Shrimp Etouffee wine paring

I am invited to a dinner where the host is making Shrimp Etouffee and wanted to bring a bottle of wine that would match well. I have a small, but I think workable list of whites, but am not sure which way to go with what I have. From the list below, what would you pick?

Alsace, Gewürztraminer
2004 Domaine Ostertag Gewurztraminer Fronholz Vendanges Tardives (France, Alsace, Haut-Rhin, Alsace AOC) 1

2005 La Chablisienne Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses (France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru) 1

2007 J.L. Chave Sélection St. Joseph Céleste (France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph) 1
2005 E. Guigal St. Joseph Lieu-Dit St. Joseph Blanc (France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph) 1

Mosel Saar Ruwer, Riesling
2007 Selbach-Oster Graacher Domprobst Riesling Spätlese (Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer) 2
2005 Selbach-Oster Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese (Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer) 1
2005 Bert Simon Serriger Würtzberg Riesling Auslese (Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer) 2

Rheingau, Riesling
1990 Schloss Schönborn Hattenheimer Nußbrunnen Riesling Auslese (Germany, Rheingau) 1
1990 Schloss Schönborn Hattenheimer Pfaffenberg Riesling Auslese (Germany, Rheingau) 1
1990 Schloss Schönborn Hochheimer Hölle Riesling Auslese (Germany, Rheingau) 1
1990 Schloss Schönborn Winkeler Hasensprung Riesling Auslese (Germany, Rheingau) 1

Trentino-Alto Adige
2006 J. Hofstätter Gewürztraminer Kolbenhof (Italy, Trentino-Alto Adige, Alto Adige, Alto Adige - Südtirol) 1

California, Chardonnay
2010 Copain Chardonnay Tous Ensemble (USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley) 2
2009 Ojai Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard (USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley) 1
2008 Ojai Chardonnay Clos Pepe Vineyard (USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Rita Hills - Sta. Rita Hills) 1
2009 Peay Vineyards Chardonnay Sonoma Coast (USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast) 2
2009 Rhys Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains (USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains) 1

California, Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend
2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Cuvée Karatas (USA, California, Sonoma County) 1

California, Trousseau Gris
2010 Wind Gap Wines Trousseau Gris Piccolo Bastardo Fanucchi Vineyard (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley) 2

California, White Rhone Blend
2009 Peay Vineyards Roussanne/Marsanne Estate (USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast) 2

Oregon, Chardonnay
2010 Cameron Chardonnay Dundee Hills (USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills) 3
2009 Eyrie Vineyards Chardonnay Estate Grown (USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills) 1
2008 Eyrie Vineyards Chardonnay Original Vines Reserve (USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills) 1

Oregon, Pinot Gris
2010 Evesham Wood Blanc du Puits Sec (USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola - Amity Hills)

We had shrimp etouffee earlier this week and I would say go with a Gewurtz or Riesling. But I am curious about what others think as well!

This was a decent read…

One of our Twitter followers, @LibaryLady, recently asked about a wine pairing suggestion for Shrimp Étouffée, the classic spicy Creole dish from southern Louisiana. Admittedly, I had never prepared the dish and frankly couldn’t recall the last time I’d had it in a restaurant. After looking over several recipes, I replied, “depends on [how much] spicy heat is in [your] Étouffée . . . Bugey-Cerdon, Beaujolais, Alsace Pinot Gris, Riesling.”

My thinking behind these suggestions was: one, keep it French; and two, all of these wines offer reasonably low levels of alcohol, and are either dry and fruity or contain some degree of sweetness. When it comes to food with spicy heat, the last thing we want is a wine with 14 or 15 percent alcohol because high alcohol makes spicy food seem even hotter. As we’ve mentioned in the past, German Rieslings with Kabinett and Spätlese designations are imminently useful when it comes to spicy Szechuan dishes or Thai green curries. After seeing that almost all étouffées are flavored with cayenne pepper, white pepper, garlic, and salt, German Riesling crossed my mind.

The étouffée becomes a delicious stew with the addition of shrimp stock.
But étouffée means “smothered,” and begins with the holy trinity of onions, green peppers, and celery cooked in a buttery roux, and then you add crawfish, shrimp, or chicken. Whether or not étouffée should have tomatoes has been famously debated by chef icons like Paul Prudhomme and John Foise, but regardless, this stew is spooned over rice for a rich and substantial dish. With all of these bold flavors and rich textures, white wine started to seem out of place, so logically I turned to reds that had enough fruit, acidity, and possibly sweetness to counter the bold flavors and spicy heat.

Last week we had dinner at some friends house, and they did Shrimp Creole. Not exactly the same, I understand, but similar flavor profiles.
I brought my last bottle of Ridge SCM Chard from 2006. It was a beautiful pairing. I think one of the Cali Chards would work, especially the Rhys or Ojai.

