I had the luxury of spending a beautiful week in San Clemente. The weather was fine, as was the wine. Also, my grandparents live there, so it was a nice, relaxing, affordable vacation. I brought a case of wine down, equipped for any food pairing that might be thrown at me. I am very interested in pairing food and drinks, although my wife and I aren’t as adventurous as I’d like. We were able to break some boundaries on this trip, though.
We made up our minds to try lobster, hopefully as fresh as possible. We love dining at the San Clemente Pier where there is a restaurant that serves very fresh fish called…wait for it…The Fisherman. On a pleasant Thursday, we drove to the busy pier rather early because a Reggae concert was about burst into rhymes and beats. To our dismay, even though their website said otherwise, they did not currently have lobster. Another local restaurant, The Charthouse, did and so we took a drive up to the top of Dana Point. The view was fantastic, overlooking the harbor and the plethora of sailboats.
I brought three bottles of wine, in case one of them was corked. I was very glad I did, too, because the Muscadet was corked . The other wines showed very well. I brought a Bourgogne Blanc and an Austrian Riesling. I enjoyed both immensely. My wife favored the Burgundy, while my Grandfather favored the Austrian. Incoming Rant: waiters need to be less pushy pouring wine. Ours kept asking to pour wine for us, but we wanted to keep going back and forth and he wanted to fill our glasses up…tsk tsk. A wine glass should rarely be filled above a quarter of the glass. I prefer a mini carafe for wine by the glass. End of Rant
My first course was the salad bar. My Grandpa was excited because he loves caviar and they have it among the greens. My wife and I put small portions on a cracker and settled back in our booth. She went first, taking a small bite of the cracker and quickly grimaced while I lol’ed. I had a hard time breaking the barrier, but I ended up shoving the whole cracker in my mouth at my Grandpa’s goading. It was quite salty and very fishy. Thankfully, the cracker covered some of this, but I can say I do not care to try caviar again.
Our second course was Australian lobster tail. It wasn’t fresh like I wanted, but it was served with butter! With burgundy in one hand and a fork in the other, I went to town. It was sweeter and richer than I expected. The only thing I did not like so much was the texture. The way they cooked it lent it to be rubbery. I’ve been told cooking it after removing the tail makes it more tender and less chewy. I would definitely be interested in trying fresher lobster that was prepared differently.
Our last course was a slab of fish and rice. I chose halibut and my wife chose salmon, neither of us having had either. Her salmon was killer! My halibut was very nice as well and the Riesling was a marvelous pairing here, as to be expected. I was so pleasantly full, and a bit buzzed to boot. My first lobster experience went well, just not as perfect as I would have hoped. Check out the comment box below and please let me know how your first lobster experience was and what wine you paired with it.