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Jan 25, 2009 06:18 PM

Wine pairing with Stone Crabs?

Hi everyone -- what kind of wine pairs well with stone crabs? Looking to spend $20-30 for a bottle at a wine shop. Please be as specific as you can...

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  1. Champagne or look for a Chablis from William Fevre

    1. A dry riesling from the Alsace region of france would work.

      1. Look for a 2005 through 2007 Chablis -- William Fèvre is a great place to start, but may not be in your price range. Also look for Jean-Claude Bessin, La Chablisienne, Jean Dauvissat, Jean-Paul et Benoît Droin, Alain Geoffroy, Jean-Pierre Grossot, Domaine Laroche, Corine Perchaud, Domaine Servin, among many, many others.

        Also look for a dry Alsatian Riesling from producers like Paul Blanck, Albert Boxler, Ernest Burn, Hugel, Keuntz-Bas, Charles Koelhy, Marc Kreydenweiss, Albert Mann, René Muré, Schlumberger, Bernard Schoffit, Trimbach, Weinbach, among many others.


        2 Replies
        1. re: zin1953

          Agree about the Chablis but I also like Loire for crab, Sancerre is great as it offers a nice citrus or lemon like pop or for a richer pairing I like Vouvray.

          1. re: zin1953

            I like Riesling with stone crab. Alsatian or German. Kabinett. I like the way the small amount of sweetness in the Riesling pairs with the small amount of sweetness in the crab. Loverly.

          2. I'm pretty much with the "crew," on Chablis and Champagne, but would also look to a non-NZ Sauvignon Blanc. I'm thinking a nice white Bdx. here, but some domestic, and also imports from the Loire and even the Southern Hemisphere could work.

            Stone crab has a wonderful sweetness. I'd not go towards some of my normal seafood whites, because I'd not wish to overpower that aspect. Like the Chablis, a nice SB can be just a twist of lemon to counter the sweetness of the crab.

            Murieta's Well (Livermore, CA) has an interesting white blend of SB and Semillon, that goes well with Dungeness crab - not quite the same flavor profile, but very similar. I'm sure that the Semillon concentration differs, but it's usually fairly low, so the SB comes through, without too much fruit forward.


            1. Not to hijack this thread, but it did make me wonder about something. When someone asks about a wine to go with a specific food (in this case stone crab), are the recommendations based purely on that, or the things that are likely to be served with it? Seems like every time I've had stone crab there has always been some type of mustard sauce- do you choose a wine to go with the crab or the sauce?

              Sorry if this is a stupid question- I am curious about it though...

              6 Replies
              1. re: Clarkafella

                The wine is recommended to go with the food mentioned. If the sauce is an important component, it should be mentioned also.

                1. re: maria lorraine

                  Thank you for the reply. It seems like it would be really hard to recommend something without knowing all of the components of the meal! I've always wondered about that, but I guess you just have to go with the information provided!

                  1. re: Clarkafella

                    It's very hard to recommend a wine, PERIOD, in a forum such as this.

                    For example: I don't know who "lobstaman" is, where he lives, or the type of wine he likes. For all I know, he HATES Riesling and Chardonnay, or thinks that "Chablis" is a wine from California that comes in one gallon/four liter jugs. Furthermore, it may be the case that absolutely NONE of the wines mentioned are available where he lives.

                    OK, "none" may be a bit far fetched, but I'm willing to bet only a few of the specific wines are available.

                    The BEST recommendation that (IMHO) one can get comes NOT from "an internet community of strangers" but rather from one's local wine merchant.

                    Whether it's a general food site like Chowhound, or a more specific wine-dedicated site, without knowing the specific taste preferences and experiences of the individual, as well as the availability of specific wines, the most we can accurately do is (IMHO) make solid but general recommendations.

                    A knowledgeable wine merchant can ask questions such as "how are the stone crabs prepared?" and "what kinds of wines do you like?" and -- most importantly -- "how much are you comfortable spending?"

                    Let's face it, one of the Alsatian Riesling producers I mentioned was Trimbach. So, they produce Riesling, Riesling "Reserve Personelle," Riesling "Cuvée Fredric Emile," Riesling "Clos St. Hune," and Riesling "Cuvée Fredric Emile Vendages Tardive." Which one did I recommend? The one that's $17, or the one that's $135? And what vintage?

                    IMHO, people here can only point in a general direction, but the best and most knowledgeable recommendations come from your local, reputable wine merchant -- except, of course, if you live in a place like Pennsylvania, Utah, or Quebec, where the state or provincial authorities control the retail market.


                    1. re: zin1953

                      Well stated. Similar almost needs to be a sticky atop this board's main page.

                      I get a snicker, when I see some of the recs. for an obscure Slovinian varietal, that even the producers in the area thought was long gone - an then, the poster insists that the '83 is the only one to pair with X... Yeah, right.

                      As always, appreciated,


                    2. re: Clarkafella

                      Just wanted to add that followup questions are often asked. How is this prepared? What is the sauce? How spicy is this? What ethnicity is this? How sweet is this dish? Because: Poached salmon poached and grilled salmon pair differently. Sometimes it is the sauce that is paired, and not the neutral base (as in chicken, pork, etc.). Seasonings, especially hot and spicy seasonings, change the pairing completely. Sweetness alters the pairing. And so forth.

                  2. re: Clarkafella

                    Not a "stupid question," at all. Just as I try to factor in the prep., I will also take a look at what else is going on with the plate. With the main item, sauces, gravies and marinades can take a dish from one wine across the specturm. I usually weigh sides a bit less, but they CAN come into play.

                    With stone crab, I find 99% served plain, with perhaps a drawn, or clarified butter dipping sauce. The crab is usually boiled with little seasoning in the pot, unlike say shrimp, or crawfish. I was *thinking* of plain, succulent stone crab, maybe even served chilled, but that is how I normally get/eat them.

                    If one was going to do them in a cream sauce, then I'd look to a white Burg, bigger than a Chablis, as my first choice. The richness of the sauce might would dictate whether to look to a Meursault or a Montrachet.

                    Mustard sauce would add a new dimension. There is vinegar in mustard to one degree, or another, plus there could be heat. In that case, maybe a GR Riesling in the mid-range of QmP designations. More heat, the higher up the scale I'd likely go, all the way up to an Auslese, if needed. Also, I find that one producer's Kabinet is often another's Spätlese.

                    I also like ML's Riesling rec, but would probably go Alsatian first, just because of my personal tastes.

                    I think it is a good question,