Tag Archives: rose wine

Bottles’ Classics: Our Go-To Rosés

You know, we’ve been in this business for a long time now and we’ve seen a thing or two. And yet we’re still amazed by the phenomenon that rosé is. And with good reason: there are hundreds of bottles that are finely-crafted, extraordinarily food friendly and absolute true pleasures to drink. Yet there’s also a sea of rosés that miss the mark. We’ve found far too many that just wouldn’t deliver for your hard-earned dollars.

To help guide you to those that are reliably delicious year after year, we’ve selected those that we can confidently say are true classics: they’re well-made, trustworthy bottles (and a can!) that over-deliver superior enjoyment vintage after vintage. And here they are:

vinoCharles Smith “Vino,” Washington State
Deliciously tinged with tangerines and rose petals. “One sip and you can feel the summer sun on your face.” $13.99

 

bridgeBridge Lane, North Fork, New York
Guava, peach blossom, watermelon & strawberry. A North Fork of Long Island stunner.
$15.99

 

montaudChateau Montaud, Provence, France
So very light. So very strawberry. So very awesome. $12.99

 

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Underwood, Oregon
It’s the clown-car of rosés: so much fun in one little vessel. It’s fruity, refreshing and dare we say a touch sweet. $7.99

 

goblesGobelsburg, Austria
Spritzy, pure, delicate and oh-so food friendly. In fact we’re not sure there’s a dish that wouldn’t pair well with this Austrian rosé.  $17.99

 

peyrassolChateau Peyrassol, Provence, France
The king of the classics. Round with flavors of peach and pear skin. It’s pure elegance in a bottle. $29.99

Stay tuned next week for more of our favorites, all new to Bottles this year.

All prices subject to change.

The Top 8 Late-Summer Rosés

Man is it hot.

The dog days are here – there’s no mistaking it.

But rather than bemoan the sweltering heat, let’s embrace it. Why not revel in the sultry steam, particularly when there’s still so much great rosé – the ultimate, refreshing summer sipper – to be had.

Grab a glass (any size or shape will do), an icy cold rosé (we have over 40 chilled), an ice-cube if you’d like (all the cool kids are doing it), and let the waves of heat wash over you. Soon it will be snowy February here in New England, and you’ll wish you did.

Here are the top 8 rosés to get you through the remaining days and nights of  the summer of 2016.

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Chateau La Gordonne, ‘Verite du Terroir’ – Provence, France
This wine has a series of complex aromas, but primarily strawberry and blackcurrant. It’s a classic light Provencal rosé. $19.99

Meinklang, ‘Frizzante’ – Burgenland, Austria  
This is a long lived staff favorite, and for good reason!  It’s bright, refreshing, semi-sparkling, and organic.  Mix up your evenings and dinners by starting with a fun light bit of bubbles in place of prosécco or a cocktail.  $21.99

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Domaine Tempier – Bandol, France
So … sticker-shock aside: this is a world-class, amazing wine… that just happens to be rosé! Bandol is a small fishing village within Provence that has a small but powerful wine region around it. Made from a minimum of 50% mourvedre, these wines are capable of aging for years.  We love Bandol in general, but Domaine Tempier is an archetype. Their wines are made from vines that are more than 20 years old, with lower yields. This rosé has notes of peach and pomegranate, and will not disappoint.  A great use of your Bottles’ Rewards Points! $47.99

Domaine La Fage, ‘Miraflors’ – Languedoc, France
Another super dependable entry from the south of France, the Miraflors is a blend of grenache and mourvedre, and has notes of raspberries and rose petals. $16.99

Calcu Vineyards, ‘Reserva Especial Rosé’ – Colchagua Valley, Chile
This Chilean blend is made up of malbec, syrah, and petite verdot.  It has a nice fresh acidity that is slightly tart and works well with many foods. $13.99

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Chateau de Segries, Tavel – Provence, France
What a great example of a classic Provencal rosé. Tavel is a smaller region within Provence that produces deeply colored, beautiful full wines that are able to age for several years. $20.99

Serafini & Vidotto, “Bollicine” – Veneto, Italy
And now for something completely different. The Serafini rosé is a fully sparkling Italian wine that offers a great prosécco alternative without a massive price jump. It’s made from chardonnay and pinot nero and is incredibly refreshing. $17.99

Chateau Lancyre – Provence, France
This wine is a blend of syrah, grenache, and cinsault that has a wonderful fruity nose followed up by good, strong minerality from its limestone vineyard.  $19.99

Remember, rosés are finite. Once they’re gone for the season, they’re gone. Shop early and shop often!

