Friday, September 7, 2007

Let's Monkey Around With Wine And A Summer Salad

Look at this label on this wine!!! I had a big smile on my face and a chuckle when I came across this bottle of wine at the supermarket yesterday. Of course I had to buy it!! But when I opened Pinot Evil I had another big smile on my face as the wine behind the funny lable was not funny. It was quite good! The wine was located in the French section of the store, but when I got it home and was really "reading" the label I noticed it was from Romania!! Wow, I do not know if I have ever had a wine from Romania! So now I have a whole new country to discover. But for now, I will tell you about Pinot Evil.

The 2005 Pinot Evil is a Pinot Gris from the Cramele Recus winery located in the town of Recus in Timis County, Banat, Romania. This location is in the Eastern part of the country of Romania. This little excerpt was on the back of the bottle: See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil. Dating back to the 8th century, this Three Wise Monkey proverb was introduced to Japan by a Buddhist monk from China. Long believed by winemakers to be a challenging grape to grow and craft into wine, Pinot Gris often seems possesssed if not downright evil. We prefer to view Pinot Gris as a guilty pleasure. I think it is nice to be entertained by the bottle while drinking the wine from it! Anyhow, Pinot Evil is a nice crisp wine with a taste of ripe pears and a hint of mineral to it. It is one of those lip smaking wines which are wonderful on a hot summer evenings. I drank this very well chilled. It would be great with some late summer fruits, such as melon or a nice piece of fish on the grill. Or you can just chill a bottle, have some friends over and just "monkey" around!!!

Now for a great little quick fix salad for a summer lunch or with whatever goodie you are putting over a charcoal or gas grill.

Pasta Salad With Peas And Whatever Sounds Good!

8 oz. of elbow macaroni cooked and rinsed in cold water
3/4 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup chopped shallots - you could also use red onion or green onions
1 chopped red pepper - you can also add green pepper if you like
3/4 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped parsley

For the dressing - I make a double batch. This first half of the batch I use as soon as I make the salad. The second half I use when I pull the salad out of the frig and am getting ready to plate up. This is a double batch recipe.

5 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 heaping teaspoons of Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons of extra virgin oil oil
1 teaspoon of honey - you can add more of this if you like it a bit sweeter
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all of your pasta and veggies together in a big bowl. Add 1/2 of the dressing and stir. Put salad into frig until it is chilled. When ready to serve, add the other 1/2 of the dressing.

This is so easy to make and works well as a side dish to almost anything grilled outside. Don't be shy to alter the ingredients! If you have some type of bean, say pintos left over, pitch them in or even green beans, whatever. This salad loves leftovers. It also tastes great the next day, if you are lucky to have any leftovers!

I want to thank Valli for giving me the "Droolworthy" award! That was sweet of you Val and I do love coming to visit you on your site!

Cheers !


Belinda said...

Deb, I love the look and sound of this pasta salad...and I have a red bell pepper whose destiny I was just this afternoon pondering! And the name Pasta Salad With Peas And Whatever Sounds Good is almost as perfect as Pinot Evil...haha! Isn't that just too darn funny on both counts?! :-)

winedeb said...

Hey Belinda! Hope that red pepper found a place in your dinner!