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Any wine pairing recs for diver scallops, crispy...

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george2 May 30, 2007 05:13 PM

... sweetbread, favas and peas, shaved lomo, Spanish paprika and 25 year old sherry vinegar?

I'm to bring 3-4 bottles of wine to a wonderful dinner on Saturday. I'd like to keep the cost around $100-125.

I was thinking about a Grand Cru Chablis or a Vouvray, but whites are not my strong suit.

Thanks in advance for your good advice.

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    batterypark RE: george2 May 30, 2007 05:18 PM

    I'd pick a Muscadet.

    4 Replies
    1. re: batterypark
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      george2 RE: batterypark May 30, 2007 05:23 PM

      What characteristics of a Muscadet go with the dish?

      1. re: george2
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        batterypark RE: george2 May 30, 2007 05:38 PM

        A good Muscadet will be crisp and light, pairing perfectly with shellfish, but also having the right balance with sweetbreads (as organ meat goes, sweetbreads often have a very subtle flavor). I would suggest you try a chilled glass of Muscadet with same oysters or clams on the half shell to get the sense of balance. I have also sat down with with my wife and daughter to some exquisite ham, a few olives, a wedge of cheese, a loaf of bread and a bottle of Muscadet -- the combination was perfect.

        1. re: batterypark
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          george2 RE: batterypark May 30, 2007 05:43 PM

          Sounds great. I did a brief Google search and it appears to be a relatively inexpensive wine. It's a pretty special dinner and I'm willing to go out of my way to buy a special wine. Any suggestions for years and vintners?

          FWIW, I saw an interesting blurb for Muscadet from Domaine de la Pépière.

          1. re: george2
            carswell RE: george2 May 30, 2007 06:03 PM

            As much as I love a good Muscadet, especially from Pépière, I really don't think they have the heft to stand up to the flavours of the dish as I imagine it.

    2. carswell RE: george2 May 30, 2007 05:58 PM

      What a challenging dish to match a wine with.

      A rich, winey Champagne would surely do the trick.

      For a still white, I don't think your Chablis is far off the mark, especially if you went with a wine that had seen a little oak, though personally I'd incline toward the richness of a more southerly Burg, say a Meurseult, St-Aubin (Lamy's are excellent) or, if I were feeling flush, Montrachet.

      Actually, the first wine that sprang to my mind was Rijckaert's 2004 Arbois «Grand Élevage» Vielles Vignes Savagnin from the Jura. Savagnin pairs beautifully with smoke and pork flavours (seafood and sweetbreads are a given) and this bottle has just a touch of the vin jaune-style oxidation reminiscent of fino sherry, so it seems almost tailor-made for your dish. When I served it double-blind to a sommelier recently, he pegged it as a high-end Chardonnay from the Mâcon (southern Burgundy) region done in an old-fashioned, slightly oxidized style.

      If the other diners have adventurous palates, you could take along a more full-blown Savagnin or even a vin jaune (the most oxidized of all).

      Another white that would work is Hermitage, the older the better, and similar wines from top producers in nearby Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph.

      My knowledge of high-end Spanish whites is limited but there are bound to be some that would sing with that combination of flavours. Some of the finer dry sherries -- the mid or upper-level Amontillados or Palo Cortados from Lustau, for example -- would be naturals.

      3 Replies
      1. re: carswell
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        george2 RE: carswell May 30, 2007 06:51 PM

        I'm not familiar with the concept of "oxidized" as it applies to wine. How would you describe it?

        Also, where would I find the «Grand Élevage»? I'm in PA, where we have a relatively limited selection of wines. However, I'm not too far from NJ and DE.

        1. re: george2
          carswell RE: george2 May 30, 2007 07:11 PM

          "I'm not familiar with the concept of 'oxidized' as it applies to wine. How would you describe it?"

          A slightly nutty character. You can taste it for yourself, and inexpensively at that, by picking up a half bottle of fino sherry (Tio Pepe is a classic). For more background, see my Jura wine tasting notes from June of last year: www.chowhound.com/topics/304128

          "Also, where would I find the «Grand Élevage»? I'm in PA, where we have a relatively limited selection of wines."

