Every harvest, ros? seem to get better and better. Our Wine of the Week, MacPhail Family Wines 2013 Rose of Pinot Noir ($22), is a classic example. From the moment it spills into the glass like a stream of liquid coral to its bright yet voluptuous finish, this wine is a delight, everything a ros?should be and a little bit more.
If you called it springtime in a bottle, you wouldn't be wrong. There's a pleasing hint of roses in the bouquet, an aroma that mirrors our current landscape, where a profusion of roses are in bloom. Lean in and catch another scent: Strawberries, just in time for the first of our local harvest.
On the palate, you'll notice more strawberry notes, along with raspberries and sweet spices, like star anise, cardamom, clove and allspice, qualities that twinkle more than linger, like stars in the early morning sky, before the sun extinguishes them.
If you have avoided pink wines because you think they are sweet, give this a try. It could change your life, as good ros? are remarkably food friendly, refreshing and bone dry. This one will be particularly good with ahi poke, jambalaya, paella, shrimp, shrimp salad, wild Pacific king salmon and, perhaps surprisingly, many types of barbecue, including pulled pork and Korean-style ribs. It can take a bit of heat, which makes it a good accompaniment to Southeast Asian and Indian curries and Mexican seafood stews.
The wine is also great with all manner of charcuterie and salumi. Vegetarians will enjoy it with winter squash and, come summer, it will be a happy companion to ripe tomatoes.
For today's recipe, I'm turning to a simple chicken dish, similar but not identical to teriyaki. It has a slightly different flavor profile, with a fillip of heat and a flourish of smoke.
<b>Shoyu Chicken </b>
Makes 4 to 8 servings
<i>1/2 cup sushi-quality soy sauce
1/2 cup, packed, brown sugar
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 to 3 shallots, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon sweet paprika, preferably Spanish
1 teaspoon chipotle powder or hot paprika
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
— Black pepper in a mill
8 pastured chicken thighs
— Steamed Rice or quinoa
— Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish</i>
Put the soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, shallots, ginger, oregano, paprika, chipotle powder and red pepper flakes into a small saucepan set over low heat. Add several very generous turns of black pepper and stir gently until the sugar is dissolved.
Remove from the heat and let cool.
Put the chicken into a sturdy plastic bag, such as a freezer bag. Pour the cooled marinade over it and seal the bag, pressing out the air as you do. Gently massage the marinade into the chicken for a minute or two.
Refrigerate for at least two hours and as long as overnight.
To finish the chicken, remove it from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.
Make a fire in an outdoor grill or preheat an outdoor or stovetop grill to medium.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and set it, skin side up, on the grill. Discard the marinade.