Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Viognier - Roussanne

Beautiful evening yesterday and that meant the grill was fired and ready to go by late afternoon. Dinner was a chicken done on the grill and another round of very local asparagus, this time purple asparagus from a farm about six miles from here. The wine for the night was the Kinkead Ridge 2010 Viognier - Roussanne.

Several days ago the New York Times featured an article on methods for quick roasting chickens, and even though I didn't use the method they were promoting in that article I did learn something about the way I prefer to grill chicken.  I learned the technical name for what I like to do is "spatchcocked chicken." 

In short - the backbone of the chicken is removed, as are all the other bones save the legs and the double boned section of the wings.  The rest is flattened and cooked.  It greatly speeds up the grilling time from an hour or more for a whole bird to half an hour for the spatchcocked version.  The chicken got minimal seasoning, just salt pepper, chervil and onion powder.  It went over the coals with the skin side up for five minutes, was turned for five minutes to skin side down.  Finally it was flipped once more and moved just off the coals and the cover went on the grill. 

When the bird was done it got some Malden salt and some lemon juice and was allowed to rest for seven minutes, just long enough for the purple asparagus to finish cooking on the grill.  The quite tasty results are pictured below just before carving.

The wine?  Very light golden color in the glass.   The aromas were rich with orange peel, a touch of honeysuckle, white blossoms, and a tiny bit of lavender.  The lavender was not something I was used to with this wine so I went back to sniffing four or five times with a few minutes interval between, and the nose was consistent.  Very full bodied for a white wine, almost viscous in the glass.  Wonderful tastes of peach and apricot and perhaps a little bit of lychee.  There was a bit of fully ripe apple tastes in the wine as well.  Long, dry finish that had some mineral qualities on the very end.

This is a wine that is a little bit serious and not at all shy.  It more than stood up to the smoky flavors of the chicken.  I really think the wine might overpower a delicate fish or bland chicken, but it certainly had a great partner with the spatchcocked chicken from the grill.

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