by Nancy Sweet, director, LLCC culinary programs and operations
In my opinion, rosé is a great wine to drink year-round, but for me it really stands out as a winner during the hot days of summer. Rosé wine has become more popular and mainstream the past few years, with sales of it increasing rapidly the past five years. In fact, just this year, Aldi grocery store’s $8 rosé was named one of the world’s best wines at the International Wine Challenge in the United Kingdom. Not only does rosé often have a very affordable price, but it is very approachable and drinkable alone or with food. Plus, it’s great to use as a mixer in other cocktails.
So what exactly is this pink wine? Rosé wine gets its color from contact with the skin of the grapes. Whereas red wines may have contact with grape skin for several weeks, rose’s contact with the grape skins may only be for several hours or a day, which is controlled by the winemaker based on the color of wine they want to create. This can range from a very pale salmon-pink to a more vibrant almost-purple pink color. Rosé can be still or sparkling and is served chilled.
Yes, the sweet wine zinfandel that had huge popularity a few decades ago does qualify as a rosé, but the ones that are seeing popularity now are dry, ranging from bone-dry like some of the more mineral-tasting ones from France to more fruit-forward ones from Italy and California. Nearly any red grape can make a rosé wine, so of course that grape’s characteristics will play a part in final taste, but oftentimes rosés are light, with flavors of fresh fruit, flowers, melon and citrus. Because of this, they are great for pairing with some of summer’s best dishes – meats and veggies right off the grill, summer salads tossed in bright vinaigrettes, fish finished with sauces packed with herbs, and snack platters of salumi, cured olives, salty feta cheese and a splash of good olive oil.
Here are some recipes that would pair well with a rosé wine.
Bacon Blue Cheese Potato Salad
*3 pounds baby red potatoes (quartered) or fingerling potatoes (halved)
*1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
*4 green onion, sliced think
*8 slices cooked bacon, diced
*1 cup crumbled blue cheese
*1/4 cup apple cider vinegar plus 2 tablespoons
*1 tablespoon honey
*1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
*1/4 heaping cup minced herbs, such as basil, oregano, parsley, thyme, rosemary, or sage
*1 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon pepper
*1/3 – ½ cup olive oil
Cook potatoes in salted water on medium-high heat about 15 minutes until just cooked through (not mushy). Drain, put into a large bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons vinegar.
Put eggs in a sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook 3 minutes. Cover, turn off heat and let sit 10 minutes. Drain, allow to cool, peel and quarter.
In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey, mustard, and salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Whisk in herbs.
Toss potatoes with cherry tomatoes, green onions, bacon and half of the vinaigrette. Fold in blue cheese and eggs, adding more vinaigrette as needed. Taste for seasoning and refrigerate any leftover vinaigrette.
Smoked Gouda and Grilled Vegetable Quesadillas
Makes 4 Quesadillas
*1 red onion, sliced horizontally into wide slices, kept intact
*2 red or yellow bell peppers, seeds removed, cut into ¼’s
*1 zucchini half and sliced into ½ inch slabs
*8 ounces button mushrooms, stems removed
*2 tablespoons olive oil
*2 tablespoons butter
*1 cup shredded smoked Gouda cheese
*1 cup shredded fontina cheese
*8 flour tortillas
*Assorted toppings such as sour cream, guacamole, cilantro, and lime wedges
Toss onions, peppers, zucchini and mushrooms with olive oil and a large pinch of salt. Place all veggies on grill and grill over a high heat grill about 2 minutes per side. Remove, let cool and roughly chop.
Mix together the shredded cheeses. To make quesadillas, melt ½ tablespoon butter in a non-stick pan right on the grill or on the stove inside on medium heat. Layer directly in the pan one flour tortilla, ¼ cup of cheese, ¼ of the chopped vegetables, another ¼ cup of cheese and finally another tortilla. Press the quesadilla together with a spatula to encourage it to stick together.
Once the bottom tortilla is golden brown, carefully flip quesadilla over and grill another 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove, cut into wedges and continue until all quesadillas are made. Serve with toppings of your choice.
Chili-Glazed Pork Ribs
Serves 6 – 8
Adapted from the Food Network
*2 racks pork spareribs (about 6 pounds)
*3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*2 teaspoons fresh thyme
*3 tablespoons ancho chili powder
*1 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
*1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
*3 cups apple cider
*3 tablespoons ketchup
*2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
*2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
With a sharp knife, make show cuts between the ribs on the bone side with a sharp knife, piercing just the membrane.
Mix 1 tablespoon kosher salt, brown sugar, garlic, thyme, chili powder, black pepper and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Rub the spice mixture evenly over the ribs. Wrap ribs in plastic and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
Meanwhile, combine the cider, ketchup, mustard and Worcestershire sauce in a saucepan over medium heat and simmer until reduced to about 2 cups, about 30 minutes. Cover and set aside.
Preheat the grill to low heat on one side. Cook the ribs bone-side down on the cooler side of the grill (indirect heat), covered, until tender, about 2 hours and 30 minutes. Add more charcoal as needed to maintain heat. Continue to cook, basting the ribs every 10 minutes with the vinegar sauce until the ribs are glazed, about 40 minutes more. Remove from the grill and cut into pieces.
Want to know more?
Lincoln Land Community College offers associate degree programs in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management and academic credit certificates in Culinary Arts and Baking/Pastry. For more information call 786-4613 or visit www.llcc.edu/hospitality-culinary-arts