Our Wine of the Week, Starborough 2013 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($15), is a real crowd pleaser, in every way imaginable, save one. If you must have red wine, you'll obviously not be interested. Otherwise, this is a great wine to have on your radar. It's available almost everywhere, it's affordable and it is often priced as a special deal. It has plenty of fruit but not too much, and it has beautiful acidity and brightness on the palate that keeps it refreshing.
When it comes to fruit, think tropical or semi-tropical; I notice guava, not-fully-ripe kiwi, pomelo, passionfruit and a hint of white pineapple. There's a suggestion of freshly mown grass in the bouquet, with bursts of citrus zest in both the aromas and on the palate.
The wine is lovely with a broad range of foods, from avocado, grapefruit, green beans and zucchini to oysters, crab, scallops, flounder, Petrale sole and pork tenderloin. A salad of avocado, grapefruit and Dungeness crab makes an outstanding companion. It is also excellent with Thai larb, provided it isn't too hot, and Vietnamese bun.
For today's recipe, I've adapted a dish from my book “San Francisco Seafood,” (Ten Speed Press, 1999). It comes from Great Eastern, a popular restaurant in San Francisco's Chinatown. Years ago, the owner gave me the recipe for the book, and as he described it I almost fainted with hunger, it sounded so very good. And it is. I recommend saving the liquid for soup. Serve with a simple green salad and, if you like, steamed rice.
Marinated and Chilled Dungeness Crab, Chinatown-Style
Makes 3 to 4 servings
— Kosher salt
2 large live Dungeness crab
6 cups Strong Stock (see Note below)
3 cups dry sherry or Shaoxing wine
1/4 cup freshly grated ginger
4 to 5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bunch green onions, white and green parts, trimmed and very thinly sliced