Mussels in a Thai basil coconut sauce with Paul Cluver Gewürtztraminer

Paul Cluver himself loves to pair gewürztraminer with anything made with coconut cream or a note of chili or ginger. The low alcohol content and floral sweetness of the wine are the perfect antidote to chili burn! Fresh mussels steamed in white wine, then lightly simmered Thai-style in a basil-coconut sauce is the perfect dinner party starter or a cosy romantic dinner for two. Serve with fresh French bread and a bottle of gewürztraminer.

This recipe serves 2.


500g fresh mussels

thumb-size piece grated ginger

2 shallots or 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 red chili, finely sliced

1/3 cup white wine


1 cup coconut milk

1/2 tsp. ground coriander

1 handful fresh coriander

1 handful fresh Thai basil

2 tbsp fish sauce

1 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp soy sauce


1/2 cup fresh basil and coriander leaves, chopped


Rinse mussels under cold water. Set in fridge until ready to use. Place all Basil Coconut Sauce ingredients in a food processor. Process well. Taste test for salt, adding more fish sauce if not salty enough. If too salty for your taste, add a little more lime juice. Add more chili for a spicier sauce. Set aside.

Heat a large frying pan or wok over high heat. Add 1-2 Tbsp oil and swirl around, then add the ginger, shallots or onion, garlic and chili. Stir-fry for 2 minutes.

Add white wine and mussels, stirring gently. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover with lid to steam for 3 minutes. Take off lid and stir gently. If most of the mussels have opened, they are ready to eat. Discard the ones that haven’t opened.

Reduce heat to low. Remove lid and add the basil-coconut sauce. Stir gently. This dish is ready as soon as the sauce is warm (30 seconds to 1 minute).

To serve, place mussels and sauce onto a serving platter, mounding them into a pile. Sprinkle with chopped basil and fresh coriander. If desired, serve with a fresh French loaf, or garlic toast to soak up the juices.

Enjoy! And remember, the more you drink, the easier gewürztraminer is to pronounce!



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