“Everything happens for a Riesling” were the words on a shirt I saw recently. And it’s true. Riesling, a wine that expresses itself in so many ways, is one of my favorites and I know plenty of wine lovers who would move mountains to find this noble grape in a bottle.  For others, however, it may be neglected as a viable choice for a variety of dishes. Ranging from dry to very sweet, a delicious Riesling that will pair with just about anything can be found in your local wine shop and restaurants. If everything happens for a Riesling, then it’s time to put Riesling back on the table! And I did just that with a dish I haven’t made in years.

This week, I found one of my best-loved recipes, Hampton Roads Crab Imperial, from a cookbook I’ve had for ages, “Virginia Hospitality”. I started making this dish in graduate school when I was in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where the availability of right-out-of-the-water crab was plentiful and the price was much less than it is now. Despite the fact that I now live in the Chicago area where fresh crab is a bit more of a commodity, I felt the need to create this special dish once again.

It was just as delicious as I remembered. Easy to make, the crab, spices, green pepper, and eggs blended to offer not only flavor, but texture. Served with a simple, fresh green salad, this dish is delightful as a weekday supper or dinner party pick.

And the wine? Although I could have chosen others to pair with the Hampton Roads Crab Imperial, I chose Smith Madrone Riesling 2013, sent to me as a sample. Smith Madrone Winery, located in St. Helena, is a pioneer in dry farming.  All wines are in the Spring Mountain appellation of Napa Valley and are not only estate-grown, but estate-bottled.

The Smith Madrone Riesling 2013 was a fabulous choice, one that was just as elegant as it was delectable. The aromas of stone fruit, white peaches, dried apricot, and hint of lime wafted from the glass. I couldn’t wait to take a bite of the crab and a sip of this dry Riesling. On the palate, I found refreshing notes of melon, yellow flowers, and touch of spice, flavors that truly complemented the salinity of the crab, the spice of the curry, and other ingredients. With lip smacking acidity and a long finish, it wasn’t difficult to pour more than one glass of this wine, one that showed more complexity that I could have ever imagined. Cost is around $27.

Smith Madrone Riesling 2013

Hampton Roads Crab Imperial

Ingredients

  • 1lb crabmeat
  • 1 egg
  • 2 eggs (hard-boiled and chopped)
  • 2/3 cups green pepper (diced)
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • sprinkle of garlic salt
  • small handful of bread crumbs

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2
Mix all ingredients lightly and spoon into individual shells or 1 quart casserole.
Step 3
Sprinkly paprika and fine bread crumbs on top of each crab mixture.
Step 4
Bake for 20 minutes. The recipe serves 3-4.
Step 5
Enjoy!
Cheers! ~ Cindy
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