The BEST Gazpacho I've Ever Had, Paired With Rosé

Gazpacho is a cold soup that couldn't be easier to make during the heat of summer. Pair it with a chilled glass of rosé and a cheese plate for an easy, relaxed meal.

This homemade gazpacho is seriously the BEST I've ever had. Served with a glass of rosé wine and cheese plate, this makes an easy, relaxed summer meal |CaretoPair.com

School may be in session already (really Reno? Beginning of August?), but summer is definitely not over, my friends. Its a scorching 97 degrees today. So let's not get ahead of ourselves and start dreaming about hot apple cider and pumpkin lattes. We've still got time to enjoy the warm weather that we'll be missing in a few months.

So let's talk cold soup. Sounds a little strange, right? My favorite chilled soup, Gazpacho, doesn't really require any time in the kitchen...or the stove. After I'm done making it (in the short 25 minutes that it takes), I almost feel guilty that I've technically made soup...I get a sort of "that's it?" mentality. Yes, that's it, and with a little time in the fridge to meld the flavors together, this soup erases any sort of "cold soup" reservations you may previously had.

This homemade gazpacho is seriously the BEST I've ever had. Served with a glass of rosé wine and cheese plate, this makes an easy, relaxed summer meal |CaretoPair.com

The first time I ever had gazpacho was at Mon Ami Gabi: a very famous restaurant in Las Vegas (and Chicago) that I used to work at. I never had cold soup before and had that same reservation we all have before trying it for the first time. It was the best soup I'd ever had (no joke!) and I made sure to have some every time our chef let me sneak it out of the kitchen.

Although my days working at Mon Ami Gabi are over, I've still craved Gazpacho every summer. I tried numerous recipes claiming to be "authentic Spanish Gazpacho" and was constantly disappointed. All I wanted was the Mon Ami Gabi version. It wasn't until a few weeks ago that I apparently grew a brain and googled "Mon Ami Gabi Gazpacho" and voila! The recipe showed up right on page 1. Thank you, internet.

This homemade gazpacho is seriously the BEST I've ever had. Served with a glass of rosé wine and cheese plate, this makes an easy, relaxed summer meal |CaretoPair.com

The Pairing

My husband and I usually eat dinner pretty late (almost always after 8pm, which is late in my book) and the night I made this gazpacho was no exception. I was getting ready to sit down in front of the TV with this soup to watch a movie with him, but he suggested that we sit outside and watch the sunset.

What?! Is that romance I detect?!

What an amazing idea that was. We served up a cheese plate, put a bottle of rosé on ice, and enjoyed our gazpacho while the sun disappeared and the stars came out. Then we sat for hours just sipping on our wine and enjoying the beautiful summer evening. This pairing today goes beyond what wine goes best with the soup--its about what atmosphere to enjoy with the soup. A cold soup like gazpacho goes best while enjoying the last days of summer...and a cheese plate, and a chilled bottle of rosé. Sometimes we all need a little reminder to go beyond our normal dinner routine, and this was mine. I don't think I've ever enjoyed a bowl of gazpacho as much as I enjoyed it that evening.

This homemade gazpacho is seriously the BEST I've ever had. Served with a glass of rosé wine and cheese plate, this makes an easy, relaxed summer meal |CaretoPair.com

So...pair this soup with a chilled bottle of rosé. And a cheese plate, to complete the meal. Not many other wines will pair well with gazpacho because it has tricky flavors like jalapeno, cilantro, and garlic. But whenever other wines can't stand up to certain flavors, rosé comes in to save the day. It drinks like a white but has characteristics of a red, which makes rosé very versatile. Make sure you pick one that is dry to off-dry (so no white zinfandels, you hear?). Almost every wine-producing region in the world makes rosé, so feel free to be adventurous and pick something new. I had the Belleruche Cotes du Rhone from Chapoutier (from the Rhone Valley in France) with this meal and it was fabulous.