Keep cool, Rhode Island.

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Summer Pairings: A Cool Dish for a Hot Week

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It’s hot.

The air is hot. Our political climate is hot. Our society is hot. And we’re not even halfway through the Summer of 2016.

Things could change if we all cool down our own little corners of the world, one step at a time. And a good place to start is at the table, with family and friends.

Begin with a delicious, refreshing and easy to prepare chilled dish from Jason Timothy, chef/owner of Providence’s Laughing Gorilla Catering, that’s sure to please the crowd of 2 or 10 gathered at your table. Add open bottles of icy beer and wine (our picks below), good conversation, laughter and love, and watch the mercury drop.

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We can’t get enough of the Gobelsburg Cistercien Rosé from Austria. Its bright balance of fresh acidity and excellent, round strawberry and peach fruit flavors make this a great match. The sauce’s citrus and jalapeno tang will be cooled by the fruit, while the minerality and acid provide enough structure to round out the whole dish.

We chose Revival Brewing Co.’s Fanny IPA as this noodle dish’s ideal beer partner. Its fruity hops from the Southern Hemisphere will highlight the melon’s cool notes, which piney North American hops accentuate the dish’s spicy flavors. And what’s even better, Fanny is low in alcohol, so it says as light in your  as does the salad, keeping everything in harmony.

And for the recipe, published in the beautiful Summer 2016 issue of Edible Rhody:

CHILLED VIETNAMESE RICE NOODLE SALAD
A note from chef Jason Timothy:  This is an easy, flavorful salad that is incredibly versatile. It’s been a favorite among my friends at summer cookouts when the weather is hot, the grill is going and the produce is abundant. I love to grab herbs and vegetables from the Armory Farmers’ Market that’s almost outside my door.

INGREDIENTS
1 package rice noodles (size noodle to your liking)
2 tablespoons neutral oil (such as grapeseed or canola)
¼ cup fish sauce
¼ cup water
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup fresh-squeezed lime juice, plus extra wedges for garnish
1 cucumber, seeded and sliced
2 cups sliced melon (watermelon or cantaloupe), rind removed
1 pound (3–4 cups) fresh bean sprouts
½ cup fresh Thai basil leaves, torn
½ cup fresh mint leaves, torn
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
3 jalapeños, sliced (optional)
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground pepper

In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook for 4–5 minutes. Strain noodles. Give them a quick rinse with cold water just to get the cooling started and, once well drained, toss lightly with oil. Let rest in the refrigerator, covered.

Meanwhile, combine fish sauce, water and sugar in a 1-quart saucepan. Cook until sugar is completely dissolved, 3–4 minutes. Add lime juice and set aside to cool.

When ready, add noodles to a large mixing (or serving) bowl. Add sliced cucumber and melon slices, bean sprouts, basil, mint, cilantro and sliced jalapeños. Toss with sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with lime wedges. Serve immediately or cover and chill until serving.

Serves 4–6.

Stay cool, eat well, and carry on.

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Vintage 2015 Rosé, Part One

It’s official: rosé is the “it” wine of the year.

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Everyone’s drinking it, from big burly men whose usual go-tos are big tannic reds, to ladies who like a light white with their luncheon salads.

That’s because rosés, with their wide spectrum of aromas and flavors, have something for all.

This week, we explore the lightest end of the spectrum. This style is for you if:

-your go-to morning fruit is grapefruit, you like lemonade on a blazing hot day, and you eat oysters by the bushel.

-your fridge is usually stocked with pinot grigio, vinho verde and sancerre, or you always reach for barbera or pinot noir.

These wines are terrific when paired with goat cheese, salads, shellfish, or best of all, just a beach chair on a hot summer day.

Buyer Beware! Due to the significant supply and demand issues, availability of each bottle changes daily. If you find one you like, buy multiple bottles because it may not be in store on your next visit. And if it isn’t, don’t fret! Bottles will be your rosé HQ this summer so visit often for a rotating selection of delicious fine rosé wines.

