The last time I made halibut and drowned it in white-wine cream sauce with baby shrimp, I had Rombauer Chardonnay with it. This Chard tastes like it was raised not at a winery but in a tank at the movie-theater-butter factory.
2009 Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay: A bottle spiked with movie-theatre buttah. (As they said on SNL, "Did you see her nails? They're like buttah!")
That didn’t deter me: I was already cutting as many pounds of butter into my cream sauce as possible, so I figured a little butter in a wine glass would be a tolerable match. And it worked well enough. The complaint, if any, is my complaint of the month: That the wine was from California. It was too powerful, even for halibut. Which makes me a backstabbing turncoat, of course, having grown up helping to produce
California white wine.
I specialize in treason and espionage, so in being true to my colors, I made halibut again the other night, for four, and uncorked a white Burgundy instead of another of our own homegrown 30-proof wines.
Result? Success. We four diners were pondering the part of the label that Google translates as “Drystone Walls of Dogtooth,” but the pairing was nonetheless better, and all the more so considering the cost was roughly the same.
2008 Domaine Maroslavac-Leger St-Aubin Premier Cru "Murgers Dents de Chien."
This Burgundy had a gently floral nose and was gently creamy on the palate — you knew the winemaker had been whisking lees around the tank (or barrel) in acts of batonage
, as the French call lees-stirring, which in France is tolerated more than is espionage, but not by a large margin. Nonetheless, you knew he wasn’t going to let his baby take over your meal. So the halibut, the little pan-fried cornmeal cake and the steamed green beans sauteed in bacon fat and brandy all worked with his wine. (Even if no sane chef would have any of this stuff on his menu!)
Both wines are available in San Francisco at K&L:
— 2009 Rombauer Chardonnay from Carneros
— 2008 Domaine Maroslavac-Leger St-Aubin Premier Cru “Murgers Dents de Chien”
Just for the halibut: Cream sauce, baby shrimp, pan-fried corncakes, green beans fried in bacon fat.