Good Food, Good Wine
I recently fixed one of my favorite meals. I battered and fried some chicken breasts in butter, fixed potato salad, and had a salad of fresh tomatoes, onion and garlic. Dinner included a plethora of wine. We had several chardonnays, a pinot noir, a petite sirah and a grenache rose. I should mention that these wines were not full bottles. It sounds like a lot of wine, but it wasn"t really.
Of the wines consumed that evening, the grenache rose was definitely the most universally food friendly. It did what wine is supposed to do with food-enhance the food flavors. Not that the other wines didn't work with the food, but the grenache showed the test of all the flavors best, especially up against the garlic in the tomato salad.
The dry rose happened to be Beckmen's grenache. I've had it several times. It's always inviting. It delicious. It was a perfect food match! Winemaker, Steve Beckmen, is doing a first rate job on all their wines.
A number of wine producers here in Santa Barbara County also produce intriguing and deliciously fruity and dry rose wines.
Sanford's pinot noir vin gris is a perennial favorite. The winery has been producing their vin gris since back in the 80s. Vin gris, by the way, is a French term for rose of pinot noir. It means "gray wine," neither "blanc" nor "noir."
Louisa Lindquist is producing a stylish Spanish-style rose under the Verdad label. Verdad focuses on Spanish varietals and Spanish style wines and means "truth" in Spanish. Grenache is also grown in Spain. It's Spanish name in garnacha. During the phylloxera scourge of the late 19th century, cuttings were brought into the south of France from Spain.
Santa Barbara Winery has just released a limited production amount of a syrah rose from the Santa Rita Hills. Delicious with food, or as an aperitif!
Chrystal and Steve Clifton also have a limited production rose wine they call "Botasea."
With summer soon over with Labor Day upon us, and harvest here, we will have some of our most beautiful weather. It's a perfect time for quaffing rose. Enjoy!
Wine lover and Santa Maria Times Wine columnist, Bob Senn, lives in the bucolic Los Alamos Valley and owns the Los Olivos Wine & Spirits Emporium.
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