Seafood + Wine = A Tasty Summer Delight

Summer is here! From New England to Florida, and Texas to California, the coast is filled with amazing fresh seafood to enjoy with friends. During the Summer months, many of us are taking vacations, enjoying family reunions, and traveling to seaside resorts. But what seafood dish is not complete without a crisp bottle of a Summer wine?

Today, I wanted to share with you an easy way to enjoy seafood and a tasty Summer wine this month.


Summer Days, Delicious Seafood…

If you ask me, there’s nothing better than an old fashioned clambake to share with family, friends and a variety of delicious wines.  Take a day trip to your local fish market to see what the local fishermen have caught. What’s typical in our region here in Tampa Bay might differ from your hometown. Most coastal communities will have a selection of clams, mussels, an assortment of great fish and perhaps some lobster, shrimp or scallops.


Your local produce stand or farmer’s market will be the best place to gather corn on the cob, small potatoes, lemons, basil, onions and some celery too.  Take a look at the fresh fruit, too, to make a cobbler or berry shortcake.

My personal wine recommendation will start with a 2015 PEJU Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley. This wine comes from the Peju family, and gives off great flavors of lime zest, a grassy nose, apricot and floral bouquet.  

Now, Let’s Get Cooking…

Before you start the clambake, you should chill this bottle of wine so it’s ready to serve while you prep the stock pot. Fill your stock pot with vegetables, your assortment of seafood gems and fresh herbs, along with a few seasonings.  The brine of the fresh seafood doesn’t require much to compliment this amazing dish. I recommend sea salt, pepper, old bay seasoning, thyme, and some paprika. These seasonings will make this dish come alive as it slowly boils and cooks the seafood.

Add some of the Peju Sauvignon Blanc to the pot with a few lemons and your corn, potatoes and celery which will cook for 20 minutes to soften the vegetables. Then add your lobster, clams, mussels, crab or shrimp. Top if off with some water and cover, letting it slowly boil. All of these delicious flavors will come together for another 15 to 20 minutes.

"More Wine, Please!"


Now, let’s take a look at the 2015 Des Amis Rose’ from Napa Valley. I selected this wine because of the unique flavor and assortment of grape varietals used in making this wine. Five different grapes are blended together to give you a strawberry nose, some watermelon, cherry and cranberry aromas.  Chill this wine and share with friends and family as your clambake is cooking.

Your table should be set with newspaper spread all over, since things are bound to get messy! Add your utensils, some drawn melted butter along with plenty of napkins. Sometimes, we just have the entire roll of paper towels on the table, just in case.

It’s Time To Eat!

Your pot of delicious seafood and vegetables should be ready about now. To test, take a potato out and touch it with a fork for tenderness. If it’s fork-tender, this is a good indication that everything is ready. Another way to check is seeing if your clams and mussels are open. The shrimp should be pink in color like the Rose’.  Take your pot over to the table and pour it onto the table so all can enjoy easily.

My last wine for this delicacy would be a Chateau de Jarnioux Beaujolais. This red wine is light and refreshing with soft tannins and the perfect pairing for seafood. This way, your guests that enjoy reds can be accommodated without overpowering the clambake. Crack the lobster and dip in butter and savor with some Sauvignon Blanc or Rose’. I promise, it will be amazing.

From Tide to Table this will definitely be a memorable vacation meal shared by everyone.

Charles Visalli