As the former Beverage Director of Antoine’s in NOLA my professional opinion is: Rosé (bubbles optional)!

As a whole I’ve always tended to recommend whites with as minimal oak as possible and good acidity to cut through the richness. Sweetness works depending on the spiciness, but not necessary if you aren’t a fan.
I would be a bit wary of the Alsatians and Germans you have because they could be a bit too sweet for many people’s palates. The Italian gewurz could be interesting as they tend to be a drier style. I don’t know the style of Wind Gap’s Trousseau Gris, but if it’s unoaked that could be a great option. Chablis could work if the Etouffee has a stronger brine character coming through than spice and if any oak there doesn’t show too strongly. I saw Les’ comment on how well the Ridge SCM Chard did. Noting that his had a fair bit of age that probably helped any oak there soften, I would say that if you wanted to go with any of your Chards ( all of which are coming from sites with reputations for promoting better than average acidity) I would recommend pulling the one you think has the mildest oak treatment and planning on giving it a good 30min+ decant to help the initial oak blow off and letting more of the fruit show through.

Great comments. Thanks.

I wish I had some Rose but drank it all over summer.

Since kids will be involved in meal I tend to think not too spicy so am going to go with the Wind Gap Trousseau Gris with the Italian Gerwutz as a back-up in case I find out it to be on the spicier side.

I am concerned my Chards are young and will show oak and wanted to age those a bit anyway…

Let us know how this turns out. Especially since I have no personal experience with Trousseau Gris.

Riesling is an excellent choice, also really big Chardonnay’s (Aubert, Peter Michael and similar). Once the spice has worn off a bit, open game . . . [cheers.gif]

I will. I’ll try to sneak in a photo too… I am also very curious about the Wind Gap Wine since they were such small production wines and bought that and the piccolo bastardo (how can i resist a grape with that name) on a whim…

BAM!. Provencal or bubbles

I am in NOLA now and will have shrimp etouffee at Commander’s Palace tomorrow. Yesterday at Bayona we had a Huet Vouvray Sec, whic h would be an excellent pairing, but I had it with sweetbreads, so what do I know. If I were you, I would go for the Chablis on your list. I think that the sweet Rieslings will miss the mark and although I love Gewurz, I think the spiciness would get lost in the sauce, which is likely to have strong flavor.

That Ostertag VT is sweeter than you need, but Alsace Gewurz isn’t a bad choice. I had this dish with such a wine and a Champagne and everyone preferred the Champagne for the pairing but liked both wines with the dish. I think any chardonnay or Rhone white variety would be terrible. It seems that you’ve made your choice, though, so I look forward to seeing how it works out. If your backup bottle has any residual sugar, I think that would be great, but I don’t know if it does.

While not rose, the Wind Gap Trusseau Gris is Orange. I found the description that Pax sent out, which was a fun email… so we’ll see.

First up the 2010 Piccolo Bastardo is downright frightening with its curious pumpkin orange hue. Yes, it is an Orange Wine! Once again this wine requires an open mind and an adventurous spirit. Vinified from skin-fermented Trousseau Gris grown at the Fannuchi-Wood Road Vineyard in the Russian River Valley. The 2010 is a little more “wild” than the 2009 with soaring aromatics of white flowers, cardamom, earthy trousseau elements, lychee and pear skin. This very well may be the perfect Thanksgiving wine, granted Grandma may faint with one glance and Aunt Peggy is better off enjoying her off dry Chardonnay, but in a house full of wine-geeks, this could stand up to the bird, cranberries, mashed potatoes with gravy and your neighbors mystery casserole with those curly canned fried things on top. …talk about scary…38 cases bottled

The dinner was excellent. I wasn’t prepared for the dish to be very spicy, since I assumed children were eating eat, but they were given a different dinner.

The Trusseau Gris was unique, to say the least. It wasn’t the right match for this dish, but it was so strong in its flavor profile, that I was still able to get to the essence of this wine. This is for the wine nerd crowd, first and foremost. It is not a people pleasing wine, and offers unusual flavor profiles. I felt like I was drinking some type of Flowered Water with noticeable flavors of Indian spices - but the sweet and aromatic kind. extremely aromatic, a beautiful color, there was zero acidity to balance out the “exotics”. That said, the group dutifully drank it, as it was the last wine of the night. The previous gruner and champagne, served by host, but didn’t catch labels, were pleasant and went easier with this dish. Which now having this dish, I think I would serve beer. The heat is very intense and made all of us sweat, so not sure what kind of wine could handle such heat.

I don’t like writing a negative review, and I have respect for Wind Gap and Pax but this just didn’t hit my palatte the right way. The other notes in CT were positive, but I just found this wine unusual.

Would have suggested beer, or if wine were a must, Kabinett level Riesling, a Viognier, or, as Roberto suggested, a Rose’