Here are our favorite light & mineral-y rosés style from the 2015 vintage:

perassolChateau Peyrassol, Cotes de Provence
It’s fresh & crisp with notes of fruit blossoms, citrus and apricots, and finishes with a stoney minerality.

cassanovaLa Spinetta Il Rosé Di Casanova, Tuscany
This wine is super light, with flavors of early season raspberry & cranberry.

montaugChateau Montaud, Cotes de Provence
It’s bright & lean, with notes of dried berries, cherries and red currants.

sansecrreLucien Crochet Sancerre, Pinot Rosé
This wine is all early-season strawberry and cherry with light herbal undertones.

Tune in next week when we explore rosés with a touch more body and and delightful floral flavors.

Drink Pink!

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Wines for Winter Holidays

It’s official: Home entertaining season has reached its fever pitch. And because wine plays a key part in most winter occasions – from a romantic fireside dinner for two to a holiday open house for 100 – we selected 9 1/2  wines that are ideal for your table, under the tree, or for your host.

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NV Serafini & Vidotto “Bollicine” Sparkling Rose
Veneto, Italy
A medium weight sparkling rose tailor made for winter celebrations.The bollicine (Italian for bubbles) are crisp yet creamy and lead to brambly strawberry and toasty flavors. It’s a great bottle to pop open with hors d’oeuvres and makes a great gift, too.

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2014 Domaine Salvard Cheverny Blanc (Sauvignon Blanc)
Loire Valley, France
Crisp and lively, this sprightly wine is an ideal aperitif and pairs exceptionally well with shellfish (we’re partial to oysters). Open a bottle and start shucking! A super gift, it’s classic French label belies its gentle pricing.

DSC_0005 copy 2013 Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay
Sonoma Coast, CA
A statement wine for your table or as a gift: Classic California chardonnay at its richest: creamy pear flavors accented with oak spice. It’s a dream of a wine, and pairs best with rich seafood: think butter-basted salmon or lobster ravioli.

DSC_9984 2013 Montinore Estate Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, OR
Pinot Noir’s savory, herbal and tart berry flavors, coupled with its light body style, were made for roast chicken, baked fish, braises, and other less demanding winter fare. It’s organic and biodynamic, too.

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2007 Aljibes Red Blend (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc)
Tierra de Castilla, Spain
Herb-crusted roasts and the like will love the dark berry, spice and raisin flavors that flow from this Spanish beauty. And its high scores make it a great gift for your wine-loving pal who’s into that type of thing.

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2009 Haut-Corneau Graves
Bordeaux, France
This isn’t good bordeaux for under $20. It’s great Bordeaux and its coffee, chocolate and pepper notes will play nicely with duck and beef dishes. It’s our house-wine for the holidays – and at this price – can be served at an open-house for 50+ without breaking the bank.

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2012 Antigal Uno Malbec
Mendoza, Argentina
Smooth vanilla spice notes and luscious black & red berry fruit mean this bottle will be superb with rich roasts and aged cheese. Its bold packaging makes it an impressive gift, too.

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2011 Domaine Eden Cabernet Sauvignon
Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
A Bordeaux blend, forward with blackberry, sage, and forest floor aromas. Its suppleness and medium-body style lend it to lots of winter foods — and it’s this versatility, coupled with its elegant packaging, that makes it an impressive gift for the host/hostess.

DSC_9993 copy2012 Fattoria di Lucignano Chianti
Tuscany, Italy
Serving lasagna, are you? The balanced tannins and acidity found in this Chianti will be molto perfecto. It’s great with other creamy casserole dishes, too, as well as with antipasti of all types.

&

…for our “1/2”: 2005 Fattoria di Lucignano
Vin Santo (375ml – half bottle)
If not now, when? Sweet dessert wines are ideal after big winter holiday meals, when the thought of another bite is too much to bear. A classic style, Vin Santo is thick with sweet dried apricot, honey and toffee notes and is lovely with blue cheese or biscotti.

Cheers & Happy Holidays!

Wine Pairing: Grilled Swordfish Pairs with Rosé!

Grilled Swordfish and Rosé Wine Pairing

Looking for a wine and grilled swordfish pairing? Try Les Dauphines Rosé and Edible Rhody’s Grilled Swordfish recipe.

Les Dauphines Rosé is one of our favorites this summer!  It boasts a beautiful pink color and has elegant flavors of red fruits like ripe strawberries and raspberries with hints of honeysuckle and tangerine.

