February 03, 2013

Perfect wine for crab

With the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl today, I had to have Dungeness crab and good white wine while enjoying the game.

For a long time I found myself drinking white Burgundy with crab. Then a friend commented innocently, white Burg? Oaky chardonnay?

He had a point. Minerally and older oak aged white Burgundy can be a lovely match for the sweet flavors of cracked crab. But anything with newer oak showing in the flavor profile can overwhelm the delicate nature of good crab.

So today I thought - why not something from the south of France, where white wine and seafood may both have been invented. But should I have something rich and fancy? No.

How about a simply Vin des Pays des Bouches du Rhone from Ch. de Roquefort? Perfect. This bottle was the 2011 Petit Sale de Villeneuve, which sells for around $10 and comes from organically grown Clairette grapes (one of the common white grapes of the southern Rhone).

There's nothing terribly remarkable about this wine. Except that it is simply perfect, to my taste anyway, for crab or other shellfish.

The wine is pale in color and fresh smelling with an unmistakable lemony aroma and flavor. The finish is not long or profound. It's just delicious.

There's even a little note on the back label of the wine from the owner of Juveniles in Paris to say this isn't "serious" wine. It isn't for oohing and ahhing over. Just drinking. Perhaps in large amounts.

I couldn't agree more. And even though my 49ers didn't pull off a miracle comeback in a tortuously long game, the wine delivered. Look for it if you love good wine and want a great pairing for seafood. I found this at Storyteller in Portland and it's a Thomas Calder Selection, imported by Triage in Seattle.

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