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