It's time to grab that few weeks of summer. This time of year I am grilling almost every night! There are lots of ways to grill that are quick, easy and delicious.
Perfect dish for a casual dinner on a warm summer night. Pork chops love the sweet and tangy of the Peaches and Balsamic and the touch basil adds just a bit of herbal freshness. Paired with a chilled bottle of Chardonnay or Rose and you have a quick yet elegant dish for a Tuesday night for two or for company on the weekend. I love this with a full bodied Rose like Seth's Upside Down Nebbiolo Rosé -whole cluster pressed and aged on the lees for 3 months. Picked at 22 brix, this wine is beautifully distinct with bright fruit and a subtle minerality.
"The one thing we might love more than a chilled glass of rose on a hot summer day, would be rescue animals! If you follow us on Instagram then you know we love our rescue pup Turk. The only thing that makes rosé taste better, is knowing you're helping save animals while drinking it! " #AdoptDontShop
20% of the proceeds go to support various rescue organizations. #RESCUErosé
Grilled Pork Chops with Grilled Peaches and Balsamic Vinegar
For the pork chops:
2 (1-inch-thick) bone-in pork rib chops
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
For the Peaches
2 peaches, sliced in half
1 tablespoon Olive oil
2 teaspoons Honey
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1. Season pork chops and let come to room temperature while grill heats up to medium high.
2. In a bowl, combine the peaches, honey and olive oil. Season with pepper and toss to coat evenly.
3. Place chops on the hottest part of grill for 2 – 3 minutes until you have a nice scoring. Turn and move to a cooler part of grill cook for another 3 – 4 minutes depending on thickness of chop, until cooked through but not dry.
4. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill, or preheat a cast-iron grill pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes.
5. Place the peaches over direct heat and sear, until you have a nice color. Chop the peaches into smaller pieces.
6. Transfer the chops to a platter and top with peaches and basil drizzle with balsamic and serve.
When it comes to summer there is nothing like lounging on my deck with a nice glass of Rosé. Refreshing and delicious it is a great porch pounder. But many people don’t realize that Rosé is one of the most food friendly wines out there. Because, there are made with red grapes the wines can be a touch more substantive than a lot of white wines but without the troublesome tannins can make some reds tricky to pair. Everything from vegetables and vegetarian foods, spicier cuisines, herbal and aromatic dishes can be easily swayed by the power of Rosé.
Rosé is made all over the world in virtually every wine growing region from just about every grape it seems. But, Roses true home is in the south of France – Provence to be specific, Bandol to be precise. Here something like 90% of the wine produced is pink! So when it comes to pairing I look to Provence for inspiration - Ratatouille, Salad Niçoise, Bouillabaisse are classics. But a personal favorite is Chicken Provençale- chicken marinated in olive oil, garlic and fresh herbs grilled and served with a sauce of fresh tomatoes, Niçoise olives fennel and a touch of anchovy and capers. Served up with some haricot vert and chilled Rosé et viola!
Bandol is a personal favorite. There are many greats –Tempier, Bastide Blanche, . My personal favorite is Domaine Sorin Bandol Rose 2016 and at $17.99 it is truly a steal for Bandol Rosé. With all the extra richness that comes from a Bandol rose, this is a full wine, rounded with a touch of watermelon as well as generous berry fruits. The blend is 60% Mouvedre, 25% Grenache, 10% Syrah and 5% Carignan. The acidity gives a lift to the concentration of the wine.
3 pounds Chicken Breast - Boneless, skinless and butterflied
¼ cup Olive oil
1 teaspoon each fresh Rosemary, thyme and sage
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon Garlic, chopped
***** Provençale Sauce
¼ cup Olive oil
1 each Onion, Diced
1 each Fennel, diced
2 Cloves Garlic, chopped
½ cup White Wine
1 teaspoon Red pepper flake
2 Tablespoon chopped Parsley
1 Tablespoon Herbs du Provence
1 Tablespoon fresh Thyme
1 cup olives - Nicoise, Picholine, Kalamata, etc.
2 tablespoons capers
2 each anchovy, Minced
1 Pound Fresh Tomato, diced
14 ounces Tomato Puree
1. In large bowl combine ingredients for marinade
2. Butterfly chicken breasts: Put your chicken breast on a chopping board and, with your hand flat on top of it, use a sharp knife to slice into one side of the breast, starting at the thicker end and ending at the thin point. Be careful not to cut all the way through to the other side. Open out the breast so that it resembles a butterfly.
3. Place into marinade and toss to coat. Place in zip lock bag, you can do this a day before.
4. To make sauce: In a large pot heat olive oil and add Onion, Fennel and garlic stir to soften. Add spices and herbs stir to sweat add white wine. Reduce.
5. Add olives, capers, anchovy, tomatoes, and puree.
6. Cook until sauce is thickened, remove from heat.
7. Preheat grill: clean and brush with oil
8. Place breast butterflied side down. Cook 3 minutes turn ¼ turn cook 2 minutes
9. Flip and cook another 2 – 4 minutes remove from grill and let rest a few minutes
10. Serve with Haricot Vert, roasted potatoes, and Provençale sauce.
Many of you have been asking about the La Caja China roaster, stacked with an assortment of Friulian delights, on our entry way carpet. We've brought in a pig roasting box emblazoned with Scarpetta Wines and we can't wait to share the excitement with you!
Scarpetta Wines was started by Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan Patterson. Bobby is a Master Sommelier and James Beard Award Winner. Lachlan is an award winning chef. Together, they own Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, Co. which was nominated this year for Outstanding Restaurant in America. Accolades aside, these guys know what they are doing and they're doing it right. They bring the countryside of Friuli to every glass and plate they present.
