The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Lobster Rolls Pose No Challenge (Or Do They?)

Making a match foor summer’s big bad food

A lobster roll from "Lunch" on the Montauk Highway.

I was out with some colleagues this past weekend when we decided to take a late-night pit-stop at a local crab shack for some lobster rolls.  I’ve been hearing quite a bit about these lobster rolls lately and, while I don’t necessarily fancy them all the time, thought it’d be an appetizing after-hour snack.

Simply prepared with four ounces of lobster, a mix of claw, knuckle and often tail, and then generously slapped on a buttered, usually toasted, soft white roll, lobster rolls seem to be the new cool comfort food of summer 2011. As with any great seafood salad, the secret in the lobster roll’s yummy center is not to use too much mayo and to gently combine the meat some chopped celery, chives, and fresh herbs.  Lettuce is optional.

Now the debate-inspiring dilemma: What is the proper wine pairing? Recently, Dr. Vino challenged his readers to come up with a wine that would complement–and not overwhelm–the roll. He asks, “So, even if there’s no wine on the menu at most clam shacks, the wine geek’s mind wanders…which wine would you pair with a lobster roll? Or is it…impossible?!?”

I’ve spent a lot of time in restaurants working with guests to find a great wine to pair with their delicious food, as well as finding my own matches for restaurant food with dinner companions, and I’ve realized that everyone has different preferences.  What I consider to be a harmonious match might not be the right fit for anyone other than myself.  In recognition of this experience I’ve decided to dodge the daunting responsibility of declaring a perfect lobster roll pairing all together.  Instead, I’ve selected a few wines for everyone to try out, and then I have to ask you: what’s everyone else drinking with their lobster this summer?

Buon Appetito and here are my wine choices below:

Ravento I Blanc Cava Brut Rose De nit 2008 

La Roncaia Friulano 2007

Bodega Chacra Pinot Noir Rio Negro Barda 2010

Jean-Philippe Fichet Meursault Gruyaches 2009