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Lobster wine and

The “Naked” lobster roll, at Sam’s Chowder House in Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco, with heaps of rich, butter-drenched meat.

Welcome back, my friends – ready to enjoy lobster, wine, and maybe another “adult beverage” or two with me? Great!

As I mentioned when I first brought up June food holidays, I’ve been enjoying lobster since childhood. (It wasn’t as uncommon, or luxurious, in New York then as it is in California now.)

Even today, I sometimes find amazing bargains – and when I do, I pounce. One of my local chain grocery stores has “$5 Friday” sales, which often include 4-ounce lobster tails.

I usually buy two days’ worth that are already thawed, plus some frozen ones to stash in the freezer.

 
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Lobster wine and

I’m using shears to halve the lobster tails lengthwise before cooking.

To cook the lobster tails, first rinse them quickly, then halve them lengthwise with kitchen shears, through the top and bottom shells. (This helps the buttery flavors soak in while the tails cook.)

Remove any dark matter from the raw flesh. Pat the pieces dry and sauté in butter, turning once or twice, until shells turn red and flesh turns creamy white.

(Optional: Add fresh ginger, grated or cut into tiny matchsticks, to the hot butter).

 
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lobster, wine, and

There’s tons of meat in these front leg/claw sections of Maine lobster.The price is right, too!

Another market near me occasionally features pre-cooked lobster claws, complete with the thick, meaty front legs, for the rock-bottom price of $9.99 a pound.

Unlike the tails I just described (which come from warmer Pacific waters), these tasty claws come from the true “Maine” (Atlantic) species, Homarus americanus.

I keep planning to get a big batch and make risotto – first cooking the shells with butter, onion, saffron, and white wine for a flavorful broth – but somehow I always wind up just trotting out a nutcracker and some melted butter, and working my way through the pile of claws.

 
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Wine Lobster and

In season, my nearby Asian market, 99 Ranch, has live “Main” (sic!) lobsters at very decent prices.

Until now, $8.99 at 99 Ranch Market was the best standard price I’d seen in the Bay Area. As a bonus, their tanks often hold extra-large lobsters, weighing 2-3 pounds or more.

On one lucky visit, I scored the biggest lobster I’d ever eaten. Rather than being alive in the tank, though, my 5-pound crimson Goliath was already cooked, packaged, and chilling near the sashimi.

 
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lobster wine and

SCORE!!! This 5-pound beauty at just $4.99/pound made for quite an amazing feast, with saké and bubbly to slake our thirst.

Because it was almost closing time, they’d marked the beast down to an unheard-of $4.99 a pound, totaling just over $25.

Though he was plenty big enough for four people, two of us managed to polish him off in one (admittedly long) sitting.

Check out the way my behemoth sprawls across that huge platter, with his claws and tail hanging over the edges!

 
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I’ve sautéed these Pacific lobster tails with ginger “matchsticks.” I didn’t halve them this time, so I covered the pan at the end to cook them through.

So, what about the pairings I promised you? Well, with the big boy, we experimented with both saké and bubbly. The lobster meat was unadorned except for plain melted butter in our dipping cups.

Although the mouth-coating texture of the saké sort of pushed the lobster over the top, it felt like a luxury sushi bar experience. Maybe some rice to break things up would improve the match.

For my taste, the sparkling wine was just right – I loved how the bubbles played off the buttery richness (that’s the “Contrast” non-rule of pairing wine and food – Click Here for your free PDF of my “5 Non-Rules”!)

 
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lobster, wine, and

Both my rosé and my friend’s citrusy cocktail did justice to our lobster rolls.

If you scroll back up to the top pic of the luscious lobster roll at Sam’s Chowder House, you’ll see another excellent pairing.

My crisp, chilled rosé also cut through the rich, butter-bathed lobster.

Interestingly, my lunch buddy drank a tangy citrus-laden cocktail, which basically did the same thing.

And so did the local microbrews that the guys at the next table were enjoying.

 
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So you can see that there isn’t always (or, I might argue, ever!) just one good match for any given food – and it doesn’t even have to be wine. And that’s just one reason to keep exploring and experimenting, so you can find out what suits your taste best!

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Until next time, my friends,
Happy tasting – and be sure to Click Here for your free download of “Rosina’s 5 Non-Rules for Pairing Wine with Food”!

Cheers,
Rosina

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Cheers,
Rosina


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