          Wine Searcher shows that it and other Rijckaert wines are brought into the States. Certainly it can be found in NYC, quite possibly in NJ or DC. But I'm not the person to ask; maybe a chowhound in your area who's seen it will chime in. Or try some of the other wine search engines. Here in Quebec it's available only from the importer, not from the monopoly, for just under C$40 a bottle.

        2. re: carswell
          Bill Hunt RE: carswell May 30, 2007 07:53 PM

          I second the Chablis AND the fuller-bodied Sherry, as fine options for the dish. In general terms, the attendees might choose the Chablis, over the Sherry, but it should work well, especially with the slightly sea-saltiness to pair with the scallops. Me, I'd go with the Sherry, and offer the Chablis of all, who might want it.

          As far as "oxidation" goes, sample a Madeiria to see the characteristics of oxidation.

          Hunt

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          whiner RE: george2 May 31, 2007 12:33 AM

          I'd go with a Champagne (as someone said, a winey one, maybe like Collard) or a high acid drier Riesling. Maybe like a Prager or FX Pichler from Austria.

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            OliveBelle RE: george2 Jun 1, 2007 02:18 PM

            One of my favorite pairings ever was seared scallops on a fresh pea puree with Gruner Veltliner. If you picked a really full bodied Smaragd GV from the Wachau, or even a subtly oaked version from Kamptal (say, the Melusine 2005), it would pair wonderfully with the entire dish.

            1. ibstatguy RE: george2 Jun 1, 2007 10:06 PM

              champagne, hands down...

              1. maria lorraine RE: george2 Jun 1, 2007 11:32 PM

                Fascinating dish, right on the cusp between red and white.
                A big white: yes, Chablis or Carswell's suggestion of the «Grand Élevage» both seem good.
                The dish begins to move In the direction of red with the addition of favas, lomo and the smoky, citrusy, bell-peppery pimenton. I'm sounding like a broken record lately, but what about a Rose? Or a Spanish Garnacha. Any way you can do two wines?
                Don't think Champagne because bubbles may interfere with the interplay of flavors in the dish -- a still wine will work better. Not sure Vouvray or Muscadet have enough heft to take this on.
                Where did you come across this dish? Perhaps post the recipe? The flavors sound wonderful.

                2 Replies
                1. re: maria lorraine
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                  george2 RE: maria lorraine Jun 2, 2007 04:26 AM

                  Thanks for all the great suggestions; it's exactly what I was hoping for. However I should have added the my wife is not a fan of champagne.

                  The sherry vinegar makes this a tough match with wine and the dinner is catered so I don't know how pronounced the sherry will be. Paprika is also an unusual spice to add to scallops and sweetbreads.

                  There will be 15 people and need 3-4 bottles. After considering a lot of input, yesterday I bought two bottles of R PICHLER GRUNER VELTLINER SMARAGD HOCHRIAN 01, from Austria and two of SIMONNET FEBVRE CHABLIS 1ER CRU MONT DE MILLIEU 04. The fellow at the store was far more knowledgeable about wine than any PA wine and spirits employee I've ever met. He tried to talk me out of the Chablis and also recommended a Pinot Noir. His point of view was informative, and at least one other person recommended a Pinot Noir. After some discussion, I decided to stay the course.

                  For those of you who recommended a Jura, you’re not alone. Carswell, thanks for the wonderful description of Rijckaert's 2004 Arbois «Grand Élevage» Vielles Vignes Savagnin. Unfortunately, it's not available here in PA and a Google search turned up nothing for NJ or DE.

                  It seems there’s no perfect match for this dish but I’m really enjoying the learning experience. Drunk or sober, I’ll report back.

                  Thanks so much!

                  1. re: george2
                    winepunkguy RE: george2 Jun 2, 2007 02:55 PM

                    The Gruner Veltliner also gets my vote but my favorite scallop wine is Sauvignon Blanc and the nicest representation of SB is Sancerre.

