After a Sunday morning hike in Solstice Canyon, a small group of friends and I ended up at a fellow hiker’s Malibu house for lunch. While we nibbled on bruschetta topped with ricotta and roasted red peppers, Michalene got busy in the kitchen, steaming clams with garlic and white wine and boiling the pasta. The wonderful aromas swirled over the entire house.
Normally, you might drink a crisp, dry Italian white with pasta with clams, but we tried opening a Mâcon-Villages from Henri Perrusset in Burgundy (imported by Kermit Lynch). A 2005, this one was a deep brassy gold and had some age on it. Its acidity played up the brininess of the clams, but it was that nutty, buttery quality of older Chardonnay that made the combination sing.
You don’t need this specific wine: Try almost any Chardonnay that isn’t overly oaked. Try a Pouilly Fuissé from the Loire Valley or a Chardonnay from the Jura region west of Burgundy.