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Drunken Spanish Octopus Paired with Lot 126 Sancerre

Drunken Spanish Octopus Paired with Lot 126 Sancerre

We’ve partnered with Weston Table, an online marketplace of everyday extraordinary home goods, to share seasonal food and wine pairings. They’re in charge of the menu and decor and we’re bringing the wine. For this pairing, we've selected our Lot 126 Sancerre to enjoy alongside Drunken Spanish Octopus-- the perfect seafood pairing!

sancerre paired with spanish drunken octopus

While this recipe calls for Spanish octopus (where it's caught), its preparation using wine to tenderize the tentacles is an Italian specialty called drunken octopus. This typical Tuscan recipe has few but important ingredients. Choose a wine such as a Chianti for cooking and a mineral rich Sancerre for drinking. Our favorite pairing is Lot 126 Sancerre, a balanced Sancerre from the Loire Valley. Its delicate perfume of white flowers, hints of citrus, and flint give way to a silken texture and grapefruit-laced finish that creates a delightful liquid companion for the octopus. For this recipe, fresh or frozen octopus works. Frozen octopus has the benefit of already being cleaned, is easy to find, and the freezing process actually tenderizes the octopus. Whether a celebratory meal or a romantic dish for two, this stellar wine and dinner pairing will not disappoint. Cheers and enjoy!


2 pounds Spanish octopus (tentacles only), uncooked fresh or frozen (see kitchen notes)

1 bottle red table wine

3 ounces capers, drained

1/2 cup olive oil

Sea salt

1/2 cup Vidalia onion, thin 1/2 inch long slices

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, for dressing

1 lemon, juiced

1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Wash the octopus under running water to remove the gelatinous coating. 
  2. Add the octopus and the red wine to a small pot making certain the octopus is covered (add more wine or water to submerge the octopus). Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer gently for 1 to 2 hours (1 hour for frozen and 2 hours for fresh). The octopus is done when you are able to pierce the thickest part of the tentacle easily with a paring knife.
  3. In a small cast iron pan, heat the olive oil until it shimmers. Add the drained capers and cook until crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes depending on the size of the capers (they are done when they look a bit dry an are a lighter golden green color). Drain the capers on a paper towel, sprinkle with sea salt while hot, and reserve.
  4. Remove the boiled octopus tentacles from the wine. Dry thoroughly. Place a 12" cast iron skillet on the stovetop and heat over high heat for 5 minutes. Add the tentacles and cook until charred, turning to ensure even charring, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  5. Remove the octopus from the pan and let cool to room temperature. Slice into 1/2" pieces. Reserve.
  6. In a small bowl, mix a pinch of salt and the lemon juice together. Slowly add the extra-virgin olive to the juice stirring to make an emulsion. Finish with a few grinds of black pepper (taste and adjust for acidity balance and saltiness).
  7. Add the octopus, the onion, and the parsley to a serving dish, pour just enough of the dressing over the octopus to coat it. Toss to combine and evenly distribute the ingredients.
  8. Sprinkle the fried capers over the salad if serving immediately. Otherwise, refrigerate the octopus, and just before serving, sprinkle with the fried capers.

Kitchen Notes

If you want to make this preparation even easier, buy pre cooked octopus and simply soak in the wine for 2 hours and then gently simmer it for 10 to 15 minutes.

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