Sometimes it’s OK to take the easy way out. Greg asked me to choose a wine to go with his Jicama Crab Tacos and I just happened to have a bottle or two of crab wine chilling in the wine fridge. Done! Sporting a big red crab on the label, it’s a Vinho Verde called Santola “Crab Wine”.
No, the wine isn’t made from a particularly crabby grape varietal. Vinho Verde is made from a happy blend of any or all of the following: Alvarenho, Arinto, Avesso, Azal, Batoca, Loureiro, Pederña and Trajadura. It’s a zesty, often slightly effervescent dry white wine that comes from a DOC viticultural area in coastal northwest Portugal. Fresh and tart on the tongue, the wine is meant to be drunk young. Hence the “verde” or green. (It would be a bonus if that “verde” meant sustainable practices as well.)
It’s a great party wine. It’s inexpensive – the New York Times has christened it “cheap-and-cheerful” so you can stock up. It’s low in alcohol – registering a mere 9% ABV, so you can drink up. And it’s adequately complex and balanced so you don’t have to fess up to buying (or bringing) a bottle of wine that cost less than $10.
As a complement to Greg’s Jicama Tacos, the Santola Crab Wine’s lively acidity and “sea breeze” minerality bring out the crab’s essence. Texturally, the wine’s faint fizz complements the crunch of the pickled jicama “taco.” On the palate, the wine’s apple‑y sweetness makes the crab’s inherent sweetness pop. The spritz of lime on the taco is mirrored in the lemon-lime overtones in the wine. I’d say that the Crab Wine is as refreshing, light, crisp and succulently delicious as the Crab Tacos.
And at just under $9 a bottle you have no reason to crab about price. KEN
Pairs With Crab Tacos with Jicama “Tortillas”
Also pairs well with shellfish, salads, fish, Mexican food, or on it’s own as an aperitif
- Category White Wine
- Varietal Loureiro
- Region Vinho Verde Portugal