HE SAID SHE SAID: Rosé and Food Pairing


Maggie and Aaron Walters

A four course meal from appetizer to dessert paired with Rosé! 

Rosé is one of the most versatile wine styles out there. It has the ability to be paired with a wide range of foods, but what about a multi course dinner from start to finish with nothing but Rosé? Our food and wine experts Maggie and Aaron have put together a fantastic meal to just prove it can be done!

To briefly reintroduce the HE and SHE: Aaron is a classically trained French chef and an advanced certified wine professional through the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) based in London. Maggie is also an advanced certified wine professional through WSET. She enjoys using her 9+ years experience in the hospitality field to help guests elevate their gatherings around the table.  

The ‘He said She Said’ blogs have featured steak and wine pairings, as well as fish and wine pairings. In this edition, it’s not about a particular protein but a style of wine and how versatile it can be at your next dinner gathering. Without further ado, let's see what they’ve come up with!



He Said: Gochujang Shrimp with Watermelon Cubes

One of my favorite foods that Arkansas provides is its watermelon! There are several popular locations to get your watermelon, but none are more regarded than Cave City! For this recipe, I pair the sweet delicious watermelon with some spicy sautéed gulf shrimp. The juxtaposition of textures and flavors is a thing of beauty! This is arguably one of the best dishes I have created!

(Serves 4)

  • 4 planks watermelon (3 "x 1" x 1")

  • zest and juice of 2 limes

  • 12 Gulf shrimp (peeled and deveined)

  • 2 TBSP Gochujang paste

  • 1 tsp sambal olek

  • 2 TBSP toasted sesame oil

  • 1 TBSP butter

  • cilantro, for garnish

  • salt and pepper to taste

For the watermelon:
Cut and seed the watermelon to the size specifics. Place in a Ziplock or Tupperware container with the lime zest and keep in fridge until ready to plate. 

For the shrimp:
In a medium sauté pan, heat butter and sesame oil. When hot, add shrimp in a single layer and cook for 2 minutes. Flip shrimp and add the sambal, gochujang and lime juice. Cover and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until cooked through. 

To plate, place one watermelon plank on each plate. Carefully place three shrimp atop each slice of watermelon and garnish with a couple cilantro leaves.

She Said: Bubbles, A to Z Wineworks Oregon Sparkling Wine

The watermelon in this dish is crisp and sweet, with the spicy and funky shrimp to balance. The Bubbles with this dish is a sparkling Rosé. The watermelon notes in this wine, although not sweet, will accentuate the refreshing fruit in this dish. The sparkler starts this meal off on a high note, waking up the palate and opening the taste buds for more flavors to follow. 



He Said: Grilled Langoustines with Roasted Garlic Aioli 

Langoustines are kind of a rare find in Arkansas, but whole shrimp can be substituted if need be. This is a dish that will WOW at any picnic or get-together. The subtle smoky heat is balanced perfectly with the roasted garlic aioli and pair ridiculously well with the Eyrie Rosé! 


  • 8 raw langoustines, head and shell on

  • olive oil

  • 1 TBSP smoked paprika

  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 1 lemon, wedged to serve

  • Aïoli

  • 3 garlic cloves, skin on

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil

  • lemon juice (a squeeze)

For the langoustines:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanche the langoustines for 1-2 minutes. Allow to cool and slice in half. Place them in a large bowl; drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with cayenne, smoked paprika and salt. Toss to coat and place on a grill pan, cut side up, on a hot grill. Grill for 3-4 minutes or until charred.

Preheat oven to 350. Place garlic cloves in aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil. Loosely wrap the foil around the garlic and roast for about 30 minutes. Once cooled, squeeze the garlic from the skins into the bowl of a food processor with the egg yolk and a pinch of salt. Pulse in the processor a couple of times and then slowly add in the oil, a few drops at a time; slowly add more until you have added it all. Reserve in a bowl until ready to plate.

Like I said, these are great for crowds so just place them all on a large serving dish with the aioli accompanying it.

She Said: Eyrie Vineyards Rosé of Pinot Noir

Similar to adding a squeeze of lemon to a dish to add a pop of flavor, the same affect can be achieved with wine. This dish, made with prawns and unctuous roasted garlic, offers ample flavors that crave pairings with citrus and fruit profiles. This particular Rosé, made by Eyrie vineyards- the oldest winery in the Willamette Valley-- supplies flavors of grapefruit, bright strawberry, and herbs. It’s all about choosing a wine with flavors that will enhance your dish, no matter the color of the wine!


