Perfect Pairing And Learning To Love Seafood

crabplateNothing ventured, nothing gained.
Yeah, yeah; we’ve all heard it before, have repeated it ourselves, but just like anything that loses its definition if repeated often enough, it began as the truth. There is a great deal of different food out there that is not only very healthy, but tastes delicious. Sometimes we don’t get a chance to taste these wonders due to some sort of bias, be it rooted in childhood, stubbornness, or visual perception. Speaking for myself, it is a difficult thing to overcome, due to the power of these preconceived notions telling you, in a word, bleech! But I must say, not only is it good for the betterment campaign, but I am so happy I pushed through my aversion to seafood.

Once upon a time long ago, somewhere in the outer Sunset District, where the sun is just a rumor, I was developing a bias that would not only be less than optimal for my health, but would take me years to lose. (Actually, I am still working at it!) Being the youngest child in the family, I pretty much had to go with the flow. My Pop (picky eater) did not eat seafood, so guess what? Neither did the rest of us. A couple of experiences with bad fish cemented the bias that had me ordering chicken at places like Aqua. Alas, this is where the “nothing ventured” line kicks in. I had a foundation, I could eat prawns. Not only that, I liked them. I noticed that I physically felt better after a prawn dinner than after steak and potatoes. Enter my two seafood heroes, my sister and my best friend.

Coming from the same household as I, my sister had her own issues with seafood to overcome, and she did it. With flying colors. She would regale me with dining experiences where she would try things I couldn’t then imagine eating. She encouraged me to try, not necessarily to like, but to try, one different type of seafood each year. Sounded like a good idea to me. So I did a decent job of that in the early years. Then my best friend got involved. A recent convert to seafood himself, he was a perfect guide as to what to try, and what to stay away from. I welcome advice from both of them, and now routinely, when lunching with my sister, I’ll offer her a mussel or two.

Working here at The Wine House, it is my responsibility to be able to offer advice on food and wine pairings, amongst other things. I need to know what the food tastes like before offering a wine pairing suggestion, right? So I’m still growing, learning about the delicate flavors of different seafood. If you’re not learning, you’re not on to something. If you’re not on to something, you’re lost.

I can’t believe there ever was a time that I didn’t eat crab. I’m shaking my head. But I deprived myself of this delicacy for far too long. I’m making up for it now! So last night, when Chris went to see if Whole Foods Market still had fresh Dungeness crab for $5.99 a pound, I asked him to report back. He came back, looked at me, and said that it was today’s Friday special, and was $3.67 per pound. Also, that he took the liberty of buying me one. Perfect! I’ve been looking for an excuse to drink white Burgundy for a while, and here was the perfect one. In fact, my glee could not be contained as I chimed in on both Facebook and Twitter!! I excitedly grabbed a bottle of 2006 Petit Chablis from Denis Pommier with my already cracked crab and raced home anxious for the pairing. Anya told me not to bother with any accompaniments (as always, I should have listened to her, though the noodles and spinach came in handy for lunch today). So as the Chablis chilled, I whipped up a couple of sides. Brought it all to the table and proceeded to make a mess. A delicious mess, I might add. But I quickly pushed the sides away and dug into the crab and Chablis. Talk about perfect harmony. The succulent, delicate crab meat and the stony, racy Chablis bonded to create exactly what I would call a perfect food and wine pairing!

Nothing ventured, nothing gained? I am so glad I ventured here! Tasting notes below. Oh yeah, as a side note, I once had this conversation with my father: “Pop? Have you ever tried any seafood?”
“Yes I have, actually”
“Really, what did you try?”
“How many days did you have to starve before you ate them?”
“How were they?”

– Peter Zavialoff

Feel free to email me with any questions or comments about seafood, perfect wine pairings, or anything else you may have on your mind:


blackwhitevineyardTasting Note

Popped the bottle, and poured a glass. Nice color, a little deeper than straw, but not at all dark. Initially on the nose there was a little funkiness I attributed to sulphur that I knew would blow off, so I left it alone for around 10 minutes and was right. It was showing off notes of apples and pears with a hint of dare I say nectarine? All braced with a spicy mineral verve. On the palate, it was exactly what that crab needed: a good amount of round fruit with just the right amount of acidity to give your cheeks a pleasant pinch which combined with the residual crab flavor creates a delicious flavor all its own. The finish is just more of the delicious product created by a sublime pairing! Cheers!

1 Comment

Filed under Burgundy, French Wine, Half bottles, Peter Zavialoff

One response to “Perfect Pairing And Learning To Love Seafood

  1. Pingback: Twitted by SummerTomato

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s