Wine Pairings & Calamari Appetizers for Thanksgiving

Here at The Town Dock, a family-owned business, we understand the importance of much-needed family time during the holiday season. This year for Thanksgiving, tie in your favorite seafood with a delectable wine pairing for an unforgettable meal! Calamari is the perfect, fast side to prepare for your big family event! Try Ciao Chow Bambina’s crispy calamari with citrus and parsley aioli for an easy-to-grab appetizer. For a tasty side, try out The Mediterranean Dish’s 15-minute calamari with champagne and garlic-lime dill sauce.

Don’t know a good pairing for wine with your calamari? Try sparkling wine! Brute style Chardonnay or Pinot Noir are perfect matches of citrusy foil for crispy fried food, and the berry taste is a perfect combination with sweet squid. Pinot Grigio can also work with a more lemon-flavored fried calamari because of its crisp citrus flavor.

Crispy Calamari with Citrus Parsley Aioli

calamari appetizers | the town dock calamariINGREDIENTS

  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • 1 lb. clean squid cut into ⅓ inch thick rings
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup yellow corn meal
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 4 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¾ tsp. pepper
  • ½ tsp. finely minced garlic
  • 2 - 3 tsp. minced Italian parsley
  • 2 lemons, halved


  1. Pour enough oil into a heavy large saucepan to reach the depth of 3 inches.
  2. Heat over medium heat to 350 degrees.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl mix the flour, cornmeal, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and parsley. Set aside.
  5. Working in small batches, toss the squid in the flour mixture to coat.
  6. Carefully add the squid to the oil and fry until lightly browned and crisp. About one minute.
  7. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer squid to a paper towel-lined plate.
  8. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.
  9. Place cut side of lemon on heat until cross marks form.
  10. Place the fried calamari and lemon wedges on a plate. Sprinkle with salt.
  11. Serve with Aioli sauce.

(Recipe from Ciao Chow Bambina)


15-Minute Calamari with Champagne and Garlic-Lime Dill Sauce

calamari appetizers | the town dock calamariINGREDIENTS

  • 5 squid (calamari), sliced into rings
  • Olive oil
  • Unsalted butter
  • 10 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp champagne
  • 1 ½ lime, juice of
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cayenne pepper, optional
  • 3 tbsp fresh dill, chopped


  1. Pat the calamari rings dry.
  2. In a large cast iron skillet, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil and 1 tbsp of unsalted butter. Turn heat to medium-high and add the calamari and sauté for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the chopped garlic, champagne, and lime juice. Cook for 7-9 more minutes or until the juice reduces. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Finally, add a pinch of cayenne pepper (optional) and stir in the fresh dill.
  5. Transfer to a serving platter and enjoy hot or warm.

(Recipe from The Mediterranean Dish)