San Pedro Saturday night: A magical tour through tapas and wines

Posted on Updated on

Flor from Wine De Vine previews the next wines that will be poured and how it fits in with the next course to be served at Casa Picasso during a special dinner Saturday night for about 120 guests.
Flor from Wine de Vine previews the next wines that will be poured and how it fits in with the next course to be served at Casa Picasso during a special dinner Saturday night for about 120 guests.

Quiz time, my little Luminosity-loving friends! Very simple and no time limit.

Match the Casa Picasso food serving in Column A with the appropriate Wine de Vine wine pairing in Column B:

Course                                                                                      Wine

1. Sashimi Styled Snook                                                       A. Protos Gran Reserva, Spain

2. Savory Cheese Custard/Heirloom Tomatoes         B. Bujanda Finca Antigua, Garnacha, Spain

3. Butternut Squash & Ricotta Gnochi                            C. Chateau St. Michelle Riesling, U.S.

4. Chocolate & Vanilla Pork Short Ribs                          D. Villa Antinori Toscano Bianco, Italy

5. “Cookies and Milk” Pie                                                       E. Qunita Do Noval, 2003 Port

Aw, I’m just messing with you. You don’t have to take the quiz because it has already been done for you. Here’s the menu from which the quiz was cribbed.

My sweet Rose waiting in the courtyard of Casa Picasso.
My sweet Miss Rose waiting in the courtyard of Casa Picasso.

To be honest, none of these words were in my vocabulary before Saturday night. Well, pork and port — and one of those as a seafaring term. (You decide.)

These dishes and these wines were part of a gastronomic tag-team match made in heaven — a five-course tapas dinner by Casa Picasso deftly paired with an astoundingly appropriate  array of wines from Wine de Vine.

So, the point of the little quiz isn’t to make you feel particularly gourmand-challenged or for me to claim some kind of epicurean  supremacy.

No, the point is to marvel at what an incredibly difficult — and maybe fabulous — job it must have been for Flor and her staff from Wine de Vine and Jackie and Adam and their staff from Casa Picasso to create such an experience.

Actually if you want to see the wine and food pairings and some great pictures from the dinner, San Pedro Scoop’s Rebecca Coutant paired her prose with photos from Casa Picasso’s Adam to nicely recreate the evening.  The blog post includes an image of the menu. Check it out for the food descriptions — and, yes, it was all as great as it sounds.

One of the seven different wines offered with dinner on Saturday. Did I mention the extremely generous pours? Oh. Yes.
One of the seven different wines offered with dinner on Saturday. Did I mention the extremely generous pours? Oh. Yes.

Rose and I have been familiar with Flor’s Wine de Vine since arriving on Ambergris Caye. We pretty quickly learned that their Friday evening happy hours  are a great way to meet nice people and inexpensively sample some very good wines.

We knew about Casa Picasso from its stellar reputation and have come to know Adam and Jackie as friends through our yoga sessions together at Zen Arcade.

When we heard they were getting together, we knew we had to book the night.

As a one-time Napa Valley vineyard owner and a superb cook, Rose has the seasoned, discerning palette. I’m the original “goes with bacon” guy.

We both managed to enjoy this night filled with delightful people, bright surprises, joyful discoveries and insights into the soul of each wine being served. Thank you Flor for your introductions to each newly uncorked bottle. Thank you Jackie and Adam for the way you wrap your hearts around every guest and make them feel like they are home.

Needless to say, after a night like this, the last thing you want to do is pedal your bicycle home in the dark. Rose and I made a special night of it, booking  a room at the nearby Banana Beach Resort, where we were offered a special rate because we are, ahem, locals.

Don’t think that didn’t feel good!

Some of the many guests for the Wine De Vine, Casa Picasso "celebration of excellence in tapa dishes and fascinating wine tastings."
Some of the many guests for the Wine de Vine — Casa Picasso “celebration of excellence in tapa dishes and fascinating wine tastings.”