He Said: Cast Iron Fried Chicken

So, I’m a Southern boy through and through! Therefore a cast iron pan is, in my opinion, the best method to prepare, well anything really, but for this instance, fried chicken. The key here is to soak the chicken in buttermilk the night before then take it out and dry it off COMPLETELY! Paper towels, actual towels, whatever you prefer! Just make sure that skin is bone dry when you get ready to fry it up and you will have the crispiest skin you’ve ever had!

  • 4 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in

  • Buttermilk

  • All purpose flour

  • 1 TBSP cumin

  • 1 TBSP cayenne

  • 1 TBSP smoked paprika

  • 1 TBSP dried thyme

  • 3 TBSP salt

  • 2 TBSP ground pepper

  • Peanut oil, for frying

As previously mentioned, soak your chicken in buttermilk the night before and take out at least 2 hours before you are ready to fry it, and dry it off completely. Next, get your spice breading ready. Combine everything from the flour through the ground pepper in a bowl or heavy duty Ziplock bag. When ready to fry, heat your oil to 350F and toss your chicken in your breading and coat it thoroughly. Fry for about 10-12 minutes, turning once during the process. Let dry on paper towels once it's finished frying. Enjoy!

She Said: Lioco Rosé from Mendocino Co. 

With a fatty and crispy dish such as this, you need one thing in your glass: acidity! Nothing is more palate cleansing than a wine chock full of acidity to take away any and all heaviness, and this wine has got it! This Rosé from Lioco Winery is so French in style you won’t believe its from Mendocino County! Notes of lime, lemon and ginger blossom hit the tongue with an electric, almost effervescent sensation. This is a modern pairing with a very classic Southern dish. It could be your new favorite pairing!  



He Said: Rose Sugar Macerated Strawberries with Mascarpone and Shortbread

  • 1 quart strawberries, hulled and halved

  • 1/4 cup rose sugar

  • 1 container mascarpone cheese, room temp

  • 2 TBSP confectioner’s sugar

  • Shortbread cookies (see recipe below)

Rose Sugar:

  • 1 cup sugar

  • petals from 10 roses

Add ingredients to an air-tight container and let infuse for as long as possible. I let mine go for at least 2 weeks. (takes a while but oh so worth it!)

For the strawberries and mascarpone:
Place the halved strawberries in a large bowl and sprinkle with rose sugar. Reserve in the fridge until ready to use. 
Whip the mascarpone and confectioner's sugar with a whisk until combined. Reserve at room temp.


  • 2 sticks salted butter

  • 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar

  • 2 cups all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325F.

Butter and line a 9 x 13" pan with baking paper with overhang.

Beat butter until smooth (or use very soft butter and a wooden spoon). 

Add confectioner's sugar and beat until combined. Add half the flour and beat until mostly combined – it will resemble wet sand. Then beat in the remainder. Use your hands to bring it together into a smooth ball of dough – knead lightly if required. Roughly press down into a rectangle shape, then transfer into the pan. Press into the pan. 

Optional: Roll over the top using a small rolling pin or glass (that’s what I used) for a smooth surface. Don’t press down too hard – it makes the cookies firmer.

Bake for 20 minutes until edges are very light golden and most of the surface is still pale gold. Remove from the oven. Working quickly, cut into desired shape and prick all over with a fork (optional).

Return to the oven for 8 minutes or until the surface is light golden – not browned. Turn the oven off, crack the door ajar, then leave to cool for at least 1 hour in the oven.

Remove from the oven, use paper overhang to remove the biscuits from the pan. Cool fully on rack.

She Said: Lillet Rosé 

Similar to a vermouth, Lillet is an aromatized wine that has a balanced sweetness perfect for cocktails like martinis, or it can be sipped on its own with a fruity dessert. Because it’s made with herbs and spices, it's the perfect into to any meal because… it aids in digestion! That’s right, it helps your body process your meal and it’s delicious. What more could you ask for? This strawberry like nectar will pull out the fruitiness of this dish, elevating it to a whole new level. 

We hope you enjoy this edition of He Said, She Said. If you have any questions or want some more inspiration for your dinner table, come in and see us at Colonial Wines and Spirits. With the largest selection in the state, there’s something for everyone at your next gathering! After all, we are here to help you #Celebratemore.


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