Calamari and Wine

~ Crispy Calamari and Red Wine  ~

The crispiness is the definition of this fried calamari recipe with a crispy batter that fres perfectly to a golden crunch! Fried calamari is a lot easier to make at home than you think. The appetizer that calls your name each time you sit at a restaurant can easily be done for dinner. The rings of squid coated in a super crispy, crunchy shell, sprinkled with some lemon juice are the BEST! Don’t forget to pair this fried favorite with some Three Pines Cardinal Red wine for the perfect food and wine pairing!


  • 1 lb cleaned calamari tubes cut into rings and tentacles left whole
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or milk
  • Vegetable or canola oil for deep frying
  • Marinara sauce, lemon wedges, or tartar sauce for serving (optional)
  • 1 bottle of Three Pines Cardinal Red


  1. Place the calamari into a bowl with the lemon juice, and let sit for 30 minutes to tenderize it.
  2. Preheat frying oil to 375 degrees F, either in a deep fryer or a large cast-iron pot, no more than 1/2 full.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the flour, cayenne, paprika, and salt. Add half of this mixture to another medium bowl. Place the buttermilk or milk in a third bowl. Place the three bowls on the counter in the following order: spiced flour, buttermilk, and spiced flour.
  4. Remove the calamari from the lemon juice, then dredge each piece in the flour, shaking off any excess, then into the buttermilk, shaking off the excess, then back into the second bowl of flour. Repeat this process with all the calamari.
  5. Fry the calamari in batches for about 2-3 minutes total, until golden brown. Then drain on a paper towel and immediately salt the calamari generously so the salt sticks. Serve with marinara sauce and lemon wedges, if desired and enjoy with a glass of Three Pines Cardinal Red!

Cheers! 😀

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