THE SEASON OF MUSSELS
Mussels reach their peak this month, when the waters where they are cultivated are at their coldest. They can be consumed all year long, but the meat and sweetness of mussels reaches an apogee in February. There are many preparations that can be paired with wine. Try the classic moules marinières or “sailor-style” mussels—leeks, shallots, garlic, bay leaf, and white wine. Serve with homemade mayonnaise and toasts.
2015 Château de la Jousselinière ‘Perle Bleue’ Pays Nantais 13.00 10.79VS
2015 La Marinière Muscadet Sèvre et Maine 11.00 9.13VS
Portuguese-style mussels in garlic cream sauce adds a little hot red pepper, some chourico (chorizo), clam juice, and dry Riesling before adding heavy cream. Perhaps the most beautiful of mussel recipes!
2014 Vila d.Maria Three Valleys White Douro 17.00 14.11VS
2013 Château d’Epiré Savennières Loire Valley 20.00 16.60VS
Cozze alla Posillipo(from the neighborhood of the same name in Naples) combines fresh mussels with plum tomatoes, red peppers, basil, and wine sauce. You can serve these over fresh, long cut pasta. Lighter reds pair well here.
2012 La Spinetta Barbera d’Asti
‘Ca’ di Pian’ 25.00 20.75VS
2015 Allegrini Valpolicella
Veneto 18.00 14.94VS
Mussels in a saffron cream sauce combines heavy cream, garlic, white wine, and saffron and these work very well with richer whites.
Romain Collet Sparkling Brut Cremant de Bourgogne 22.00 18.26VS
2016 Two Vintners Grenache Blanc
‘Boushey Vineyard’ 25.00 20.75VS
Mussels cooked Thai style with coconut, curry paste, lime, and cilantro require a crisp, unoaked white, with vibrant acidity, and lower alcohol, or a fruity style dry rosé.
2015 Albrecht Pinot Blanc ‘Balthazar’ 18.00 14.94VS
2015 Domaine de la Tour du Bon Rosé Bandol 30.00 24.90VS
2016 Long Shadows Julia’s Dazzle Rosé Horse Heaven Hills 20.00 16.60VS