Recently I joked that my favorite season—next to baseball season—is crab season in Northern California. But as soon as the words left my lips, I realized how true they were.
Every year, starting around Thanksgiving, I start paying attention to when live local Dungeness crabs become available. The season only lasts a couple of months, and I usually plan a handful of meals around this seasonal ingredient. My favorite crab meal is always the first one each year, and I always keep it simple to give the crab the spotlight.
This year, I purchased two crabs already cooked, cleaned and cracked from my favorite fishmonger. I laid newspaper out on the table, and served them with some melted butter, lemon wedges and a crusty loaf of sourdough that I warmed in the oven, slathered with butter and some freshly crushed garlic. Then my boyfriend and I dug in.
I served a well-chilled bottle of Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2009 ($19) with the meal. The bright acidity and vibrant profile of this New Zealand white acted like a squirt of lemon juice with the crab. I loved the ripe citrus flavors of lemon and lime, and the wine did a great job of both brightening the meal and refreshing my palate between luxurious bites. I rated the wine 90 points, non-blind. Next up, oven-roasted Dungeness crab, probably with a Viognier!