Pair Your Alabama Gulf Seafood Dish with the Perfect Wine

_We’ve already told you how well craft beer pairs with Alabama Gulf Seafood; now, we think it’s time for wine to steal the spotlight.__ _

We sat down with Ivey McLean, bar director for Villaggio Grille and Ginny Lane Bar & Grill at The Wharf in Orange Beach, to discuss what wines she would recommend for different types of Alabama Gulf Seafood. As a bonus, she threw in a few recs from Villaggio’s food menu too. Pull up a seat, pour yourself a glass, and dive right in.


At Villaggio Grille, one of our signature dishes is the fresh fish of the day. We do a fresh catch of the day in order to provide the freshest fish that comes with each season. Lately we have been doing Grouper and Mahi, two of my favorites!

One of my favorite wines on our menu to pair with this dish is Elizabeth Spencer Sauvignon Blanc out of Mendocino, California. The balancing acidity and crispy finish on this wine pair great with a white fish and the American style succotash with that slight heat, altogether opening your taste buds to leave you wanting more.


One of my favorite pairings! One of the first installments Ginny and Lane put into our restaurant was an outstanding wood-fired oven. This is where our oysters receive their nice wood-grilled flavor.

Our Prosciutto Rockefeller Oysters make a great pairing with an old classic, Jed Steele’s Shooting Star Aligoté out of Washington. The Aligoté grape finds home in Washington with cooler climates growing on a hillside. The grape brings an acidity and tart flavor on the palette that really pairs well with the creaminess in the Rockefeller sauce on the oyster.


Another feature about our wood-fired oven is our house-made flatbread pizzas, and boy are they delicious. The shrimp and crawfish flat bread is so different and perfect for the Gulf Coast. The base for the flat bread is the same Rockefeller cream sauce we use on the oysters. Topped with tri-color bell peppers, a dash of Blackening seasoning, and of course fresh shrimp and crawfish.

I personally love paring this flatbread with a dry Rosé. Rosé is a great food-friendly wine, and it really hits home with seafood and the kick from the seasoning on the flatbread. We have six different Rosé labels to select from, and I would recommend the Triennes Rosé out of France due to its dry red fruits.


Another great snack we have at the restaurant is our Crab Bruschetta. Even during our seasonal menu change, this always seems to be a great hit with our guest. Crab meat layered on top of grilled crostini, prosciutto, pesto, tomatoes, parmesan, and basil all leave a killer taste in your mouth.

Recommended pairing with this light snack would be an Oregon dry Riesling. Our Hyland Riesling is not your typical sweet Riesling. Coming out of Oregon really changes the profile and introduces the dry style of a Riesling while holding up to the powerful flavors in our Crab Bruschetta.

Anything Fried:

Bubbles! A Cava Brut, sparkling wine from Spain, makes for a great aperitif! Its light and refreshing style make for a great pairing with any fried food, especially seafood. Ordering a bottle of the fruit-forward Los Monteros Cava Brut will perfectly round out a fried seafood dish with a touch of sweetness that compliments any sunny day on our patio.