A Crabby Dilemma



“So what wine shall we match with the crab?”

It’s a tricky one and a question posed to me by Chef as he has created a delicious crab Amuse Bouche for our Chef’s Table menu this week. I’m at a bit of a disadvantage as shellfish tends to disagree with me and I don’t eat it that often. Trusting in my search engine and following a long chat with a very patient Sean from Bancroft Wines, I eventually have the basis of a tasting for the two of us late on a week day evening.

My research has thrown up some interesting ideas and armed with this and my clients preferences I presented 5 wines to Chef for tasting whilst he provided some virgin crabmeat and a dressed crab canapé. The wines were these:

Matošević Alba Malvasia 2013 Croatia

Mourat Collection Chenin/Chardonnay Loire Valley

Kientzler Pinot Blanc 2012 Alsace

Hartenberg Riesling 2012 South Africa

Kientzler Reisling Grand Cru Geisberg 2009 Alsace



As we tasted it quickly came apparent that the amount of embellishment given to the crab made a huge difference to the wine that would match the best. Undressed, virgin crab meat went very well with the dry, mineral, clean palate of the younger Malvasia from Croatia. If you are yet to indulge in wines from this region I urge you to do so.  Matošević are 5th generation producers and the wines are superb, the Malvasia being the indigenous grape of the area and therefore well suited to the soil and climate. The Mourat in its’ funky bottle also complimented if you wanted a more recognisable grape.

Dressed crab however could take a much richer wine with the Geisberg Reisling the stand out.  Utterly delightful, this Reisling is dry with the same mineral quality as the Malvasia. However this runs alongside a complex palette that pitches and rolls from melon to apple and on to white stoned fruits. Sumptuous, elegant and stunning with the dressed crab it also punches a hole in the wallet so a great choice on a budget is the Hartenberg Reisling from South Africa. This wine lacks the complexity of the Geisberg but the dry, fruit driven style works beautifully with the richness of the dressed crab.

Interestingly our favourite everyday wine in the tasting was the Pinot Blanc so all 5 wines made us very happy late into the night!

Sue Fishpool

Joint Proprietor


For more information about Chef’s Table click here

For a sample Chef’s Table Menu click here

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