Chardonnay is the world’s favorite white wine. It is grown in nearly every winemaking region around the globe and always has something different to say, depending on where it comes from. You’re bound to find a style of Chardonnay that suits your taste.
Seafood dishes are most often paired with a white wine, but this doesn’t mean just any white will do; or that you can’t have fun discovering a specific white that will elevate its flavors over the others. The two seafood dishes below are flavorful and have a rich, creamy sauce served alongside them. These are dishes that can withstand a fuller-bodied white. You guessed it: Chardonnay—from California, to be exact!
California Chardonnays are known to be creamier and fuller-bodied with some oak influence that gives the wines heft and complexity, as well as backbone enough to pair with rich dishes.
If you’re not sure which Chardonnay you’ll like best, or want to check out other Chardonnay from around the world check out: Which Chardonnay Is Right for Me?
2 Stunning Seafood Dishes that Pair Perfectly with Chardonnay
Hog Island Oysters with Andouille Sausage, Spinach, and White Wine
Recipe from Cakebread Cellars
- 24 Hog Island Sweetwater oysters*, scrubbed
- 3 shallots, minced
- 2 T. butter
- 1 c. white wine
- ¾ c. heavy cream
- 2 T. olive oil
- ½ link andouille sausage, minced
- ¼ c. dry breadcrumbs
- 1 T. flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 3 bunches spinach, cleaned
- 2 shallots shallots, minced
- 2 T. butter
- Rock salt
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Shuck Oysters with an oyster knife. Discard the top shell and remove the oysters from the bottom shell to a strainer set over a small bowl to catch all the liquid. Lay bottom shells Refrigerate the oysters until ready to serve.
- For the white wine sauce, sauté the shallots in the butter over medium heat until soft. Add the wine and reduce until almost dry. Add the cream and the reserved liquid from the oysters. Reduce to a light sauce consistency. Reserve.
- Heat a medium skillet over high heat. Add the olive oil and andouille and cook until crisp. Stir in the breadcrumbs and cook to brown. Add the chopped parsley and reserve.
- Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the butter and shallot and saute to soften. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Season with salt and set aside.
- Spread rock salt on a sheet pan and set in the oven to get hot. Lay the oysters on top of the rock salt and return to the oven. Place a little of the spinach in the bottom of each oyster shell. Set the oyster on top and cover with a spoonful of the white wine sauce and top with a little of the breadcrumb mixture. Bake for two to three minutes until oysters just begin to curl around the edges. Serve immediately.
Enjoy with a glass of Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay. This bright and creamy Napa Valley Chardonnay has notes of golden apple, white peach, pear, and melon. Hints of mineral, yeast, and oak spice persist through a lingering finish of vibrant citrus and mineral. It is round and supple, superbly concentrated, with great depth and acidity.
* Hog Island Oyster Company is located in Point Reyes National Seashore on Tomales Bay, north of San Francisco. They farm both Atlantic and Pacific oysters, as well as Manila clams. The Sweetwater is an oyster they are most well known for. They can be found at www.hogislandoysters.com.
Pan-Fried Crab Cakes
Recipe from St. Francis Winery & Vineyards
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup minced green onions
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound Dungeness crab meat, or your
- preferred local crab such as Blue crab
- 2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)*
- 2 tablespoons (or more) butter
- 4 tablespoons (or more) olive oil
- Remoulade sauce for serving
- Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Whisk together the mayonnaise, green onions, egg yolks, lemon juice, tarragon, cilantro, mustard, lemon peel and black pepper in large bowl. Add in crabmeat and 1 cup of panko, breaking up crabmeat slightly. Let the mix stand for 10 minutes.
- Form crab mixture into sixteen 2-inch-diameter patties, using about a ¼ cup for each cake. Place the patties on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour, but can be held for up to 24 hours.
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in each of 2 heavy large skillets over medium-high heat. Add crab cakes to skillets and cook until golden on both sides (adding more butter and oil as needed) about 5 minutes total.
- Transfer cakes to napkins to drain off any excess oil. Plate crab cakes with a dollop of remoulade on top of each. A small salad of mixed greens is an excellent accompaniment with this dish.
St. Francis Sonoma County Chardonnay has notes of fresh-cut melon, citrus, pineapple, and butterscotch. It is medium-bodied and rich with a crisp acidity. Also pairs very well with salmon.