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Wine pairing with Stone Crabs?

lobstaman Jan 25, 2009 06:18 PM

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...

  1. i
    Iowaboy3 Jan 29, 2009 08:15 PM

    How about a Torrontes from Argentina like La Yunta?

    1. l
      lobstaman Jan 28, 2009 02:44 AM

      Thanks for all the wonderful replies. I knew I would get knowledgeable and thoughtful posts from chowhounders.

      To answer some of the questions that have arisen regarding the context of the stone crabs.... I'm having them delivered by Joe's Stone Crabs to my buddy (and his new wife) in NYC as a wedding present, and I was wanting to buy them an appropriate bottle of wine. They just returned from their honeymoon in New Zealand, and I was thinking of pairing with a NZ Sauvignon Blanc, in part for sentimental reasons, so I'm glad that Bill Hunt specifically recommended avoiding this pairing. They'll be served cold with Joe's mustard sauce.

      I'll let you all know what I decided on and how it turns out...

      7 Replies
      1. re: lobstaman
        Frodnesor Jan 28, 2009 10:26 AM

        I would definitely avoid the NZ SBs for this pairing, which are way too grapefruit-y and astringent for the pairing. One of my friend's favorite pairings is Montrachet. If you (or your friend) like SB and want something lighter, I'd go with a Sancerre.

        The Joe's mustard sauce is more creamy than it is pungent and mustard-y. Recipe here ->

        Incidentally, stone crabs are almost always served cold, as the iodine flavor becomes very prominent if they're eaten warm. That was supposedly the stroke of genius by the original "Joe", Joe Weiss, who figured out how the things could be eaten.

        1. re: Frodnesor
          Bill Hunt Jan 28, 2009 06:21 PM

          Though I love them, and usually have some around, I do agree with this suggestion. I just do not see a NZ charastic SB pairing with the sweet crab meat.


        2. re: lobstaman
          WineAG Jan 30, 2009 04:04 AM

          Joe's Stone Crab... never hit Miami w/o a stop. I like the Meursault idea... if I were picking one for tonight, it would be a Comte Lafon Meursault Charmes, 95, 96, or 97..... but most often when at Joe's (considering their list) I typically pick a nice full bodied California Chardonnay.

          1. re: WineAG
            zin1953 Feb 1, 2009 09:06 AM

            When there, I do a Meursault . . .

            1. re: WineAG
              Frodnesor Feb 1, 2009 09:33 AM

              I recently hosted a group dinner at Joe's and have a copy of a wine list. Not sure if it's the complete list or not, but the only Meursault on the list is a Verget (which we poured for our dinner). Vintage unspecified, but I believe it was a 2006, and it worked just fine. I believe we also poured a Ladoucette Pouilly Fume, which was also nice.

              1. re: Frodnesor
                WineAG Feb 25, 2009 05:38 AM

                Went to Joe's on Saturday... had the 2006 Verget Meursault... was nice. On the list at $75. Stone Crab was fantastic as usual.

            2. re: lobstaman
              vinosnob Feb 25, 2009 07:58 AM

              Was in MIami Beach for a wedding a few weeks ago and we had to eat at Joe's for lucnh.

              Sancerre was my choice with the stone crabs and it rocked.

            3. c
              Clarkafella Jan 26, 2009 06:34 PM

              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
                maria lorraine Jan 26, 2009 08:19 PM

                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
                  Clarkafella Jan 26, 2009 08:40 PM

                  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
                    zin1953 Jan 27, 2009 05:58 AM

                    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
                      Bill Hunt Jan 27, 2009 04:11 PM

                      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
                      maria lorraine Jan 27, 2009 03:47 PM

                      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
                    Bill Hunt Jan 27, 2009 04:05 PM

                    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,


                  3. Bill Hunt Jan 26, 2009 05:14 PM

                    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. z
                      zin1953 Jan 26, 2009 06:20 AM

                      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
                        bubbles4me Jan 26, 2009 11:14 AM

                        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
                          maria lorraine Jan 26, 2009 08:20 PM

                          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. m
                          MDub Jan 26, 2009 04:06 AM

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

                          1. The Chowfather Jan 25, 2009 06:31 PM

                            Champagne or look for a Chablis from William Fevre

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