17 June 2013

Lobster Salad, Vinho Verde, and a Wine Chiller

I found myself on a Saturday with lobsters, Vinho Verde, and a wine product for review. Time to multitask.

I've written about lobster rolls many times but at this point, I think I enjoy them more than a freshly steamed lobster. I grab a couple of the pre-cooked and frozen lobsters from the grocery store when they go on sale, thaw them, shell them, and then dice up the meat with mayonnaise, bell pepper, black pepper, and a few other bits of magic. Tossed on a buttery split-top bun, the lobster salad is heavenly. For the ease of serving a quick and refreshing lunch, I like sea salt and vinegar kettle chips.

Now we need something to wash down that sammich. With perfect timing, a pair of wines from Vinho Verde had arrived on the quarterly schedule. While both were repeats for me, I was delighted to try them and found them to be an excellent match on a lazy holiday weekend.

NV Gazela Vinho Verde
Vinho Verde, Portugal
Loureiro, Arinto, Trajadura, Avesso, and Azal
$6, 9% abv.

Gazela, meaning "gazelle" in Portuguese, is using the tag line sabe bem com a vida ("goes well with life"). I've had this wine many times in the past and it's one of the best wines you'll find at the six dollar level. Crisp, light and delicate, barely any bubbles. Mild citrus notes with just a hint of flowers and tropical fruit. Easy and very enjoyable when iced down and sipped with appetizers.

NV Las Lilas Vinho Verde
Vinho Verde, Portugal
85% Loureiro, 7.5% Trajadura, 7.5% Arinto
$10, 10% abv.

Dry and crisp with aromas of jasmine and flowers, appropriate for a wine named after lilacs. This one had a rounder body and a fuller mouthfeel, and was almost entirely still. An excellent dry Portuguese white wine that plays well off the saltiness from the lobster.

The Gazela was chilled in the Cool Coat designed by Dane Jakob Wagner, included in the MODaffekt design collection. While my own house is not supplied with modern Scandinavian products, this group does have some neat products, like a combination decanter/aerator, and for some reason, the splash! bowl tickles my fancy.

The Cool Coat retails for $45 and features a freezable insert sleeve that you can't see in my above photo but does the main work of chilling the wine. You can unbutton the coat for more callipygian sparkling bottles, and the collar can be adjusted to your own desired degree of "popped".

It is expensive for something that can be replaced by a nearby refrigerator, but the stitching is perfect, the outer fabric is reflective and looks beautiful close up, and frankly, whenever I see the little white and green shirt hugging a bottle I smile a little. Maybe I'm experiencing hygge. It's very sturdy and should hold up well for years to come.

Note: These wines and the cool coat were provided as samples.

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