Sensible Seafood might not be something that most of us think about shopping for when we make our trip to our local seafood monger or the seafood counter at the market. That’s something that the Sensible Seafood partnership of the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center and others hope to change.
The Sensible Seafood Program was started in 2008 by Karen Burn who was with leadership at the Aquarium. Currently overseen by an Advisory Panel and the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program, the goal is to help identify sensible seafood options in Virginia. The program works closely with local businesses to make sure they are making good sensible seafood choices.
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a media event that was held at the Aquarium to showcase a new partnership and introduce two new Sensible Wines created by The Williamsburg Winery. “The winery is super supportive,” Leslie Clements, Program Director says – “and was looking to pair wine and found us.” The new wine offerings promote the organic partnership between The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, The Williamsburg Winery, Farm Fresh Food & Pharmacy and Reba Arts to benefit the Aquarium’s Sensible Seafood Program.
Virginia has the third-largest seafood industry in the U.S., which helps support the local economy. Favorite seafood species of the region include blue crabs, clams, and oysters – all, perfect for enjoying with a nice glass of Virginia vino. When you hear the famous quote “what grows together, goes together,” this is what is meant.
The Williamsburg Winery 2nd vintage of Sensible Red and Sensible White wines offers consumers a budget friendly, no-brainer option to seafood pairing. A portion of the proceeds from every purchase is donated to the Sensible Seafood Program of the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center on behalf of the consumers – which, enhances the logic for buying. Everyone has a positive experience when they feel like they are helping to support a worthy cause – emphasis on worthy – like locally sourced sustainable seafood (my opinion). The wines are exclusively available at Farm Fresh and The Williamsburg Winery.
Michael Kimball, marketing director and I took a moment to chat about the wines and the program. I tasted each wine both with and without seafood. Both wines offer a nice simple expression of its varietal that is certainly enhanced by the seafood flavors. Yes, it is definitely all about the pairing. Pinot Grigio and a Red blend — “they are designed to pair perfectly with Seafood,” Kimble responds as he smiles.
The seafood offerings at the event were amazingly delicious, needless to say; I revisited each station a few times. Fresh local seafood prepared perfectly is impossible to resist. Thank you to both Chef Bob and Chef Jason Congleton for your yummy creations.
Since the event, I am much more conscious of where I shop for fresh seafood, and I have learned to ask lots of questions before making my purchase. When available, I always try to grab a bottle or two of the Sensible Wines – mainly because, well, it just makes sense. We hope you will too.
In Virginia, October is an amazing celebration of Virginia wine and seafood. National Seafood Month, paired with October Virginia Wine Month (#OctVAWineMonth) is the perfect time explore some most beautiful fall landscapes, wines and seafood in the country. We encourage everyone to get out and take in all that Virginia has to offer – “Eat Local and Drink Local”.