This rosé is perfect with the swordfish recipe because the flavors of the wine complement the flavors in this dish. Additionally, the wine has a bright acidity that rips right through the full-flavored Arrabbiata Sauce. Deliciously zippy!

These two together = Livin’.

Les Dauphins Rosé Wine - Pairing Ideas for Summer

GRILLED SWORDFISH WITH HARICOTS VERTS, FINGERLING POTATOES, HEIRLOOM CHERRY TOMATOES AND ARRABBIATA SAUCE

Executive Chef Brian Ruffner, Trio, Narragansett

Nothing says summer like fresh swordfish with an array of warm vegetables and a drizzle of dressing. Let this fish dish transport you to the seaside, where the scent of garlicky Arrabbiata sauce will mingle with the salty sea air.

INGREDIENTS

Arrabbiata sauce:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil½ medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (14½ -ounce) can organic plum tomatoes
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Swordfish:
2 pounds fingerling potatoes, washed and halved
¼ pound (about 1 cup) haricots verts cut in 2-inch lengths
6 (8-ounce) swordfish steaks Extra-virgin olive oil
1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes
Microgreens for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS
Heat oil in a saucepot over medium heat and sauté onion and garlic until softened. Season with salt and pepper. Add plum tomatoes and red pepper flakes. Cook until sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Purée in a blender until desired texture is reached (smooth or chunky). Add more salt and pepper to taste, and add lemon juice. Keep warm.

Meanwhile, parboil potatoes in salted boiling water for 8 minutes. Parboil green beans for 3 minutes, drain and place in cold water bath to stop cooking. Set aside.

Preheat grill or prepare coals. Coat swordfish with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. (Let sit at room temperature 15 minutes before grilling.) Place on hot grill and cook to medium-well, approximately 4 minutes per side. Set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a hot sauté pan and cook fingerling potatoes until golden. Add the haricots verts and heirloom cherry tomatoes and cook an additional 3 minutes.

To serve, spoon several tablespoons arrabbiata sauce onto each warm dinner plate, place swordfish steaks on top, place veggies on side and top steaks with garnish.

Visit EdibleRhody.com for more recipes.

Rosé Wine: Color Chart with Flavors & Pairings

Rosé Wine Guide - Styles, Colors, Flavors

Have you ever had trouble deciding which rosé wine to get when shopping at a wine store?

Well, to help you out, we’ve created this handy infographic on rosé wine colors, pairings, and flavors. Looking at the color of a rosé tells you a lot about its general flavors and potential food pairings.

Most of the rosés we have on our shelves are dry, and they’re definitely not the sweet blush or white zinfandel wines you might be thinking of. Learn more about the particulars on rosé wine in our video.

The color of rosé wine ranges from a light salmon pink, all the way to a deeper ruby-pink tone. Actually made of the same grapes used in red wines, the longer a wine sits on its skins, the darker it is, and the richer and fuller it tastes.

Stop by Bottles for the best selection of rosé wines in town!

Cheers!

 

Our Top Rosé Wines

Rosé is here to stay! No longer an afterthought for winemakers and wine drinkers alike, rosé is now recognized as a serious style of wine to be enjoyed in the most casual of settings. Dry, light and refreshing for warm summer days, a glass of rosé evokes picnics on the beach, polo tailgates and leisurely dinners in the backyard.

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The crisp and lean style of rosé allows lighter dishes, such as grilled fish served with fresh garden salads topped with goat cheese, to shine without fear of being overpowered by the wine’s weight.

On the flip side, the light nature of rosé is a lovely counterpart to richer dishes. It’s a thirst quenching wine to serve with a spicy rack of barbecue ribs, carne asada tacos or spicy Pad Thai.

Think pink, drink pink, and enjoy this slice of sunshine in a glass!

– Joanna

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2014 Matthiasson Rosé
Napa Valley, California

Ethereal, delicate notes of peach and rhubarb are present in this austere rosé, best enjoyed with grilled salmon.

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2014 Alexander Valley Vineyards ‘Dry Rosé of Sangiovese’
Alexander Valley, California

An Italian grape grown in California! Bright strawberry notes are met with super refreshing acidity. Serve with roasted pepper hummus and chips.

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2014 Calcu Rosé
Colchagua Valley, Chile

A French style of rosé made in Chile, the Calcu features 50% Malbec, 40% Syrah, 10% Petit Verdot grapes and pairs best with barbecue ribs.

