Lars Kronmark, professor at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone and leader of the student teams that will be providing the food pairings for our Country Garden Party this June, agrees. But how best to pair the two? While a plate full of salty meats, rich cheeses, and briny olives will suffice, Lars has a few more tricks up his (seasoned professional) sleeve: “Because it has that ability to reach into all the wines, rosé has such an incredible range of pairings…you have that broadness of reaching into red and to white at the same time, it still has that ability to have really high acid because it’s still pretty young, and acid is a driver in good wine pairing.”
The logic behind wine pairing in general, Lars believes, should be fun, but should also inspire thought in the diner. He often pairs wines with foods at events, but very rarely is rosé on the menu. However, he has noticed an uptick in pairing rosé with food: “I like to pick it because it’s usually a little bit of a discussion point, an eye opener, you often have to explain why you’re serving rosé…it’s not just a summer wine, it’s certainly drunk all year round. Why wouldn’t you be able to serve that at brunch, early lunch, the holidays? That would be a great place to do it – that’s where I want to serve it because it’s easy to drink.”
The intersection of easy to drink and easy to pair makes rosé the ideal party wine, it seems. But what to serve? Lars describes his thought process in pairing rosé with food: “A rosé, for me, is a wine that really has to go with food that has many levels of flavors…white wine goes with a certain type of food; you have a big monster red that goes with a certain kind of food. For rosé I love to have something like a vegetable tart, or tapenade on top of puff pastry, something with the different levels of flavors that you cannot have with white wine or a red wine pairing.” With that in mind, Lars shares his top tips and one of his favorite recipes for pairing food with rosé:
- Anything from the Mediterranean coast. Since Provence is the heartbeat of the rosé world, the food there is naturally suited to pair well…think ratatouille, anything with herbes de Provence or charcuterie.
- Anything with ground lamb. The fat in ground lamb pairs perfectly with a high acid rosé, as do many recipes involving lamb…anything from African food with Harissa to Indian food with curry.
- Anything with a red concentrated item. For instance: a tomato sauce or sweet peppers. Petits Farcis is a classic rosé pairing because it has a little bit of fat with vegetables on the outside.
BRUSCHETTA BROCCOLI DE RAPE WITH PANCETTA, RED PEPPER, AND ANCHOVIES
- 2 bunches broccoli di rape
- 5oz olive oil
- 6-8 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/8 tsp crushed hot red pepper
- 36 salted, rinsed anchovies
- 4oz crumbled/chopped/raw pancetta
- pinch of freshly ground pepper
- pinch of salt
- 6 slices Italian Country Bread 1/3″ thick
- 2oz extra virgin olive oil
- Clean, wash and cut in small pieces the Broccoli Di Rape. Blanch for 2 minutes, chill in ice, dry and chop them up to the size of fine diced onions.
- In a large skillet, cook the pancetta in olive oil. Add the 5 garlic and anchovies, let the garlic become light golden and then add the Broccoli Di Rape, salt, pepper, and hot pepper.
- Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until tender.
- Toast the bread on the grill or in the oven and rub with one garlic clove. Cover each slice of bread with the broccoli mixture.
- Eat hot or room temp.
- NOTE: To reduce bitterness, soak Broccoli Di Rape for 2-3 hours first in ice water and blanch them for 3 min. Best olive oil should be used to drizzle on top.