By LaGayle ~ March 16th, 2011.
One of my favorite foods is crabmeat au gratin; however, itâ€™s not something that I eat often. While it is â€œyummyâ€ as my granddaughter says, it is very rich. I decided that it would be a great food to incorporate into one of our challenging wine pairing dinners. Dungeness crabmeat was used in this preparation along with the usual onion, bell pepper, several different cheeses, and spices including Creole seasoning. This entrÃ©e is delicious, itâ€™s simple to prepare, and it makes a great presentation. I chose to serve it in individual au gratin dishes rather than as a casserole.
The menu for this meal consisted of a mixed green salad, Dungeness crabmeat au gratin, corn maque choux, and Cajun green bean stir-fry. As a note on the side dish, corn maque choux (pronounced â€œmock shoeâ€) is a traditional dish of southern Louisiana thought to be of Cajun and Native American influence and has ingredients that include corn, bell pepper, onion, and tomatoes.
Once the menu was set, it was time to select our two wines. With the seafood entrÃ©e, we chose two white wines, both from Washington State, the 2009 Maison Bleue Jaja White Wine, a blend of Roussanne, Chardonnay, and Marsanne, and the 2008 Crayelle Cellars Dry Riesling. Both of these wines had done well in previous blind samples tastings, and we were excited to try them with food. They were both very good and paired well with the meal; however, three out of the four of us gave the nod for the night to the Jaja White. By the way, the Jaja label explains that â€œjajaâ€ is southern French slang for a great everyday wine, which I think is a perfect description of what we try to find in these challenging wine pairings.
Weâ€™d love for you to share in the comments what you would have paired with this meal. And, as always, we welcome your suggestions for challenging wine pairings for us to try in the future.
2009 Maison Bleue Jaja White Wine (Yakima Valley, Washington): 67% Roussanne, 28% Chardonnay, and 5% Marsanne. Pale, straw yellow in color. Nice nose with apple, pear, and grassy aromas. More apple and pear as well as some minerality and a hint of lemon come through on the palate. Dry and medium-bodied with crisp acidity and a long, refreshing finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $15; Available elsewhere, $14 to $17
2008 Crayelle Cellars Dry Riesling (Columbia Valley, Washington): Pale yellow in color. Aromas of petrol and pear lead to flavors of lemon and white peach on the palate. Dry and medium-bodied with crisp acidity and a long finish. Residual Sugar: 0.05%
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $16
Filed under: American Wine, Challenging Wine Pairing, Food & Wine, Riesling, Washington State Wine, White Wine, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25