This morning, I woked up with an incredible thirst to have a few bottles of Rias Baixas with Langosta a la Parrilla. Living in Quebec, soon I will be getting my fix of the queen of the crustaceans.
When I think of eating Lobster, all I need is a nice Albarino. When made in the Galician wine region of Rias Baixas, often displays an echo of salinity from the nearby Atlantic, with different tones of floral notes, citrus, stone and tropical fruits. Plus, a Rias Baixas offers a very crisp acidity, medium body and low alcohol.
Rías Baixas boasts a number of high-quality grapes. Albarino is king with a lion share of more than 90% of the DO’s vineyard area. It is said to be related to Riesling, and some wine scholars argue that it was brought to the area by pilgrims or monks on their way to the medieval town of Santiago de Compostela. Albarino is often blended with Treixadura or Loureira.
The soils are mostly granite, with a little bit of chalk and clay. The bounty of the earth offers a stream of minerals with little nutrients, making it ideal for viticulture. The slopes encourage good drainage, a very important factor considering the high amount of rain, the area gets. The neighboring Atlantic Ocean provides not only rain but also humidity, so growers have traditionally favored trellising their vines with pergolas, allowing air to circulate around the grapes, therefore sanitizing the grapes. Fortunately, late summer is usually the driest part of the year, providing ideal ripening conditions for harvest in October. The grapes are pampered here.
Bodegas Terras Gauda, are making some extraordinarily good wines from the local Rias Baixas grapes. As well as famous albariño grape, they use loureiro (also found in Portugal’s Vinho Verde just a little further south), and intriguingly, they have taken the near-extinct caiño grape to their hearts,to preserve this disappearing local white variety.
The 2016 is impressive on the palate due to its powerful structure. Youthful with a great character. On the mouth, it is quite aromatic and exuberant with citrus aromas of mandarin orange and grapefruit, ripe peach and pineapple, and additional nuances of orange blossom, mint and thyme. This is a serious wine for a serious shellfish. It retails for $24.25 in the Quebec market (10858351).
If you cannot get your hands in a bottle of Gauda, try Albarino Valminor or Pazo de Senorans, they are good alternatives as well. Lobster has a delicate flavor and should be matched with a wine which compliments and accentuates its sweet, succulent nature. That’s why I think a Rias Baixas is a natural partner: Imposing but not oververhemling.
If you want to know how to grill a lobster, here is a very simple video that describes the task. It may seem complicate, but is quite easy. All you need is a good knife, a bit of dexterity and a nice lobster.