 

More of the guests for the Casa Picasso -- Wine de Vine dinner on Saturday night.
More of the guests for the Casa Picasso — Wine de Vine dinner on Saturday night. At the very back of the room you can see San Pedro Scoop’s Rebecca Coutant taking a picture of me taking a picture of her taking a picture of me…

Good thing, too, because it rained an awful lot of the day Saturday.

It was a short cab ride to Casa Picasso for dinner and a most welcome ride back to the resort afterward from our friends and dinner companions, Mike and Ann.

Charles from Estel's sent the breakfast beverages over to the table for Casa Picasso's  Jackie and Adam --a tribute to the great dinner they put on the night before. Except the shot glasses were filled with apple juice. "Oldest trick inthe book and I fell for it," muttered Adam, but relieved that it wasn't a tequila eye-opener.
Charles from Estel’s sent the breakfast beverages over to the table for Casa Picasso’s Jackie and Adam –a tribute to the great dinner they put on the night before. Except the shot glasses were filled with apple juice. “Oldest trick inthe book and I fell for it,” muttered Adam, but relieved that it wasn’t a tequila eye-opener.

On Sunday the skies cleared and the sun came out and did its stuff. Even so, it was a slow bicycle ride home, broken up by a stop for breakfast at Estel’s Dine by the Sea where the toasty warm fryjacks and bacon sopped up the remaining alcohol in my bloodstream.

As we were finishing breakfast it seemed as if half the people with whom we’d shared this wonderful experience  the previous night were straggling into Estel’s. And nice to know I wasn’t the only one with a big aching head.

I was so looking forward to a nap when we got home.

But as soon as I spotted the crocodile in the lagoon behind us all thoughts of a nap vaporized. I mean, this was my first sighting of a croc in the wild, and right in my back yard.

It was just sort of lazily floating around, occasionally waving his tail to move a few feet in one direction or another. All kind of aimless, it seemed to me.

But then again, it was a Sunday afternoon. I know the feeling.

A couple of the security guys had kept an eye on the croc all day. They said her nest was on the other side of the lagoon, so she probably wasn’t going to wander too far from it. We discussed the temperament of older crocs versus young ones — this one was only about five to six feel long — and the difference between crocks and alligators.

Toward dusk the crock started slowly making her way back across the lagoon. She was going to pass under the little bridge and right in front of our porch.

Suddenly two little girls — bite size for a croc — came running onto the bridge, screaming and pointing.

“There it is!”

With a plonk and barely a ripple, the croc was gone.

Well, it was a good afternoon’s work, keeping an eye on her. Now I see this benign little lagoon with different eyes. There is more life in it and around it than I ever imagined.

I can’t wait to see what secret it next reveals to us.

Work with me on this one -- I'm using an iPhone here -- in the lower right-hand corner: that's a crocodile. I swear. He floated around the lagoon all day waiting for small dogs and children, I suppose.
Work with me on this one — I’m using an iPhone here — in the lower right-hand corner: that’s a crocodile swimming toward the left. I swear. He floated around the lagoon all day waiting for small dogs and children, I suppose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “San Pedro Saturday night: A magical tour through tapas and wines

    patcor22 said:
    May 19, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    I wish I would have been there for the wine. Love the pictures. I so wanna be there. My Hubby is turning 65 years young on the 23rd of May but I still have a long way to go, I’m only 48 years young. Yeah a big difference but we been together for almost 20 years and are soulmates. Hopefully by the beginning of next year we can get the vacation in and look at some houses to buy when we are there, I cant wait to see this beautiful island you speak of, I believe I don’t even need a map because you pretty much described everything so good I will find this places I wanna see when I get there. I can’t wait to taste the food. Thanks for all the pics too they are great. Keep it up you the best blogger about Belize and I read everyone of those blogs. Looking for them everyday in my e-mail. Thanks again Patrick and Corina Grieger

    Like

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      May 19, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      Thank you so much for your support and kind words.
      We have met quite a few people who purchased here long before they were ready to retire. Some visited periodically then rented their place (especially condos) when they weren’t occupying it. A couple we recently met said the rentals cover virtually all of their costs.
      I guess it can be done.
      Main thing is you guys have each other and a beautiful relationship. Belize will be here when you are ready!