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2014 Commanderie de La Peyrassol Rosé
Provence, France

A classic! Light watermelon notes and mineral tones from the region that made rosé a household name, enjoy with grilled shrimp.

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2014 Château Valcombe Rosé
Ventoux, France

A wonderful Grenache based rosé from the Rhône, dry with a hint of strawberry, serve with grilled artichokes with a pepper aioli.

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2014 Auguste Bonhomme ‘Rosé de Loire’
Loire Valley, France

Another great find from the Loire Valley, featuring Gamay and Grolleau grapes with notes of red currant, enjoy with your favorite cheeses.

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2014 Mastroberardino ‘Lacrimosa’
Campania, Italy

Raspberry, pepper and rhubarb notes are plentiful in this hearty rosé, serve with grilled zucchini and artichokes.

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2014 Schloss Gobelsburg ‘Cistercien’ Rosé
Kamptal, Austria

A blend of Zweigelt and St. Laurent, this rosé teems with minerals, the slightest hint of watermelon and has a wonderfully refreshing finish, serve with a raw beet salad.

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Château Montaud Rosé
Côtes de Provence, France

A classic Provence rosé, refreshing acidity meets bright strawberry notes, serve with chicken salad.

 

 

Endless Summer Rosés

In this twilight of summer it is important to make the most of sunny days and cool evenings. One should enjoy the harvest from local farms and relish in simple meals with grilled corn, overflowing salads and many, many tomatoes. While the living is still easy, let’s not forget our pink friend – rosé . Here are four rosés that are keeping my dream of an endless summer alive. Enjoy!

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-Domaines Ott ‘Les Domaniers’

Domaines Ott is a wonderful Provence estate that produces some of the most austere and heavenly rosés. Its trademark, Chateau de Selle rosé, has an unusual bottle shape, identifiable with a slight flair out at the base. This is one of the most delicate, nuanced bottles of rosé I have enjoyed in a long time. Traditionally a special occasion bottle, perfect for anniversaries and birthdays, I look to ‘Les Domaniers’ from the same winery for leisurely dinners and unbirthday lunches. Dry, hints of tangy strawberries and a refreshing acidity, a perfect treat for a picnic or dinner on the deck.

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-Le Caprice Clementine

A classic Côtes de Provence rosé – a fifty/fifty blend of Grenache and Cinsault grapes create a perfect pale hue of pink. The Clementine rosé’s flavor profile is reminiscent of a pick-your-own fruit stand with delicate flavors of strawberry, raspberry, and watermelon. Dry and light, perfect for light sandwiches and grilled seafood, the Clementine is long time Bottles staff favorite.

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-Costaripa Rosamara

Let us not forget the Italian side to rosé — the Rosamara from Costaripa. This wine is a great addition to a picnic of charcuterie and antipasto from your favorite deli. A blend of Groppello (a grape known for soft, lighter wines, with a strawberry note), Marzemino (has a distinct cherry flavor), and to round things out, winemaker Mattia Vezzola adds a little Sangiovese and Barbera for some bright acidity to create a dry, refreshing rosé.

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-Mastroberardino Lacrimosa

Another fantastic addition to the from southern Italy, the Lacrimosa rosé is a wonderful blend of depth and acidity. Featuring 100% Aglianico, a grape with deep raspberry, pepper and smoke flavors, this rosé is hearty enough to stand up to a beautiful smoked pork shoulder. If you’re a fan of the Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon rosé , you’ll enjoy the Lacrimosa immensely.

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-Bedrock ‘Ode to Lulu’

Morgan Twain-Peterson is a second generation vintner, growing up at the Ravenswood winery, his father’s estate in Sonoma, California known for bold, luscious Zinfandels. Twain-Peterson’s first attempt at winemaking at the age of five resulted in “Vino Bambino Pinot Noir” featured on some of New York’s top restaurant wine lists until 2001, when Twain-Peterson was legally able to drink the wine he created! Bedrock’s ‘Ode to Lulu’ pays tribute to Domaine Tempier’s famous rosé and Alice Waters mentor, Lulu Peyraud in Bandol, France. Lulu is a master chef and championed “eat local” long before it was hip. Wonderfully complex and full-bodied, a subtle spiced fruit note lingers after the last sip.

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So live up the rest of your summer, and enjoy a glass (or 3) of delicious rosé!

