Crab and Chardonnay = Utopia
From blending sessions to vertical tastings to blind tastings, I’ve been blown away at the creativity of wineries since the pandemic began. Just when I thought I had seen almost everything, I was invited by Raeburn Winery to celebrate the kickoff of Dungeness Crab season.
Crab Cakes in Formation by my sweet husband
I received a “Favorite Maryland Crab Cake Recipe” with a pound of fresh jumbo lump crabmeat, the 2019 Raeburn Russian River Valley Chardonnay and the 2019 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir from Raeburn Winery.
Raeburn is an Olde English term which means “the river where one goes to drink.” Raeburn Winery is located on Olivet Road in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County. Originally built as an egg storage facility, the property was converted to a small production winery by Vintner Cecil DeLoach in 2000. In January 2005, the winery was purchased by Derek Benham, the co-founder of Codera Wine Group, the Blackstone brand and Purple Wine Company. Raeburn was created in 2014 as a tribute to his mother.
The crab cakes and wine were a match made in heaven! My husband worked his magic on the recipe which is as follows:
Favorite Maryland Crab Cake Recipe
• 1 lb crabmeat
• 1 large egg
• 1/4 cup mayonnaise
• 1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
• 1 1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
• 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
• 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
• 1 1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
• 1 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 2 tbsp unsalted butter (we did not use the butter)
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• kosher salt to taste
• lemon wedges
1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Combine the egg, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire, Old Bay Seasoning, salt, and parsley in a large bowl and mix well.
2. Add the crab meat (be sure to check the meat for any hard and sharp cartilage) and breadcrumbs. Gently fold mixture together until just combined, being careful not to shred the crab meat.
3. Shape into 6 crab cakes (about 1/2 cup each) and place on prepared baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
4. Preheat a large nonstick pan to medium heat and coat with olive oil. When oil is hot, place crab cakes in pan and cook until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes per side. Be careful as oil may splatter.
5. Serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon, cocktail sauce or tartar sauce.
We paired with the 2019 Raeburn Chardonnay 2019 ($19.99) and I tasted tropical fruit, stone fruit, flowers, caramel, spice and herbal notes. It was the perfect wine and food pairing.
We also received the 2019 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($19.99). It was another beautiful and elegant wine with notes of baking spice, forest floor, blueberry, blackberry, red fruit, vanilla and spice.