Seafood and Wine hero
Of Sea and Grapes
Seafood and Wine Pairings
Life does not get much sweeter than sitting on a beach watching the tide roll in with a plate of freshly caught seafood next to you, all while sipping a glass of your favorite wine. If you are not near a beach, however, grilling up fillets of cod on a warm summer night and adding a perfectly paired spirit for another layer of flavor is also a nice alternative. It is a combination that can take your starlit dinner or night in from great to memorable. How do you choose the right bottle without having an anxiety attack in the middle of the aisle, though? A glass of white wine has traditionally been the obvious and only choice when complementing your meal from under the sea. However, the world would be a pretty boring place if we did not break the rules from time to time, and as a result seafood is not condemned to spending the rest of its days handcuffed to the usual suspects. The new rule of thumb is matching the body of the fish with the body-the lightness or hardiness-of the wine. Lean, white fish such as snapper and raw clams or oysters go hand-in-hand with dry, crisp white wines such as Chenin Blanc or Pinot Grigio. Heartier fish such as salmon is more versatile and pairs well with any shade of wine from Sauvignon Blanc to Pinot Noir depending on how it is prepared, and tuna fits nicely alongside bolder reds such as a Gamay or rosé. Let us not forget about brews, either. Beer brings out the salt and natural sweetness of seafood while also cleansing the palate. These are only the ground rules to get you started, and experimentation is encouraged. After all, if nobody took the time to break the mold, our homes would still be covered from wall-to-wall with shag carpet and wallpaper.
Sip on This Shrimp
Tasty Crustaceans
Shrimp is the most commonly eaten seafood in the United States, with the average American consuming four pounds of the tasty crustacean every year.
Herb crusted salmon
Of Sea and Grapes
Herb and Mustard Crusted Salmon With Meyer Lemon Cream Sauce
Makes 4
Servings Pair with California Cabernet Sauvignon
For the Herb Crust 
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
1 cup fresh white bread crumbs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon 
1 tablespoon olive oil Salt and pepper to taste 
  1. Melt butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat and the shallots. Cook until soft, about 3 minutes. 
  2. In a small bowl, combine the shallots with the remaining ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use. 
For the Meyer Lemon Cream Sauce 
1 tablespoon butter 
1 tablespoon chopped shallots 
¼ cup dry white wine Juice of ½ Meyer lemon 
1 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest 
½ cup heavy cream 
Salt and pepper to taste 
  1. Melt butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat and add the shallots. Cook until soft, about 3 minutes. 
  2. Add the white wine, lemon juice and zest, and reduce until liquid has reduced to approximately 2 tablespoons. 
  3. Add the cream and continue to reduce by about one-third until it thickens to a sauce consistency. Refrigerate until ready to use.  
For the Salmon 
4 salmon fillets (approx. 6 ounces each), skinned and pin bones removed 
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 
1 recipe herb crust (above) 
1 recipe Meyer lemon cream sauce (above) 
Salt and pepper to taste 
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 
  2. Lightly salt and pepper the salmon fillets on both sides. 
  3. Brush the mustard in a thin layer on top of the salmon and top with the herb crust. Gently press the crust into place to make a nice presentation. 
  4. Carefully place the salmon on a lightly oiled or parchment lined sheet tray and bake for 10 minutes until the crust is lightly browned and the salmon is barely cooked through. 
  5. While the salmon is cooking, reheat the sauce over low heat in a small saucepan. 
  6. Serve the salmon with a drizzle of the sauce around the plate. 
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