Match of the week
Scallop and crab risotto with inexpensive French Sauvignon
I know I’ve highlighted crab as a match for a number of different wines but it really is a great dish to pick if you’re drinking a serious white. This time however the wine was far from stellar: the basic house Sauvignon at Culinaria in Bristol where I was doing a photo shoot for our next book.
The chef Stephen Markwick had made his superbly rich scallop and crab risotto which is based on a roasted crab stock, I’d shot it and was eating it for lunch (one of the perks of the job!).
His wife Judy offered a glass of wine to go with it which turned out to be a 2009 Domaine de Menard Sauvignon* from Gascony. The fascinating thing was that because Stephen had left out the squeeze of lemon at the end of the recipe (obviously not needed for the photography) the wine did that job, lifting the richness of the dish and adding a note of citrussy freshness.
You could argue that a more elegant Loire Sauvignon like Sancerre, say, might have done that even better and that may be right but the inexpensive Menard hit the spot perfectly. And I don’t think a white burgundy, my normal preferred pairing with scallops, would have topped it either.
An argument for the home cook to sometimes hold back on the seasoning and let the wine do the job.
*Actually although this was listed as a Sauvignon, Menard only seem to make a Colombard-Sauvignon blend so it may well have been that which would make sense in that part of the world. The rather nicely put advice on the website is to use it to “sublimate your fishes, shellfishes and seafoods”.
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