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5 Amazing White Wines Under $20 to Pair with Ceviche

food & wine how to montana rae organic recipe seafood sustainable white wine Jun 14, 2022

Summer is almost here and the warm weather calls for time spent on the patio. Today, I’m sharing five amazing white wines under $20 a bottle to pair with homemade ceviche. The recipe is super easy to put together, plus it's healthy. The wines are all made using organic or sustainable growing practices! I think you are going to love this lineup of unexpected, excellent value wines.

Before I recommend a wine, I do two things. First, I spend some time researching the producer. It's important to me that I share wines made using sustainable practices in the vineyard, as well as in the winery and beyond. I look for transparency and details on the producer's farming, winemaking, packaging, and distribution methods. Many of us make an effort to put clean food into our bodies. Why should that stop when it comes to wine? The second thing I do is taste the wines, of course! I'm on a mission to introduce you to wines that are delicious, well-made, and reasonably priced. There are wines out there that are worth an occasional splurge but for many of us, a bottle that's $20 or less makes the most sense for daily enjoyment.

For the ceviche pairing, I was inspired during a recent trip to Belize (don't hate me). It can be such a challenge to eat healthy while on vacation so finding fresh ceviche on just about every restaurant’s menu was a welcome option. While wine was pretty scarce on the islands, the wonderful, fresh flavors of this dish got my wheels turning. As soon as I got home, I made my first batch of homemade ceviche.

Since that first batch, I’ve made quite a few variations. What I love about ceviche is the freedom you have to mix it up depending on your preferences and what ingredients are local, fresh, and in season. You can mix up the fish, veggies, dressings, all of it! If you’re paying attention to your summer bod, ceviche is such a win for your weekly meal prep, too. I like to add a little apple cider vinegar to mine for the boosted health benefits. The acid from the vinegar also helps the citrus “cook” the shrimp.

Scroll down to find my recipe for simple shrimp ceviche that pairs with each and every one of the wines on this list. I’ve also provided some pro tips and suggestions for ingredient alternatives to play around with.

Off The Beaten Path Whites

It's easy to get caught in a wine rut. There are so many options when it comes to wine that a lot of people end up grabbing the same one(s) again and again from the bottle shop. Today, we're expanding our horizons and hopefully trying something you'll find new and interesting. Get ready to explore some new regions and grape varieties! If you don't love one of them, at least it didn't break the bank.

Shaya Old-Vine Organic Verdejo 2020 | Rueda, Spain | The Rueda region is located along the banks of the Duero River which straddles the border of Spain and Portugal. The Verdejo grape is synonymous with this region as it’s hearty enough to tolerate the extreme seasonal temperature changes from bitter cold to extreme heat. These stressful conditions contribute to the grape’s intense flavor profile and balanced acidity. Shaya’s wines focus on low-yielding, old-vine grapes which lead to more concentrated flavors in the wines. The Verdejo offers notes of lemon oil, fragrant floral aromas, and plenty of vibrant orange and spice notes.

Corvidae Wine Company ‘Mirth’ Unoaked Chardonnay 2019 | Washington State | Don’t shun Chardonnay until you’ve tasted a really excellent one made “naked” or without oak. After all, Chardonnay is one of the main grapes used in Champagne. They are not all over the top butter bombs! Washington State is one of my favorite growing regions for Chardonnay. With 300 days of sunshine in the eastern part of the state, grape vines enjoy excellent fruit development and ripening conditions. ‘Corvidae’ is the Latin word for the family of birds including crows, ravens, and magpies that make their homes all around these vineyards. ‘Mirth’, in this case, it all about the joys of opening a wonderful bottle with friends. This is super clean and expressive of the pure grape. You’ll taste notes of fresh sliced golden apple, Meyer lemon, and a touch of chamomile.

Lagar da Condesa ‘O Fillo da Condesa’ Albariño 2020 | Rias Baixas, Spain | This coastal region in northwest Spain is famous for producing amazing high-acid, super flavorful white wines like this. All of the grapes come from the producer’s own estate so they have total control over the quality and farming practices. The grapes are handpicked and placed into small baskets then fermented in stainless steel and aged for three months on the fine lees. The time spent on the lees gives more texture and body to the wine. It’s vegan and pairs beautifully with summer salads, prosciutto-wrapped melon, and especially this ceviche!

