I 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.
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:
Les 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)
Jermann, “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)
Castello 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!