Tuesday, January 10, 2012



By Doc Lawrence

ATLANTA-It’s a dish with Biblical origins. I acquired several varieties of Inland Market’s Seafood Tortas and the experience became a glimpse into a higher life. The array included Crab and Artichoke, Smoked Salmon, Maine Lobster and Shrimp Provencal and I made the decision to pair them with wines. After all, how can you truly describe a taste experience without appropriate wine poured generously?

A couple of years back I paired wines with lobster rolls produced for markets throughout the country. There was a lesson here and it is in the area of learning something really new. I asked many noted wine journalists and Master Sommeliers beforehand what wines they would choose for lobster served this way? The responses were all over the place: Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Chablis. Sancerre, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.

Chardonnay was perfect, particularly if it had just a hint of oak.

Accordingly, I paired Inland Market’s Maine Lobster Torta with a North Carolina Chardonnay, McRitchie, a winery in the Yadkin Valley, a 2006 vintage, and as the old bluegrass song goes, the marriage of flavors “set my fields on fire.”

Lobster seems to welcome the buttery-like quality of Chardonnay and this gourmet product retains the characteristics of fresh lobster although it is combined with other food items and seasonings.

Later, the other Tortas were paired with wines and the results are pleasing. The other wines that did not pair well with lobster did fit quite well, one about as good as the other. Inland Market’s Seafood Tortas are perfect for the aperitif experience and I would urge opening at least two different bottles and consider a good sparkling wine like Wolf Mountain from Dahlonega or any Champagne.

But the lobster requires a Chardonnay.

Inland Seafood is a respected name and hallowed brand. Restaurants and grocers know them well. Finding the Seafood Tortas is easy. Chardonnay and all the other wines I mentioned are available in retail stores. However, to enjoy McRitchie, you’ll have to dine with me or go deep into the Yadkin Valley.

More information: www.inlandseafood.com

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