One of the most important and delicious developments in Australian gastronomy over the past decade or so has been the proliferation of locally produced pale, dry rosé wines modelled loosely on the gorgeous pale, dry rosé of Provence.
Yes, I know this is a big call ("One of the most important developments in gastronomy"? Seriously?), but I'm sticking to it: pale, dry rosé produced from fine-flavoured grapes such as pinot noir is a fantastically food-friendly drink that speaks of sophistication and cultural maturity. But as much as I love the style, a pale, dry rosé would be absolutely rubbish with this dish. Just think about it. Tangy buttermilk and hot spice in the marinade. Slow char-grilling. Tomatoes, chipotle chillies and garlic… Hellooo! An effete, oh-so-pale pinot rosé wouldn't stand a chance against that massive wall of flavour bearing down on your tongue.
No, what's needed is a deep magenta-coloured old-school Aussie rosé with balls: bouncy red berries, smooth 'n' sweet fruitiness and maybe some grippy tannins to round the whole thing off. A pink wine that's almost but not quite a red. And served really cold, too, in capacious tumblers. No place for fancy crystal stemware here, thank you very much.
It takes a bold, brash, deep Aussie pink to stand up to these punchy chicken wings, writes Max Allen.
- 400 ml buttermilk
- 1 tbsp each smoked sweet paprika, ground coriander and ground cumin
- 2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Finely grated rind of 1 lime
- 1 kg chicken wings, jointed
Roast garlic and chipotle salsa
- 1 head of garlic
- 3 vine-ripened tomatoes, halved
- 1 Spanish onion, cut into wedges
- 2 chipotle chillies in adobo (see note)
- To serve: juice of 1 lime, or to taste, plus wedges
- Pinch of caster sugar
- 1Whisk buttermilk, spices, oil and lime rind in a bowl, season to taste, add wings, stir to coat and transfer to a non-reactive container. Cover and refrigerate overnight to marinate.
- 2For roast garlic and chipotle salsa, preheat oven to 180C. Wrap garlic in foil, roast until tender (40-50 minutes), cool slightly, squeeze flesh from skin and set aside. Meanwhile, place tomatoes cut-side down on an oven tray lined with baking paper, add onion, drizzle with oil, season to taste and roast until tender (35-45 minutes). Cool, peel tomatoes, process in a food processor with remaining ingredients to a thick sauce, season to taste and set aside.
- 3Preheat a barbecue or char-grill to medium-high. Drain wings and grill, turning occasionally, until golden and cooked through (8-10 minutes). Season to taste and serve hot with salsa and lime wedges.
Note You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead. Chipotle chillies in adobo are available from select delicatessens including Monterey Mexican Foods. Drink suggestion by Max Allen