Artesa Winery has a lovely Pinot Noir that I served in Napa at a corporate event in February 2014. The menu featured caprese salad, mushroom risotto, sea bass, and a chocolate tart for dessert. We served a 2011 Estate Reserve Pinot Noir, a fantastic pairing for each course. I liked the wine so much that I ordered 6 bottles to ship home, and have been saving them for the perfect moment. The wine has bright notes (I tasted raspberries and bing cherries) and ends an graceful, smooth finish.
I was first introduced to Calamari a la Plancha in July 2014 at Miami Plage, a wonderful little beach side restaurant in Monaco. Their deliciously simple grilled calamari was served with fennel, lima beans and shaved Parmesan ribbons – and of course a fresh baguette. Yum. (Strike that, double yum.) My friends and I were in heaven. We enjoyed a lovely simple French rose wine with at that amazing lunch, savoring every bite. Served with the most beautiful bounty of vegetables, we still talk about that unforgettable lunch by the sea in Monte Carlo.
Fast forward to August 2015. My dear friend, Carolyn, also a travel gal who loves food and wine, was a guest at my home this week. I wanted to make a simple homemade dinner I knew she would appreciate, as she had been on the road for nearly six weeks. I changed up the calamari preparation- this time adding a little sun-dried tomato compote to my hot olive oil -and served the grilled calamari over romaine, again with the shaved parmesan ribbons and lima beans. I opened up one of my special bottles of pinot noir. The pairing was an A+. We loved the fruit- forward full bodied Artesa, served with the simple seafood salad.
I was thrilled to share my favorite salad and one of my favorite wines, tastes from California and Monaco, in the comfort of my Arizona home.
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