Dry Creek Vineyard 2016 Dry Creek Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($20) is a pure delight, with a sophistication, a refinement that wines two or three times its price struggle, frequently unsuccessfully, to achieve.
Not so with this classic quaffer: It is suave, a bit fleshy, and a tad beguiling. It flirts with its drinker, revealing itself bit by bit, until its crisp and very refreshing finish.
But first come the aromas: pretty little bursts of spring wild flowers, orange blossoms, and jasmine, with a hint of ripe pear and pineapple mingling with the other scents.
Because of the wine’s fleshy aspect, citrus flavors — especially tangerine and Meyer lemon — suggest fruit that has been warmed by the sun or baked into, say, a lemon curd tart. But before you even begin to wonder if this actually is a sauvignon blanc, here comes all those lovely mineral notes, ringing like a pretty little bell, which in turn is followed by that delightful conclusion.
At the table, the wine is a crowd pleaser. It is excellent with seafood, especially all kinds of crab, scallops, and other shellfish. Flat fish, too, such as Petrale sole, flounder, and sand dabs with butter and lemon will flatter this wine, as will pork loin in a mustard glaze, sliced and served over wilted mustard greens and dressed with a light mustard vinaigrette.
If you’re feeding a carnivore who happens to prefer white wine, this is a great choice; to further a match add a spritz of fresh lemon juice to the meat just before serving and the match will soar.
Today’s recipe is from the new edition of “The Good Cook’s Book of Mustard,” (Skyhorse Publishing, 2015, $18.99) and inspired by spring mustard, which is just beginning to pop up here and there between rows of still-dormant grapevines.
Mustard Vichyssoise with Fresh Dungeness Crab
Serves 4 to 6
2 tablespoons butter
4 leeks, white and palest green parts only, thoroughly cleaned and sliced into thin rounds
1 small yellow onion, peeled, sliced
— Kosher salt
2 pounds (about 3 to 4 large) potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced
3 cups chicken stock or fish fumet
3 cups water
— Grated zest of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup creme fraiche, plus more to taste
— White pepper in a mill
11/4 pound fresh cooked crab meat (meat from 1 small to medium Dungeness crab), leg meat reserved separately, chilled
2 tablespoons best-quality extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh snipped chives
Melt the butter in a large heavy pot set over medium low heat, and when it is foamy, add the leeks and sauté until they are wilted, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add the onion and continue to cook until the onions soften and become fragrant, about 12 minutes more. Season with salt.
Add the potatoes, sauté 2 minutes, add the stock or fumet and 3 cups of water, increase the heat to high, and when the liquid boils, reduce the heat and simmer gently until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.