When it comes to wine to serve with Dungeness crab you want something that is clean, bright and refreshing without a lot of oak getting in the way. Just like oysters, delicate crab flavor can be easily over powered. It would be a crime to waste a fabulous meal by smothering it with a wine that will dominate the pure essence of the Salish Sea. This newsletter is a list of our latest favorite wines that meld beautifully with Dungeness crab. Let's get a cracking.
We have one heck of a crazy deal for you with this wine of the week. It's very difficult to find wine from Chablis under $30. And it's getting even harder because of several years of terrible frost damage to the area cutting yields by 50 to 70%. This may be the last time you get a chance to enjoy Chablis at this price. In the northern part of Burgundy lies the cool climate village of Chablis. About 100 miles north of Dijon, this area is actually closer to Champagne than the heart of Burgundy. Were talking 100% Chardonnay that sees no oak and offers a refreshing style that works perfectly with crab. We're not talking about a big, buttery, oaky style.
One of the more prolific houses in Burgundy, this Chablis based firm has been under family control for 300 years now and run by Didier Lamblin and his brother Michel. Home base for Lamblin is on the northern edge of the village of Maligny, which is also the northernmost tip of the region’s Kimmeridgian soils.
What you get is a fabulous expression of unoaked Chardonnay. In profile, this has Chablis written all over it, offering mouthwatering lemon curd and juicy pear accented by wet stone. In price, it bears no resemblance whatsoever. We’re thrilled to be able to offer it to you at this price.
Notes by Hannah Green
D'Arenberg Hermit Crab 2018 Viognier Marsanne McLaren Vale, Australia
$14.99, $13.49 for Wine Club Members
This straw-yellow wine opens with aromas of sweet pineapple and fresh green herbs leading into crystallized ginger and orchard fruits. The palate is is luscious and generous, with great acidity that tightens the wine. A hint of pithy citrus builds on notes of ginger spice. This wine is enjoyable as a stand-alone tipple, and is equally well adapted to a range of cuisine, from freshly shucked oysters to spicy Thai dishes.
Freehand 2020 Pinot Gris Yakima Valley, Washington
$14.99, $13.49 for Wine Club Members
The Freehand Cellars winery startup was built from the ground up by two native Seattle business partners. An architect and property developer by trade, the two friends, James DeSarno and Eduardo Oliveira, began their journey into the world of Washington wines in 2018. Combining their passions, their wine labels each depict a rendering of a famous building whose architecture inspires them.
The 2020 Pinot Gris offers luscious aromatics of fresh pears and wet stone with an undertone of tropical fruits. The palate has a medium body with pleasant acidity, finishing dry, with a hint of baked apple on the finish.
Division 2020 Chenin Blanc "L' Isle Verte" Columbia Valley, Washington
$22.99, $20.69 for Wine Club Members
Yakima Valley is home to Willard Farms Vineyard, the site of Division’s old vine Chenin Blanc. This Chenin vineyard has over 45 years of own-rooted development at the highest elevation in the north central Yakima, which helps insulate the vines from the year-to-year climate variation. The unique volcanic and glacial sedimentary soils of the region make exceptional, dynamic wines.
The 2020 aromatics scream Chenin Blanc, with honeysuckle, ripe pear, and sweet wool. Electric mineral qualities of this grape and a nervy but dense core lead the palate with chalk and peach skin apparent. Long, gorgeous, mouth-coating acidity surrounds the rich structure we’ve come to expect from Willard’s superb old-vine fruit, giving way to a classic Chenin Blanc finish.
Damsel 2020 Marsanne Woodinville, Washington
$27.99, $25.91 for Wine Club Members
Owner and winemaker Mari Womack began her love affair with wine while working in Seattle restaurants, where the food and wine pairings captured her imagination. She began working in tasting rooms and volunteering at Baer Winery though harvest. She became assistant winemaker at Darby Winery in 2011, and a year later, she started making wine under her own label: Damsel. Mari sources from the premium vineyards of Stillwater Creek and Boushey Vineyards.
This Marsanne is the first white to come from the winery, and is a crisp Washington interpretation of the variety. The nose carries rich notes of mascarpone, lemon curd, and yeast lees. White peach and lemon zest lead the palate. The palate is firm with a medium body but remains fresh, with a bright lift on the finish.
We can't choose just one crab recipe to share; we were inspired by this list of crab recipes from Sunset Magazine, including Cracked Crab with Lemongrass, Black Pepper, and Basil.
This Chardonnay is produced by the Couillaud Family in the western Loire Valley, a few minutes from the Atlantic where the maritime climate is ideal for producing refreshing and bright whites. It is made in a fresh, unoaked style, with delicious pear and apple flavors and an enticing hint of minerality beneath the surface. Perfect as an aperitif or with seafood, chicken, or hard cheeses.
Pratsch 2020 Gruner Veltliner (1 Liter) Niederosterreich, Austria
$14.99, $13.49 for Wine Club Members
Pratsch is a small, 20 hectare estate comprised of 13 single vineyards in the Niederosterreich region of Lower Austria, all maintained under organic certification for over 10 years by the Pratsch family.
On the nose, this wine is fruit forward with notes of apple, peach and apricot with a slight spice. On the palate it is fresh and tangy, with a round body, and notes of stone fruit, subtle spice and the classic white pepper finish. It’s a delicious and true example of Austrian Gruner Vetliner.
Eidosela 2019 Albarino Rias Baixas, Spain
$15.99, $14.39 for Wine Club Members
Bodegas Eidosela is a collection of small family wineries that all adhere to strict sustainable farming guidelines in the heart of Galicia in the Rias Baixas region of Spain. This wine is 100% Albarino, with a clean, medium body and light buttery-gold color. Fresh and energetic on the palate, there are fragrant notes of peaches, melon, florals and hints of saline.
"Best Wine Shop"
Let’s Go For a Six-Peat!
LAST WEEK TO VOTE
Voting season is upon us for Bellingham Alive’s 2021 Best of the Northwest Competition!
We’re very thankful that you all have voted for us as the Best Wine Shop for the last five years, hopefully we’ve held up to your standards for another year!
We are now fully open for in-store shopping.
Although our staff has been fully vaccinated, space is very limited here on Prospect St. Although I am vaccinated I plan to continue to wear a mask and we require non vaccinated customers to wear a mask also. We have some on hand should you need one.
We do still highly encourage you to use our web site and continue curb-side pick-up. It is the safest means of shopping with us. We are going to continue with our drive through curb-side pick-up and door service.
We all want the return of Saturday tastings. They're such a good time but it gets crowded and we are a tiny shop. The wine industry on a whole is not yet ready for the return of tasting events. Producers and personalities are not openly traveling and meeting with the public at this time though things are changing quickly. Hang in there. It'll all be a memory before we know it.
Tuesday-Saturday 10-6 pm.
Serving Bellingham fine wine since 2013.
19 Prospect Street Bellingham
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