Grilled Pork Chops with Grilled Peaches and Balsamic

Mad Wine
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 Fresh basil 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.

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Grilled Chicken Provençale and Bandol Rose

Mad Wine
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!
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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. Chicken Provençale Serves 8 Ingredients: 3 pounds Chicken Breast - Boneless, skinless and butterflied *****Marinade 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 Salt 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.

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Still Life With Rosé

Mad Wine

Seattle Restaurant Sitka & Spruce in Capitol Hill

Ah Seattle, such a bizarre day from you Wednesday. A sunny afternoon, bright light streaming through the windows of Sitka & Spruce. Then I return to Esquin and barely escape a torrential downpour. No matter, I'm still glowing from a lovely lunch with fantastic French wines from importer Kermit Lynch. The pictured rosé, the 2010 Domaine Fontsainte Gris de Gris, was actually a tank sample, thus the DIY vintage labeling. If I didn't know any better, I'd say it's ready to go. Looking forward to the arrival of this rosé in about a month or so. I also really enjoyed the red wines Fontsainte produces in the Corbieres region of France. What was most interesting about these wines is that they go through a process called carbonic maceration. I know, it sounds a little...unsettling. But without getting bogged down in details, it's a process most widely used in Beaujolais that helps produce very fresh, fruity, and lively reds. Do not fear the carbonic maceration! Speaking of Beaujolais, we also sampled a few offerings from Domaine Dupeuble. Like the Fontsainte rosé, we tasted a few 2010 wines that were samples yet to be officially bottled. I had a similar reaction: "These are tank samples?!?" Could have fooled me. The 2010 Blanc, made of Chardonnay, was lively and bracing like a good Chablis; the Gamay, ready for a slight chill and to be passed around the table. So are you ready for rosé yet? Thank you to Kermit Lynch, Domaine Fontsainte, Domaine Dupeuble, and Cavatappi for providing lunch and the wines.

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Label Lust: Hugo Sparkling Rosé

Mad Wine
The Hugo 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. Follow Esquin on Twitter

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