Quivira 2016 Dry Creek Valley Wine Creek Ranch Rosé ($22), our Wine of the Week, is generous with its considerable favors. There’s a roundness in the mouth when you take your first sip but it quickly evolves into a pleasing tartness, not unlike lemon, a quality that makes the wine infinitely refreshing.
The wine is pale and delicate, with just a hint of pale pink, like the blush on a ripening white peach or a young girl’s cheek. It is evocative of the beautiful rosés of Provence in southern France. Aromas range from not-quite-ripe strawberries warmed by the sun to suggestions of citrus blossoms.
Flavors are integrated and seamless, with hints here and there of stone fruit, citrus rind and zest, and a subtle suggestion of earth.
The wine has broad appeal at the table, thanks in part to its bright acidity. Enjoy it with fish and shellfish, including raw tuna and grilled salmon.
It goes beautifully with all manner of salads and is a perfect companion to spring specialties, from English peas to the season’s very first zucchini. It is also a good match with some of the last of fall’s harvest, including spaghetti squash, steamed and dressed with a citrus vinaigrette.
The wine engages beautifully with beets, too, especially Chioggia and golden beets. Whether in salad, risotto, or as a simple side dish, the match is lovely. For today’s recipe, inspiration comes from what is typically called beet caviar, in which beets are steam or roasted and then minced as small as possible.
The minced beets are then dressed as we sometimes dress caviar, with onion, sieved egg, and creme fraiche.
The match is best when you use either Chioggia or golden beets but it also works well with red beets, which require a bit of adjustment in salt and acid so that their sweetness does not overwhelm the wine.
Beet Caviar with Sieved Egg & Creme Fraiche
Serves 6 to 8
3 large (about 1 3/4 pounds total weight) beets, preferably Chioggia or golden, roasted until tender (see Note below)
1 small red onion, cut into very small dice
3 tablespoons freshly snipped chives or minced fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon best-quality red wine vinegar, such as B. R. Cohn or DaVero, plus more as needed
— Kosher salt
— Black pepper in a mill
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled
— Creme fraiche
1 baguette, sliced diagonally and lightly toasted
Peel the beets, using your fingers or a sharp paring knife.
Cut the beets into very small dice; pieces should be no larger than 1/8-inch cubes.
Put the beets into a medium mixing bowl, add the onion and chives or parsley, and toss gently.
Add the vinegar, toss again, and season with salt and pepper. Add the olive oil, toss, taste, and correct for salt, pepper, and acid, adding a bit more vinegar if needed for balance. Set aside.
Set a sheet of wax paper on a clean surface and use the smallest blade of a box grater to grate the eggs. Season the eggs with salt and pepper and toss gently.
North Coast Wine Challenge winners
Best of the Best: Kokomo 2016 Pinot Noir Gopher Hills Block Peters Vineyard Sonoma Coast
Best of Show Red: Kokomo 2016 Pinot Noir Gopher Hills Block Peters Vineyard Sonoma Coast
Best of Sonoma County: Kokomo 2016 Pinot Noir Gopher Hills Block Peters Vineyard Sonoma Coast
Best of Show White: J. Rickards Winery 2017 Sauvignon Blanc Croft Vineyard Alexander Valley
Best of Show Rose: Rodney Strong Vineyards 2017 Rosé of Pinot Noir Russian River Valley
Best of Show Sparkling: Domaine Carneros 2013 Brut
Best of Show Dessert Wine: Sonoma Cutrer Vineyards 2015 Late Harvest Chardonnay
Best of Lake County: Cache Creek Vineyards 2014 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Lake County
Best of Marin County: DeLoach Vineyards 2015 Pinot Noir Marin County
Best of Mendocino: Soda Rock 2016 Chardonnay Mendocino
Best of Napa County: Mudita 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Circle S Ranch Atlas Peak Napa
Best of Sonoma County: Kokomo 2016 Pinot Noir Gopher Hill Block Peters Vineyard Sonoma Coast