Now that I am Seattle I am relishing the chance to eat all kind of delicious fishies and shellfish, plucked fresh from the ocean. Naturally, I have had some exquisite wines to go along with these.
Oysters are heavenly this time of year. While I always knew a nice dry Vouvray would be a perfect match for the briny bivalves, I was somewhat surprised when my local wine gal suggested a 1996 Vouvray Moelleux. Moelleux is basically a Vouvray only made in great years where the grapes ripen a bit more, adding extra sweetness. But this is not a cloying, Sunny D, type of sweetness. It is subtle, like the kind you would find in…a delicious oyster! This wine has so much acidity that it mutes the sweetness as well. 1996 was an epic year in the Loire and this is a wine that will outlive all of us. I’ll have to pick up another bottle.
Another great sea and wine pairing was with a stew I made with mussels, monkfish, and tiger prawns in a fennel, onion, and saffron broth. It was a wine wine from Spain, an Albarino. These Spanish white wines continue to impress me; it was crisp and distinctive; this one was from Rias Baixas. Look for Albarino and you probably won’t go wrong. I also had another wonderful cheap screwcap Gruner Veltliner; these wines (along with VDP de Gascogny from France) are the best white wines you can buy for 10 bucks or less. And both are great with seafood.
Here’s the rundown:
1996 Domaine Le Peu de la Moriette Vouvray Moelleux
2002 Albarino de Fefinanes
2003 Loimer (Lois) Gruner Veltliner