      Like

    lifeagain said:
    May 19, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    Robert….great post…
    Question?……aren’t you and Rose kinda committed to San Pedro as your place to live/home in Belize by virtue of…..of……of…….hmmmmmm? your part of a/the community, you gotta routine, Rose has ALWAYS got a smile on her face since she has arrived and if you decided to check out another town you would be not only comparing to life in California but will be compared to living in San Pedro. It looks like San Pedro will be getting harder and harder to beat by each downed glass of wine, cold Belikin on your porch or breakfast at Estel’s.

    Like

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      May 19, 2014 at 4:34 pm

      Hi Donald!
      You are absolutely correct. We’ve decided to make San Pedro our home. The original plan was to live here six months, then spend six months in San Ignacio and then … well San Pedro just gets harder and harder to leave. Every new friend we make, every glorious sunset, every sky-blue day, every new experience … just all makes it harder to imagine life anywhere else.

      Another key reason: The constant sea breezes have done wonders for clearing up Rose’s allergies. She used to suffer terribly and we do worry that the wetter, more humid rainforest and the agricultural areas of Belize will bring the allergies right back.

      That smile you see is for real — honestly it has only been three months but we finding ourselves simply stopping our bikes on a beach and breaking into big smiles for no reason … and every reason in the world.

      Like

    Rose Alcantara said:
    May 19, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    A very good twist to get readers involved. Hey, love you!

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      May 19, 2014 at 4:23 pm

      You heard it, folks. An honest opinion from an impartial reader! (Thanks, my Rose. Love you, too.)

      Like

    Tapestry Communications said:
    May 20, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    I grow wistful at the thought of moving to such a lovely place. However, being a single lady I wonder what the pickins’ are for finding a lovely gentleman to share it all with!

    Like

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      May 20, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      Very good question. I will turn that one over to Rose, as she has a number of single girlfriends here. And as I am completely unqualified to answer that!

      Like

      lifeagain said:
      May 20, 2014 at 3:27 pm

      Odd that you have the chutzpah to bring that subject up……i have wanted to/or tried to figure out how to ask Rebecca (San Pedro Scoop) Robert and also John (building a new life) that very same question. I know you can ask Rebecca anything and she will answer even if you have to ask using her personal email….but i mostly assumed that eventually one or two if not all three would just get around to it. I don’t know if John’s military buddies were single guy’s and would eventually peel off/away from he and Rose in search of a more mixed drinking or eating environment for single guy’s or John would send them in a good healthy direction where chemistry could/might/creatively happens and he and Rose wish them good luck.

      Hey Robert! you wanna get back into the news reporting business? kinda….here is an organic assignment.

      What if there are single/not married subscribers to your blog that are meandering their live’s to live and settle in San Pedro/Belize. Among the many fine walks, bike rides nice eating establishments, wine adventures, many mornings at Estel’s. trips to the mail box, counting the Iguanas that you write about…….have you ever thought………man oh man if i was a single guy around 55 and not have Rose in my life and living in San Pedro looking at/for a partner could take the shape of………..?

      I think i will send a note to John also….he will have a weird funny take on the whole idea or thought of the subject…..

      Uh Rebecca?

      Donald

      Like

        robertjhawkins1 responded:
        May 20, 2014 at 4:16 pm

        I think you are on to something Donald! Let’s all go ask Rebecca Coutant at San Pedro Scoop. After all, she is single and has lived here for more than six years.

        Seriously, we’ve only lived here three months. My perspective wouldn’t / shouldn’t count for much at this point.

        Rebecca’s on the other hand ….

        Like

    […] In the four months that we have lived here on Ambergris Caye we’ve share quite a few yoga classes and happy hours on Fridays at Wine de Vine. Mike baked a loaf of fresh-baked sourdough bread and Ann made a coconut keylime pie — both insanely delicious — for dinner at our condo one night. We were dinner companions at Casa Picasso’s epic wine-pairing dinner with Wine de Vine recentl… […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s