In the mood for beer? You have lots of choices with gazpacho. Pick a light, slightly fruity beer like a Belgian wit or German Hefeweizen, which will pick up on the acidity from the soup and complement the refreshing nature of the dish. Pilsner will also work nicely, just make sure the beer is not too bitter/hoppy which will overwhelm the gazpacho.

The Recipe

As I said prior, I can't take credit for this gazpacho as it is a recipe shared by Chef John Simmons of Mon Ami Gabi. My biggest advice is to use fresh, farmer's market-type heirloom tomatoes which will give much better flavor than those under-ripe tomatoes you buy at the grocery store. Make the soup in the afternoon and let it chill for a few hours before serving--that gives the soup some time to meld and intensify the flavors. The soup is even better the day after as leftovers!

The BEST Gazpacho I've Ever Had, Paired With Rosé

Author: Dani (CaretoPair.com)

Total time: 25 mins

Serves: 4 large bowls

Recipe adapted from 86lemons.com

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup of day-old French bread (or slice bread, if you don't have), torn into pieces
  • 2 1/2 Cups tomato juice
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 medium heirloom tomatoes
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp parsley
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed

Instructions

  1. Place the torn pieces of bread in a bowl. Pour 1 1/2 Cups of tomato juice, 1/4 Cup olive oil, and the cider vinegar over the bread and stir to combine.
  2. Blanche the tomatoes: fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Using a sharp knife, make "X" slits onto the bottom of each tomato which will make the skin easy to remove. Once the water in the pot is boiling, plunge the tomatoes into it for about 1 minute. Immediately drain the tomatoes and cover with cold water.
  3. When the tomatoes have cooled enough to touch, peel off the skins. Cut them in half and remove the seeds. Place in a blender.
  4. Next, peel the cucumbers and cut in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds/insides with a spoon and cut into chunks. Cut off the top of the red peppers and remove the inside seeds. Cut into smaller pieces, then add, along with the cucumbers, to the blender.
  5. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of tomato juice and 1/4 cup of olive oil to the blender, then the salt, cilantro, chopped onion, parsley, and garlic cloves. Blend all ingredients together. I had to pulse the blender quite a bit and stir things around quite a lot to accomplish this task.
  6. At this point, my blender was pretty full, so I poured half of the blended mixture into a separate bowl.
  7. Add a few pieces of bread to the blender and blend to thicken the mixture. Continue adding the bread and any residual tomato juice/olive oil until the soup has thickened. Finally, add the jalapeno and blend until incorporated. Soup should be a bit chunky, not watery.
  8. If you had to remove some of the soup because your blender was too small, pour out some of the blended soup into the same bowl, stir, then add some back into the blender and blend. Continue to pour out/return to the blender until the soup in the bowl and the blender have combined and are consistent.
This homemade gazpacho is seriously the BEST I've ever had. Served with a glass of rosé wine and cheese plate, this makes an easy, relaxed summer meal |CaretoPair.com

Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce and Rosé

this red pepper cream sauce over pan-seared chicken breasts goes perfectly with a dry rosé | CaretoPair.com

If you're in need of an easy weeknight meal (or a quick meal to make on the weekend while company is over), look no further. This roasted red pepper cream sauce over pan-seared chicken breasts is a great way to use fresh ingredients in a quick amount of time. Enjoy it alongside a cool glass of crisp, dry rosé.

It's about 100 degrees today and in between laying in the sun every 15 minutes to *try* to get my white skin a few shades darker, I find myself inspired to finally write again. FINALLY. Yes, unfortunately I've had a bad case of writer's block this week. Maybe I just needed some sun.

