Fresh scallops are sweet, with the taste of the ocean and a distinctive texture that stands out whether they're smoked, stir-fried or raw. Scallops need only a minimal amount of added flavouring, to let the shellfish's succulence shine. Steamed scallops with ginger and garlic is an easy dish to prepare at home but take care: there's a fine line between a perfectly cooked scallop and an overcooked one. A complementary wine for this dish needs freshness and vibrancy; reds will kill the texture of the scallop. You need to serve a white wine with purity and penetrating depth, so it will carry the scallop and the ginger notes.
Petaluma Chardonnay Piccadilly Valley 2009, Adelaide Hills, Australia
Petaluma vineyards, in the beautiful Adelaide Hills, has been producing new world classics for more than 30 years. This chardonnay is one of the very best - and most recognised - Australian wines. It is complex and luscious, long lasting on the palate and has plenty of fruit notes. The wine's fruit shines with the lovely steamed scallops while the ginger takes the combination on a gentle crescent. The modest oak in the wine will be absorbed by the soy sauce in the dish. The only thing that would make this even better would be enjoying the wine and steamed scallops on a sunny day by the ocean.
Available for HK$343 at ASC Fine Wines (tel: 3923 6700)
Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut 2000, Champagne, France
Many wine lovers have been singing Taittinger's praises for decades. Reflecting the winemaker's chardonnay-based vineyard, preference and philosophy, this blanc de blancs is one of the best in the world. It's beautifully suited to the scallop dish; the heady chardonnay adds lightness to the perfumed ginger and the wine's rounded, soft bubbles extend the silky succulence of the scallops. It's a delicious pairing.
Available for HK$1,298 at Rare & Fine Wines (tel: 2522 9797)
Howard's Folly Alvarinho 2010, Portugal
The Portuguese grape known as alvarinho (pronounced al-va-rin-yo) is the same as the albarino in Spain. This lovely and unpretentious grape, which has a citrusy perfume, tastes a little like riesling. Howard's Folly has heightened notes of lemon blossom and the palate is fresh and very likable. This is great wine to serve with steamed scallops as it provides support to the ginger and garlic.
Available until January 20 for a promotional case (12 bottles) price of HK$1,800 from Vivi Weller at Howard's Folly Wine (tel: 2542 1177)