With daylight savings behind us, I hear a calling, the Siren of the sea, and she sings a song of delectable delicacies. Cancer magister, Dungeness crab is a bountiful harvest from the frigid waters of the Northern Pacific Coast whose season will be upon us in a snap!
When harvesting my herb garden I do sometimes ponder if plants can feel pain? So with this admission of my hunter-gatherer prowess it will come as no surprise that during my first crab boil, one escaped my grasp and in a last ditch effort for liberty scuttled across the kitchen floor heading for a dark recess under the refrigerator. The children shrieked, my wife giggled and a pair of beady eyes stared at me, imploring that I practice catch and release.
I did what is by now second nature and reached for my wine, my nerves were played and I needed a second to re-group. My choice of libation that evening was a super delicious 2007 Varner B Block Chardonnay. The wine was deep and complex with the right amount of tropical fruits and California yumminess, a hand in glove fit for the crab, and with that shameless lead-in I present my top-picks for wines to accompany your freshly prepared Dungeness crab.
2010 Pennautier Viognier ($10.99) This 100% Viognier white wine originates from the Languedoc region of Southern France, close to the ancient town of Carcassonne. The aromatics are typical of this grape, peaches and apricots with a hint of a delicate exotic spice. The wine is full-bodied and fruity, yet dry on the palate, with the pit fruits showing through a soft, lush finish.
2011 Trefethen Dry Riesling ($17.99) From the family owned winery of Trefethen, this is one of the best US dry Rieslings for the money. Delightful aromatics, oranges, grapefruits and a touch of lime are mirrored on the palate with a delicate hint of minerality and acidity.
2010 Paul Pernot Bourgogne Blanc ($21.99) This village level wine heralds from vineyards surrounding Puligny. A truly outstanding value, essentially this is Puligny Montrachet for a fraction of the price! The nose opens with wet stone and bright apple with a wide, rich mid-palate and a classic mineral finish.
2010 Buty Columbia Valley ($24.99) A New World interpretation of a classic Bordeaux white and I have oft likened this blend of white varietals to the wonderful wag, Oscar Wilde. To describe this libation is to use adjectives: dry, crisp, fruity, creamy! Perfect with a dry, crisp salad and dressing that is both fruity and creamy topped with Dungeness crab.
James D-B, Beltramo’s Wine Consultant