Wine pairing of the week: Tawse’s Spark Limestone Ridge Sparkling Riesling & Crab Cakes
From Limestone Ridge, Tawse’s newest estate vineyard comes this pretty aromatic sparkler. Crafted with hand-harvested Riesling grapes in the Méthode Traditionnelle, it displays great complexity imparted by bottle-fermentation. Bright with crisp acidity, it’s bursting with aromas and flavours of green apples, lime and lemon drops with a touch of minerality. Soft and persistent mousse with clean and lasting lemon-hued finish. Perfect on its own. Beautifully pairs with crab cakes and grilled seafood. Tasted June 2016/91 points. LCBO# 370361, $19.95.
A humble crab cake, a type of fishcake wildly popular in the coastal US, from New England, the Gulf Coast, to the Pacific Northwest, and the Northern California.
It is made with crab meat, bread crumbs, milk, mayo, eggs and the seasoning mix which usually includes paprika, mustard, crushed red pepper flakes, salt & pepper. Cloves, allspice, nutmeg, cardamom and ginger are often added as well.
The cakes are either broiled, sautéed, grilled or baked and served with lemon wedges and sometimes a dash of Worcestershire sauce. My favourite crab cake wine pairings are whites with bright acidity, either still or sparkling would do nicely. Here are a few of my favourites for this summer season:
Norman Hardie County Pinot Gris 2013, Prince Edward County, ON
Vinified with 100% County fruit this fantastic white comes with a great concentration of aromas and flavours due to exceptionally small yields, use of natural yeast and further maturation sur lie. Dry and aromatic, it’s bursting with citrus aromas of lime drops and lemon zest on the nose, followed by ripe peaches on the palate. It closes in a long, clean mineral-toned finish. Fantastic with grilled seafood. VINTAGES#: 359547, $ 25.00.
Ormarine Picpoul De Pinet Jeanjean
This Picpoul vineyard of Pinet lies just a stone throw away from the Mediterranean Sea in Coteaux de Languedoc in the sunny south of France. It is vinified with a 100% Picpoul; Languedoc’s indigenous white varietal. Fresh, fruity and crisp with lively acidity and a touch of minerality. Aromas and flavors of lemon drops and grapefruit beautifully balanced off with ripe passion fruit and white flowers mingle in this delicious and elegant white. Enjoy it as a perfect aperitif or with juicy crab cakes or lobster bits dipped in garlic butter. Best served at 6 – 8 C
Spier Stellenbosch Chenin Blanc Anno 1692, South Africa
With a history dating back to 1692, Spier vineyards in Stellenbosch region are one of the oldest in South Africa. Their Signature Chenin Blanc is dry, fresh and fruity with crisp acidity and aromas of green apple, pear and honey. Well balanced palate delivers tropical notes of mango, pineapple and passion fruit with a touch of minerality. It would make a great companion to a crispy crab cakes or on its own as a delicious aperitif.
Oxford Landing Estates Landing Estates Viognier, South Australia
A full, round and complex wine, this musky, aromatic 100% Viognier brings a punch of citrus on the nose with it’s lime zest, mandarin peel and ruby grapefruit aromas. Palate delivers flavours of honeysuckle, quince and sun-soaked peaches with pronounced minerality and a rich feel in the mouth followed by a crisp buttery finish. An amazing compliment to crab cakes, grilled scallops and lobster.
Sip and crunch away !