Pepper Power

Sweet peppers were the enemy when I was young. They always seemed to be green, mean and tasted nasty to my youthful palate. I despised them so much that when a bag of peppers hit the kitchen counter, I hit the road. I refused to be the recipient of any meal cooked with them.

I discovered, years later, that those peppers were just young and were harvested before any warmer colors and sweeter flavors emerged. In those days, shelf life was more important than flavor and the even, green color and under-ripeness helped them resist damage in transport and gave them longevity on the grocery store shelves.

My relationship with sweet peppers slowly evolved over the years and I eventually learned to enjoy their sweet, herbal taste once they ripened into a flashy red or yellow and lost their bitter green meanness of immaturity.

The sweetness of red and yellow sweet peppers marries beautifully with the bright red fruit flavors and aromas of RSV’s handsomely crafted Merlot. The herbal grassy note of the peppers blends seamlessly with the dried herb notes of the wine.

The slowly braised chicken nicely absorbs the essences of the peppers and olives. You can use this same recipe for a pork shoulder with a longer, slower cooking time with equally delicious results. Either way, the finished dish goes beautifully with the Merlot.

Until the Next Wine…

EAT: Pimenton Roasted Chicken Thighs with Piquillo Pepper, Sweet Onions and Olives