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Rosé and garlic is a perfect pairing

Ram’s Gate 2021 Rosé Wine, Sonoma Coast ($38), our wine of the week, is an engaging wine that is both voluptuous and dazzling.

When the wine spreads across your palate on first sip, you’ll notice its texture, as tender and silken as a baby’s cheek. Next comes bright fruit, as if cherries and strawberries were using that plush texture as a trampoline. These high-toned fruit flavors continue as mineral-like notes — think wet river rocks — join the delicious union.

The finish is crisp and tangy, leaving you ready for your next sip.

The wine is an excellent fall quaffer, as its rich texture resonates with both end-of-the-season tomatoes and with the beets and winter squashes we so enjoy when the whether turns cooler and the days shorter.

The wine also blossoms when it’s paired with roasted garlic, which is the inspiration for today’s column. This vinaigrette has the rich flavors of roasted garlic along with the bright flavors we expect from a vinaigrette. Enjoy it drizzled over roasted chicken, sliced tomatoes and roasted beets and tossed with young salad greens and thinly sliced red onion. It’s excellent over grilled flat fish or spooned over a leek frittata. If you feel ambitious, enjoy it over raviolis made with pumpkin pasta and filled with fresh goat cheese and herbs. A vinaigrette is not just for dressing a salad.

Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

Makes about ⅔ cup

1 garlic bulb, loose skin removed and root end cleaned of dirt and grit

2 thyme sprigs

3 tablespoons water

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

Black pepper in a mill

1 tablespoon best-quality white wine vinegar, plus more to taste

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

2 teaspoons snipped fresh chives

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Put the garlic bulb, root end down, in a small ovenproof container. Add the thyme sprigs and water and pour the oil over the garlic. Season with salt and pepper, cover and set on the middle rack of the oven. Cook until the garlic is as tender as butter when you press the fattest part of the bulb with your thumb. It will take from 50 to 60 minutes.

When the garlic is fully tender, remove it from the oven, uncover and let cool.

Transfer the garlic bulb to a container and reserve it for another use.

Strain the cooking liquid into a small bowl or wide-mouth glass jar. Add the vinegar, thyme leaves and chives. Taste and correct for salt and acid.

Use right away or store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Michele Anna Jordan is the author of 24 books to date, including “Vinaigrettes & Other Dressings.” Email her at a michele@micheleannajordan.com.

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