Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Gratuitous Seafood Shots

The fish people are back at my market after their winter vacation. Actually they've been back Since the beginning of April but I've only recently gotten into the swing of things. And now all of the sudden we are eating a lot of seafood in my house. Here are some recent favorites, and the wine pairings that love them:

I've been making fish soup for years, ever since I learned how easy it is to make fish stock. Type "fish soup" into the 'Search this Blog' box on the left sidebar and you'll see a load of posts that include my attempts at fish soup. Just made my first of the season and wound up going for a saffron, tomato, and chili flake version. Honestly, it was very good.

 One night I drank a Provence rose with this soup, always a winning pairing. Another time I opened a bottle of 2010 Domaine de Veilloux Cheveny Blanc. This is an absolutely lovely little Loire Valley wine that Mike Wheeler's MFW company imports, and I bought it for under $15. It's mostly Sauvignon Blanc with a little Menu Pineau in there too. I've liked everything I've had from the Loire Valley in the 2010 vintage, and this is no exception - it's crisp and fresh and quite energetic, with herbal and creamy flavors, and it's well balanced and complex on the finish. The acidity worked well with the rich and slightly spicy soup.

There hasn't been a lot of Mackerel this year, not that I've seen anyway. These pieces were so fresh and pretty that I merely dabbed them with a bit of miso and mirin glaze and put them under the broiler. At home I cannot reproduce the amazing golden char that Japanese restaurants are able to achieve, but mine are delicious nonetheless. Many white wines are delicious with broiled Mackerel but on this night I went with a chilled Poulsard, 2011 Tissot Poulsard Vieille Vignes, and the fish brought out the savory side of the wine, while at the same time the wine brought out the sweetness of the fresh fish.
Oysters are a pleasure that I haven't learned to love with the same gusto as some other folks. But maybe it turns out that it is the large east coast variety that I do not love so much. That said, I was in Martha's Vineyard recently with a good friend and he loves the locally farmed oysters. I must say that with a bracing glass of the beautiful Emilio Hidalgo Fino La Panesa, this was a lovely experience.

And bay scallops? SO delicious, and they require no cooking. If you trust your fish monger, (and why would they be your fish monger if you didn't trust them), just pop them in your mouth. Or, add a little bit of olive oil, sea salt, and lemon zest. We ate these while making dinner, while drinking the lovely NV Agrapart Brut Les 7 Crus Blanc de Blancs. This was such a great pairing! Okay, scallops and Champagne, not so hard. But Agrapart's style, even in this, the house's basic wine, is one of focus and finesse. There is nothing sticking out and the wine is quiet. It would not be understood in a large tasting, I imagine. But with bay scallops, whose delicate flavors I did not want to obscure in any way, this wine was perfect. And sitting there at the kitchen counter enjoying the subtle and chalky citric tones of the wine with a bay scallop or two...pas mal.

That's it, just a little gratuitous seafood. You know, to whet your appetite.

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