I recently waxed on around here about picnics, so let’s keep enjoying the great outdoors. Besides exceptionally longer days, things are looking sunnier and hotter, so I thought for this post that I’d pick out a few al-fresco-friendly recipes and toddle on over to British Columbia’s Black Widow Winery in Naramata to pour a little something to go with ‘em.
Recipe #1: Tandoori Chicken. Over at Fine Cooking, Leona Dalavai shares her Dad’s recipe for Tandoori Chicken that’s doable on the backyard grill. While the marinade has some pleasant, cooling yogurt and lime components, you still have a good smattering of heat and spice from other elements like onion, garlic, ginger and chili powder.
The Wine: 2015 Schönburger. Let’s add a little exotic, cooling flare with Black Widow’s 2015 Schönburger. The rare variety is a Germanic crossing of Pinot Noir with another crossing of Chasselas and Muscat Hamburg. The result, to me, is a little Gewürztraminer-esque. Some tropical fruit that carries great acidity, with maybe a little lychee and young pineapple, then a little lift of fresh licorice-y herbs like basil and anise. A kiss of honey on the finish will envelop any heat well; drinkable chutney, if you will.
Recipe #2: Charcuterie. Secretly, this one’s no recipe. It’s simply gathering a bunch of charcuterie like chorizo and prosciutto, and then plating it alongside a nice array of cheeses like Stilton, gouda, and a little goat cheese for some tang. Add a few crackers and some sliced baguette, and – ta-da! – lunch is served.
The Wine: 2015 Rosé. No matter what’s on your charcuterie and cheese board, I guarantee you that the easiest (and possible most enjoyable) pairing is rosé. Black Widow’s take on the style is composed of 60 percent Syrah, along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Viognier balancing out the blend. Immediately quaffable with waves of peppery, red berry fruit – the lofty acidity makes it all the more mouth-wateringly delicious.
Recipe #3: Burgers. Jamie Oliver’s Insanity Burger. That’s right. Between the Red Leicester cheese, Tabasco Chipotle sauce and more, you want something big and juicy to lap it all up.
The Wine: 2013 Merlot. Black Widow’s Merlot is just the ticket, chock-full of dark fruit and mocha character – it’ll stand up well to all of that juicy, bold meaty flavour.
ALSO! Now’s a good time to give Black Widow wines a whirl; mix and match six bottles this week, and they’ll ship it to you for free!
Kurtis Kolt is a Vancouver-based wine consultant, writer, competition judge and enthusiast. Track him down at KurtisKolt.com, or on Twitter and Instagram @KurtisKolt.