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Cheers!
– Joanna

Summer: Fruits, Vegetables and Chilled Soup

Let’s talk about chilled soup! You read that right, cold soup. Stay with me! Once we are done, you’ll want to try this dish that has been around for centuries.

We haven’t forsaken our rosé wine pairing, and so suggest you try this Chilled Fresh Green Soup from Edible Rhody with a tall (and equally as chilled) glass of Gobelsberger Rosé.

Chilled Fresh Green Soup

Chilled Soup

Sounds questionable, right? But, it’s actually quite refreshing and a great way to get your soup kick during hot weather.

Soup has been around for centuries and is one of those dishes that you can just throw together, although be careful because it is also very easy to mess up.

At some point, in some village, way back in history, someone began to serve soup cold and it has continued going strong in the food industry ever since. However, one can not serve just any soup chilled. There are particular types that have been tested and proven over the years. Below is a brief breakdown that will help you in understand these various soups.

– Gazpacho: Originating in Spain, it is made with raw vegetables and usually has a tomato base.

– Vichyssoise: Pureed leeks, potatoes, onions, cream and chicken stock that originated in France.

– Cucumber: Fresh cucumbers blended with spices, vegetables or fruits. Other variations are sometimes cooked in some sort of broth and served hot or cold.

– Fruit: Berry and stone fruit soups are traditional to Scandinavia or Eastern Europe and are served with crème fraîche or sour cream. They sometimes include dumplings, milk, spices, or alcoholic beverages.

Gobelsburger Rose Wine Pairing

Gobelsburger Rosé

Founded in 1074, the monks of the Zwettl Monastery were granted their first vineyards in 1171, which are the oldest documented sites in the Kamptal region.

Taken over by Michael & Eva Moosbrugger two hundred years later, they have brought back the prestige the winery once had and are considered to be leaders in quality and innovation. Awarded ‘Winemaker of the Year‘ in 2006, the highest award given to an Austrian winemaker, and ‘One of the Top 100 Wineries of the Year‘ in 2009 and 2010, Moosbrugger continues to produce wines with individuality and character. Maintaining their organic practices since 1958, Schloss Gobelsburg is known mostly for their Gruner Veltliner and Riesling, however, they also produce a delightful rosé that is our all time favorite every year.

Refreshing and elegant with a light spritz, take one sip of this rosé and you’ll understand why we can never wait for it to arrive. Aromas and flavors of bright citrus, wild cherry, and fresh berries with a hint of salinity on the lively finish, makes this wine a universal food pairing. Pair it with this cool, earthy and slightly spicy soup for a a nice balance of “sweet” and savory. I know, a cold soup with a cold beverage but trust us, you won’t be sorry.

Chilled Fresh Green Soup

Executive Chef Matthew MacCartney, Jamestown Fish, Jamestown RI

In 1993, at 20 years old, while still in culinary school, I was fortunate enough to get a position at Restaurant Daniel in their garde manger. One of the signature appetizers was a chilled spring pea soup with rosemary cream and bacon “dust.” I’ve used it as an inspiration for my own green soup, sans dust. This recipe can change with the seasons using asparagus or green beans as they’re available. The cool, green, silky, soup will sneak up on you with a pleasant touch of spice. Enjoy!

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
¼ cup heavy cream
4 slices bacon (optional)
2 cups shelled English peas
1 cup sugar snap peas
1 tightly packed cup fresh spinach
3 cups chopped fresh green beans
½–1 cups cooking liquid
1 teaspoon Ras al Hanout (Moroccan spice blend)
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Kosher or sea salt
¼ cup crème fraîche for garnish (optional)
Pea tendrils or chives for garnish (optional)

Heat olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Cook onion 2 minutes, then add the cream. Cook 2 more minutes and remove from heat. Cook bacon until crispy. Let cool and process in a food processor until finely chopped. Set aside.

Bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil and blanch each of the green vegetables separately until tender but still bright green. Immediately shock them in ice water to retain the color and stop the cooking.

In a blender, combine all the vegetables with the cream (in 2 batches) adding a little cooking liquid to each batch to get the blender going. Pass the purée through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the fibrous remains. Add the spices and salt. Season to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve, divide soup among 6 shallow bowls. Drizzle each with approximately 1 tablespoon crème fraîche. (Note: You may want to add a touch of milk to the crème fraîche so it coats the back of a spoon before drizzling.) Sprinkle with bacon and pea shoots or chives and serve. Serves 6 as an appetizer.