Lately, I have been obsessed with shrimp and grits! I’ve been experimenting with a lot of recipes as well as trying different wine pairings. While the shrimp in this dish may make you reach for a bottle of white wine, other ingredients actually call for a red. For instance, the smoky bacon in the shrimp and the hard cheeses in the grits are ideal food matches for a syrah. Rhône valley is the land of syrah in France and one of the most elegant wines from there is Côte Rôtie. Côte Rôtie is a mix of fruity (red and black berries) and smoky aromas like bacon. It is typically blended with a touch of viognier, which adds an exotic kick.
Côte Rôtie can get quite pricey but at 40 €, Cuvée du Plessy by Domaine Gilles Barge is a bargain! This is such a lovely wine with the characteristic the meaty and smoky aromas juxtaposed with dark fruits. It is quite smooth in the mouth. I really like this wine and will go back and get a few more to add to my collection.
Now for the shrimp and grits… Abu Dhabi has some amazing seafood, including these jumbo wild shrimp. I always buy it in the shell and do the cleaning myself because I like to save the shells for shrimp stock.
The shrimp and grits recipe that I’m using not only has bits of bacon but also sautées everything in bacon fat – perfect with the Côte Rotie. In the grits, I used three types of cheese. Cheddar, which is classic in Southern grits; gruyère, which is a fantastic pairing with Côte Rôtie, and smoked halloumi; my Middle Eastern twist, which adds another layer of smokiness to this dish.
My goodness… What a lovely pairing with Côte Rôtie! The bacon and cheese really make the wine shine.
After the success of shrimp and grits, I started thinking about how well mac & cheese would work with Côte Rôtie. So the next day, I tried the Cuvée du Plessy with Ina Garten’s grown up mac & cheese recipe (my favorite!), which calls for gruyère and bacon.
This was another killer pairing with Cuvée du Plessy! I highly recommend it!