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Mykonos moments

When I was planning this trip to Greece, a challenging task because there are so many options and I knew nothing, I struggled to choose between Mykonos and Santorini as our indulgent (read: expensive) island. Ultimately I went with Mykonos because I thought that party atmosphere was more appropriate than a romantic setting when traveling withy son. Perhaps, Santorini will be a future excursion with a travel partner to whom I didn’t give birth.

The ferry from Naxos took nearly two hours, a bit longer than the official ferry schedule claims. We were on a small boat, but the trip was much more comfortable in significantly calmer waters. Upon arrival in the old port, we found our way to a water taxi (4 euro r/t) and made it to Mykonos Town in less than 15 minutes.

Our hotel, Ilio Maris, was a short walk through narrow and winding streets followed by long hill. The sidewalks are pretty much nonexistent, but the traffic is so heavy that no one is moving particularly fast and it was daylight. The hotel itself is very, very nice. Simple, clean, with terrific amenities including a pool and an extensive buffet breakfast included. And the view – panoramic and gorgeous. It was, by far, the most expensive (~$250) accommodations of our trip, but I rationalized that it included breakfast and I’ve spent that same amount for a night in NYC. Carpe diem.

We spent the afternoon relaxing and napping by the pool and sipping glasses of cold white wine. And water, lots of water. In the evening, we walked down to a recommended restaurant, Kounelas Fish Tavern, where we very much enjoyed a couple of small plates including grilled octopus with fava bean purée and a shrimp dish with tomato sauce, feta and bell peppers, along with more tasty white wine. With the flavor of the complimentary shot of liqueur on my lips, we made for the nearby port to capture the evening’s sunset.

Both of us were feeling pretty giggly from the wine and were happy enough to walk around people watching. We grabbed some gelato and wandered taking in the shops, smells and apparent wealth of many of whom we encountered. The people here are beautiful, but not necessarily without effort, and my son sagely noted, “Mykonos, I see what you’re all about.” After an hour or so, we agreed we were content to return to our room for the night, where I promptly passed out fell asleep.

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DelSo Wine Oh!

Sundays in the DelSo tend to be quiet.  Newspapers are delivered, coffee is sipped, spontaneous meals are shared, bottles of wine are uncorked. This past Sunday was no exception to this lovely routine.  As a matter of fact, the only exception to the DelSo Sunday rule, was how truly exceptionally well my neighbors and I honored the Sunday tradition with simply perfect food and wine.

Like many things, the evening evolved from an offer to share.  I had some mussels and some wine, the artists next door had some magical beans that went from being fuzzy and purple to green and tender when cooked.  That’s really where we started from.

For the mussels, I softened a diced Vidalia onion and a generous amount of minced garlic in some olive oil.  After about 10 minutes, I seasoned the vegetables with salt to taste and added 2 chopped tomatoes, a chipotle pepper, about a cup and a half of white wine and two pounds of mussels.  I covered the pot and let the mussels pop open.  To finish, I tossed in about a third of a cup of basil, (a combination of both Thai and Italian) and warmed up some crusty bread.  I can’t believe I didn’t grab a picture of the mussels, but here’s one of the tomatoes I used.

This German striped heirloom was incredibly sweet.

Once you see the next series of photos, however, you might get an inkling of  how I lost my mind  got distracted.  Here’s the evening in wine…We opened with a lovely, dry riesling from Alsace which cut right through the fire of the mussel’s chili pepper scented broth.  I love Alsatian wines and was very happy to share this souvenir from the neighbor’s recent trip abroad.  C’est bon!
Our next stop was Domaine Bila Haut Cote du Roussillon, 2010.  I think I must have picked this up from Empire.  I believe it was really inexpensive and I know I am happy to have another bottle of this still around.  Next up was this Cote du Rhone.  This was another bargain that Ken probably picked up at Capital and it was nicely balanced and managed to be smooth, yet a little peppery.  Tasty.  At this point we probably could have stopped, but, it was barely 9:00 and we wanted one last bottle so I closed my eyes and reached into the wine rack.

Let me tell you something – they say you should open with your best bottle and work your way down in quality as your taste buds become desensitized.  That was not our method at all!  The final bottle was transcendent.

Crazy good!!!

It was meaty and mushroomy and velvety and absolutely delicious.  I read some of these notes and, honestly, I don’t know what they were drinking but it wasn’t the same experience we had with this bottle  At all.  It was a very fine bottle of wine and I couldn’t have been happier than to have shared it with my awesome neighbors on a summer Sunday.

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