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May 30, 2007 05:13 PM

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

... 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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    1. re: batterypark

      What characteristics of a Muscadet go with the dish?

      1. re: george2

        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

          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

            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. 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

        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

          "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:

          "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

          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.


        3. 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.

          1. 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. champagne, hands down...