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!