Aug 29, 2013

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Pair This: Adelsheim Pinot Blanc with Oregon Dungeness Crab

IMG_0732Fresh off the boat, a basket full of Oregon Dungeness Crab came home with me at a time that could not be more perfect: the same day that I had a bottle of the Adelsheim 2011 Bryan Creek Pinot Blanc chilling in the fridge – a food pairing that I would soon realize had unmatched perfection.

A sibling to Oregon’s landmark Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc also thrives in the state’s soil and climate, giving winemakers complex fruit with appealing characteristics that can be produced into elegant, yet bold wines.  Filled with alluring aromas and flavors, the Adelsheim 2011 Pinot Blanc is an excellent example of the stellar Pinot Blancs coming out of Oregon.

David Adelsheim, one of the pioneers of  Oregon’s wine industry, played a major role in bringing Pinot Blanc to Oregon by leading a program that imported two Pinot Blanc clones directly from Alsace, France, to Oregon’s Willamette Valley.  1989 was Adelsheim’s first vintage of Pinot Blanc, and although fruit for the first few vintages was sourced from other vineyards, by the mid-’90s David planted 3 1/2 acres in Adelsheim’s Bryan Creek Vineyard – located in the Chehalem Mountains AVA (a sub AVA of the Willamette Valley).

Adelsheim 2011Pinot BlancAt first swirl, sniff and sip of the Adelsheim 2011 Bryan Creek Pinot Blanc, I knew its zippy acidity (that reflects lemon and lime zest) was going to be delicious with the Oregon Dungeness Crab – there’s certainly no need to squeeze lemon juice on the crab with this pairing.  Aromas and flavors of pears and apples were highlighted by hints of butterscotch, honeysuckle and spices. Focused, clean, refreshing and perfectly balanced by the racy acidity, the flavors and characteristics of the Pinot Blanc united perfectly with the drawn butter-dipped crab.  It’s simply an unbeatable and unforgettable pairing.