The truth is, I love this website, and I love to write. However, amidst all of my research across the internet on "how to grow your blog" I have gotten a bit bombarded with too much information, much with opposing ideas. Many articles tell you to be personal, others tell you to be on point at all times--only focus on the topic at hand. People don't necessarily care about how your day is going, they want to know how you can help them and want that information NOW.

roasted red pepper cream sauce over pan-seared chicken breasts + a rose wine pairing on CaretoPair.com

When I started this blog, I chose to be very specific. The purpose of this blog is to help readers find a wine or beer to pair with their meal, most of which I provide a recipe for. I love this website and I love to help people; however, focusing on wine and beer pairings and ONLY writing about them has me in a bit of a funk. So let's make this blog a little more personal. While still helping you out. I hope that sounds as good to you as it does to me :) :)

The Recipe

Today's recipe and wine pairing comes from a few weeks ago when I was inspired to roast red peppers...because they were on sale! I usually keep red peppers off my shopping list because, sorry, I'm not paying over a dollar a pepper just to add some color to my recipes. But when the Smith's grocery ad came in and I saw that they were under a dollar a piece, I couldn't resist. I pulled out all of my favorite recipes on pinterest with red peppers and went to work.

The result? A simple red pepper cream sauce over pounded chicken breasts (which were also on sale, yippee!). I combined a few ideas from other bloggers' creations and realized that red pepper, cream, and goat cheese would be a fantastic combination. This truly was an easy meal to make, and I feel so accomplished having finally roasted my own peppers. You can always substitute roasted red peppers from a jar, but if they're in season, go ahead and roast them yourself. It takes minimal effort and just a little bit of time.

roasted red pepper cream sauce over pan-seared chicken breasts + a rose wine pairing on CaretoPair.com

The Pairing

There's a few wines that will actually work with this chicken and red pepper cream sauce, but given the 100 degree temperatures today, I figured a crisp, dry rosé was the best choice. Spring and summer indeed are the seasons for rosé, but so many people get confused with what to pair this wine with. Does it go with food we usually pair with white wine? Yes. Does it pair with food we would have with red wine? Yes. In fact, rosé is one of the most versatile wines out there...it goes with many foods that other wines won't. Rosé drinks like a white while having subtle fresh red fruit flavors like strawberry and tart cherry, which goes with many different dishes. We've got lots of flavors going on in our roasted red pepper cream sauce--red peppers, spinach, garlic, cream...all of which the rosé can stand up to. Just make sure whichever rosé wine you choose is DRY, not sweet.

If you're not a fan of rosé, this dish could also pair with an unoaked chardonnay or dry riesling. In the beer department, try a light amber ale or craft Pilsner.

Chicken Closeup

Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce and Rose

Author:

Dani (CaretoPair.com)

Ingredients

  • 2 red peppers (or 1 Cup of roasted red peppers)
  • 2 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 2 chicken breasts, pounded thin
  • 1/2 Cup onion, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Cup heavy cream (or more as needed)
  • 4 oz goat cheese

Instructions

  1. First, roast the red peppers: Preheat your oven broiler to high. Cut off a portion of the top so that the stem and membrane come out. Then cut each pepper in half and remove any remaining membrane (white part) or seeds. Place the peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet skin-side up and place under the broiler for 10-15 minutes, until the skins have begun to char. Immediately place the peppers in a plastic bag for another 10 minutes which will help loosen the skins. When the peppers have cooled enough, remove the skins from them (which should peel off very easily) and chop the rest of the remaining parts. This can be done in advance, prior to dinnertime.
  2. Melt 1 Tbsp of butter in a large skillet and add chicken. Saute each side until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  3. Next, add more butter if needed and saute the chopped onion for about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and chopped red pepper and saute for an additional minute or so.
  4. Turn the heat down to low and add the spinach, heavy cream and goat cheese. Stir together until the goat cheese has completely melted, the spinach has wilted, and the other ingredients have become incorporated.
  5. Add the chicken back into the pan to heat through, then serve immediately. If you like your sauce extra saucy, feel free to add more cream as needed.

3.5.3208

Thirsty for more? Try out these recipes:

What Wine to Pair with Roast Chicken

Grilled Lamb and Fresh Peach Salsa Paired with Rose

The Oaxaca Old Fashioned

Rosé Paired with Lamb and Fresh Peach Salsa

Are you a lamb lover? Do you often prefer it on the menu over a boring steak? Does the thought of having that game-y, delicious, succulent meat drive you bonkers like it does to me? If you don't like lamb, I bet its because you haven't had a good one before. Or you expected it to taste like steak and couldn't get over its weird, old-tasting deliciousness. That's the thing about lamb. You have to embrace its gaminess. Its a good thing, I promise. I love a well-prepared lamb dish over almost everything else in this world. However, peach salsa is about the last thing I think about having with it. When I found this recipe, however, I just had to try it. And for you skeptical eaters of lamb out there, this is a great dish to give it another try, because that peach salsa packs a lot of different flavors to accompany the lamb.

