Wines to pair with crab, pasta
Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve dinners tend to be deluxe, even sumptuous affairs. This crab-and-pasta preparation fits the bill. It would seem fitting to pair such fare with wines equally rich and opulent. But nuanced, aged reds or buttery, oaky whites also overplay and tire the palate. Sometimes simple and clean is better, as a yin to the (in this case) crab’s yang. The chardonnay is high-end, but lean and barely oaked. The super-fresh sparkler from Italy is celebratory and fits the theme. And the unique white from Chile is the humble “background” wine to let the dish shine.
Recipe from Bill St John Garlicky crab with pasta Add 2 pounds king crab legs to a stockpot of salted boiling water; cook until crab is cooked through, 6 minutes. Transfer crab to a colander. Add 1 pound spaghetti to the crab water; cook until al dente. Meanwhile, crack crab legs into smaller pieces. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a skillet. Add 4 cloves minced garlic; cook until aromatic, 1-2 minutes. Add crab legs and 1/4 cup chopped parsley; toss to coat. Transfer to a plate. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in the skillet. Add drained pasta, tossing until well coated. Serve, topped with the crab. Makes: 4 servings
2013 Mayu Pedro Ximenez Elqui Chile: Simply delivered apple- and pear-like fruit, soft texture, sufficient acidity for cleansing. $15
2013 Etude Chardonnay Grace BenoistCQ Vineyard Carneros California: From cool-climate southern Sonoma; linear and pure; no woody or sugary gee-gaws and bright, citrusy fruit to boot. $30-$35
NV Berlucchi Brut Cuvee ‘61’ Franciacorta Lombardy Italy: Champagnemethod bubbly; blend of pinot noir and chardonnay; less nuanced than the French but a third the price. $25-$30
Add king crab legs to spaghetti and garlic for a sumptuous meal.