Saturday, May 24, 2008
Saturday was the annual Lobsterfest. The local, upscale market flies in a huge amount of fresh lobsters (this year from Maine) and offers them at a great price, $12 each. They start selling at 9:00 AM and continue until they are gone, which is usually a little after noon.
The lines form early, but they are great lines to be in since they offer samples of cream cheese and bagels, small appetizers and a white wine or two while you are waiting. If you're going to stand in line at a market, you might as well be drinking a glass of wine.
This year we had twelve people so we picked up 13 lobsters. The friend who hosted the party this year brews his own beer, so he had an "industrial" natural gas burner and large tank normally used for his brewing. Saturday this equipment doubled as a great lobster cooker. We steamed them in two batches, took off the claws and tails and served them buffet style with lemon and thyme infused drawn butter, a twice baked potato, green beans, risotto cakes and four white wines. An outstanding meal.
The wines ranged from expensive to relatively cheap and the results were surprising. There were three serious wine drinkers in attendance and each of us tends to like something a little different in red wines. Today it was a unanimous verdict for the same white whine and it was the least expensive wine on the list, Burgans 2006 Albarino from Rias Baixas in Spain. Tart, citrusy, yet with good body and finish. It was a delightful wine at $13 and everyone was pleased with it. A simply great wine for lobster as it totally complimented the crustaceans, but then again, Albarinos are known for complimenting shellfish.
The second favorite was also unanimous, the Nigl Kremstal Gruner Veltliner 2005. Subdued fruit great acid and minerality and totally refreshing, this wine was a great contrast to the lobsters. $15 and will last for several more years.
In third place with 2 third place votes was the Rochiolli 2005 Chardonnay from California's Russian River Valley at $45 a bottle. It was over oaked and tasted more of hazelnuts and pineapple than anything else. It was way over the top and it was terrible with the lobster, and I suspect it would have been over kill for almost any food. What a disappointment this was, since this is one of my favorite California producers and previous vintages of this wine have been delicious. Throughout the course of the evening I re-sampled this wine several times and it never got any better. I had this wine in last place.
The last wine was the 2006 Naia, a Spanish Rueda wine made from the verdejo grape. Thin and herbaceous and almost totally lacking in fruit, it just did not match well with the lobsters. I thought it might be better with some spicy chicken. $16 per bottle.
All in all it was a great party and a wonderful way to start a three day holiday weekend, that will end with a visit to the local winery, Kinkead Ridge, on Monday.