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John Mills

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Lobster Wine Pairing

by John Mills » Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:39 pm

Quick question...

I'm having people over on Sunday and steaming a few lobsters. Normally, I go with a Muscadet or Sav Blanc, but want to try something new.

I know that some people like a traditional oaky Chardonnay, but I'm not a big fan of those flavors together.

Lobster will be served simply with a little butter and lemon. That's it.

Had anything recently in the $20 and under range that knocked your socks off?

Thanks.
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Håvard Flatland

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Re: Lobster Wine Pairing

by Håvard Flatland » Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:56 pm

Well, lobster, butter and lemon - that is almost crying for chardonnay. But it doesn't have to be oaky. There are some good producers of Chablis who avoid oak aging. And some that have a very gentle oaking of the wines.

Non oak producers: Louis Michel, Jean-Claude Martin, Jean Marc Brocard and J. Moreau & Fils.

Gentle oakers: Gérard Duplessis, Louis Pinson, Laurent Tribut and of course the more expensive but tasty Vincent Dauvissat and Francois Raveneau.

In my world lobster is extravagant and expensive so spending a good 1. cru Chablis or perhaps a Saint-Aubin would be apropriate. Just my 2 cents.


But hey, why not try something different? A 3 puttonyos Tokaji or Late Harvest wine. Could work out.
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Re: Lobster Wine Pairing

by Mike B. » Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:02 pm

Hey John, I've heard that an oaked, buttery Chard can complement lobster, but I'm not a fan of that style either.

However, there are plenty of crisp, unoaked Chards on the market that should make a great match.

If I were you, I'd try both styles. Consider it an experiment. And an excuse to open two bottles of wine. :wink:

Whatever you choose, remember to post the results here.
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Re: Lobster Wine Pairing

by John Mills » Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:55 pm

Thanks Harvard and Mike.

I thought about Chablis too. That would be a great choice.
Thanks for the list as well. I look forward to trying some of those choices.

Do I post the results back here or start a new topic?
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Re: Lobster Wine Pairing

by Maria Samms » Fri Jan 19, 2007 3:00 pm

Hi John,

I agree with the others about the unoaked Chard. like Chablis...may be pricey though. I don't mind Pouilly-Fuisse with shellfish either it's less oaky then US Chards and even if it's not great on it's own it goes pretty well with food.

Also, you could try a Dry German Riesling or some Champagne/sparkling wine would be nice as well.

I am interested to see what others have to say...GL and let's us know what you decide.
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Re: Lobster Wine Pairing

by Otto » Fri Jan 19, 2007 3:01 pm

I recently had a great experience with a full bodied South African Riesling. The extra ripeness when compared to the Northern European ones I generally drink, I think did the trick.

I would imagine that some Sicilian whites, e.g. Donnafugata's Vigna di Gabri from the Ansonica grape, might work also.
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Re: Lobster Wine Pairing

by Sue Courtney » Fri Jan 19, 2007 3:09 pm

John,
I can't think of anything better than chardonnay, and as others have said, it doesn't have to be oaky, but a little oak can add some lovely layers to the wine. I've never had lobster but if it is anything like crayfish, and they look pretty similar except for the lobster's whopping great big front claws, then the meat will be quite rich and sweet. A well-made barrel-fermented chardonnay with time on the yeast lees aging adds savoury tones to the wine and this can be really complimentary to the sweet meat without the oakiness of the wine being over the top.
I would never match sauvignon blanc to crayfish, well not an in-your-face fruity NZ sauvignon blanc (which is what I normally drink) as it would overpower the seafood.
Cheers,
Sue
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Re: Lobster Wine Pairing

by John Mills » Fri Jan 19, 2007 3:16 pm

Oh Sue, you HAVE to try lobster. Yes, it's rich like crawfish, but on a totally different level.

When I was married (on a farm in Truro, Mass - Cape), we spent all of our money on seafood. We had lobsters that were pulled in that day, as well as Welfleet oysters, clams and mussells pulled in that morning.

Sorry, I got a little hyper.

I like a nice 1 1/4 pound lobster, steamed or grilled with a just a little lemon butter. HMMMM.
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Sue Courtney

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Re: Lobster Wine Pairing

by Sue Courtney » Fri Jan 19, 2007 3:21 pm

John Mills wrote:Oh Sue, you HAVE to try lobster. Yes, it's rich like crawfish, but on a totally different level.

