The recent warm weather, flowering trees and verdant green hills has caused an epidemic of spring fever around Sonoma County. One of the best ways I can think of to celebrate the coming season is to get your taste buds dancing to a tropical rhythm. This month’s Coconut Lime Shrimp recipe, when paired with a crisp and zesty Sauvignon Blanc will do just that.
Sauvignon Blanc is a widely planted white grape, with very fine wines being produced from vineyards in France, New Zealand and Australia, South Africa, Chile and California. Here in California, some of the very best wines come from the Dry Creek Valley, Chalk Hill, Napa Valley and Lake County. Don’t be confused when you see the term “Fume’ Blanc” on the label… Fume’ Blanc is just another name for wine made with Sauvignon Blanc grapes. The term was introduced in the 1960s by Robert Mondavi and has persisted as an alternative name which several wineries have successfully used ever since.
Sauvignon Blanc wines can be produced with or without the use of oak. Those fermented and/or aged in oak barrels will show more richness and body than wines which have not. Sauvignon Blanc which has been vinified in stainless steel alone, without any oak influence, will exhibit more fresh crispness – this is the style that I would recommend for the Coconut Lime Shrimp. That crisp acidity will stand up nicely to the richness of the coconut milk, and the light citrus notes which are displayed so enticingly by Sauvignon Blanc will blend well with the lime flavors in the recipe.
The spices, which provide a nice kick to the shrimp will add some layers of complexity and warmth to the dish, are pleasantly braced by the clean minerality of the wine. Finally, the joyful summertime character of this chilled white wine makes the vegetables in the dish taste as though they’ve just been plucked from the garden.
So pick up a bottle of exuberant, locally grown and produced Sauvignon Blanc, slip on your flip flops, and get those taste buds dancing!
Jeff James is the founder and co-owner, with his wife Judy, of Stony Point Vineyard and James Family Cellars. Their Cotati vineyard and winery have consistently produced award-winning wines. Jeff can be reached at info@JamesFamilyCellars.com or www.JamesFamilyCellars.com.