Wine & Food Blog

Sunday, January, 21, 2018

Godello and Fried Mussels—Eventide Oyster Co., Portland, ME

I choose my wine and food together, especially here in Maine. Because the seasons are so short and the privately owned restaurants here are using as much locally sourced ingredients as they can. So while the food menu may change often, the wine lists typically do not change as often.  That’s a generalization of course and Eventide Oyster Co. is definitely an exception.

They’re wine list is carefully chosen to offer a broad selection of interesting wines to accompany the fresh local seafood-driven menu. It’s always a treat to browse the wine list to see what’s new, compelling, and hopefully something I haven’t tried before.

During my recent visit I was thrilled to see Godello on the wine list. I’ve become more and more infatuated with this grape variety after tasting a wine that had been (neutral) barrel aged in the waters off the coast of Spain for 12 months to benefit from the motion of the current and a little aging before being bottled. The grape is indigenous to Spain, mostly found today in the region of Valdeorras in North West Spain and Northern Portugal where it is known as Verdello. Like all grape varieties, there are incredible examples of wines produced by quality conscious and dedicated producers and then there are those that are not. In this case they had the 2012 Ladera Sagrada Castelo do Papa Godello on their list. I’ll take a glass of that and the fried mussels please!

Fried mussels? I’ve lived in Maine most of my life. I’ve had mussels cooked many ways, but never fried. So I had to try them. These were plump, juicy, lightly breaded and lightly fried. The dish was balanced with a citrus and a creamy sauce that wasn’t too slathered on or overpowering.  The 2012 Papa Godello was a nice match. It was fermented in stainless steel without oak or malolactic fermentation so it was 100% grape varietal and earthy aromas of sweet citrus, melon, nectarine, yellow flowers, and brown earth. It’s medium-bodied with some richness which stood up to the richness in the fried mussels. A great pairing.

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