Ziobaffa Organic Pinot Grigio 2020 | Puglia, Italy | Most often, we encounter Pinot Grigio from the Veneto region further north in Italy where the climate is cooler. The organic grapes for this lovely wine are grown in Puglia where the climate is warmer and the proximity to the Mediterranean means the wine has a richer, more full-body and flavor profile than other Pinot Grigio at a similar price point. It’s ridiculously refreshing with tons of bright, juicy lemon-lime and just a hint of nuttiness.

Domaine des Cassagnoles Côtes de Gascogne 2020 | Pays d’Oc, France | Gilles Baumann and Janine Cardeillac Baumann have been making wine on their farm in the south of France since 1974. Together with their daughter, Laure, they carry on a family tradition that has spanned several centuries in the region. This lovely wine is a blend of Colombard, Ugni Blanc, Gros Manseng, and Sauvignon Blanc. Each grape variety is vinified (made into wine) separately and then blended together. For added complexity, both the Colobard and Gros Manseng spend a short period of time macerating with their skins. The wine is clean and refreshing with no oak influence.

Ready to taste these beauties?! Drop a comment below if you try one or need help finding them in your area!


Let's Make Ceviche

This batch size produces enough ceviche for 2-3 people to share. I suggest making smaller batches more frequently so you can test it out with different ingredients and different wines. Plus, you want to make sure you're eating your fish within a day or two!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb frozen shrimp – I like the peeled and deveined ones from Costco because I’m lazy but you can use whatever kind you prefer
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • ½ cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • ¼ - ½ medium red onion, minced
  • 3-5 medium chunks pineapple, chopped
  • ½ medium orange, juiced
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ¼ - ½ jalapeno pepper, cut in half and sliced paper-thin
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Coarse ground pepper and Kosher salt to taste
  • Crushed red pepper to taste
  • Sliced or cubed avocado to top
  • Tortilla chips for serving or try it using a crisp romaine lettuce leaf!
  • Your favorite hot sauce if you like heat

Here are a few more ingredients I’ve been having fun playing with and recommend you try, too!

  • Bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • Mango
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon
  • Basil
  • Dill
  • Whatever is in season at your farmer’s market! Just keep in mind that you want to avoid too much liquid in the mix 

Steps

  • Start by placing the shrimp in a bowl and covering them with COLD water to defrost. Change the water periodically until thawed and then strain them to remove as much excess water as possible. If you have any concerns at all about consuming undercooked shrimp, you can blanch them in a pot of boiling water. Be careful not to overcook them! Place them into the refrigerator until you’re ready to cut them.
  • In a large bowl, combine all your chopped produce, herbs, spices, and seasonings.
  • Remove the shrimp from the refrigerator and cut it into chunks. I usually get 4-6 pieces out of each shrimp.
  • Add the shrimp to the bowl with the other ingredients and add your citrus juices and apple cider vinegar. Using a slotted spoon, toss the mixture to combine well and place the bowl into the refrigerator.
  • Every 15 minutes or so pull the bowl from the fridge and toss again to combine the liquid from the bottom with the ingredients on top. If you blanched the shrimp, they will be nice and pink. If not, some gray sections may still be visible.
  • When the ceviche is ready, place it in a serving bowl and add sliced avocado, chopped cilantro, or any other garnishes you like.
  • Serve it immediately with tortilla chips and a glass of ice-cold wine.

Pro Tips:

  • I like to place a strainer in the sink when prepping my produce to catch my peels, seeds, and stems. The liquid drains and you’re left with solids to discard of.
  • Many ceviche recipes I’ve found say the ceviche will be ready in only about 20 minutes once the ingredients are combined. I prefer to let the ingredients meld together for at least an hour and up to four hours in the refrigerator before serving to allow all of the wonderful flavors to develop.

I hope you enjoy this delicious dish with some great wine this summer! If you have any questions or comments please drop them below.

Cheers! - Montana Rae and The Wine Ship Cru

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