Bermuda lobster and wine

  • Perfect pairing: Scott Barnes along with his father Michael Barnes from Vitamin Sea sell their lobsters at the top of Trimingham Hill. Chardonnay is a good pairing (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Perfect pairing: Scott Barnes along with his father Michael Barnes from Vitamin Sea sell their lobsters at the top of Trimingham Hill. Chardonnay is a good pairing (File photograph by Akil Simmons)


This Friday past, I made a point of doing something that I try to do at least twice a season; I visited the lobster seller who sets up base on Fridays between the roundabouts in Paget, and I purchased two.

In order to protect my reputation, in our home anyway, as the best lobster cooker on the island, I kept the preparation simple: place in room temperature water and bring to boil as my theory is that hot water tends to toughen it.

After ten minutes at the boil, take out of pot, split in half, clean, remove meat to cut in bite-size chunks and replace in shell.

Lightly apply melted butter, paprika and, in moderation, some ground Parmesan cheese. Put under broiler to crisp.

And now to the point, open a bottle of the finest chardonnay!

May I suggest a few wines that can enhance such a treat?

Drouhin Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Folatières 2013 shows beautiful harmony that defines this precious wine.

Golden and bright colour. The complex and distinctive aromas of Puligny are here in evidence: honey, honeysuckle, fresh almond.

As the wine matures, these aromas evolve towards dried fruit notes and spice.

On the palate there is a very nice balance between freshness and velvety texture, even a firm backbone that gives this wine a strong structure.

It is exceptionally long on the aftertaste, with refined and floral notes throughout.

Wines & Spirits Magazine feels this way: “When Drouhin wines hit, they can be awesome. This one buzzes with energy, saturated with the kind of succulent richness that is rare in 2013.

“The fruit has the pale white flavour of cherimoya, underscored by salty notes of chalky limestone soil.

“Packed with savoury nuance, this will benefit from several years in the cellar and should continue to gain for a decade. 95/100.” $92.90. And what perfection this meal will be!

Staying in Europe we can travel south and try a chardonnay from the Italian Friuli Venezia region that is made by the legendary Jermann family and I refer to Jermann Dreams 2015.

In 2017, critic James Suckling commented: “A serious white with a beautiful kaleidoscope of cooked apples, spiced pear and butterscotch undertones.

“Full and flavourful. Gorgeous. One of the best dreams in years.”

He rated it a close to perfect 96/100. $72.50.

Often the request to kick off lobster season in our house is for Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay and I would like for the winemaker to express his views: “The 2016 offers alluring, energetic aromas and flavours of honeysuckle, kiwi, apricot, citrus zest, pineapple, and toasted almond — a dazzling, juicy bowl of exotic fruit held together with flinty structure, pleasing minerality, and refreshing acidity.

“Shafer’s single-vineyard Carneros-grown chardonnay is produced from small-clustered clones of grapes selected for their low yields and distinctive flavours.

“Fermentation takes place within individual oak and stainless steel barrels using native yeasts.

“The wine matures on the lees for 14 months and since it undergoes no malolactic fermentation this chardonnay retains a lively natural acidity.

“The vineyard is named for its red-shouldered hawks and other birds of prey, who play an important role in Shafer’s sustainable farming practices.”

Note the winemaker comment on refreshing acidity, which reminds me that I neglected to mention the squeezing of fresh lemon juice on the lobster.

Three reviews, Wilfred Wong.com, Wine Enthusiast and Jeb Dunnuck, all rate this wine an impressive 94/100. $71.95.

I will mention another very suitable wine that provides the required crisp, refreshing acidity along with lobster-matching richness and it is our Catena Alta 2016 Chardonnay that, at $34.70, reflects the excellent value of wines from Argentina.

This is what Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate has to say: “The 2016 Catena Alta Chardonnay was cropped from a cool El Niño year. It’s fresh and elegant, with high acidity and moderate alcohol.

“The oak is almost imperceptible, as the wine is very intense and pungent.

“Eighty per cent of the grapes come from Adrianna Vineyard in Gualtallary, and the rest come from the Domingo Vineyard in Viña Bastías, in Tupungato.

“It fermented in 225-litre oak barrels with wild yeasts, and only about 30 per cent of the volume underwent malolactic fermentation.

“The ageing lasted for 14 months and was in new, second and third-use barriques.

“It has a dark golden colour and an impressive nose with ripe yellow fruit and some notes of botrytis, but with a completely dry palate.

“It’s round, lush and exotic, with the grapes taken from deeper soils and slightly warmer parts of the Adrianna Vineyard in Gualtallary.

“It should evolve nicely and in a classical Burgundian way in bottle. [A total of] 31,200 bottles were filled in July 2017.” 92/100.

If you read this early enough you may make it before the lobsters are all sold out as I understand that this often happens before noon!

I do hope that you will savour the perfect marriage of our local delicacy and the world’s greatest white wine grape.

This column is an advertorial for Burrows Lightbourn Ltd. E-mail mrobinson@bll.bm or 295-0176. Burrows Lightbourn has stores in Hamilton (Front Street East, 295-1554), Paget (Harbour Road, 236-0355) and St George (York Street, 297-0409). Visit www.wineonline.bm

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Published Oct 18, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 18, 2019 at 10:33 am)

Bermuda lobster and wine

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