Rosé and jerky, on my deck.
Being a reporter is about making connections. You know: Follow the money. Saddam, WMD. Rosé and jerky.
"A lot of people are opposed to rosé," said Angi Unger of Bacchante Wine & Essentials in Tacoma. "A lot of people are used to white zinfandels, a pink wine that doesn't have a lot of flavor, that's too sweet, that doesn't really say much about the wine."
Rosés are made from several grapes: sangiovese, syrah, merlot. Being a fan of big, bad reds, I was skeptical of rosés at first blush. Hmmmm, tastes like under-sweetened Kool-Aid. But, given time, the half dozen bottles I've sampled in the past month have all been dry and drinkable -- nothing like the bubblegum-in-a-bottle of pink wines past.
No wonder the French drink the stuff like water.
Rosé is the new black.
"They're making such great rosé right now," Unger said. "You have the smell of initial flavor, then you've got spices that linger in the middle and then a finish that lasts for a long time."
And the jerky connection? Like rosé, jerky's got a blush (thanks to sodium nitrite, a chemical that turns meat pink). And in my recent eating and drinking, lamb jerky, pork jerky, pepper jerky, and good o'l jerky jerky all paired well with rosé
I'm still in the middle of my research, but I'm encountering tons of great jerky in the South Sound: Meat Shop of Tacoma (whose all-natural, organic jerky qualifies as artisan jerky in my book), Green Valley Meats in Auburn, Stewart's in McKenna, Johnson's in Olympia, Parkland Meat in Parkland, Blue Max in Puyallup, and AA in Lakewood.
Now, I'm wondering what to do with all that jerky. About 15 years ago I had a memorable green papaya-lamb jerky salad at a Vietnamese restaurant. I want to recreate it.
The organic, no-nitrite jerky at Meat Shop of Tacoma reminds me of carne seca, the dry shredded beef that's wonderful in tacos and scrambled eggs.
Inspired by Fife City Bar & Grill's pecan-bacon waffles, I'm flipping out thinking about the jerky flapjacks I'm going to make this weekend.
Maybe I'll throw together a jerky and cheese plate.
I might even open another bottle of rosé.