Pair This: Pacific Coast Clam Chowder and Lobster Reef Sauvignon Blanc 2012

January 28, 2014

By Julia Crowley
Wine Julia

I first tried the Lobster Reef 2012 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc back on Christmas Eve during an Oregon Dungeness crab feast at a friend’s house. Not only did this wine complement the fresh crab meat in every way, shape and form, but the label and name of the wine could only have been more appropriate if we were cracking away at lobster claws rather than crab legs. The zippy acidity in the wine resembled a bit of fresh squeezed Meyer lemon that sliced through the sea-saltiness of the crab. Everyone at the feast was raving about the pairing and my only regret is that I didn’t bring along six bottles instead of one.

I did, however, still have one bottle at home and have been waiting for another seafood meal to enjoy it with. This past weekend, Mother Nature blessed Oregon and our beautiful Coastal towns with three absolutely gorgeous, blue skied, sunny and warm days. With a predicted 65 – 70 degrees in the coastal town of Florence, my husband and I, along with our two young boys, packed up and headed to the beach for the weekend. We were able to rent an adorable beach cottage with a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean at the last minute using, and once we settled in, we decided that clamming would be a fun adventure for all of us. Digging for clams is messy, muddy and down-right fun for the whole family, and we were quite successful in our search. (I’ll be writing a lot more about our Coast trip and that wonderful little beach house.)

Knowing that I had that bottle of Lobster Reef 2012 Sauvignon Blanc back at home, we took measures to keep the clams alive until we returned back to Eugene. I was originally going to make steamed clams to have with the Lobster Reef, but because Eugene was considerably colder than our 65 degree days at the Coast, I decided to make homemade clam chowder – and pairing it with the Lobster Reef Sauvignon Blanc was heavenly.

Using the Maine Clam Chowder recipe from my all-time favorite Coastal Living Cook Book, I made enough clam chowder to last the next couple days. That means I’ll need to go get some more Lobster Reef Sauvignon Blanc, which is no problem, because it costs between $10 and $15 dollars depending on where it’s purchased. I love high quality wine that won’t break the bank, and I’ll undoubtedly be pairing it with Clam Chowder all year long.

The 2012 Lobster Reef Sauvignon Blanc is crisp and refreshing with beautiful minerality and balance. Aromas and flavors of tropical fruits, lemon grass and lemon-lime zest are highlighted by solid acidity that rounds the tropical fruitiness out to reveal a clean, focused and super fresh wine with a zippy Key Lime finish.

Lobster Reef is named after the brilliantly hued rock lobsters found along the Marlborough coastline of New Zealand.  The 200 acre vineyard is located in the Blind River Valley, a sub-region of the famous Marlborough wine region.  Other wines produced b Lobster Reef include Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.  Started by the Brown Family, known for Cape Campbell Wines, the vineyard is just a stone’s throw from the rugged Marlborough coastline.  The majority of the vineyards are on the flatlands with some being on higher elevation slopes.

If you try the Lobster Reef with lobster, please let me know how the pairing was, cheers!