Monday, July 6, 2009

Wet & Wild: Surf's Up at Esmeralda

Boards and wetsuits weren't de rigeur for our June 26th Surf's Up bash at Renaissance Esmeralda's sleek CAVA restaurant, but that didn't keep a few lassies from pouring themselves into Neoprene-tight summer sheaths – all for the cause, of course. Yikes.

It was all good as we celebrated summer with a quartet of refreshing wines paired with Executive Chef Greg Picard's seafood extravaganza. In the barrel with Step into Liquid and Riding Giants on the flat screen, we feasted on sweet cracked crab, made-to-order seafood risotto, salads, sushi and a sumptuous array of hard-to-resist specialty dishes. Our June charity United Way never had it so good.

Four wines that not only paired well with seafood but also presented distinctly different choices whetted a wide range of tastes. Many started off with A to Z's Oregon Rosé made from 100% Sangiovese. Its fresh and strawberry-scented flavors with a bit of spice on the finish brought complexity to sheer refreshment and drinkability. We spotted a few rosé converts at first sip of this affordably wow wine.

Two whites netted Neptune's feast on their own terms. A Chilean Sauvignon Blanc by Montes, Leyda Vineyards gave Chef's ceviche a racy run with hints of lime, green papaya and bracing food-friendly acidity. Those who preferred a rounder, softer white with muted tropical fruit and sleek-textured medium body found a perfect palate-pleaser in Oregon's Pinot Blanc from Bethel Heights.

Red wine devotees heeded the call of King's Ridge Pinot Noir with its cheery color and clarity. The cherry-scented Oregon Pinot delivered a fruity-floral nose and easy-drinking versatility beyond fish to pork, chicken and lightly grilled veggies. We gave thumbs us to adventurists who bagged the one-wine approach and rode in on all four liquids. The quartet has been spotted at LA Wine Company and A to Z Rosé at Jensen's.

In the corner, a few bliss-seekers took advantage of chair massage by Spa Esmeralda's Carlos. If you haven't experienced a massage by Carlos, it's quite possible you haven't lived. Call 760.836.1265 to book your special WinewomenPSP spa offer, valid into December. Bring more Zen into your life during these rough and tumble times.

We hope Surf's Up under the stars turned you on to four fab wine choices for your next dinner party. Dump the red-with-meat-white-with-fish mantra and take off instead with fresh varietals and wines from exotic locales to rip into the pleasure zone. Tell us how you liked our quartet and Esmeralda's no-holds-barred seafood buffet. As the mercury climbs higher this summer, you'll catch us chilling at Spa Esmeralda and cooling down at CAVA's elegant poolside venue. Carlos, Patricia and the wet-noodle spa wizards are calling your name.

No comments: