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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

A Coastal Pairing: Apaltagua Costero Extra Brut + Shrimp Tempura #WorldWineTravel

Updated: Dec 23, 2023

This month - the last month of 2023 - the #WorldWineTravel writers are looking at sparkling wines from South America. I am hosting and you can see my invitation: here.

I am looking forward reading all of these explorations. The group will not be gathering for live chat on Saturday as that's my younger son's 20th birthday and I will be happily unplugged for the entire weekend as we celebrate. Here's what we're sharing...

These will all be live between now and Saturday morning. Please circle back and read about our wines and pairings.

Apaltagua Costero Extra Brut

For last month's #WorldWineTravel, I actually poured a Carménère Rosé from the same winery. Owned by the Tutunjian family, the Apaltagua Winery, which is located in the Apalta region of the Colchagua Valley, focuses on small-production wines made from the estate's vines 65-years-old vineyards by winemaker Carolina França. Read that pairing - Apaltagua Reserva Carménère Rosé 2022 with Three Grilled Octopus Dishes - within this post: Carménère: Two Shades and Two Continents.

This month, for South American Sparklers, I opened up a bottle of Apaltagua Costero Extra Brut. Grown in Chile's coastal hills, the vines are a mere seven miles from the Pacific Ocean. Made from a non-vintage blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, it's aged on the lees for nine months.

The wine pours a pale gold in hue with tiny, persistent bubbles. On the nose, there are aromas of fresh green apples and earthy hazelnuts. On the palate the wine is creamy with subtle flavors that mirror the aromas. There is a surprising salinity on the finish that convinced me to pair this with seafood.

Shrimp Tempura

I had initially planned to make Peruvian fried calamari, Chicharron de Calamar, because it fit the geographical theme. However, the recipe I tried didn't work out. So, I pivoted and went with a safer bet: shrimp tempura. It was still seafood and still battered and fried. And it was a great match with the wine! The shrimp tempura was just part of a huge tempura meal that I had promised to make while the boys were home for the holidays.

  • Shrimp, peeled and skewered

  • Also needed: canola oil, sesame oil (1 teaspoon per each cup of canola)

Batter (I doubled this for the amount of veggies and shrimp I had)

  • 1 cup flour

  • 1 egg

  • 200 milliliters sparkling water


Pour oil into a large pot, to about 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch depth adding about 1 teaspoon sesame oil for each cup of canola oil. Heat until a small drop of water into the oil causes it to sputter and spit.


Make sure all of your ingredients are cold. Place the flour and egg in a mixing bowl. Pour in the sparkling water and gently mix with chopsticks. You don't want to over-mix.

When the oil reaches the right temperature, dip the skewered shrimp in the batter, letting the excess drip off before placing it in the oil.

Fry until golden and remove vegetables from the oil. Transfer the tempura to a paper towel-lined platter to remove the excess oil.

Repeat until all of your shrimp and veggies are cooked. Serve immediately. As I mentioned: the shrimp tempura was just part of a larger dinner. On the platter, clockwise starting with the shrimp are - tempura green beans, purple sweet potatoes, white sweet potatoes, carrots, and lotus root. So good!

That's a wrap for the #WorldWineTravel year in South America. Next year the group will move to a quarterly posting schedule and the first #WorldWineTravel event will be April 13, 2024. Stay tuned for our theme.

In the meantime, here's a 2023 recap of our events and posts. Click on my post to view all the other offerings for the theme...

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