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 Filed as : Recipes & Pairings

All-American Wines for a New England Tradition

Aug 13, 2012
All-American Wines for a New England Tradition
Old fashioned summer fun, contemporary take

37314Boiled potatoes, steaming-hot, fresh clams, crab claws, or lobster tails …or all of the above? Talk about delicious fare for a summer soirée.

Here are some timeless and tasty wine pairing tips for summer entertaining via an old-fashioned clam bake, or one with a contemporary twist. These wine pairing recommendations were provided by Bottlenotes CEO Alyssa Rapp on the TODAY Show last month. You can find a great, basic recipe for a traditional clam bake from, below.

Classic Clam Bake: With a classic clam bake, serve a California sparkling wine. Its bright acidity stands up to the sauces often served at a clam bake, while its effervescence can be refreshing throughout a hot summer evening. And many California sparkling wines are slightly sweet, a perfect complement to the subtle sweetness found in most shellfish, particularly shrimp, and crab claws.

Perfect wine pairing: GLORIA FERRER non-vintage Sonoma Brut (Sonoma, CA) $14.95. Find it here.
Gloria Ferrer’s Sonoma Brut balances stone fruit (nectarine, white peaches) and soft, bready brioche notes. Paired with clams, shellfish,crab claws or lobster tails, you can’t go wrong with this decadent summer feast.

Contemporary Clam Bake: Add Cajun-style grilled shrimp skewers to the culinary mix –pair with riesling!

Perfect wine pairing: PACIFIC RIM Riesling (Washington State) $11. Find it here.
Pacific Rim produces a range of rieslings from dry to sweet, all from Washington State, all around $11 per bottle. We at The Daily Sip® love the floral and aromatic nature of riesling, coupled with its round mouthfeel. It’s a sophisticated little grape-- and one that does not have to break the bank!

Summer Splurges: Add steamed lobster in drawn butter to your clam bake—paired with a Carneros chardonnay!

Perfect wine pairing: ROMBAUER 2010 Carneros Chardonnay (Carneros, CA) $32. Find it here.
Neither overly oaky nor buttery, with peach and nectarine notes shining through, this is a fine wine made by one of the country’s great winemakers for a can’t-miss price.

*Recommended Recipe for a Clam Bake
• 8 medium red potatoes, scrubbed
• 1 pound clams in shell, scrubbed
• 1 pound mussels, cleaned and debearded
• 1/2 pound unpeeled large shrimp
• 1 (48 fluid ounce) can chicken broth
• 1/4 cup dry vermouth (optional)
• 3/4 cup butter, divided
• 1 loaf French bread

Place potatoes in a layer in the bottom of a large pot. Cover with a layer of clams, then mussels, and finally the shrimp. Pour in the vermouth and enough chicken broth to fill the pot halfway. You may not need all of the broth, depending on the size of your pot. Cut half of the butter into cubes and place on top of the seafood. Cover with a lid, and seal tightly with aluminum foil.

Bring to a boil, then simmer over medium-low heat for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat, and carefully remove the foil and lid. Remove the seafood and potatoes from the liquid to serve. Melt 1/2 remaining butter, and divide into 4 individual dishes for dipping. Serve with the rest of the butter and French bread.

What's your favorite wine to pair with seafood? Share with us below!


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