Monday, July 23, 2018

Almejas y Mejillones al Vino Blanco + Albariño de Fefiñanes III Año #WinePW #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me in conjunction with the August #WinePW event.
Wine samples were provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links.

This is my self-declared 'month of Albariño'...or months because these pairings will span a few weeks of July and August! Since I am hosting the August #WinePW (Wine Pairing Weekend), I figured I wanted to really understand more about that grape and that wine. I asked the others to join my quest. Here's my post to the rest of the Wine Pairing Weekend crew; read my invitation here.

Thanks to Nicole of Somm's Table and her contact at Gregory + Vine, several members of the #WinePW group received samples of Albariño. I received the Albariño de Fefiñanes III Año.* And I also purchased several bottles from local-to-me vintners who are using the grape in their own wines, including La Marea made by I. Brand & Family Winery and three different bottles from Pierce Ranch Vineyards. So, in the weeks up to the actual Wine Pairing Weekend posting in August, I'll be tasting and cooking with all these wines and sharing the pairings with you.

But I will start with the bottle from the event sponsor: Albariño de Fefiñanes III Año. They have been making wine at the Palacio de Fefiñanes since the 1600s, but it only became a business in the early 1900s with the brand and label dating back to the first year they launched their bottled wines: 1928.

Made by winemaker Cristina Mantilla, this wine is 100% Albariño from the Salnés Valley. Harvested in the last week of 2014, the grapes were grown from a few of the oldest plots of land in thin, loamy soil over decomposed granite. Bottled in April 2017, Mantilla expresses her pride over this wine: "Fresh, savoury, opulent and unctuous – I must again say that I’m extremely proud of this!"

In the glass, the wine is a beautiful lemony shade with glints of gold. On the nose, I got aromas of peach and honeysuckle...both they were delicate, not overpowering. On the palate, I have to say that it was a delightful juxtaposition of crisp and creamy. Fresh and unctuous as Mantilla said. That might sound strange, but it worked the way that a lemon-cream sauce works.

Almejas y Mejillones al Vino Blanco

I wanted to serve a traditional Spanish recipe with this Spanish wine, so I emailed my friend Susana who is spending the summer in Spain with her family, visiting both her parents and Juan's parents. This recipe is slightly adapted since hers was just clams - almejas - but I didn't have enough, so I added mussels. Also, I doubled the garlic and used a crushed pepper blend instead of a whole pepper. This was a hit...and a great match for the wine.

  • 1 pound clams
  • 1 pound mussels
  • 1/2 C white wine (I used some leftover Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • pinch of crushed spicy peppers (I used an Espelette pepper blend)
  • 2 T fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 3 to 4 T olive oil
  • salt for finishing
  • slices of bread, optional

Scrub clams and mussels in cold water. Rinse and cover them with cold water. Let stand for at least an hour. When you're ready to cook, drain and set aside.

In a large lidded pan (I used my braiser), heat olive oil. Add the garlic and stir until just coated with oil and beginning to brown. Add in the clams, mussels, and 1 T parsley. Stir for a minute, then pour in the white wine. Cover the pan and let steam for 4 to 5 minutes until the shells are opened.

Remove the shells to a serving platter and raise the heat on the pan to bring the sauce to a boil. Cook until reduced by half. Stir in the remaining parsley and pour the reduced sauce over the shells. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with olive oil before serving. 

Serve with slices of crusty bread, if you wish. Susana wrote: "Requirement ;-) Dip French bread in the sauce. The best!" Well, Jake and I are cutting back on bread, so I skipped that part. 

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*Disclosure: I received sample wines for recipe development, pairing, and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizer and sponsors of this event.


  1. I am so looking forward to trying this. Clams and mussels are my two favorite seafoods.

  2. What can I say, I love the classic regional pairings of food and wine. Clams and Albariño make for a winning combination. Your dish looks beautiful and delicious!


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