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‘Summer of Shellfish’ with Rick Stein’s Restaurants

Written by: Tom Gilbey

While traditionally August is a quieter month for us with London emptying and the wineries in France, Spain and Italy shutting down, this year we’re keeping busy with Rick Stein’s ‘Summer of Shellfish’ campaign that’s showcasing delicious lobsters, oysters, crabs and crayfish.

With Charlie (Stein) as a member of our Wine Buying team, we’re excited to put forward some perfect wines to match the excitement. Here’s a wine pairing guide for some of their fantastic shellfish dishes…
 

Cornish Lobster and Chips

Lobster is the undisputed king of shellfish. Its meaty, sweet and intense flavours go perfectly with full bodied, juicy and citrus leading whites and we’d happily tuck in with one (or more) of these three belters:

Good – Julien Schaal 2016 Chardonnay, Elgin, South Africa

Splitting his time between Alsace (France) and Elgin (South Africa), Julien makes traditionally styled wines with fermentation occurring in new French oak barriques, from cool climate vineyards to maintain freshness and with minimal interference in the winemaking. This Chardonnay has all the citrus and butter like notes of good white Burgundy, but with an extra Pouilly-Fuissé-like richness.

Better – Rully 2016 David Moret

David Moret is a hero within the office, known for bringing consistently great wines to our tables. Brimming with fresh acidity and a mouthful of spice and citrus, this buttery Burgundy marries with the lobster as perfectly as any wine could, which makes both eating and drinking very difficult to stop.

Best – Meursault 2015 Domaine Fernand Boyer

A quintessential match to Lobster, this is a very, very good wine. It’s richer than the Rully and slightly longer on the pallet. This is for those ‘splash out’ occasions where you won’t settle for anything other than the best, and in our opinion (especially when wine is involved), why should you?

 

Cornish Chilli Crab

Crab is mild and sweet, with a meaty texture. Add in a kick of chilli and you’re looking at a mouth-watering dish that’s just begging to be paired with a fresh and crisp white wine.

Good – Domaine Brumont Gros Manseng/Sauvignon 2016, Cotes de Gascogne

This is one of the longest-standing wines on the wine list at The Seafood Restaurant (Padstow) and it’s very easy to see why. Fresh and zippy with crisp acidity and a rich, citrus backbone, this little star goes brilliantly with all seafood, and crab in particular.

Better – Assyrtiko Santo Wines 2017, Santorini, Greece

If you’ve not yet been swept up in the wave of excitement for Greek wines, you will be soon! From the island of Santorini, where the volcanic soils lend Assyrtiko (A-SEER-TEE-KO) floral, orange blossom and jasmine notes. This Chablis-esque wine is a cracking match to the Chilli Crab and an interesting one at that.

Best – Pouilly-Fuisse ‘Clos sur la Roche’ 2015 Domaine Saumaize Michelin

One of the best wines that Rick has on his list, this mineral and floral Burgundy (found by Charlie) is powerful and concentrated. The palate is laden with flavours of peach and pear with a crisp and refreshing mineral quality that pairs exceptionally well with crab. It holds its own and if you’re anything like us, you’ll be reaching for another glass in a heartbeat.

 

6 Oysters & a glass of Champagne

Best - Champagne Beaumont des Crayères - NV Brut

Rick Stein’s Champagne is the NV Brut from Champagne Beaumont des Crayères and has been for many years. Based in the small village of Mardeuil (just west of Epernay), this Champagne is predominately Pinot Meunier and flaunts super crisp and slightly floral notes. Oysters and Champagne – could there be a better match? We think not.

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