It’s been a big week-and-a-bit for Canadian wine lovers in Nova Scotia. Late last week, the province decided to officially open its borders to interprovincial wine shipping.
In honour of that decision — which moves Nova Scotia into the same territory as Manitoba and British Columbia (and hopefully Saskatchewan and Ontario are close behind), I thoughtI’d have a look at wines that pair well with that quintessential Maritime dish — lobster. (And no, I’m not talking about the new additions at McDonald’s or Subway.)
Let’s start with the basics — good old-fashioned boiled/steamed lobster with butter. Ricardo Larivée’s recipe for steamed lobster with herb butter is as good as any.
I just had a chance to re-taste the Tawse 2012 Sketches Chardonnay while in Niagara, and this wine seems right on point for lobster with butter. It’s a medium-bodied white with plenty of fresh fruit and modest oak thanks to 12 months in French barrels.
Any recipe that has both cream and vermouth in it is already deep in my good books. This Chatelaine recipe for lobster fettuccine also features fennel, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard, making for a creamy but tangy, rich but racy dish.
Viognier’s rich tropical fruit and spice with that hint of acidity would work well here, and Le Vieux Pin's 2013 Ava blends it with Roussanne and Marsanne with tremendous results. There’s great texture and richness to this wine, but the ripe tropical fruit and splash of acidity make it a perfect pairing for this pasta dish.
Then there’s the classic Maritime lobster roll. It’s a seemingly simple dish — essentially a lobster salad sandwich, as it were — but there are so many things that can go wrong. This lobster roll with Sriracha mayo and seaweed recipe from chef Michael Smith — a Prince Edward Island native — is an adventurous, somewhat spicy take on the classic, and features the iconic hot sauce as well as a buttered bun lined with nori.
Wine-wise, an aromatic white with some serious verve will do the trick — a wine like the Mt. Boucherie 2013 Ehrenfelser. There are some ripe fruit notes as well as intense spice, with just a hint of sweetness that will work wonders with the Asian-themed flavours of Smith’s lobster roll.
Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson is the wine columnist and literary editor for the Winnipeg Free Press. He’s on Twitter and Instagram at @bensigurdson.