top of page

A cozy, romantic Valentine's Day by Ripe Life Wines

PHOTO: The Clambake Limited Edition Rosé courtesy of Getty Images

Georgetown graduate Mary McAuley -- NYC sommelier, culinary school graduate, and trailblazing founder of Ripe Life Wines -- has created a true match made in heaven for those planning ahead for Valentine’s Day. Instead of joining the throngs of men taking out their ladies for Valentine’s Day, guys can impress their gals with this seemingly extravagant Fireside Clambake meal and pairing it with Mary’s The Clambake Limited Edition Rosé, a delicate, festive rosé.

Mary’s Fireside Clambake highlights sweet winter shellfish and features heartier root vegetables, like fennel and sweet potato, milling spices, orange peel and earth-y herbs, like thyme and rosemary. A big, steaming bowl of this one-pot wonder pairs perfectly with a glass of Clambake Rosé and a thick slice of crusty bread. And the best part of Mary’s receipe is that winter is when scallops, clams, mussels, and oysters are at their cleanest, brightest and most flavorful in the colder months when the bay, river, or sea water they filter has lower levels of toxins and “red tides.”

As for the wine, The Clambake Limited Edition Rosé is a 100% single-vineyard Syrah that boasts flavors of Bing cherry, wild strawberry, orange peel, and herbs with a long white pepper finish. The complexity of Syrah from younger vines, coupled with the intensity of American-grown grapes makes this French-style rosé complex yet refined. It has the body and depth of flavor people look for when opting for a “non-red” wine in the winter, and a great acidic backbone to bring out the best in fresh seafood (and cut through that dunk of butter).


PHOTO: The Clambake Limited Edition Rosé courtesy of Getty Images

Seasons Eatings: Fireside Clambake

Serves 4

3 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped (1/2 inch dice)

1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped (1/2 inch dice)

2 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced

1 tsp. fennel seeds

2 tsp. cumin plus a few extra pinches

1⁄2 cup white wine (Use Clambake Chard if you can bare to part with some of it... Since it’s always best to drink the same wine with which you cook the dish.)

1 lb. potatoes (new potatoes), quartered

3 large carrots (any color), peeled and cut in 2.5 inch chunks

1 lb. Dutch-style mussels

24 ea. Cherrystone clams

1.5 lbs. Local scallops

2 live Maine lobsters, 1- 1 1⁄4 lbs.

2 sprigs of rosemary whole, plus 1 tsp. chopped

4 sprigs of thyme, plus 1/2 tsp. of leaves (garnish)

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

Zest and two large peels of 1 Clementine

Sea salt (to taste)

  • Scrub the clams thoroughly under cold, running water to purge them of sand. Store in refrigerator until ready to use

  • Rinse the mussels under cold, running water and de-beard if necessary

  • In a large, 5-gallon stock pot, heat EVOO and sauté chopped onion and fennel

  • Season the base liberally with sea salt and cook at medium-low heat for approximately 15 minutes, or until onions are translucent—stirring occasionally

  • Add garlic, fennel seeds, clementine peels, chopped rosemary and thyme. Cook for 15 additional minutes

  • Add cumin, and cook for 2 minutes

  • Raise the head to medium, add a layer of potatoes, carrots, rosemary and thyme sprigs

  • Add 1 1⁄2 cups hot water, 1⁄2 cup of wine, and 2 tsps. sea salt

  • Bring water to boil, then layer: clams, then mussels, scallops, a few pinches of cumin, and finally the lobsters on top

  • Reduce the heat back to medium, bringing the water to a simmer

  • Cover with lid and cook for 4 minutes

  • Switch the lobsters around (ensure even cooking), and cook for 4 additional minutes, or until the shells of the clams and mussels have opened and the lobsters are bright red

  • Remove the lid and place the lobsters to the side, distribute the shellfish evenly amongst 4 bowls and ladle the base over the top

  • Remove and discard the lobster heads; split the tails in half and remove all the arms, then distribute lobster pieces evenly and grate clementine zest over each bowl

  • Top with generous dollops of softened butter and thyme leaves just before service

  • Include at each setting a cloth napkin, wet wipe, seafood fork, and shell-cracker

  • Set out a bowl or tray for shell

  • Enjoy with crusty bread and a glass of The Clambake Chardonnay

Recipe property of Ripe Life Wines, LLC, by Mary McAuley


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Instagram Social Icon
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page