By Bill St. John, Special to Tribune Newspapers
December 5, 2012
One surefire white wine match with lobster is one of the more difficult wines to pair with food overall: New World chardonnay. The general lack of acidity and tropical fruit flavors might give it widespread appeal as a wine by the glass, but it is a dud alongside most foods — except lobster, with which it acts as a surrogate, buttery "sauce."
It's an oddity about some wine and food pairings that rich wine and even richer food often make terrific plate mates. This recipe calls for "celebration," so one recommendation is a fine high-end California chardonnay.
The food: Celebration lobster Cobb salad
Whisk together 1/4 cup Champagne vinegar, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 1 clove minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Whisk in 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil until thickened. Place 10 ounces mixed baby lettuce and 6 ounces arugula in a salad bowl; top with 1 cup halved grape tomatoes; 6 slices cooked, crumbled bacon; 3 hard-cooked eggs, sliced; cooked meat from 2 lobster tails, chopped in large chunks, and 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles. Top with 2 sliced avocados. Toss salad with just enough dressing to coat the leaves. Makes: 4 servings
The wines 2009 Hestan Vineyards Chardonnay, San Francisco Bay, California: An odd appellation, yes, but from the extreme southeast portion of Napa, where the vineyard coolness adds happy acidity; although lengthily aged in new French casks, no wood dries up the soft, baby fat texture. $50
2012 Concha y Toro Sauvignon Blanc Gran Reserva Serie Riberas, Ribera del Rapel, Chile: This is the wine version of a mojito, with an incisive core of lime accented with mint and (much) minerals; terrific acidity under a plush texture. $17
2011 Vera Alvarinho, Vinho Verde, Portugal: Not the everyday vinho verde; more serious and much juicier, rounder and lengthier of flavor; the best grape of the area in a 100 percent version. $15-$16.
— Bill St. John, special to Tribune Newspapers
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