The Pairing

I usually pair lamb with very earthy, old-world style reds (Bordeaux blends are the classic pairing for lamb). However, this is one of those recipes that proves that you can't pair wine and beer to food solely based on what type of meat you are eating. The peach salsa on this lamb completely changes the flavors of the dish--don't pair this with a Bordeaux blend, I beg you!

The peach salsa gives many different flavors to this dish which can be difficult to pair--sweetness from the peaches, acidity from the onions, spice from the chipotle chile....there's a lot going on in this otherwise-seemingly simple dish. When you have sweetness in a dish you can pretty much rule out all red wines--it'll just make the wine taste overly tannic and bitter. (Side note, this is why chocolate and wine DO NOT go well together, no matter how many things online you read about it.) White wine might not be the best bet either since you still get that gaminess from the lamb. What is your answer? Rosé, my friends.

Rosé drinks like a white while having subtle flavors of our favorite reds. They won't have any tannins, so you can safely pair it with sweet dishes like our lamb and peach salsa. Sweet blush wines that are often confused with rosé are out there, but you don't want to pair one of those with this dish. Keep the rosé you choose dry, meaning no residual sugar whatsoever in the wine. (Sweet Wine won't do any good for the lamb itself.)

 My Favorite Rosé Regions

  • Tavel, Rhone, France
  • Provence, France
  • Willamette Valley, Oregon (they've been making some great rosé out of Pinot Noir)
  • Spanish "Rosado" (great values)
  • Rosé from Argentina (often made from Malbec, also good value)

Other Beverages You Can Pair With This Dish

Wine (not really recommended--stick with my rosé suggestions)

  • Viognier
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Unoaked Chardonnay

Beer

  • Saison
  • Pilsner
  • Belgian Tripel

The Recipe

I discovered this recipe in a Williams-Sonoma "Weeknight Fresh + Fast" Cookbook. It was ridiculously fast and easy to make and had some great flavors I usually don't combine with lamb. Cilantro rice makes a nice accompaniment to this dish. Great for a spring or summer weeknight where nothing sounds better than some fresh grilled food and a glass of rosé. Happy Pairing!


Lamb and Fresh Peach Salsa

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 7 mins

Total time: 12 mins

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 lamb shoulder bone-in chops, 1 inch thick each
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 peaches, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp minced red onion
  • 3 Tbsp roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced with sauce
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice

Instructions

  1. Rub each side of the lamb chops with cumin and cinnamon. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper, then brush with olive oil.
  2. In a small bowl, stir to combine remaining ingredients to make the salsa.
  3. Place lamb chops on an outdoor gas grill over high heat. Cover the grill and cook the lamb about 3 1/2 minutes each side for medium-rare.
  4. When finished, place each lamb chop on a plate and spoon the salsa on top. Serve immediately.

Dijon Vinaigrette Tomato Salad with Rosé

Spring this year has been absolutely gorgeous here in Las Vegas. I can't think of any other season where we've gone so long without having the heat or the air conditioning on...the days get as high as 90 and as low as 65...when you're used to 100+ degrees by May, you are thankful every moment the cool weather lasts! It's a perfect time to get ready for hot-weather dishes too--I've been getting out of my oven-recipes routine and preparing for grill season!

When I first started thinking about doing this blog, this was one of the first recipes that came to mind. This is a recipe from the French side of my family... specifically, my Aunt Simone's.  It's funny, my Dad didn't cook very often, but when he wanted his French-food-fix, he was in the kitchen. When I asked my family to share some recipes with me when I wanted to learn how to cook, this was the first one my Dad wrote :) I can barely read the recipe anymore since it has been used so much and has taken to lots of oil and water spills in the kitchen!

