The Best Wine for Seared Scallops and Herb Butter Sauce
Match #1: A Crisp, Fruity White
ZEROING IN: Mollusks have long matched well with sauvignon blanc, but with its rich, herb-infused sauce, this dish works best with a heftier version of the varietal. Instead of a classic French sauvignon blanc, look past the Loire Valley and try one from New Zealand's Marlborough region. Vibrant citrus and fresh herbal aromas help tie a flavorful bow around each bite.
Giesen Estate, Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand, 2010 ($12)
Yealands, Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand, 2010 ($11)
Match #2: A Fruity But Gutsy Rosé
ZEROING IN: Packed with berry aromas and refreshing acidity, rosés from France's Rhône Valley are custom built for the dish's herbs and garlicky beans. These dry wines have a wet-stone mineral quality that echoes the delicate sea saltiness in the scallops. Or, try a Spanish rosé made from tempranillo grapes in the same style.
Mas Carlot, Rosé, France, 2010 ($12)
Marqués de Cáceres, Rosado, Spain, 2010 ($10)
Match #3: A Dry, Sparkling Wine
ZEROING IN: When it comes to sparkling wine, nonvintage (NV) brut is the most food-friendly, and there are plenty of terrific values made in the traditional Champagne method coming out of California. Look for bruts using all or mostly chardonnay grapes, which deliver zippy acidity and just enough richness to handle both the buttery sauce and the robust roasted beans.
Barefoot Bubbly, Brut Cuvée Champagne, NV, California ($10)
Korbel, Chardonnay Champagne, NV, California ($11)