Gazpacho and Soave
The assertive flavors of this seafood gazpacho demand the zing of a crisp white wine like Soave—especially one from a top producer like Anselmi.
Rustic and summery, gazpacho is all too often served in the expected Spanish clay crockery. Stylist Joe Maer gives the chilled soup a makeover with two new looks. On the preceding page, he serves gazpacho in unusual, stemless Champagne glasses from Takashimaya—an all-grown-up version of shot glasses. Presenting the grilled shrimp and scallop on a skewer that rests on top of the glass makes this dish excellent for a cocktail party; guests can mingle while they sip the soup and nibble on the seafood. A sleek spoon from Michael C. Fina will rescue the last few bites of crunchy vegetables. In the more luxurious version below, the seafood is blended into the gazpacho, which is served in an elegant gold-rimmed bowl by J. Seignolles. Serve the soup with garlic toast for a satisfying main-course dish.
Perfect wine match
This gazpacho is almost more a chopped salad than a soup. Yet despite the cucumbers, fennel, scallions and cranberry beans, most of the flavor comes from tomato juice. And as any cook knows, tomatoes are quite acidic. This presents a challenge when looking for a wine to match: You'll need one with enough acidity to stand up to the soup. I'd look to Soave, from Italy's Veneto region, a white wine that is noted for its crispness—although some might (rightfully) observe that most Soaves have little else to offer. Happily, a few high-quality producers are turning out clean, crisp wines that are also filled out by soft, surprisingly concentrated fruit (which works nicely with the shrimp and scallop in the gazpacho). A particular favorite of mine that also happens to be an incredible buy is Anselmi's 2000 San Vincenzo ($11), a blend of the traditional Soave grapes Trebbiano and Garganega with nontraditional Chardonnay. Gini also turns out excellent Soave under the La Frosca label; the 2000 vintage retails for around $18 a bottle.