Sea Scallops with Olives and Potatoes – Recommended Wine Pairing

Les Crêtes, VdA Chardonnay Cuvée Bois DOCI am still slowly catching up with my overdue wine pairings… Today we will suggest a wine that pairs well with Francesca’s delicious recipe of sea scallops with olives and potatoes.

Based on the ingredients and preparation of Francesca’s sea scallop dish, its main features from a sensory perspective are latent sweetness, latent sourness, tastiness, flavor and a slight greasiness in a fairly structured dish. In light of the ISA wine pairing criteria (in case you forgot or missed my post about them and are interested in knowing more about them, you may want to go back or anyway refer to it), the wine to complement such dish will need to possess good acidity, smoothness, intensity of nose-mouth flavors, good ABV and a decent body/structure.

St. Michael-Eppan, A.A. Chardonnay Sanct Valentin DOCBased on those characteristics, I would go for a structured Chardonnay with some oak-aging and good acidity.

As I mentioned previously on Flora’s Table, it is worth mentioning that in Italy you can drink very good Chardonnay pretty much across the entire Italian territory, literally from Valle d’Aosta to Sicily. This is because, thanks to the great versatility and adaptability of this international grape variety, Chardonnay has been very successfully grown in very different terroirs in North, Central and even Southern Italy.

My recommendations below of most of my all-time favorite Italian Chardonnays will prove the point that I just made, as you will notice that they actually take you on a virtual tour of Italy:

Elena Walch, A.A. Beyond the Clouds DOCLes Crêtes, Valle d’Aosta Chardonnay “Cuvée Bois” DOC from Valle d’Aosta (100% Chardonnay; in my view a phenomenal wine with a wonderful bouquet of wildflowers, jasmine, pineapple and butter – hats off to the producer who invested the energy and resources necessary to achieve a density of 7,500 vines/HA in the vineyard used to create this magnificent wine – the only problem is the absurd price this wine generally retails for in the US, which, at around $80, is about twice as much as what you would pay for it at a wine store in Italy)

St Michael-Eppan, Alto Adige Chardonnay “Sanct Valentin” DOC from Alto Adige (100% Chardonnay; with scents of Mirabelle plum, butter, vanilla and almond)

Elena Walch, Alto Adige “Beyond the Clouds” DOC from Alto Adige (“predominantly” Chardonnay blended with other white grape varieties based on a proprietary recipe; with scents of peach, pineapple, almond, butter and vanilla)

Castello della Sala, Bramito del Cervo Umbria IGTJermann, “W? Dreams” Venezia Giulia IGT from Friuli Venezia Giulia (97% Chardonnay, 3% other grape varieties kept it a secret by the winery; with aromas of Mirabelle plum, citrus, vanilla and a smoky hint – a special note of merit to the producer who achieved a density of almost 8,000 vines/HA in the vineyards used to create this excellent wine)

Tenute Folonari, “La Pietra” Tenute del Cabreo Toscana IGT from Toscana (100% Chardonnay; with scents of peach, butter, honey, hazelnut and flint)

Castello della Sala“Cervaro della Sala” Umbria IGT from Umbria (a blend of 90% Chardonnay and 10% Grechetto aged in barrique casks for 6 months; with fine aromas of citrus, pineapple, butter, honey and hazelnut)

Planeta, Chardonnay Sicilia IGTCastello della Sala, “Bramito del Cervo” Umbria IGT also from Umbria (100% Chardonnay, the “little brother” of the Cervaro della Sala; with fine aromas of wildflowers, pineapple, Mirabelle plum, butter, vanilla and hazelnut – a quality Chardonnay with a good QPR)

Planeta, Chardonnay Sicilia IGT from Sicily (100% Chardonnay; with complex and elegant scents of wisteria, peach, apple, honey, butter, vanilla, hazelnut and chalk)

Tasca d’Almerita, Chardonnay Sicilia IGT also from Sicily (100% Chardonnay; with fine aromas of broom, peach, pineapple, banana, herbs, vanilla and a toasty hint)

Enjoy, and as always, if you happened to try out any of these wines,  let me know how you liked them!

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0 thoughts on “Sea Scallops with Olives and Potatoes – Recommended Wine Pairing

  1. ChgoJohn

    I’m so glad that you’re posting these pairings, Stefano, and the rationale behind them. I always learn something when I come here, though reading that good Chardonnay is available throughout all of Italy was a surprise. Thanks for taking the time to put these posts together for us.

    1. Stefano Post author

      My pleasure, John: well, it is just a way to reciprocate after all that I learn from your blog and fabulous, authentic recipes! Anyway, glad you enjoyed the virtual tour of Italy 😉

    1. Stefano Post author

      Thank you, Mila: glad you found them useful! Elena Walch is one of my favorite producers, and I think you are going to enjoy her wine. Please let me know how you like it after you have an opportunity to try it out!

  2. Just Add Attitude

    Stefano I enjoyed, as always, reading your wine recommendations. I know I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover or a wine by its label but I can’t help thinking “Beyond the Clouds” is an inspired name. It’s probably mid afternoon in your part of the world so Francesca and yourself have more of the weekend to look forward to it. Enjoy. 😉

    1. Stefano Post author

      Thank you very much, B: much appreciated. I agree that the name they picked is an inspired one, and I tell you… it does not stop there, as the wine itself is really great! Have a great Sunday! 🙂

  3. apuginthekitchen

    I remember Francesca’s wonderful recipe and the Chardonnay sounds like the perfect wine for this delicious dish. I also don’t really associate Chardonnay with Italy, for some reason California comes to mind but it’s great to see such a wonderful array of Italian’s, I will have to seek them out and give a try, Thanks for the great pairing.

    1. Stefano Post author

      Thank you, Suzanne! I think you should give both Italian and French Chardonnays a try, I am pretty sure you will like them. Thank you for your very kind comment. 🙂

    1. Stefano Post author

      Yes, it is (including in Lombardia and Trentino where it gets used to make Classic Method sparklers) – it all started in the Eighties when Chardonnay became worldwide popular, but then fortunately there have been certain producers that really invested into doing things right and came up with very interesting interpretations of this super versatile variety. Always good to read from you, Oliver.

  4. armchairsommelier

    I love the idea of a “Terroir Tour” of Italy . . . this would be a great theme for my wine club to tackle. I admit I don’t often think Italy when I’m shopping for Chardonnay. Will try to see how many of these wines I can locate. Can’t wait to try some of them! Salud!!

    1. Stefano Post author

      I think that would really be a great idea for your wine club! And yes, like I said in response to a previous post, there definitely is some good Chardonnay in Italy (not to mention that which is grown in Lombardia and Trentino and goes into delicious Classic Method Blanc de Blancs!) I am pretty sure that you would enjoy tasting it. Let me know if you manage to get to try any of these out!

  5. Bam's Kitchen (@bamskitchen)

    I remember Francesca beautiful dish and its nice to know a wine to match. As the sea scallops can be light but the olives can have some robust flavors so looking forward to trying some of your suggestions. It is very good to know that from Valle d’Aosta to Sicily you can have a great chardonnay. Have a super weekend. Chow, BAM

    1. Stefano Post author

      Thank you, BAM: glad you found it interesting! And yes, there definitely is good Italian Chardonnay, and that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to post about it, so more people hopefully may feel like pushing the envelope a little bit and give it a try!