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                  littlefrenchgirl RE: george2 Jun 3, 2007 09:49 PM

                  I would suggest a Mersault or Craggy Range Les Beaux Callioux (Chardonnay that mimicks a white Burgundy) (from New Zealand). These would be both in the $50 range.

                  These are buttery wines that are not overly oaky or overly buttery but just perfectly so.

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                    george2 RE: george2 Jun 11, 2007 08:02 AM

                    First I’d like to apologize for not posting right after the wine dinner to thank everyone for their input. I was waiting to get emails for all the wine/course matching and some people are taking their time in responding.

                    The dinner was a potential disaster, which turned into a great success. The chef, who is chef/owner of one of Philadelphia’s best BYOB’s was supposed to arrive at 4:30 and guests arrived at 7:00. His car broke down on the highway and he and his staff of a sous chef and server didn’t get there until 7:30. No food was served until 8:30. The 15 of us are a happy and patient bunch so we drank pinot noir and champagne. The chef was focused but frazzled and the food was fantastic.

                    As you can see, there was an enormous amount of food; six appetizers and seven courses and three of the courses had foie gras!

                    We were all pretty full after the appetizers, and we didn’t know there was another seven courses to come. On average, there was 30 minutes between courses and at one point about 10 of us took a 20 minute walk and a few of us smoked cigars. Two people ran up and down the stairs to get their bodies going.

                    By midnight, we realized we wouldn’t be able to fit all the courses in, unless we planned on staying over, so the fifth course (beef) was 86’d. Also, the port for dessert wasn’t served.

                    We didn’t finish until 1:15 and left soon after.

                    As soon as I get the information, I’ll fill in the wines with ?

                    Appetizers

                    Baby Lamb Chop with feta and ratatouille
                    Fresh shucked oyster shooter with spicy ginger broth, quail yolk and salmon caviar
                    Prime beef slider with fried onions and gruyere cheese
                    Petite Dungeness crab cake with grain mustard remoulade
                    Baby octopus with chorizo, olives and chickpea puree
                    Sweet corn arepa with spicy pork verde

                    Moet White Star NV

                    1st
                    Seared diver scallop and crispy sweetbread, favas and peas, shaved lomo, Spanish paprika and 25 year old sherry vinegar

                    R PICHLER GRUNER VELTLINER SMARAGD HOCHRIAN 01
                    SIMONNET FEBVRE CHABLIS 1ER CRU MONT DE MILLIEU 04

                    2nd
                    Seared foie gras with bing cherry beignent and cherry gastrique _

                    Château d'Yquem 1990 Sauterne
                    ? Sauterne

                    3rd
                    Pan roasted Long Island duck breast, tender organic greens, verjus macerated berries and duck liver mousse and cocoa nib crostini
                    WesMar Sonoma Coast, Balletto Vineyard Pinot Noir 2004

                    4th
                    “surf and Turf”: Veal tenderloin, butter poached lobster, sweet potato puree and sea
                    Pinot Noir?

                    5th
                    Barrel cut prime rib or strip steak (you choose), Braised beef shortrib, and creamy potato gratan
                    Cabernet ?

                    Cheese
                    Django’s artisan cheeses served with crostini, madelines and home made jams and confitures
                    Bordeaux/Graves?

                    Dessert
                    Chocolate terrine and almond semmifreddo
                    1997 Port?
                    Del Dotto Chardotto Port (blend of zinfadel syrah)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: george2
                      Bill Hunt RE: george2 Jun 11, 2007 06:18 PM

                      George,

                      Thanks for getting back with a report on the pairings. I've had a couple of events like this, when the chef's plane was 4 hrs. late, etc. Even had one, where the wine did not arrive until most of the guests were here. Luckily, I just hit the cellar, and they had no idea.

                      The Château d'Yquem 1990 Sauterne[s] is one of my favs. Had it about 4 years after release, and only hope that I can keep my wife out of my stash, until it gets a few years on it. For the "good stuff," there is an "s" on the end.

                      Can't wait to see how the list shapes up.

                      Hunt

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