Tag Archives: Bonny Doon Vineyards

What wine goes with Thai Curry Chicken Wrap?

When we think of wraps, we think of a light refreshing lunch for a sunny summer day — much like Ann Vogel describes in her recent luncheon on Bainbridge Island.

Initially when we saw wraps as this week’s recipe, we weren’t sure which wine we wanted to recommend.

Luckily for us, Vogel made it easy with her choice of Thai Curry Chicken Salad for the filler of the wrap. In fact, we have two wines we think would pair well with this dish: Gewürztraminer or Riesling.

Both wines fit the light lunch theme and are a refreshing treat on a hot summer day.

Our go-to wine pairing Bible: “What to Drink With What You Eat”, by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page, says Riesling — especially a Spätlese — is best for chicken or fish with curry sauce. Almost equally it says an Alsatian Gewürztraminer would go well.

Both wines boast a balance of acidity and sugar. Made in the traditional German style, the wines will be sweet and the higher residual sugar levels will be a welcome compliment to the grapes’ main characteristic: acidity.

It’s this balance between the acidity and the hints of sweetness that make these two styles of wine the go-to for most spicy Thai, Indian and Asian dishes.

So what is Spätlese? It’s a German wine term that translates to late (spat) picked (lese). It’s the lightest of the wines that fall under the late harvest category.

Spätlese grapes are picked at least seven days after the normal harvest, making them riper and giving them a higher must weight (the measure of sugar in grape juice).

A Spätlese Riesling has a high level of acidity that balances any overt sweetness; it is “fleshy” and intensely flavored, often with notes of apple, pear and honeysuckle and has an elegant nose with noticeable aromas.

Like the Riesling, the Gewürztraminer, or Gewürz for short, is a German grape known for its aromatics. This grape also grows well in France’s Alsace region. Whereas the Germans make a dry styled wine, the French let the grapes speak, producing a range of styles from dry to dessert wine.

For Vogel’s Thai Curry Chicken Salad Wraps we decided to recommend the same winery for both pairings. And it is by pure coincidence that we’re recommending a winery that has ties to Randall Graham, winemaker of Bonny Doon Vineyards — the winery we recommended for last week’s watermelon and Rose pairing.

Part of the Bonny Doon crowd headed north from California to Washington five years ago with the intent to create the best Riesling in America. The result of those efforts was the establishment of Pacific Rim.

It’s because of the winery’s dedication to Washington Riesling that we recommend its dry Riesling.

We also recommend the winery’s Columbia Valley Gewürz because of its balance of acidity and 2.2 percent residual sugar.

On the next sunny weekend, we suggest holding a summer lunch for friends. Plan to make the wraps and buy a bottle of the Pacific Rim Riesling and Gewürz, then let your guests decide which they like better with the meal.

They’ll have fun choosing, and you’ll look like a coordinated host/hostess with your matching bottles and Asian-themed lunch.

What wine goes with watermelon?

Wine and watermelon? This week’s wine pairing might border on the impossible.

Watermelon lovers enjoy the fruit because of its simplicity, its juice and refreshing quality.

Similarly, wine lovers enjoy wine because of its juice and in the case if white wine, because it’s refreshing. Unlike watermelon, wine is often enjoyed for its complexity.

So, how do you make watermelon and wine perfect companions?

Find a wine that will highlight all the things we love about watermelon, while still offering enough complexity to stand up to Ann Vogel’s Watermelon Salad and Summer Soup recipes.

In keeping with the pink theme, we recommend a Provencal-style Rosé.

We’ve recommended Rosés before, but this is one of the few wines that could go with a watermelon salad or soup. It also is the best wine to enjoy during the summer because it balances the complex character of a red wine, with the crispness of a white.

There are different styles of Rosé, depending on the type of grape used and how the winemaker chooses to make the wine — will it be dry or sweet?

The best match for Vogel’s dishes is a Provencal Rosé. These wines are typically made from Rhone varietals, and offer a dry palate that quenches thirst and leaves you wanting more. They’re also food-friendly wines.

While we’d love to tell you to head to France’s Provence region — especially Brynn’s former temporary home of Aix-en-Provence — to find the best Rosé, airfare and travel expenses sadly prevent most of us from getting to experience Rosé in true Southern France fashion.

But the good news is, you may only have to travel as far as your local wine shop or grocery story to find a good French Rosé. According to the Provence Wine Council, an organization representing more than 600 Provence wine producers and 72 trade companies, the number of Rosés exported from France’s Provence region to America have reached record-setting levels in the last year.

Exports of Rosé and red wines from Provence to America went up 132 percent by value and 85 percent by volume last year over 2009, according to customs data released by the council in June.

“These percentages represent greater increases than ever previously seen, and rank Provence as the fastest-growing French region in wine exportation to the U.S.,” according to the council.

The next time you’re in the store, ask the wine steward to direct you to the French Rosé section so you can peruse what made its way across the Atlantic, and the continent, to reach Washington. If you find a Rosé you love, share it with us.

We recently had the chance to try a Central Coast Rosé by California winery Boony Doon Vineyards. It’s one we loved, so we’re recommending it for Vogel’s watermelon recipes.

Winemaker Randall Graham has styled his wine after France’s traditionally dry, salmon pink colored wine.

We recently tasted Boony Doon’s 2010 Vin Gris de Cigare at the Rhone Rangers trade show in Seattle. Unlike the winemakers of France, Graham adds “a dollop” of white wine — Roussanne and Grenache Blanc — to his red varieties.

In case you forgot, Rosé comes from red grapes that, after pressing, only stay in contact with grape skins for around 24 hours. That’s what gives the wine its pink color.

Boony Doon’s Rosé is reminiscent of a Côtes de Provence Rosé with its hints of strawberry, white cherry and apple blossom. The wine is dry, which makes it a great pair for the watermelon and sweeter red onion notes of Vogel’s salad. It retails for around $15.

If you’re looking to add a little pizazz to the soup or salad, also consider a Rosé Champagne or Sparkling Wine. The bubbles will add yet another refreshing twist to the already light soup or salad. (It’d also make a nice addition to Vogel’s Watermelon Slushies, just make sure you select a dry, or brut, Sparking Wine or Champagne.)