Lemon & Red Pepper Flakes Roasted Chicken, Red Quinoa, Fresh Salad, and Hagafen Ripken Vineyard Lodi Roussanne
This past week we just wanted to take it easy, so we made the wonderful lemon roasted chicken, whipped together a lovely fresh green salad, and my wife also made Red Quinoa. Red Quinoa, yep that is what I said. A few things:
1) The red version is a bit nuttier than its white sister
2) It cooks up as easily as its white sister
3) It has all the proteins and nutrients of its white sister as well
4) Finally, a mix of white and red in a single dish looks gorgeous, far lovelier than plain red or plain white. Also, since they cook at the same rate they taste as good together as they do apart.
I really love quinoa, plain old quinoa. No need to turn it into haute cuisine, simply cook it as the box states and enjoy as a replacement for mashed potatoes, brown rice, etc. It is a healthy, yummy, and lovely to look at, side dish.
The Jus De Poulet (Chicken juice) is fantastic with the quinoa. The nutty flavor of the quinoa melds perfectly with the bright and acidic lemon flavor in the jus, and the slight hint of heat (from the pepper flakes) wrap up the whole flavor profile. The fresh green salad played nicely with the overall flavor and is a great way to get your daily fill of vegetables while also filling you up with healthy stuff.
When wondering what white wine I wanted to pair with this meal, I really just went the classic arbitrator of most complicated decisions – Eeny meeny miny moe. I fell upon a bottle of 2007 Hagafen Ripken Vineyard Lodi Roussanne, a bottle I have not had in sometime, so I was quite happy. The funny thing about this bottle is that it tasted VERY different from the last time we tasted it, roughly a year ago. Last year it tasted a bit green with tea yet also fresh and lively with tropical fruit. This time, I think I liked it better with far more expressive oak, bright fruit, and no green notes to be found! The wine does seem to change a fair bit in the glass. After opening the bottle the nose has toasty oak, but as the wine opens more that oak turns into notes of fig, vanilla, Crème brûlée, and butterscotch. It may be on its way out, but it sure beats the green tea, which I am not a fan of in a heavy white wine.
The wine note follows below:
2007 Hagafen Ripken Vineyard Lodi Roussanne – Score: B+ to B++
The nose on this light gold colored wine starts off with a hit of fresh and almost plump peach, apricot, melon, zesty lemon, smoky/toasty oak, and crushed herbs. However, after time the nose becomes redolent with much of the same along with fig, vanilla, Crème brûlée, and butterscotch. The mouth on this medium to full bodied wine starts off super spicy with bright fruit and toasty oak. The mouth is concentrated showing melon, apricot, and peach. The mid palate is nicely balanced with core acidity, toasty oak, and herbs. The finish is super long, spicy, and bright with toasty oak, summer fruit, and zesty lemon. As the wine opens the mouth’s toasty oak turns into butterscotch and Crème brûlée. The mid palate stays the same, while the finish adds on Crème brûlée, butterscotch, fig, vanilla, and a bit of saltiness at the very end. Funny, last time we tasted this wine, a year ago, the wine had green tea astringency at the end, this time it had a bit of saltiness at the end, but only after it had more air under its wings.