shrimp in green almond sauce, an ideal match with Condrieu

Shrimp in Simple Green Almond Sauce from Rick Bayless' "Mexico: One Plate at a Time," an ideal match with Guigal's sumptuous Condrieu (S. Irene Virbila / Los Angeles Times)

I’ve made Rick Bayless’ recipe for "Shrimp in Simple Green Almond Sauce" from his "Mexico: One Plate at a Time" cookbook a couple of times, but this past weekend I found the perfect match when I opened a bottle of E. Guigal's Condrieu.

The dish is basically shrimp seared in a heavy skillet just until they turn milky white underneath, then cooked another minute on the other side and served in a sauce of ground toasted almonds with tomatillos, green chiles, cilantro and parsley. The taste is clean and fresh, the richness of the almonds lifted by the sharp, silvery green of the cilantro and parsley. And not to forget that prickle of heat from the green chile. 

Condrieu, the famous white wine from the northern Rhone, is made from the Viognier grape, which Rhone Rangers in California are growing too. The Guigal, it turns out, is perfect with the shrimp in green almond sauce. Round and full-bodied for a white, it has an extravagant perfume of violets and white peaches, a rich, ripe taste tempered with minerality and a bright hit of citrus that sets off the sweet shrimp cloaked in its pretty green sauce. 

The recipe is a keeper for the summer dining collection, one that I make again and again. And now I know just what to serve with it.

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Twitter.com/sirenevirbila