Saturday, May 15, 2021

All Things #PureChablis with an Assortment of Seafood Snacks #Winophiles

2019 Vintage: Brocard Sainte Claire Chablis Vieilles Vignes, Domaine De La Cornasse La Chablis,
and Bernard Defaix Petit Chablis

What can sound better than pure Chablis in spring? Pure wines, imaginatively and visually, allow us to relate to white or rose wines that are crystal clear and clean. Chablis, which has prominent minerality and acidity, are the Chardonnays that are uniquely produced in Chablis, France. 'Pure' and 'Chablis', when combined, symbolizes a clean-start, a relaunch, and simply leaving the old and weighty behind. Jill Barth from L'OCCASION invited the French #winophiles bloggers to sip Chablis this spring and, I'm going to share some seafood snacks that will pair well with the #PureChablis 
2019 samples: Brocard Sainte Claire Chablis Vieilles Vignes, Domaine De La Cornasse La Chablis, and Bernard Defaix Petit Chablis.   
Chablis and Seafood Snacks Board


The Chablis wine region, which is famed around the world to produce unique Chardonnays, is in the northern part of the Burgundy region between Paris and Beaune, bordering the Champagne region in France. 
Photo Credit: Pure Chablis

There are four sub-appellations (AOCs), namely Petit Chablis, Chablis, Premier Cru, and Grand Cru in the wine region. Like all the regions of Burgundy, Chablis has a legally restrictive hierarchy that's driven by the quality of wines from the distinctive land and soil and scarcity of production. As a quick price reference point, a Chablis Grand Cru, the top-tier Chablis, retails for USD$65 or above, and a Premier Cru goes for around $45. A Petit Chablis or a Chablis averages $25 in retail.
Chablis Pyramid. Photo Credit: Pure Chablis


The Bernard Defaix Petit Chablis 2019 is produced on the flatter grounds with soils from the Upper Jurassic period (i.e., Kimmeridgean oil) for all their plots in Chablis. Their Petit Chablis is characterized by its purity, freshness, and minerality. The wine is aged in its natural lees for eight months in stainless steel tanks to preserve the purity and freshness before bottling in the Bernard Defaix Estate located in the village of Milly. Given the great structure, strength and thus cellaring potential, this Petit Chablis offers an excellent value for wines of this appellation. 
Bernard Defaix Petit Chablis 2019 (SRP$28) and Seafood Snacks


The Brocard Sainte Claire Chablis Vieilles Vignes 2019 continues to speak to the unique terroir of Chablis and is a true expression of the soil. The Brocard, which is located in village of Préhy, is built atop the Chablis' famed Kimmeridgian soil, which was formed through the sediment of the sea during the Jurassic era. The visible seashells in rocks and grounds of Chablis are a perfect testimonial why the Brocard Chablis has the typicity of structure, minerality, power and complexity. The cool climate of Chablis produces Chardonnays with more acidity and less-fruity flavor than any other Chardonnays produced in warmer climates.

Location, location, location - the soil memory in vines is the heart and soul of Chablis. Photo Credit: Pure Chablis 

The Brocard Sainte Claire Chablis is lemony and white flowers on the nose. It has velvety and plump texture, and fuller body. There are notes of buttery macadamia nuts, apricot, and a long and saline finish. This is a vibrant Chablis that can go further than seafood - maybe a roasted chicken or a shepherd's pie in pairings!
Brocard Sainte Claire Chablis 2019 (SRP$25) - Certified Organic


An unusual early spring frost with sub-zero temperate has devastated some of France's vineyards in Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Rhône Valley, Champagne, and southeast regions in April this year. To deal with the unpredictability and adversity brought by Mother Nature, the Chablis vineyards have lit thousands of small fire in canisters to warm up the air surrounding the grapes at night. Some growers have sprayed water in the vineyards in the morning, creating an icy coating like small igloos over the grapes, in hope of protecting the crops. Some damages to this year's harvest is likely, but the extent of it is still unknown. One thing for sure remains is the resilience to countermeasure and bounce back.
Small fire was lit in Chablis vineyards as measures to fight the unexpected early spring frost. Photo Credit: Pure Chablis


Domaine de la Cornasse Chablis is an expressive wine that's rich and ripe with neutral oily and flower notes on the nose. As you are sipping the wine, the texture is weighty due to its slightly oily, and pronounced mineral and flint characters. The finish is long and saline, and has a lot of 'chews' to it. 
Domaine De La Cornasse Chablis 2019 (SRP$25)


To enjoy Chablis, the many ready-to-eat seafood snacks have come to my mind. The acidity of Chablis cuts through the oily fish or oyster and complements the saline taste of all these treats. Putting a seafood snack board together is pretty effortless. I did go to a couple grocery stores to acquire the snacks. 
Top left - right: smoky baby oysters, sardines in olive oil, inky calamares
Bottom left - right: fried small fish with roasted peanut, roasted eels, and fried small croakers

Another good news is that each snack costs around $3 to $4 so putting this snack board together to entertain crowds won't break the bank.
Seafood Snacks

Let's see what we've got here:
  • Roasted eels can be found in Asian grocery stores. It is roasted in rich Teriyaki sauce, sweet and salty but not too oily. One quick tip here...the eels are also perfect for making eel sushi at home. 
  • Sardines are one of my favorites to pair with the Chablis. They are lightly salty and have the strong fish taste to them, going particularly well with the lemony, green apple and seashell notes of all these Chablis. 
  • Smoked baby oysters are must-haves for the pairing as the smokiness brings out the 'fresh mushroom' element of a couple of these wines.
  • Inky calamares are an unusual find when I visited the Asian grocery store. I bet you can find them in regular grocery store as well.
  • The fried small croakers, found in Asian grocery stores, are super tasty with Chablis. Without much oil, the fish is crispy and seasoned with spicy salt. 
  • The small fried fish with roasted peanuts provide the nice crunchy texture to the board. 
Fried small croakers (left) and fried small fish with roasted peanut and chili flakes (left)

Disclosure: the wines in this post are samples. The ideas of the post are mine.

Check out other fellow #winophile bloggers' Chablis journey and find out what they pair the wines with...

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  1. What a great range of snacks to pair! I often forget about these great easy pairings that can store easily in the cupboard and are so full of flavor.
    I love your riffs on "Pure" in Chablis. Resilience is important. I worry about how this years frosts will impact the vintage.

  2. Love it. I love tinned fish and think this spread looks so perfect to pair with a range of Chablis. You've also given me a few new snacks to look out for.YUM

  3. We love tinned fish in our house, especially sardines and herring. Will looked for the others next time I shop. Sounds great with Chablis!

  4. These wines are definitely great with seafood! Your plan for seafood snacks looks like a great idea for entertaining.

  5. WOW!! What a fascinating line-up of pairings - I will definitely look for the fish+peanuts snack on my weekly Asian market trip. Tinned fish of all kinds I have had, but never had tinned oysters or calamari. I always learn a lot about Chinese food from your posts, so thanks!

  6. This is AMAZING! I so love the idea of a seafood snack board, love even more that it comes out of cans and is easy to assemble, and love, love the idea of pairing it with Chablis. So cool!

  7. Fun! and yum! Love Chablis and the sea!

  8. What a great selection of seafood to pair with the Chablis. Perfect for when unexpected guests stop by now that the pandemic has taken a back seat.

  9. There is no better pairing than seafood and Chablis. Love the range of seafood snacks that store easily in the pantry.

  10. Nice overview of Chablis and tasty seafood snacks conveniently from the pantry!

  11. This is so much fun and how perfect for a summer patio evening!