Every week, Mark Oldman — wine expert, acclaimed author and lead judge of the hit series The Winemakers — shares with readers the basics of wine, while making it fun and practical. In the coming weeks, he’ll tell you what to ask at a wine store, at what temperature to serve it and share his must-have wine tools.
Anne Burrell’s Seared Scallops With Citrus, Arugula and Pomegranate Salad represents the best of both worlds: It’s light and citrusy enough to refresh the summer palate, but it’s also deeply delicious thanks to its caramelized scallops and garlic and onion accents. These three white wines will harmonize beautifully with this sumptuous seafood salad:
Sauvignon Blanc: Because the dish is dominated by lip-smacking notes of lemon, grapefruit and pomegranate, your primary goal should be to choose a wine with a tanginess to match that in the recipe. Sauvignon Blanc — especially plumper versions from California and New Zealand — will provide the citric snap that this dish deserves, while bringing enough weight to stand up to its piquant flavors. Moreover, the wine’s famously herbal “grassy” quality in wine-speak makes it a bull’s-eye choice with greens like arugula.
Chardonnay: If you stay on the lighter side of this grape — versions from France or Italy — you’ll get plenty of tongue-tingling zest while staying light enough to avoid overwhelming the dish the way some syrupy Chardonnays would. Lighter Chardonnays tend to have their oak flavors in check, providing a slightly sweet complement to the caramelization of the scallops without running all over it.
Albariño: Medium-weight and crisp, this flavorful white wine is a slam dunk with sea creatures which is why I call it the ultimate “(sea)foodie” wine. Appropriately enough, it hails from a misty, maritime region of northwest Spain where the locals like to gulp it down with scallops, sardines and octopus. Thankfully, you don’t have to go that far for it now that it has become increasingly popular on store shelves.