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Welcoming Summer with L'Ecole's 2020 Grenache Rosé with Butter Chicken + Homemade Naan with Egyptian Onions #Sponsored

    This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of L'Ecole
Complimentary wine was provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links. 
However, all opinions expressed here are my own. 


If you're been following my blog, you'll know that I'm doing a series of monthly posts in collaboration with L'Ecole Winery.* A group of us participate in a virtual tasting with their marketing manager, the winemaker, and the general manager and discuss timely topics. This month, we celebrating the arrival of summer. And there's nothing better to pour during summer than a refreshing glass of Rosé.

Welcoming Summer

Living on the temperate central coast of California, we don't really have four seasons. We barely have two seasons. Our temperatures range from about 50 to 70 degrees...that's 50 in the winter and 70 in the summer. October is the hottest month and maybe some rain spits on us in March. That's about it. But summertime does mean a little bit more relaxed feel as our schedules are less hectic. So, I embrace the Summer season to be able to catch my breath before school and all that comes with it ramps up again.

L'Ecole's 2020 Grenache Rosé
Alder Ridge Vineyard, Columbia Valley


This month, the L'Ecole ambassadors are tasting and sharing the 2020 Grenache Rosé. I'll start with some sad news: this wine is already sold out. There may be some bottles out in the wild in the Seattle area, Constance mentioned. But for the rest of us, make a note to get in early for the next vintage release in the Spring of 2022. It is always available to members first! So, start looking for it in March next year. 

Still, I have to tell you about this wine...and my pairing. Because while you might not be able to taste this particular Rosé - from L'Ecole - pick up a well-made bottle of wine, embrace the French concept of savoir vivre ('to know how to live'), pour a Rosé with a summer meal, and embrace the season.

Alder Ridge Vineyard + Provence-Style Rosé 
Like many Rosés from Provence, this is made with Grenache grapes. The grapes for this wine come from the southern edge of the Horse Heaven Hills AVA. The vines are terraced into a south-facing bluff that overlooks the Columbia River. Marcus noted, "Grenache is a light-ripening varietal and takes a lot of heat units to ripen. With this variety and this site, we can get a little bit more ripening before we pick it. It's a site-specific Rosé."

Then he talked about the three main methods for making Rosés: maceration method, saignée (in French means 'to bleed') method, and the "blend red wine with white wine" method. L'Ecole uses the first method. He said, "We treat it like a white wine from start to finish." The grapes macerate with the skins for 3 to 4 hours...just the length of time to get it from harvest to the winery.


Tasting Notes
This wine poured a pale coppery salmon color with some golden flecks on the rim. The nose was deceptively fruity with aromas of red summer fruits. Think strawberries, raspberries, and watermelon. I write 'deceptively fruity' because the wine, on the palate was so much more nuanced and vibrant. I noted citrus tones of rinds and blossoms. The finish is deliciously minerally with a playful tension between bright acid and heady summer florals. 

An Indian Feast

This wine has so many pairing possibilities. The other writers suggested so many foods that were making my mouth water. Marcus noted that it was so food-friendly and would really complement anything that wasn't too overpowering. "Stay away from a blue cheese steak, otherwise, there are so many great matches." I tried one bottle with halibut cheeks ceviche, but the pairing I wanted to share with this wine was an Indian feast: butter chicken and homemade naan. We used to have a local restaurant here called 'Indian Summer' and it got me craving this favorite family meal.

Start the naan first as it needs time to rest and rise. Once the dough is risen and ready, I roll the naan dough into balls and, then, just cook them right before serving. So, the naan is fresh cooked and hot at the same time that the butter chicken is ready.

Ingredients serves 6 to 8

Homemade Naan
  • 2 cups flour plus more for rolling
  • 3 teaspoons organic granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup warm water 
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons Egyptian onions, trimmed and thinly sliced (you can substitute green onions or scallions if you don't have Egyptian onions)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted, for brushing on finished naans

Butter Chicken
  • 2 pounds organic chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 2 Tablespoon chunks
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced (approximately 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 Tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon grated ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3” stick cinnamon
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 Tablespoon chile paste, optional
  • 1 cup organic heavy cream

Procedure

Homemade Naan
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together yogurt, olive oil, and 3/4 cup warm water. Stir the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients with a fork. When a shaggy dough forms, dust your hands with flour and knead gently into a soft, slightly sticky dough. If the dough is too wet, add in a little bit of flour. As soon as all of the dry ingredients are incorporated, stop kneading.

Lightly oil a clean bowl and transfer the dough to the oiled bowl. Cover with a damp kitchen towel. Place in a warm spot for 60 to 90 minutes, or until about doubled in size. This will depend on how warm your kitchen is.


Once the dough has risen, dust a work space with flour and roll the dough into a cylinder. Slice the dough into six equal portions. Add a pinch of sliced Egyptian onions to each and roll the dough into balls.


Warm a large cast iron pan - I used a griddle - over medium-high heat until very hot. Using a rolling pin, or just your hands, press one of the dough balls into an oval shape about 1/8-inch thick. Mine were approximately 4" x 8". Brush the pan with a thin layer of butter.


Gently lay the dough in the pan and cook until the top is bursting with air bubbles and the bottom has darkened in spots, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the naan over and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes more until the the bottom is lightly browned and blistered in spots.

Remove the naan from the skillet and brush with melted butter. Place the naan in a tea towel-lined dish to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining naans, adjusting the heat lower if necessary as you go. Like pancakes, I usually find it necessary to lower the heat after the first naan.


Butter Chicken
In a large mixing bowl, massage the salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon chili powder, and turmeric into the chicken. Let stand for 15 minutes.

In a large, flat-bottom pan, cook the onions, ginger, and garlic in 3 Tablespoons butter until softened and the onions begin to turn translucent. Add in the remaining butter and melt. Stir in the garam masala, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and cinnamon stick. Cook until fragrant.

Add the chicken to the spiced paste and brown until cooked through, approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Pour in the tomato sauce and chicken stock. Add in the chile paste, if using; we like our butter chicken a little bit spicy. Whisk to combine. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes - until the sauce is beginning to thicken. Pour in the cream, whisk to combine, and simmer until that it thickened to your liking.

Serve with cooked rice and your homemade naan. Enjoy!



Find L'Ecole No.41 on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter
*Disclosure: I received compensation in the form of wine samples for recipe development and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the sponsor.

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