Dry rosé with Ahi Poke Salad
Our dry rosés get better and better with each vintage, and the Sidebar 2015 Russian River Valley Rosé is right up there with the best of the current releases. The wine is bone dry, crisp and refreshing, and punctuated with bright notes of watermelon rind, wet cement and strawberry. The fruit is restrained, not over the top, and the wine is beautifully balanced with a pleasing finish.
This is an ideal summer wine, perfect with the lighter foods we enjoy in hot weather. A salad of baby shrimp, red onion and lemon vinaigrette makes a lovely companion, as does a simple watermelon salad with arugula, toasted nuts and a salty cheese — feta, perhaps, or haloumi — and nothing more than a squeeze of lime juice and a bit of pepper as dressing.
The wine is also a great match with oysters on the half shell; watermelon mignonette will further the resonance. Sashimi and many types of sushi welcome this wine alongside, as well.
Some believe that wine does not go well with salad, but this pretty quaffer will go a ways towards correcting this widespread but inaccurate opinion. As long as the salad is dressed lightly — no balsamic vinegar, please, and no cream- or mayonnaise-based dressings — you’ll enjoy this wine with green salad, fresh tomato salad and sweet onion salad.
Tuna tartare and ceviches are excellent matches, too, and perfect in mid-summer. For today’s recipe, Hawai’i and its popular appetizer poke (poe-kay’) are the inspirations. On a hot night, a glass or two of the classy rosé and a little bowl of poke maybe all you need to cool off deliciously.
Almost Traditional Ahi Poke
Serves 3 to 4
1 pound sashimi-grade ahi tuna, trimmed of dark flesh and cut into 1-inch cubes
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 green onions, white and green parts, cut into very thin rounds
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
— Hawaiian alaea salt, lightly crushed, or kosher salt
2 teaspoon inamona (ground kukui nut, also known as candelnut) or crushed macadamia nuts
Put the tuna into a medium bowl, add the red pepper flakes and soy sauce, toss gently, cover and chill for at least one hour.
To finish, remove from the refrigerator, add the onion and cilantro and toss gently. Transfer to a chilled serving bowl, sprinkle lightly with salt, and scatter the inamona or nuts on top. Enjoy right away.
Michele Anna Jordan is author of the new “Good Cook’s” series. Email her at email@example.com and visit her blog at pantry.blogs.pressdemocrat.com.