Hi food & wine lovers and welcome to my first "pairing" post.
One of the benefits of Wineolog is being able to note down the ultimate food pairing for each bottle in your cellar. If you are like me and believe that food & wine reach their full potential when they find their perfect match, then you should definitely read on, and also be adding food pairing as a characteristic on your Wineolog labels. (You may even decide to categorise by food pairing!)
DISCLAIMER: I am not a Sommelier or wine professional. My reviews are therefore written from the perspective of a long-time lover of food and wine; not an industry expert.
This weekend we cooked one of my all-time favourite dishes created by my exceptionally talented husband: Hand-made tagliatelle with fresh mud crab. (Basic recipe below).
Knowing what we were going to make for dinner, I went to my "good white" category to look for the perfect match. I found this gem; a 2018 Keith Tulloch Chardonnay. According to my notes; this is a perfect match for shellfish, with that Signature malolactic palate that I absolutely adore in a good Chardonnay!
You may notice that I intended to hold onto this one for a few more years; however, the dish we are pairing this with is beautifully rich, sweet and buttery, so opening this one a little pre-emptively feels somewhat appropriate; or else it may be too much of a "butter-fest!" (Plus, I also have a couple more of these bottles, which I do intend to hold onto!)
As the tasting notes promise; this wine literally "glides" down and could be very happily consumed on its own! Offering the perfect balance of the zingy freshness that is characteristic of a younger Chardonnay with warm buttery undertones & tropical fruit notes, indicating just how yummy this will be in a few years' time!
I always sip my wine before I take a mouthful of food and I knew the moment this went down that I had found a match made in heaven!
We set the pasta machine to a 5 for this dish, resulting in delicate, silky ribbons. Crab is a sweet and tender meat, and carries most of the flavour in this dish; so although is it extremely delicate and unadulterated in its construction, the flavour profile is sweet and rich and buttery; making the dish as individually well balanced as the wine itself.
The up-front freshness of this slightly younger Chardonnay provides some relief to the succulent sweetness of the mud crab tagliatelle; without overpowering its silky elegance. The warm, buttery back-palates of both the wine and food then come together and linger in perfect harmony. It was so good, I had to take a moment after my first mouthful to sit back and take it all in before I went back for more!
Jules' match score?
10 / 10.
Yes, I have started with a very high bar, but when you have 2 elements balanced so beautifully as individuals that come together to create even greater cohesion, you have to give credit where credit is due!!
Well worth cracking open my wine a few years early for!
- 2 eggs
- 1.5 cups flour
- Pinch salt
- Shells from 1 whole live mud crab (at least 1KG)
- 1 brown onion
- 8 peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 chopped large tomato
- Pinch salt
- Muslin sieve
- Meat from 1 whole live mud crab (at least 1KG)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 French shallot
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 tsp dry chillies
- 2 tbsp dry white wine
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- Combine / kneed eggs, flour and salt until it's in a smooth ball
- Cover with cling film and let rest for at least 1 hour
- Roll pasta to your liking once rested
- Humanely dispatch live crab (we put in freezer)
- Roughly break down (into a few pieces) and steam crab in shell
- Remove meat from shell
- Saute onion with crab shells
- Add peppercorns, bay leaves and tomato
- Fill pan with water (1.5L)
- Gently simmer for 2 hours
Strain stock through muslin sieve
Crab Sauce / Assemble dish:
- Satuee garlic & French shallots
- Add a handful of finely chopped parsley
- Add lemon zest, dry chillies and white wine
- Add 1-2 cups of stock (depending on how "juicy" you like it) and lightly simmer for 2 mins
Cook pasta in hot salted boiling water for 1 min
Add pasta to the pan with crab meat and a tablespoon of butter
Toss gently for 1 min until combined, making sure you don't overcook the pasta
Serve with chopped parsley and a drizzle of your favourite oil (we love to add a bit of truffle oil on top!)