Sipping with Grace: L’Ecole Grenache Rosé and chicken tikka masala

The first pairing for this Week of Savory, a two-part series featuring savory wines



This is the 2021 L’ecole Grenache Rosé and a chicken tikka masala.

JARED GRACE, Evergreen columnist

As the end of the semester draws near, I thought of doing something a little different to go out with a bang.

For this week, I will be pairing two savory (more acidic and dry) wines: a Grenache Rose and a Semillon. Two weeks ago, I paired two sweet wines: a sweet red and a sweet white. I am calling these weeks the Week of Sweet and the Week of Savory.

Both of these wines took much deliberation and tasting to choose a final pairing. These two wines can be paired with a lot of different meals, so give them a try with your favorite foods; it might surprise you.

The first wine of the Week of Savory is the 2021 L’Ecole Grenache Rosé, composed of 100% Grenache grapes. Rosés are fermented similarly to red wines. However, rosés are fermented on the grape skins for a shorter time, giving them a beautiful pink color rather than the deep burgundy you are used to seeing with reds.

This is the 2021 L’Ecole Grenache Rosé’s beautiful pink color.

Grenache Rosés are typically dry in nature, and their palettes generally consist of broad, rich fruity flavors and aromas. This wine is of a medium to light body and is quite acidic, with a pH of 3.12. With an ABV, or alcohol by volume, of 13.5%, this wine has very prominent fruity and floral tones, giving notes of strawberry, pomegranate, rose and grapefruit.

The acidity gives a perfect mouthwatering feel that pairs well with the medium to low alcohol content, giving a very light warming feeling on the tongue. The aromas are fruity and sweet while the acidity and dryness of the wine help to bring that mouthwatering feel to the front, with a slight perceived sweetness.

When pairing a Grenache Rosé, you have to take into account that this wine has zesty acidity with fruity flavors and finishes. This works best when paired with aromatic spices, red pepper and tomato. So, I paired it with a creamy chicken tikka masala from Karma Indian Cuisine in Moscow.

The creamy chicken tikka masala is able to bring out many of the rosé’s fruity flavors, toning down the acidity and making it taste sweeter by comparison.

Mitigating this will be important to preserve the taste of the acidity and fruity floral aromas, keeping in mind that spice will bring out the alcoholic feel. Keeping the heat of the spice to a minimum is no easy feat in Indian food, but it will definitely be worth it. One way to do this if the food does have a lot of spice is to add more rice, which will balance it out nicely.

This is the creamy chicken tikka masala from Karma Indian Cuisine in Moscow.

To consume this wine at its best, I would recommend opening it while at room temperature and putting it in the fridge 30–45 minutes before serving, making sure that it gets to about 45–55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Winery: L’Ecole No 41

Varietal: Grenache Rosé

Vintage: 2021

Locations: Horse Heaven Hills, Alder Ridge Vineyard

Price: $22–29

Pairing: Creamy chicken tikka masala

I would like to emphasize that this column is not a review; my purpose for writing this series is to provide as much information about a wine as I can so that you can find your niche.

If you would like to inquire about anything I have talked about in these columns or recommend wines for me to pair in the future, email me at [email protected].

Drink up!