Wine and Food Pairing
Grilled Shrimp with Garlic-Red Chile-Thyme Marinade
Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay
2 ancho chiles
1 New Mexican red chile
1 pasilla chile
1 head garlic, cloves separated, peeled, and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing on shrimp
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 pounds shrimp or prawns, head and shell on
Place chiles in a large bowl, cover with boiling water, and let stand for 1 hour to soften. Remove chiles from the water, coarsely chop, and place in the jar of a blender. Add the garlic, thyme, and oil and blend until smooth. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Place the shrimp in a large bowl, pour the marinade over, and let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Preheat a grill to high. Remove the prawns from the marinade and grill for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side, with the cover closed. Serve on brown paper bags, if desired.
The Wine: Carolyn Joy of Joy Wine & Spirits
"Wow" I thought … another challenging wine pairing with all those different chile in this BBQ Shrimp dish. Some foods like asparagus, spinach (with it's tannic-like coating and taste of iron), acidic foods, really hot or frozen foods and spicy foods can be difficult to pair with wine and are better served with beer or liquors. But this dish was deceptive, because despite all the chile, the shrimp is grilled with the shells on. When the shrimp is eaten, most of the spicy marinade is thus removed and the sweet shrimp shines through.
Initially I thought a Gewurztraminer, like the delicious Jekel Gewurztraminer would pair well with this dish. But since the flavor profile changed a bit when the shrimp was cooked, the Gewurztraminer proved to be too powerful. My second choice proved to be the winner. A fruitier style, the Marco Real Rosada complimented the sweetness of the shrimp and its hints of watermelon and strawberry fruit, countered the spicy chili and smokiness of the grill and the ancho chile. The wine is lighter in body and finishes clean, similar to the dish.
Rose is gaining tremendous popularity in the United States with sales of imported rose up 40% in 2004 - and for good reason. This is not the sweet stuff we are used to like White Zinfandel. Rose can be dry as a bone and a great red-wine drinker's white wine for the summer. It is very versatile and will pair with anything from spicy BBQ shrimp to grilled pork. Joy Wine and Spirits stocks about 20 rose wines that are very affordable, fun and range in color from light salmon to crimson red, and from hints of watermelon and softer styles to cranberry and more acidic, dry styles. We think drinkers will be pleasantly surprised.