Finally the clouds seem to have parted for a few days and the local flooding has moved downstream and the flowers are drying out and blooming. That makes it officially outdoor cooking season.
We started with a free range chicken on the grill. We brined it for a couple of hours, tucked some fresh sage leaves between the skin and the meat and threw it on the grill over indirect heat. We added a few oak chips for a smoky taste and let it cook for an hour. The photo below was taken just prior to removing it from the grill.
There was steamed rice with fresh herbs and a small salad to help the bird along.
We popped open another bottle of the M Chapoutier Cotes du Rhone Rouge and it married perfectly with the smokiness of the chicken. The most interesting thing about the wine was that I purchased four bottles assuming they were all from the 2008 vintage. As it turned out there were two from 2008 and two from 2009. By luck of the draw the 2008's are now consumed and I will move on to the 2009 vintage.