Why do so many cultures dine on fish for dinner on New Year’s Eve? Some say because fish prefigure prosperity (their scales resemble coins and they travel in multitudes called schools); also that they swim only in a forward direction. Scallops and caviar aren’t fish like that, although one is countless and the other resembles a stack of coins. So, at this year’s end, go for the gold with this elegant preparation. Any number of dry, off-dry or sparkling white wines, crisp with acidity and refreshing in character, would do nicely with this preparation’s elements of fat, salt and acidity.
Linguine with “caviar”-dappled scallops in lemon cream
Cook 1 pound linguine in a stockpot of boiling salted water until al dente; drain. Meanwhile, season 2 pounds “dry” sea scallops with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallops, in batches if necessary. Sear scallops, turning once, 2 minutes per side. Remove scallops from pan; keep warm. Deglaze skillet with 1 cup dry white wine; cook until wine is reduced by half. Stir in 1/4 cup cream; reduce heat to low. Add grated zest of half a lemon and the scallops. Cook until flavors come together, 4 minutes. Toss pasta with sauce; serve, with a dollop of salmon roe. Makes: 4 servings
2017 Château Allegret Entre-Deaux-Mers Bordeaux $9.99
Blended from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, Chateau Allégret has created one of the best expressions of the Entre-Deux-Mers region. Apple and apricot flavors with a touch of bright grapefruit give this wine a ripe freshness and well-balanced acidity. Bone dry, crisp, firm quality, lots of minerality, and a long satisfying finish.
Château Carbonneau “Life of Carbonneau” Sparkling Wine Methode Traditionelle $24.99/F&F $19.99
Low alcohol (just 10.5 percent) makes this “Champagne method” French bubbly eminently quaffable. You won’t find sparklers from France this inviting on both the palate and out of the wallet.
2016 Jean Biecher Riesling Alsace, France $12.99
Folk from Alsace know a thing or two about wine with food because there’s a Michelin starred restaurant every three meters. And this is not a riesling your gran would recognize: there’s hardly a whisper of sugar. It’s a fish wine; it’s dry.