I’ve written about wines from Stoller before, and I hope you have opened a bottle of the winery’s Rosé recently. Late afternoon on a Sunday is a great time for that wine, and your friends will thank you when you pour it. Staying with Stoller, I tasted the 2014 Reserve Chardonnay this past weekend, and I was impressed. It’s likely going to be a $35 outlay — I say likely because it has not been released yet; it will be on the market soon — and when paired with a cold shrimp salad, it was worth every penny.
Pear, marzipan, a hint of lychee and pineapple: Those were all evident on my palate as I drank the Stoller straight from being chilled. I tasted anew as the bottle warmed, and the change was a pleasant one. (Do not make the mistake of drinking your white wines at temperatures that are too cold, and don’t cripple your joy by drinking your red wines too warm. Stay tuned to papercitymag.com for an article on that subject. ) What was muted became more pronounced (the pear), and the bottle finished well. Oak fans, this is probably not for you, because there is not much of it here, but I recommend that you leave your comfort zone and give it a try.
The shrimp was mixed with a shallot aioli and a touch of parsley, plus, of course, salt and black pepper. That’s it. They needed nothing more, and the nice acidity of the wine and the aioli got along swimmingly. I lightly sautéed the unpeeled shrimp in olive oil, then shelled them after they cooled. A taste of the Chardonnay with the unadulterated crustacean was a winner as well — the crispness of the wine played well with the snap of the shrimp — but once the dish was complete, the combination, and the pairing, was elevated. It’s not something that everyone thinks about often, but the textures of a food or dish can have an interesting effect on a wine, and I loved the way the shrimp coated in the aioli mingled with this Chardonnay.
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