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ISO pairing with clams, fennel, spicy Ital. sausage

c oliver Dec 11, 2008 08:19 AM

I'm going to be fixing a dish that includes steamed clams, fennel and spicy Italian sausage over pasta. Could you recommend a moderate price wine for this please? Thanks in advance.

  1. t
    tmso Dec 12, 2008 07:01 AM

    For a variant of this sauce with no tomatoes, just a hint of garlic, parsley and oil, I'm fond of a Sylvaner with just a touch of residual sugar.

    1. g
      grantham Dec 11, 2008 08:24 PM

      Does your dish include tomatoes/tomato sauce at all?

      4 Replies
      1. re: grantham
        c oliver Dec 11, 2008 08:38 PM

        Yes. One small can of diced tomatoes. Also butter, onion, oregano, white wine and parsley.

        1. re: c oliver
          grantham Dec 11, 2008 08:55 PM

          I'm sorry I didn't fully read the thread or I would have picked up on the tomatoes. I frequently make a dish for lunch that sounds a lot like yours, but is more of a soup, not served over pasta, and has more tomatoes (I use the canned La Bella San Marzano Italian plum). My dish has clams, pork, sometimes Italian sausage. I didn't see a mention of garlic. My dish is full of it.
          For this dish, I would never consider a white wine. We have several hearty, earthy, reds in our cellar. I find my three usual "go-to's" (as I said, I make this dish frequently) are a Marques de Caceres Rioja, a Spanish Tempranillo, and a Peter Lehmann Barossa Shiraz. All are reasonably priced, and although they are very different wines, seem to complement the dish in different ways.

          1. re: grantham
            grantham Dec 11, 2008 09:13 PM

            Forgot to mention, my dish does not include fennel.

            1. re: grantham
              c oliver Dec 12, 2008 06:48 AM

              It's not that you didn't fully read; I didn't mention the other ingredients :) Is it the tomatoes alone that would send you towards the red side? There's no garlic in this. We really like Marques.... and also Tempranillos. Thanks to all for the continuing help. CH is hopefully going to move me from an above average cook to someone who can do a better job of menu planning.

        2. m
          mengathon Dec 11, 2008 06:25 PM

          Friulian sauvignon or sauvignon-based blend. The Livio Felluga 'Terre Alte' is a great example, though perhaps a bit out of your price range. A fuller bodied grüner veltliner works too.

          2 Replies
          1. re: mengathon
            c oliver Dec 11, 2008 06:30 PM

            What would you anticipate a bottle of that would cost?

            1. re: c oliver
              mengathon Dec 11, 2008 07:00 PM

              I want to say somewhere around $45, but cant be entirely sure.

          2. a
            a81 Dec 11, 2008 09:30 AM

            chacoli, albarino, falanghina

            2 Replies
            1. re: a81
              Brad Ballinger Dec 11, 2008 06:02 PM

              chacoli is actually spelled txakoli if you are looking for it.

              1. re: Brad Ballinger
                bubbles4me Dec 11, 2008 06:09 PM

                Cassis Blanc is lovely with that dish

            2. alkapal Dec 11, 2008 08:46 AM

              hey, co! i think a prosecco would counteract the fattiness of the sausage, but complement the sweetness of the fennel. it wouldn't fight with the clams (and the clams won't fight with the wine, since they're "disabled"). the sparkling aspect is fun, too.

              big, important question, is this an olive oil - fish fumet sauce, or does it have tomatoes? that could alter some suggestions, because of acidity from the tomatoes.

              the albarino suggestion sounds promising, from its description here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albariño

              the vermintino i've had was not impressive, but there are probably a couple of really good reasons for that situation.

              hey, try both!!!

              wine hounds, what about french wines from the south, along the coastal areas? to pick up some minerality/salinity from the location? like what might be served with a bouillabaisse, which also has that fennel flavor note, as is here with the fennel itself, and the fennel seed in the sausage? <this thread might be useful in that respect, for our wine education ;-) http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/292491 >.

              edit: i am thinking that wines for bouillabaisse could be more acidic than for your dish, since the bouillabaisse broth is "rich" with saffron and saturated seafood flavors.

              1. b
                Brad Ballinger Dec 11, 2008 08:40 AM


                1. v
                  vinosnob Dec 11, 2008 08:39 AM

                  Vermentino, albarino, rose (still or sparkling), champagne or other sparkler (prosecco, cava, cremant, etc.), sauvignon blanc, riesling (kabinett or spatlese), gewurtz (Alsace), lambrusco.

                  Stay away from wines with high alcohol and heavy tannins.

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