Perfect pairings for the year's best wines

What to serve with the best wines of 2009? Sunset wine editor Sara Schneider has the matches

Mendo crab cakes with tarragon aioli and Champagne cabbage salad

With Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs 2005

Special Occasion White of the Year (North Coast; $36)

Perfect pairing:  Mendo Crab Cakes with Tarragon Aioli and Champagne Cabbage Salad

Why it works:  Because a blanc de blancs is made out of 100 percent Chardonnay, it carries all of the wine’s typical tart apple and toast and, in the Schramsberg case, a lovely honeyed lemon quality.

In the form of a sparkler, Chard has low alcohol and high acidity levels, plus those furious little bubbles that refresh and make you want to keep eating and sipping.

You can’t go wrong with crab and Chardonnay, and this blanc de blancs sparkles with our all-time favorite cakes. To clinch the pairing, the vinegar in the salad is made out of bubbly.

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