Hearts, Flowers, Wine and Artichokes


February is that month where I get to celebrate the ones I love. And boy, am I a romantic! I love the traditional gifting of flowers, hearts, candlelit dinners & wine. It is also an absolute must that I put my very own creative twist on the food and gifts that I give. Being the foodie that I am, I greatly appreciate a well thought out romantic meal, even if I am the one cooking it! When I am creating a fine meal for special family and friends, I enjoy sipping a palate pleasing glass of wine. A cooking chef and a glass of wine is a good pairing!

I can hear some of you already saying, “Artichokes & Wine”, do they even go together?” And the answer is an absolute yes! I had a lot of fun researching exceptional wines that go with many of the artichoke recipes that I have developed for Ocean Mist Farms. Light the candles and enjoy artichokes as a new tradition for Valentine's Day!

1. Ocean Mist Farm’s Artichoke Hummus served with artichoke petals is paired with a sexy wine called “Whispering Angel” Cotes de Provence Rose. It is produced in the Region Provence of France and runs about $20 per bottle. A bit of a warning because after enjoying this first course, you may not make it to the rest of the meal! 


2. Ocean Mist Farm’s Easy Grilled Artichokes is paired with aChardonnays. I like a San Joaquin produced wine called, “Soulmates” and a Sonoma Coast Chardonnay named “Flowers”. Keep in mind that artichokes pair beautifully with wine that is very dry, and has a good acidity with little or no oak. “Soulmates” runs around $20 per bottle and $5 is donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. “Flowers” runs around $40 per bottle. Both are medium bodied and filled with floral tones for a smooth, crisp finish. I like to serve these grilled artichokes as an appetizer, first course or as a side with salmon or grilled chicken. Just writing about this makes my mouth water!


3. Ocean Mist Farm’s Italian Artichokes can be paired with my very favorite wine, which is a Tuscan produced Villa La Ripa’s “Psyco” Sangiovese! This Sangiovese has high acid and is a fruity red Italian wine. The wine maker is a passionate man that  degreed as a Psychiatrist (hence the name "Psyco") but turned award winning wine maker 20 years ago by purchasing a 17th Century villa in the Tuscan hillsides. I been fortunate to  have visited his villa six times and each time his wine makes me a little more crazy for the romantic life of this Tuscan region.


A real simple way to create that romance for a loved one is to cook up some artichokes, grab a bottle of a good dry wine and then head to your favorite outdoor spot where the two of you can enjoy nature’s gift of “hearts & flowers”, the artichoke, grown with passionate love from Ocean Mist Farms for you and yours. We hope you have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Adrienne Saldivar-Meier
Adrienne Saldivar-Meier is a professional home cook and professional recipe developer for America’s top agricultural growers, including Ocean Mist Farms. She has written hundreds of recipes for the home cook and has won the Marketing Excellence Award from Produce Business for her creation of Ocean Mist Farm’s artichoke recipe, “Chokes & Chili”. Adrienne conducts cooking classes in her coastal home along the Monterey Bay of California and offers cooking retreats in her Pacific Northwest Log Lodge outside of Spokane, Washington.
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