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One of the Best Pairings I’ve Tasted

2010 February 3

Lark Wine Dinner

Last month, I went home for the weekend to visit my wife. Because this trip was planned for a while, Bob Moore, from my wine tasting club, arranged a special dinner at Lark in Seattle. Bob initially was supplying the wines, but as the guest list grew, others in the group added some bottles of their own. With the exception of the Dönnhoff Riesling, all the wines that evening were French.

But what is great French wine without great food paired with it?


Lark is located on Capitol Hill in Seattle. John Sundstrom, chef and co-owner, made a name for himself working with Tom Douglas at Dahlia Lounge and later at Earth & Ocean. Given the list of wines we would have that evening, he created a magical meal that I won’t soon forget.

The most memorable course that evening was also the first course. This was Dungeness crab with celery leaf and green apple soubise, along with Meyer lemon crackers, paired with a 2005 Domaine Long-Depaquit Chablis Grand Cru Moutonne generously provided by Bill Owen (of O•S Winery) who was also in attendance. The combination of flavors of the tart apples, vegetal celery and succulent crab was a nearly perfect pairing with the exotic tropical fruit aromas and elegant flavors of crisp pear, ripe citrus and ocean-influenced minerals. This chardonnay was rich, ripe and powerful while still retaining its balance and Chablis character. There was none of the over-oaked, buttery malolactic that I typically find in California chardonnays. It was, in a word, perfect.

I won’t go into details about all the food and wine. If you’re interested in what other epicurean delights we were treated to that evening, click on the photo above to see the Flickr photo set of our dinner. The food and wine that followed was equally magnificent, but my taste memory still lingered on this first course, one of the best pairings I’ve ever experienced.

Bottle photo courtesy of Laithwaites Wine

5 Responses leave one →
  1. February 3, 2010

    Like Hannibal always said on The A-Team, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

    Perfect pairings are something otherworldly. That’s why I can’t get off the fence on being a wine blogger or a food blogger. They belong together!

  2. February 3, 2010

    Oh Em Gee! My mouth is watering.

    BTW, let me know when you are back in town. My beau and I need your and Sheri’s help figuring out which wine goes best with razor clams… 🙂

  3. Eric Hwang permalink*
    February 3, 2010

    Joe, absolutely right. I have a hard time writing about wines without including foods and vice-versa.

    Laurie, razor clams, huh? Depending on how it’s prepared, I think I would go with a Pinot Blanc or unoaked Chardonnay if you’re looking at domestic, but I think I would choose French and go with a recent vintage of Muscadet Sèvre et Maine, or an ’05 Sancerre if you sauté the clams, or an ’02 Pouilly Fuissé if you’re breading them. I’d be willing to provide the wine, if you provide the clams. 😉

  4. February 3, 2010

    You’re on! (Guess we’ll have to let you in on some of the secret ingredients in the proprietary clam cake recipe for best pairing ideas.)

  5. February 22, 2010

    What an exquisite pairing! I love to pair food with wine but pairing fantastic food and wine with great friends is one of my all time favorite activities. It sounds like you scored on all three!

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