Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Seashells by the Seashore

Summer by the sea can make even the most die-hard red meat eater turn to creatures that swim and crawl on the ocean floor when it comes time to have dinner. I'm no exception to the rule. Just smelling the salt air makes me want shrimp, scallops, lobster (not that there's much of that on the Sonoma coast), and crab.

If you've got a seafood dinner in your future, you may want to look for a bottle of the very good QPR 2005 Teruzzi & Puthod Terre di Tufi ($16.99, domaine547). This wine contains a subtle and intriguing blend of chardonnay, malvasia, vernaccia, and vermentino which produces a soft, medium-boded white just perfect for the delicate flavors of shellfish. While it does see a short time in barriques (4-5 months), there is no pronounced oakiness to get between you and your food. I liked the aromas of apple and hay that introduced me to the wine, and then the lean mineral and lemon-inflected flavors that followed. Seafood can be rich, but heavy wines completely overwhelm them. This wine is round without being heavy, fresh without being tart, and the blend of grapes works very well together. At 13% alc/vol, it is also a wine that can be enjoyed down to the last drops in the glass.

We had this wine with an absolutely fantastic dish of seared scallops and lemon orzo. The buttery scallops fit perfectly with the round, fresh flavor profile of the wine. The orzo--cooked in broth and lemon juice to infuse the pasta with flavor while making a clinging sauce--helped to pick out and emphasize the lemon notes in the wine.

Teruzzi & Puthod is located in the beautiful Tuscan hilltop town of San Gimignano, and the grapes from this wine came from area vineyards. We may be more familiar with Tuscan reds in this country, but this wine will definitely make me seek out the region's white wines as well.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the mention, Dr. Debs! This has proven a very popular wine this summer and you have articulated very clearly what we like so much about it.

Richard Auffrey said...

I have been a fan of this wine for a couple years. One of my local wine stores recommended it to me and I enkoyed it very much. It is a great wine for seafood.

Dr. Debs said...

JB, you're welcome. Thanks for stocking this wine. It's always nice to hear that my palate is in sync with someone else's, too. Ditto, RichardA. Try that recipe, if you get a chance. Very nice, very easy and perfect with this wine.