Christmas pairings: Pairing wine and shellfish

Continuing our tribute to Christmas pairings, on this occasion we have focused on one of the star dishes of Christmas: The Shellfish.

Shrimps, prawns, crabs, goose barnacles….Exquisite shellfish that shouts out for a good wine pairing.

In this post we suggest some ideas for wine and shellfish pairings,  as well as some culinary tricks in order to enjoy each dish to the full. Take note!

vino-mariscoA tasty seafood platter © Restaurante Macael

When preparing a seafood platter, you only need to have two things however, these are very important: On one hand, the shellfish has to be very fresh and alive. On the other hand, the cooking time has to be perfect. If too much time passes by, the shellfish will be too dry.

There are many recipes and methods to cook shellfish, but our preference is to never cover up the delicious taste of the sea, interfering as little as possible with the flavour. We have prepared at Decántalo some of our favourite shellfish dishes.

Shrimps and Prawns are grilled with a drizzle of olive oil. They are salted on one side, then left for 2-3 minutes and this is then repeated on the other side, adding a pinch of garlic and parsley.

The crab is still alive; it is put in a pot of cold water and laurel leaves with the feet up. Once the water begins to boil, it takes 10 minutes for each kg of crab to cook. After this time, it is left to cool at room temperature. Once cooled, the legs are separated, then the shell and then the meat is taken out with a knife.

The goose barnacles only have one secret: the quality of goose barnacles. The best ones are grow in areas where the swell of the sea is strong against the rocks. They are boiled with little water. Ideally sea water, however if the sea water is not available one can add 70 grams of rock salt for every litre of water. The water is brought to boiling point, then the goose barnacles are added.  The water is left to simmer. When the water starts boiling again, the goose barnacles are ready.

To pair wines and shellfish, we recommend very fresh wines, minerals and a good acidity, preferably whites or  blancs de noirs. Sparkling wines, cavas and champagnes are also perfect pairings with these types of dishes. The iodized character of the shellfish means that we advise against choosing red wines as it will enhance their metallic taste.

Thinking of a good pairing between wine and shellfish? Here we have some recommendations:

Pazo Señorans Selección de Añada 2007. Suggestions in a post about pairing wines and shellfish means that it is impossible not to talk about the Albariño variety. Freshness, acidity, structure… and evidently a undoubtable union between the sea and Galician lands. The Albariño we suggest is not just any Albariño: Aged in deposits on its lees for 30 months, and 12 months resting in the bottle makes this Pazo Señorans an exceptional wine, recently recognised as the Best White Wine in Spain in the new Guía Peñín 2015.

Gramona Imperial Gran Reserva Brut 2008. Sparkling wines, cavas and champagens (can be Gran Reserva) are some of the perfect accompaniments with shellfish. Its broadness and delicacy, good acidity as well as the fine bubbles, help prepare the palate for the each mouthful, always complementing, and without covering up the subtle flavours in the food. As for the pairing we suggest an excellent Gramona Imperial Gran Reserva. A coupage of Xarel·lo and Macabeo with additional contributions of Chardonnay, a variety that works well with these type of dishes.

Lapola 2012. We return to Galicia however moving away from the sea to DO Ribeira Sacra, to present Lapola 2012, a coupage of Godello, Albariño and Doña Blanca. The minerality of the shellfish can be found in certain features which make Lapola the perfect partner. Additionally the wine is broad, sweet and a good acidity. A very interesting pairing!

We encourage you to try them. Enjoy your meal!

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