Pairings: A crab salad to go with sauvignon blanc

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Our Wine of the Week, Merry Edwards 2018 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($36), is a celebration, a party in a bottle just waiting to get out and dazzle you. Aromas offer an immediate invitation, with come hither bursts of ripe mango, green papaya, sweet melon and citrus blossoms.

Citrus flavors spread voluptuously over the palate, as whispers of white pineapple, crème brûlée and vanilla tickle and tease. It is both rich and refreshing.

At the table, you won’t go wrong with seafood. Trout, Petrale sole, sanddabs, scallops, clams and Dungeness crab are all outstanding companions. The wine also pairs beautifully with green vegetables, pork tenderloin, chicken and fresh goat cheeses. Fresh lemon and fresh lime will enhance most matches. Because of the wine’s voluptuous texture, it will also pair beautifully with southeast Asian curries that feature coconut milk.

For today’s recipe, I’ve selected a favorite winter salad. The wine is a beautiful match with our local crab, but when you add some Ruby grapefruit and delicate strands of pasta, the match blossoms into something truly compelling and unique.

A Winter Salad with Dungeness Crab, Grapefruit, Spaghettini & Romaine

Serves 2 as a main course

Kosher salt

4 ounces spaghettini

Meat from 1 Dungeness crab, chilled

Zest of 1 Meyer lemon

Meyer Lemon olive oil or extra virgin olive oil

2 Meyer lemons

Black pepper in a mill

8 to 10 leaves romaine lettuce, rinsed, dried and cut into 1/2 inch-wide crosswise strips

1 Ruby grapefruit, peeled, sections removed from membranes

Fill a medium pot half full with water, add a tablespoon of kosher salt and bring to a boil over high heat. When the water boils, add the pasta, stir and cook according to package directions until just tender. Drain the pasta, rinse in cool water and shake off any water that clings to the noodles.

Meanwhile, put the crab meat into a small bowl, add the lemon zest and drizzle with a tablespoon or so of olive oil and the juice of half a lemon. Add several turns of black pepper, toss gently and set aside.

Put the lettuce into a large salad bowl, sprinkle with salt and toss gently to distribute it. Drizzle with a generous splash of olive oil, enough to coat the lettuce thoroughly. Add the pasta and toss gently; if the pasta seems dry, add a little more olive oil. Add the grapefruit and toss again. Add the juice of another half lemon, season with black pepper and taste for balance and salt. If it is a little flat, add more lemon juice and more salt.

Divide the salad between large individual bowls and spoon the crab and all its juices on top.

Cut the remaining lemon into wedges, set alongside the crab and enjoy right away.

Michele Anna Jordan is the author of 24 books to date, including “Vinaigrettes and Other Dressings.” Email her at

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