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Flavor or Bust: What's Your Modo?

by Harry Moen

The Wines:

2018 Modo White & 2019 Modo White

The Dishes:

Steamed Clams with Fennel and Bacon & Oysters in the Half Shell with Pink Peppercorn Mignonette.

Bordeaux White Wines

Our Modo White, since it’s first vintage in 2016, has been a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. This blend is classic to the region of Bordeaux, and most whites produced in the region are a combination of these two grapes. It is easy to overlook this style, overshadowed by the multitude of beautiful and famous red wines of the region, and now with the proliferation of wine through the world, many regions produce stellar white wines that are more accessible. But you would be doing yourself a disservice to not pick up a few bottles of White Bordeaux wine for when the sun comes out. As we transition from our 2018 vintage or our 2019, the guys recently did a tasting side by side with a couple of dishes that are considered classic pairings for Bordeaux blanc as well as suggested pairings for our Modo.

The Geeky Crap

The 2018 vintage is 60% Semillon and 40% Sauvignon Blanc and the 2019 vintage is 70% Semillon and 30% Sauvignon Blanc. Our Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from Naches Heights Vineyard, and the Semillon from Dineen Vineyard. On the surface, all of that information might mean nothing, but it couldn’t be farther from the truth. Semillon only accounts for half of 1 percent of all white wine grapes grown in Washington. Its producers’ are a small but determined advocate for this luscious grape. This counterpoint provides excellent balance for the bright acidity of the sauvignon blanc coming from the high elevation sites of Naches Heights Vineyard. If I can describe this wine in one word, it is Balance.

The Food

If you want to make someone happy, make them clams; some butter, garlic, shallot, white wine, crusty bread for sopping up broth, and clams are all you need to make the evening right. Even before writing this post, the Modo White was my clam wine, and I should also note that I love cooking clams. I always buy 2 chilled bottles, and that part is very important. My mise en place for cooking any kind of clams starts with opening one of the bottles and pouring myself a glass, and eventually another glass by the time the food hits the table. The remaining wine in the bottle is your cooking wine, and the second bottle is to enjoy with your guests and the clams, because no one should ever have to eat clams alone.

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