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A Pairing Request for Scallops with Spice Oil

A reader named Mary recently wrote in with a recommendation request for a wine to pair with a family dinner, of Scallops with Spice Oil. As I love scallops, I was quick to reply with a recommendation. A few days after replying, I tried out the recipe, but decided to pair it with a 2000 Chateau Soucherie Clos des Perrieres Savennieres. The aged Savennieres showed notes of candied apples, and a slight cider quality, which nicely balanced the spice oil. So, in addition to the recommendations below, that's another (albeit more obscure) wine to try. Anyways, here's my response:

Hi Mary,

Thanks for writing in with a recommendation request! Due to the spiciness in the scallop dish, I’d recommend looking for a more floral, and potentially a sweet wine to play off the spiciness.

Wines from the Alsace region of France pair really well with spicy seafood dishes. You could opt for a Pinot Gris, a Riesling, or a Gewurztraminer. Examples of these varietals from other countries could work as well. These will all show varying degrees of floral qualities, which will balance the spiciness of the dish. You can opt for varying levels of sweetness – in general, the higher the alcohol content, the less sweet the wine will be.

I’m not sure where you’ll be shopping for the wine, but some good producers to look for in the $12 - $20 range are:

Trimbach (Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer) – from Alsace

Pierre Sparr (Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer) – from Alsace

Charles Schleret (Riesling, Pinot Gris) – from Alsace (could be a little more than $20, but definitely worth the splurge)

Charles Smith King Fu Girl Riesling – from Washington State

Owen Roe DuBrul Vineyard Riesling – from Washington State

O’Reilly’s Pinot Gris – from Oregon

Christoffel Riesling – from Germany (in increasing levels of sweetness - Kabinett, Spatlese, Auslese) 

Diehl Riesling – from Germany

One last interesting floral white to recommend is Torrontes, from Argentina. While it is typically slightly more lean and crisp than most Alsatian whites, it is packed with notes of white flower and mint, which would make for another great pairing with the scallops. A great example in the $10-$15 range is the Crios Torrontes by Susana Balbo.


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