Celebrate Dungeness crab season with magnificent German Riesling Kabinett

In the morning the kitchen still smells like crabs. In a good, fresh, oceany way. The belly feels light, the mind satisfied. We spent the whole Friday exploring Half Moon Bay - visiting the Pillar Point Harbor where we bought 3 of the freshest, right out of the ocean, 2-lbs. dungeness crabs (only $3.50/lb!), ate catch-of-the-day fisherman's stew and fish-and-chips right on the ocean front, and strolled along the beaches and lawns on a crisp, sunny, picture-perfect day after Thanksgiving.

And at night, we steamed those monsters and gobbled all 6 lbs., with just a little dipping sauce and the most amazing pairing of a German off-dry Riesling.

The purity of that meal and the combination of the flavors of the fresh, light, subtly sweet crab meat, the tangy Chinese black Chinkiang vinegar and wasabi dipping sauce, and a Kabinett level 2006 Schloss Schonborn Riesling from one of the absolute top vineyards in Rheingau, Germany - Erbacher Marcobrunn, was proof that food-and-wine pairing is not just bullshit that pretentious wine snobs have invented to make themselves sound more important. Rona, Song, and I were in food heaven!

The magnificent off-dry Riesling tasted like a combination of crystal clear mountain spring water, delicious candied green apples and citrus peel, crushed minerals, precise saline acidity, and an echo of rubber that is a hallmark of Riesling. Just the smell of the wine in the kitchen full of oceany scents was intoxicatingly good. I'd hoped that the sweetness in the Riesling would accentuate the crab. And it did. But I'd never imagined how well all the elements in the wine would match the wasabi and vinegar sauce - something magical transpired in that union that made all of us grunt and burp in delight. The ladies consumed everything - including the green, liquidy "crab miso" (the umami-rich innards, roe, and brain that actually tastes miso-like and is highly prized in Asia).

That's it - that's the meal, and that's the day. It took 15 minutes to steam, and 2.5 hours to work through the body parts. In the end, full not stuffed, and oh so grateful for the dungeness crab season in Northern California, we vowed to never buy them again at Ranch 99 and be back at the Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay next weekend.


Unknown said…
Yummy! Thanks for the treat; too bad I missed the Salo.
Seema said…
You have inspired me, I see a trip to Half Moon Bay in our near future :). Beautiful photography, by the way. Who took the pictures?
Hazel said…
Hi Iron Chevsky! I came across your amazing blog while searching for reviews of Schloss Schonborn. Your tasting notes are so lively and refreshing (so tired of the clichéd notes from industry people).

My company actually started representing this legendary winery in Hong Kong this year, so as a marketing person, I was searching online for inspiration to write a press release. Your comments are definitely very inspiring and useful. I will pair the wine with some famous Cantonese seafood to try this weekend! Thanks!!! Happy Easter!!!

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