As far as I know, lobster is not available in New Zealand, which is where I am, but crayfish is my favourite, favourite seafood and fresh out of the sea is best. Are crayfish and crawfish the same?
One day, when I get to the States, I'll have to try lobster.
Cheers,
Sue
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Re: Lobster Wine Pairing

by John Mills » Fri Jan 19, 2007 3:24 pm

I think they're the same – and I love them too. My friends in New Orleans ship them to me.
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Re: Lobster Wine Pairing

by JC (NC) » Fri Jan 19, 2007 3:24 pm

Sue,
Is lobster unavailable in New Zealand? You should indeed try lobster tail if not a whole lobster.
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Re: Lobster Wine Pairing

by Sue Courtney » Fri Jan 19, 2007 3:42 pm

JC (NC) wrote:Sue,
Is lobster unavailable in New Zealand? You should indeed try lobster tail if not a whole lobster.


I don't think we have true lobster here. Never seen it. Just done some searching, though, and it seems that what we call crayfish is 'Rock Lobster', or 'Red Spiny Rock Lobster'. It is a salt water crustacean, not fresh water. They can grow into really big daddies.

From wikipedia
"Spiny lobsters, also known as rock lobsters are a family (Palinuridae) of about 45 species of achelate crustaceans, in the Decapoda Reptantia. Spiny lobsters are also called crayfish, sea crayfish or crawfish.

Although they superficially resemble true lobsters in terms of overall shape, and having a hard carapace and exoskeleton, the two groups are not closely related. Spiny lobsters can be easily distinguished from true lobsters by their very long, thick, spiny antennae, and by their complete lack of claws (chelae); true lobsters have much smaller antennae and claws on the first three pairs of legs, with the first being particularly enlarged. Like true lobsters, however, spiny lobsters are edible and are an economically significant food source; they are the biggest food export of the Bahamas."

I imagine they taste pretty similar. The tails are the easiest to eat. But it's fun cracking open the legs and antennae and sucking every last bit of that delicious meat.

Cheers,
Sue
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Re: Lobster Wine Pairing

by Alan A. » Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:46 pm

Sue Courtney wrote:
JC (NC) wrote:Sue,
Is lobster unavailable in New Zealand? You should indeed try lobster tail if not a whole lobster.


I don't think we have true lobster here. Never seen it. Just done some searching, though, and it seems that what we call crayfish is 'Rock Lobster', or 'Red Spiny Rock Lobster'. It is a salt water crustacean, not fresh water. They can grow into really big daddies.

From wikipedia
"Spiny lobsters, also known as rock lobsters are a family (Palinuridae) of about 45 species of achelate crustaceans, in the Decapoda Reptantia. Spiny lobsters are also called crayfish, sea crayfish or crawfish.

Although they superficially resemble true lobsters in terms of overall shape, and having a hard carapace and exoskeleton, the two groups are not closely related. Spiny lobsters can be easily distinguished from true lobsters by their very long, thick, spiny antennae, and by their complete lack of claws (chelae); true lobsters have much smaller antennae and claws on the first three pairs of legs, with the first being particularly enlarged. Like true lobsters, however, spiny lobsters are edible and are an economically significant food source; they are the biggest food export of the Bahamas."

I imagine they taste pretty similar. The tails are the easiest to eat. But it's fun cracking open the legs and antennae and sucking every last bit of that delicious meat.

Cheers,
Sue


Spiny lobster (what you call crayfish) would be very similar to Maine lobster in flavor. Here in the states spiny lobsters are called Florida lobsters as they are found in the warm waters off the Gulf Coast states (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas).

Image
Florida Lobster
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Re: Lobster Wine Pairing

by Carl Eppig » Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:00 pm

Spiny lobster, which you can only eat the tail of, does not even come close to the flavor of Maine lobster, which is caught across the North Atlantic shores and offshore in winter. It is comparing faux crab with real crab.

We eat our lobster with two parts lemon juice or more to one part butter. With this combo we prefer SB from New Zealand or South Aftrica, or a dry Riesling such as those from the Finger Lakes. If these are not available in a pinch we will go with a nice Maconnais.
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Re: Lobster Wine Pairing

by Sue Courtney » Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:33 pm

Alan A. wrote:Spiny lobster (what you call crayfish) would be very similar to Maine lobster in flavor. Here in the states spiny lobsters are called Florida lobsters as they are found in the warm waters off the Gulf Coast states (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas).

Image
Florida Lobster


Yup - that looks exactly like them.


