Celebrate #120DaysofSummer by dining al fresca with this recipe for grilled shrimp in pil-pil sauce, a garlic and chili infused olive oil. Pairs perfectly with Santa Rita sauvignon blanc.
Disclosure: Thanks to Santa Rita wine for sponsoring this post as part of their #120DaysofSummer campaign. As always, thanks for supporting the brands that make Avocado A Day Nutrition possible.
Five years ago when the hubs and I got engaged and we were just delving into wedding planning, I asked him what was important for him at our wedding.
He replied with two requests. "I want an 80s cover band, and I want to surprise you with our honeymoon destination at the wedding."
So, I turned over honeymoon planning to my fiance, the man who hadn't really traveled until we started dating and had never actually planned a trip before. Gulp.
When it was finally our wedding night, after the speeches, everyone gathered round to hear Scott announce our destination. Of course, he couldn't just come out and say it but had to taunt me with a lengthy speech filled with clues before announcing. The first clue - "After all the hard work Rachael has put into planning this wedding, I know she's going to need a drink. So the first few days of our honeymoon will be spent in what was named the best wine valley of the year."
Naturally, my mind jumped to visions of France and Italy and California. I was excited, but hoped to go somewhere more unique that I hadn't been before.
But my guesses were wrong. We were flying to Chile the next day!!! (<-- !!!!!!!!!!)
Chile was right near the top of my dream vacation list, but I had no clue it was such a famous wine producing region. We spent the first three days of our honeymoon touring it's most famous wine valleys - Colchagua, Casablanca and Maipo - sipping wine and enjoying really incredible food.
So when I started planning a recipe to pair with Santa Rita wine, one of the most well known brands and high quality brands from Chile, I knew I wanted to recreate one of the dishes we enjoyed on the trip. I immediately thought of an incredible meal we had in Santiago where we split woodfire oven baked goat cheese, spicy Chilean mashed potatoes and a giant clay bowl of tender hake cheeks in pil-pil (garlic) sauce. Instead of using hake cheeks (I don't think they sell that at Whole Foods), I swapped local shrimp, since shellfish is a natural pairing with their sauvignon blanc.
And wouldn't you know, when I looked back at my travel journal from the trip, as it turns out, we actually had a bottle of Santa Rita wine that night! How crazy is that? They were running a special promotion all over Chile that week promoting various Chilean wines by offering a bottle to take home with every bottle you ordered at restaurants. Umm, can we get something like that back in the States? One thing we learned is that Chilean wines offer great quality for the dollar - something with taxes makes wines from Chile less expensive to buy Chilean wines in the States, so now Chilean wine is most of what we purchase!