Wines above (r to l): '06 J. Christopher "Christo Irresisto" (Oregon); '06 Conte di Buscareto Marche Rosato (Italy); '06 Provenza Chioretto (Italy); '06 Domaine Sorin "Terra Amata" Cotes de Provence (France); '06 Commanderie de la Bargemone Coteaux d'Aix en Provence (France)
You know when the New York Times wrote a feature article on them last summer, their time had come. Once derided, many times with cause, as sickly sweet bottles of luridly pink white "zinfandel", today the dry, crisp rosés from France and Italy, and in certain cases America, have now taken their rightful, delicious place among the must drink wines for spring and summer enjoyment.
I've been pimping these wines hard for the past five years here at the wine shack, and each year I've seen sales zooming. Nothing satisfies on a warm afternoon and evening like rosé. Dry, refreshing, bright, with the best having a bracing backbone of acidity, these are essential wines for the summer table. With more body than white wines (they are made from red wine grapes that are pressed and then have the juice taken off the skins before too much pigment colors the wine), these are remarkable food friendly, and with most things off the grill are perfect matches. I'll gladly slurp these down with 'qued burgers, chicken, and sausages. They are perfect foils for garlic-rosemary grilled shrimp (recipe follows) and most other seafood. And best of all they are eminently affordable. All five wines pictured come in at under $14 a pop! The picture above shows a few of my current favorites. If they aren't available where you live, try some others. You've gotta join the club. And guys, don't be afraid, because real men can drink pink!
GRILLED ROSEMARY GARLIC SHRIMP
1/4 cup finely chopped garlic, mashed to a paste with 1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves plus sprigs for garnish
3 tablespoons olive oil plus oil for brushing shrimp
16 jumbo shrimp (about 10 per pound)
four 12-inch bamboo skewers
lemon wedges as an accompaniment
In a large bowl stir together garlic, minced rosemary, and 3 tablespoons oil and add shrimp. Marinate shrimp, covered and chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.
In a shallow dish soak skewers in water to cover 30 minutes and prepare grill.
To grill, thread 4 shrimp on each skewer and brush with additional oil. Grill shrimp on an oiled rack, set about 5 inches over glowing coals, 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until just cooked through.
Alternatively, brush shrimp with additional oil and grill in a hot well-season ridged grill pan, covered, over moderately high heat 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.
Garnish shrimp with rosemary sprigs and serve with lemon wedges.