The greatest thing about this recipe is it is simple, yet so flavorful. Do you have peanut oil, vinegar, and Dijon mustard? BOOM! You can make this salad. The longer you let it marinate, the better it will be. But if you need to make a salad in a snap, it is also good right away.

Now lets talk Dijon mustard here...growing up, we never messed with any dull-flavored generic "yellow" mustard in my household. Every trip to France my Dad would take, he'd load up an ENTIRE suitcase of Amora mustard, the typical mustard you find in a French grocery store. Now let me tell you, you HAVE NOT had mustard until you try this stuff! There's so much more kick to it, it definitely changes any dish you add it to for the better. Luckily for a thing called the internet, you don't have to go to France to get it. Its available online at amazon and FrenchyBee.com, and if you spend $50, you get it shipped free! (Stock up on some whole-grain mustard and awesome jams from this website too while you're at it.)

The Pairing

This salad will go with many meals or, as the French would do, can be a separate course altogether. Dry rosé is a perfect pairing...seriously, when I first had the two together, it was such an "AHA!" moment. Vinegar-based dressings can be really difficult to pair with drinks...forget anything heavier than a light red wine. (Vinegar will make reds taste bitter.) Rosé, however, is usually packed with ripping acidity that will go hand-in-hand with the acidity from the vinaigrette. Add some fruitiness from the wine to complement the natural sugars in the tomatoes and cucumbers, and you have a perfect pairing.

Keep in mind I'm suggesting DRY rosé with this, not something sweet like white zinfandel. White zinfandel, or any sweet wine, is not going to work with this. Can you imagine having a starburst candy with a pickle? Eww. If you only drink sweet wine, this is your chance to try something dry that will taste good because it goes so well with the food you're eating! The rosé I chose was a $9 (yes, only $9) bottle I found at Total Wine. It was actually a little difficult to choose just one, there were so many under $15 that probably would have worked perfectly! Ultimately I chose it because it is a rosé from the Anjou region of the Loire Valley in France...a region I know I couldn't have gone wrong with. But there are countless other options (just see below for recommendations).

If you're unfamiliar with dry rosé, it is the perfect wine for many meals that are too light for a red wine but need a bit more than a white. Made from red grapes (or a blend), wineries press it like white wine but will allow a little color to bleed from the skins into the wine, giving it a nice pink hue. Unfortunately wines like white Zinfandel have given it a bad reputation in this country. However, rosé is really one of the most versatile wines and should always be a staple in your wine inventory--it will come to the rescue whenever you have a difficult-to-pair dish or just really feel like having a refreshing wine (especially on a hot day!).

 Other Pairing Suggestions

Try these Rosés from my favorite regions:

  • Tavel, France (my #1 choice)
  • Rhone Valley, France
  • Loire Valley, France (Anjou-Saumur, Sancerre)
  • Southern France (Languedoc)
  • Spanish Rosé

Don't have any rosé in the cellar? Try these alternatives:

  • Sauvignon Blanc--Chilean, New Zealand, or French are great options
  • Pinot Gris/Grigio--French, Italian, Oregon
  • Hefeweizen or other wheat beer
  • Gueuze (beer)

Dijon Vinaigrette Tomato Salad

Prep time: 15 mins

Total time: 15 mins

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 Ripe Tomatoes
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1/2 Vidalia (sweet, white) Onion
  • 1 tsp good Dijon Mustard (do not use course mustard)
  • 1/2 Cup White Vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Peanut Oil
  • Oregano and Fresh Parsley

Instructions

  1. Slice the tomatoes, cucumber and sweet onion as thin as possible. Place them in layers in a medium bowl.
  2. Whisk together the white vinegar, peanut oil, and dijon mustard. Add oregano and parsley as you desire (can easily be made with both, one, or none of the herbs).
  3. Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables. Mix vegetables in with it if they are not completely submerged.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours, or even longer to really soak in the vinaigrette. This salad is also excellent, but not as fresh, the next day.

Serve with crusty French bread and butter, and don't forget the rosé!

-Dani