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Dry white for clam sauce

bucketfoodsnob Oct 3, 2007 01:51 PM


anyone have a good suggestion for a dry white wine to use in clam sauce? thanks!

  1. j
    jcr1 Oct 8, 2007 10:28 AM

    I believe a simple Trebbiano is the more traditional wine for clam sauce... I understand that tastes may vary, but it seems that the wormwood-flavors of vermouth would not be a good match for this dish.

    1. chef chicklet Oct 8, 2007 07:42 AM

      What I found with buying some of the less expensive whites for cooking, is that they taste bitter on my tongue. Then that's all I can taste. I haven't tried the vermouth, actually I hadn't thought of that. For me, the wine has to taste good. I dump bad wines, no matter what.
      Oh and I use sauvignon blanc for clam sauce. But now I will try the vermouth!

      1. f
        FrankJBN Oct 5, 2007 12:25 PM

        Pick up a $4 bottle of rene barbier Spanish white - or some other $4 bottle.

        The basic purpose of wine in this sauce is to add acidity.

        1 Reply
        1. re: FrankJBN
          ccferg Oct 5, 2007 02:37 PM

          But be careful not to add too much acidity. I like the sauce to taste real clammy, buttery and olive oily. I make my clam sauce with quahogs and always add plenty of that strong broth for the sauce. Also plenty of garlic, red pepper and parsley.

        2. c
          ccferg Oct 4, 2007 03:23 PM

          I make spaghetti and clam sauce at least once a week -- with whatever white wine is still open from the previous night. I'm not sure I could tell the difference. I throw a lot of garlic and red pepper into the mix. But I don't have a real subtle palate.

          6 Replies
          1. re: ccferg
            TonyO Oct 4, 2007 08:14 PM

            Vermouth works well.

            1. re: TonyO
              qianning Oct 4, 2007 09:47 PM

              Ditto the Vermouth suggestion. I always use Moilly Prat to make white clam sauce.

              1. re: qianning
                ccferg Oct 5, 2007 12:19 PM

                Yeah, I often use Vermouth because as a martini drinker I've always got some around. I recently started buying Moilly Prat and I think I do prefer it to the Martini and Rossi.

                1. re: ccferg
                  fauchon Oct 5, 2007 12:23 PM

                  Another vote for vermouth...Either Noilly Prat or Boissière...

                  1. re: fauchon
                    ccferg Oct 5, 2007 02:30 PM

                    Yeah, it's Noilly , not Moilly. Sorry about that. Tastes the same either way though.

                2. re: qianning
                  Candy Oct 5, 2007 02:33 PM

                  i generally use Noilly Pratt for cooking but for white clam sauce I might go with a Italian white vermouth like Cinzano. They are markedly different. Try a side by side sniffa and taste test

            2. j
              JaneRI Oct 3, 2007 01:56 PM

              I'm not a pinot grigio fan but that's what I'd use for a couple of different reasons....one, it has a 'blandness' (my word, not sure the correct term would be) that a fruity sauv blanc or an oakey chard doesn't have. 2nd, it's a common Italian white and if you stick to the same area for food & wine, you're often safe and they often have an affinity for one another. Lastly, you can get something decent/drinkable for under $10, which is my standard for wine to cook with.

              Last thing - I predict this will be moved out of NE and into Wine in about 10 minutes.

              3 Replies
              1. re: JaneRI
                bucketfoodsnob Oct 3, 2007 01:59 PM

                d'oh. my bad for the post in food. It's going in the sauce so I call it food. Thanks for the suggestion! mmmmm clam sauce.

                1. re: JaneRI
                  FrankJBN Oct 5, 2007 12:26 PM

                  Don't you find a lot of crappy PGs under $10?

                  1. re: FrankJBN
                    JaneRI Oct 8, 2007 05:23 AM

                    Frank, I don't think I understand your question....? I'll try to answer anyway. Yes, of course there are a lot of crappy pinots under $10. Lots of crappy chards, merlots and everything else under $10. But I find that you can easily find a drinkable PG under $10, and for the other reasons listed above, I find it to be a good cooking wine when white is called for. But I don't enjoy drinking PG, so I don't buy it often. You'll never find me buying a $20 PG, you know? Does that answer your question?

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