Scalloped Potatoes.
There’s a serious side to Pinot Noir as well, as it has an earthy, almost forest floor funk to it. This earthiness complements the mineral flavours found inside potatoes, allowing the flavours of the food and wine to merge and bring out the best in both.