Our Wine of the Week, Quivira 2017 Dry Creek Valley Wine Creek Ranch Rosé ($22), tastes like a warm day in early fall, reflecting the time it was made, just a year ago. Afternoons may be warm and even hot, but there’s a coolness at the edge of the heat.
Flavors suggest such fruit as not-quite-ripe strawberry, tart cherry, fresh cranberry and pomegranate, along with a hint of watermelon, that nearly white part close to the rind. There’s a delightful thread of raw rhubarb, too, which in turn suggests briny sea air.
Despite its generous array of fruit, the wine is bone dry and cool, qualities that make it quite refreshing and very food friendly. One of the best matches is traditional poke, that simple Hawaiian dish of raw tuna lightly seasoned with a bit of soy sauce and green onion. Bay shrimp salad with a lemony dressing goes beautifully with the wine, and you’ll enjoy it, too, with oysters on the half shell, ceviche and sashimi.
The best vegetable matches are all kinds of green beans, kale and fresh zucchini.
Because the wine also expresses a bit of watermelon, I find it goes well with savory dishes that contain a bit of fresh melon, such as this salad. For the best results, get your watermelon from your local farmers market, not from a supermarket.
Watermelon Salad with Arugula, Burrata, Prosciutto
3 cups chilled local watermelon cubes, seeds removed
6-8 thin strips of prosciutto, cut in 1/2-inch wide crosswise slices
6 ounces arugula, rinsed and dried
1 very small red onion, peeled and cut into very thin half rounds
— Kosher salt
1 piece of burrata
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoons best-quality white wine or Champagne vinegar
— Black pepper in a mill
2 tablespoons domestic or European pine nuts, lightly toasted, optional (see Note below)
Prepare the watermelon, cover and refrigerate.
Heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat, add the prosciutto slices and fry, tossing frequently, until just crisp. Set aside.
Put the arugula and onion into a large bowl, season with salt and toss gently. Transfer to a large serving platter. Cut the burrata into a few pieces and scatter it over the arugula.
Drizzle the olive oil over everything.
Add the watermelon, scattering it over the entire salad. Carefully drizzle vinegar over everything. Add the crisp prosciutto, grind black pepper over the salad, scatter with pine nuts, if using, and serve immediately.
Note: A substantial number of people are sensitive to pine nuts from China and develop what is sometimes called “pine mouth” or “pine nut syndrome” after eating them. The symptom is a persistent bitterness in the mouth that develops a day or two after eating them and can linger for two weeks and longer. The only guaranteed way to avoid this is to entirely avoid pine nuts from China.
Michele Anna Jordan is the author of 24 books to date. Email her at email@example.com