With an obsession with Friuli, Bobby and Lachlan have been blazing their way through the states. And, we have some of their Scarpetta Wines in our store to celebrate!
Join as we serve Porchetta Panini along with Scarpetta Wines at our Scarpetta Pig Roast event on Saturday, June 3rd, 2-PM. We hope to see you there!
A selection of stunning bubbles excellent for the special Moms in your life this Mother's Day 🌸🌺Bisol Desiderio Jeio Prosecco Brut (Italy) $12.99 btl / save $7
A rich, complex Prosecco that is amazing for the price! Brilliant straw yellow color with extremely fine and lively perlage. Intense and fresh nose of citrus fruits and saline sensations. Perfect for Bellini’s in the Spring, or on its own!
It is definitely beginning to look more like spring; in the wine business that means the arrival of the Rosé! I can think of no better foil for the winter doldrums than to tease one of the scarce sunny days on the deck with brunch or late lunch. Whether Easter, or any Sunday, there are fewer things as civilized as taking a meal al fresco with a nice bottle of Rose!
The Rosé Revolution is now hegemony! Never in my life have I tasted and seen so many Rosé. Beyond the great Bandol and Tavel, we see Rosé coming from every great wine region in the world. Not only is it just about the best thing for an afternoon quaff, Rosé also lends itself to a wide variety of foods. The touch of anthocyanin, that gives Rosé its color, also gives the wine more body which allows it to pair with heartier fare!
Looking for something to pair with your Easter Ham? Look no further. Roast Turkey, Standing Pork Crown Roast, Cedar Plank Salmon, Tuna Salad – you name it, Rose will fit the bill. Almost just to prove my point, I would like to present a perfect party dish that is made for Rosé - Oven Roasted Lamb Rack Salad with Couscous, Fennel, Mint, and Tomatoes.
Oven Roasted Lamb Rack Salad with Couscous Fennel Mint and Tomatoes recipe + ingredient list
The other thing I love about Rosé? Even the priciest Rosés are still relatively affordable in the vast scheme of things. One of my favorite things to do, for a party, is fill a galvanized tub with a bunch of Rosé + ice and let people have at it! Rest assured there are great inexpensive Rosé, and you can find a lot of them here at Esquin Wine & Spirits.
Here are a couple favorites:
OLIVARES JUMILLA ROSADO 2016 $6.99
Floral and red fruit aromas mingle on the nose, with a refreshing and balanced palate. This Spanish Rosé pairs beautifully with grilled vegetables, fish, pasta, or on its own. 70% Garnacha 30% Monastrell
LAURIBERT 'LA CUVEE DE LISA' ROSE 2016 $8.99
We are pleased to welcome the new 2016 Les Lauribert La Cuvee de Lisa! A gorgeous Rosé with tart, refreshing acidity that is balanced with notes of barely ripe strawberries. It's springtime in a bottle!
MILBRANDT ROSE 2016 $11.99
Intense nose of mineral, strawberry, melon, and herbs. The palate is lean and fresh with plenty more red berries, and a saline finish.
Join us Saturday, April 15th, from 2-5PM at our tasting barrel to try the 8th World of the World - Rosé!
Normally, we would feel like we were just settling in to summer... but it seems like every year, our summer starts a little earlier. Whether its the anticipation of fresh rosé arriving, or the weather changing sooner (like a June summer! What?) or the anticipation of vacations! Either way, we are seeing an increase in people that drink pink every year and we are thrilled. Rosé isn't what it used to be. It's not your grandma's jug in the fridge (not that there's anything wrong with that Grandma! ). We see rosé coming from all over the world now and at many different price levels. So the two questions we hear all the time are...does price matter and is darker really sweeter?
Here's the thing. Don't be afraid of affordable wine! Sure. Price CAN matter. But as with anything, you can find a great wine to fit your budget. And when the occasion allows itself, you can surely find one to spoil your palate. We are firm believers in quality to price ratio. And we truly believe you can find an affordable every day Rosé and you can find that incredible pale Tavel you keep hearing about, and splurging on it...is ok!
'Its dark! It must be sweet!". We've heard this countless times and sure. Some of the dark rosé's are sweeter. But its not always the rule. If you aren't sure, check the alcohol level...the color comes from skin contact, so its not always a sure fire way to know. Look for a rosé over 12%...
But. When in doubt...ask us! That's what we are here for! And we love talking about wine!
Here are a few favorite's this season:
Esquin Exclsive: 2014 Clos Alivu Rosé, Corsica ~ $18.99/bottleHot Seller: 2014 La Spinetta Rosato, Italy ~ $19.99/bottleFresh off the boat!: 2014 Serpolet Rosé, France ~ $12.99/bottle (this sexy little bottle come in...well, just that! a little bottle! 375ml available for only $9.99! Esquin's Rhapsody of Rosé Sampler: 6 bottles to try! only $59.99
I'm not above admitting that a flashy wine label gets my attention; I appreciate some thought, graphic design, and artistry wrapped around a bottle. It's nice to have a little sizzle on the outside and deliciousness on the inside, no?
The Weingut Markus Huber "Hugo" Rosé Sparkling (or Sparkling Rosé?) is a true delight. These pink bubbles from Austria are a blend of Zweigelt (a traditional Austrian red grape that I have previously noted a fondness for) and Pinot Noir. I first had a glass of the Hugo at my new favorite restaurant, La Bête, and was charmed by its freshness, elegance, and style. With two of my wine industry brethren in tow, we naturally had to order a bottle. The only thing more clever, playful, and fun than the label of this great bottle of pink bubbles was this trio of dudes at La Bête. We held court at the bar, ate delicious food, gabbed with fellow patrons, and create more than one inside joke. Drinking bubbles just makes everything that much better.