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Whites with Shellfish

February 14, 2009

A pre-Valentine’s day dinner of monster Alaskan crab legs resulted in some cool pairings. Both wines worked very well – each with a lot of drive and shared a  great backbone of minerality and acidity. Hard to pick a favorite, but the Chardonnay probably had the edge for me due to it’s crazier and unexpected expression of earth and rocks.

Schäfer-Fröhlich Riesling Halbtrocken 2006: A bit drier than I’d expected, but lovely tropical fruits – mangoes, guava, red cherry, and crisp granny smith acidity. No fat here – the fruit was about 50% of the wine experience, everything else was gravelly mineral-water old-school rocky Nahe Riesling.  This wine really played up the sweetness of the crab, while the crab made the wine feel more tropical and floral.  Great aperitif also.

J-P Brun, Terres Dorees Beaujolais Blanc, 2007: A very different wine upfront, but with equal or ever great minerality and focus. The initial fruit was rounder in profile – banana and apple peels, with a really interesting mossy-cedar forest funk component.  Again, a very pure wine – but surrounded by a miasma of fleeting secondary twinges – a subtle smokeyness, chalk, lemon and earth.  Clearly weightier on the palate that the Riesling, this Chardonnay played a more harmonious textural role with the crab. Highly recommened – and quite unlike the white Burgundies or Cali chards I’ve tried.

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