What to pair with a REALLY dry Rose

Well, the new 2011 Dry Pinot Grigio Rose has been launched and several people have asked me about pairing food with dry rose style wines.  Really, a good dry rose is the ultimate food wine – crisp acidity, smooth on the palate and a hint of astringency on the finish that really helps match the wine with hard-to-pair foods.  Our new dry Pinot Grigio goes well with:

1.  All by itself, sipping on a sunny deck.
2.  Slightly bitter things like Arugula, Asparagus and Broccoli Rabe (recipe follows)
3.  Very acidic foods like Ceviche (one of my faves) or a Grapefruit and Watercress Salad (recipe on the wine’s page)
4.  Asian or Thai flavors
5.  Tart cheeses like goat cheese
6.  Salty foods like truffled popcorn

We will be enjoying the new rose on Oscar Night at The Vinos (heck, maybe we will even use a SodaStream machine to sparkle it – works great).  As we munch our way through appetizers experimenting with matching foods to this awesome wine.

ROASTED BROCCOLI RABE
Pair with 2011 Avila Beach Sunset – Pinot Grigio Rose

1 large bunch Broccoli Rabe (also called Rapini)
1/3 Cup olive oil
Salt & Pepper

Mrs. Vino loves Broccoli Rabe!  So when it went on sale at her local grocer she went a bit crazy.  This meant she had to find some new ways to prepare it and this is the easiest, most delicious Broccoli Rabe dish she has ever tasted!  Preheat your oven to 400 degree.  Cut the bottom 2” of stem off the Broccoli Rabe (maybe more, maybe less – depends on how big your bunch is.  Basically you want to cut off any really woody end bits).  Wash and dry the Broccoli Rabe thoroughly (I like to use the salad spinner – it’s a great tool for this).  Put the whole stems of Broccoli Rabe in a large bowl and toss with 1/3 cup olive oil.  You want to lube up the Broccoli Rabe really well or it will stick to your baking sheet.  Pile the Broccoli Rabe onto a rimmed baking sheet (I have one I use exclusively for roasting veggies).  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Put the baking sheet in the oven and let roast for 15 minutes (toss once during cooking). The stems and florets get beautifully carmelized.  The leaves turn into little Broccoli Rabe potato chips.  Un.  B.  Leev.  Able.

I like to do this dish with roasted chicken thighs. If you put one oven rack about halfway down in your oven and the other rack at the bottom, you can cook both the Broccoli Rabe and the chicken thighs at the same time.  Sprinkle the thighs with your favorite seasoned salt and garlic powder.  Put them in the oven on the rack in the halfway down position.  Give them a 15 minute head start.  Then put the Broccoli Rabe in the oven on the bottom rack for 15.  They will finish at the same time.  Add some crusty French bread and call that a gourmet meal.

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