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18 April 2006

Long Distance Sommelier: International Edition

Tastevin_2Gather round wine-cats & -kitties.  It's time for yet another installment of Long Distance Sommelier, or, LDS for those in the know.  Normally, I scour the foodblogosphere in search of delectable delights and then suggest a wine pairing for each recipe that causes my mouth to water.  However, today let's do things a bit differently.  I've selected a few tasty dishes, and I ask you, yes you, to put forth a wine suggestion.  Today, anyone can be a sommelier*

*Tastevin not included

Now, put on your wine thinking cap and tell me what to drink with these dishes.

From fiordizucca: pan fried scallops with traditional balsamic vinegar
(lightly fried w/butter and dusted with something called five spice powder)
[Update: click here to find out how to make your very own 5-spice powda']

From Sailu's Food: aloo tamatar subzi [curried potatoes in tomato sauce]
(beautiful home-made Indian food.  This site is my new Indian recipe one-stop)

From Özlemin's Kitchen: Sis Kebap [shiskebab]
(You'll need to speak Turkish to get this recipe right.  But it just looks so damn good)


To start, I'll prime the pump.  With the Sis Kebap (any Turkish speakers want to translate the recipe?), I would go with a more delicate, yet-still-spicy Aussie Shiraz like Annie's Lane:  Annie's Lane Clare Valley Shiraz 2002/03 ($13).  This little number would no doubt work perfectly with shishkebab.  It's not overboard with the fruit and offers a nifty black pepper-smoky note combo of flavors.

One down; two to go.  Help me pair something with the scallops and aloo tamatar subzi, please!

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I'd serve a Viognier with the scallops.


ancerre with the scallops


That's Sancerre. Poor typing skills or too much wine, your choice.


With the scallops an Alsace Pinot Gris or Pinot Blanc.

The potatoes and kebabs are seperate courses I trust; but i think the same wine, the shiraz, would be ok for both.


I'm still thinking about the curried potatoes in tomato sauce recipie, however, I've got a great pairing (if I do say so myself) for the scallops:
Muscadet Sevre et Maine
I had a brilliant example about a week ago from Domaine de l'Ecu, bottled sur lie. Muscadet is great with seafood in general and scallops especially. Okay, okay, the five spice powder kind throws me off a little, too. But the acidity in the Muscadet could surely deal with it. Just as a second option, German Riesling Kabinett would also be good. Minerality for the scallops, a little sweetness for the spice... Thoughts?


Scallops.. I like Andrews Alsace PinotGris or perhaps a Jurancon Sec..both would go well with the Indian ...Curries generally need white.


I agree w/Wineguy - a Condrieu or other well-made Viognier would work well w/the scallops (that whole rich on rich vibe).

Dino - I was looking for 'Ancerre' wine in my wine encyclopedia & couldn't find it! ;)

I think Andrew's suggestion of alsatian PG/PB is along the same logic as the Viognier - a richer, 'stickier' white would seem to work best w the scallops

William - I hear you on the Muscadet. But as you mention, I would be a bit concerned at the 5spice powder blowing this li'l delicate wine away. I think I would give your German Riesling a try first.

Hey Bill, What grape/s are in the Jurancon?


Forgot to say that five spice powder is a mix of ground cinnamon, cloves, star anise, fennel seed, and Szechuan peppercorns. Hence me picking the Pinot with its spicy edge to compliment. You could try a Gewurz too I guess as long as not too sweet or overpowering. The Zind Humbrecht Zind blend would be good too.


good to know. I was assuming that was a Brit/Euro thing. I've not seen anything here labeled 5 spice powder. Gewurz is a good idea - Zind or Pierre Sparr's Alsace one (a blend similar to Zind) would be a good idea for those on a budget.


I think it is either balsamic vinegar or five spice powder. I don't think that they would complement each other. Five spice works because scallops have an inherent sweetness that goes well with a little spice but is overwhelmed by too much heat. I've always liked Michael Fennelly's Spicy Brown Sauce, a sort of hopped up Ponzi sauce, with sea scallops. The spicy brown sauce contains ginger, garlic, shallots, green onions, serrano peppers, orange juice, and soy sauce.

Rick Dobbs

Great, now when Mormon's do a search on Google, they'll get your page. ;)

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