Carl Eppig (Middleton, NH wrote:Spiny lobster, which you can only eat the tail of, does not even come close to the flavor of Maine lobster, which is caught across the North Atlantic shores and offshore in winter. It is comparing faux crab with real crab.


Well, I can't argue with your taste comparison, Carl, because I haven't tasted the too together, but I will challenge your statement "which you can only eat the tail of", because with the red spiny lobster (NZ crayfish), I eat everything except the guts, the gill-like thingies and the shell. The mustard, in particular, is a delicacy.

Cheers,
Sue
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Re: Lobster Wine Pairing

by Howie Hart » Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:43 pm

BTW - There is a very similar discussion over in the Kitchen Forum. For some reason, I thought they were of the same origin, but now I realize thy're not. :? I prefer Vouvray with lobster.
Last edited by Howie Hart on Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lobster Wine Pairing

by James Roscoe » Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:43 pm

Beer?

Don't compare your sissy lobster with real Maine lobster. Don't compare sissy crab with real blue crab from the Chesapeake. :twisted:
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Re: Lobster Wine Pairing

by Dave Erickson » Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:57 pm

Never challenge a New Englander about lobster, or a Marylander about crab. :D

By the same token, never challenge a Kiwi about mussels. Green-lipped New Zealand mussels are the best!

I'd drink a big California chard with lobster, but only because as far as I'm concerned, it's the one and only successful food match for a big California chard.
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Re: Lobster Wine Pairing

by Charles Weiss » Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:49 pm

Try a demi-sec or moulleux chenin blanc. Ideally, a high quality demi-sec vouvray at least 7-8 years old, but a more modest off-dry vouvray or montlouis or similar would do.
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Re: Lobster Wine Pairing

by Clint Hall » Fri Jan 19, 2007 7:58 pm

Charles Weiss wrote:Try a demi-sec or moulleux chenin blanc. Ideally, a high quality demi-sec vouvray at least 7-8 years old, but a more modest off-dry vouvray or montlouis or similar would do.
Charles.


Right on! Charles (and Howie). Thanks for the suggestion. I've been trying to make a list of all the things that will go well with the wonderful 2005 demi-sec Vouvrays and Montlouis that are now beginning to come on the market, and I think your lobster suggestion will probably be just about perfect. Actually, the 2005 Vouvrays and Montlouis I've tasted so far from this remarkable year are so big that some of the secs (specifically some Chidaines) also should do a good job with lobster.

Regarding Sauvignon Blanc, a few of the bigger Sancerres or Pouilly-Fumes probably might do, too, say one of the Didier Dageneaus, but I agree with Sue that Sauvignon Blancs generally aren't the thing for lobster.
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Re: Lobster Wine Pairing

by Charles Weiss » Fri Jan 19, 2007 8:11 pm

Clint,
I haven't tasted any of the 2005 Chidaines yet. Any particular recommendations?
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Re: Lobster Wine Pairing

by Clint Hall » Fri Jan 19, 2007 8:34 pm

Charles Weiss wrote:Clint,
I haven't tasted any of the 2005 Chidaines yet. Any particular recommendations?
Charles


Charles, the two Francois Chidaines I've tried so far apparently are secs as there is no indication of sweetness on the label and the other three I brought home from the wine shop are designated demi-sec. Of the two secs, Vouvray Clos Baudoin and Montlouis Clos du Breuil, my favorite, and my wife's, is the Breuil, a many layered minerally wine that I am ordering more of today. The Baudoin is also excellent. My wine shop friend describes it as "malty but deeper" than the Breuil," and I go along with the malty part but the layered effect of the Breuil is what I would call deep.

I'll report back when I've also tasted the three demi-secs. Your post serves as a reminder that I better get busy and telephone the wine shop to set aside a case of the Breuil before they are sold out.

But the word is that the Huets are even better, although they have not yet arrived.
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Re: Lobster Wine Pairing

by JoePerry » Fri Jan 19, 2007 8:51 pm

Charles Weiss wrote:Try a demi-sec or moulleux chenin blanc. Ideally, a high quality demi-sec vouvray at least 7-8 years old, but a more modest off-dry vouvray or montlouis or similar would do.
Charles.


Agreed.
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Re: Lobster Wine Pairing

by Dale Williams » Fri Jan 19, 2007 8:52 pm

Clint Hall wrote: the word is that the Huets are even better, although they have not yet arrived.


I like that word. Opening the '05 Le Haut-Lieu sec in about 5 minutes (with fried chicken, not lobster). I'm really a demi-sec guy, but look forward to this.
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