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Pulpo de Maria alla Coggiola

Pulpo de Maria alla Coggiola

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If you follow me on Instagram you know how much I love Rose wine as I tend to talk about it all summer.  When I was invited to the wine event, Experience Rose, I immediately said yes.  I could not think of a better way to escape a chilly June afternoon in the Bay area, than by sipping Rose wine and sampling delicious food in the Napa sunshine.  There were many highlights but one that I keep thinking about is this recipe for Pulpo de Maria alla Coggiola which also was the winning dish during the event.

Experience Rose was hosted a the beautiful CIA in Napa.  This was my first time at the CIA, and it did not disappoint.  Besides sipping Rose and noshing on food, I did have a chance to wander the grounds of the CIA and it is truly a lovely space to lose yourself in.  Studded with lush gardens and fragrant lavender throughout not to mention beautiful spanning views.  It was the perfect backdrop for an afternoon of Rose.

Experience Rose Napa

I got the chance to experience new to me Roses not only from California but also from Europe.  I tend to lean towards a Rose that is crisp and not sweet and these were a few of my favorites.  Another highlight was being able to attend a tasting with the renowned winemaker, Randall Graham of Bonny Doon Vineyard.  I have always been a fan of his wines and appreciate his no-fuss approach to wine.  He has a way of making wine tasting approachable for the most experienced wine drinker to a novice such as myself.  And his newest venture a bubbly Rose in a can is too fun not to invite to your summer parties!

Experience Rose Napa

On to my favorite Rose wines of the day:

La Grand Courtage Brut Rose – Bubbly Rose, oh my!  I started my tasting with a glass of these French pink bubbles.  This winery is located in the Burgandy area of France and the Rose definitely showed the sophistication that comes with wines from that area.  It was bright with a hint of berry and light florals.  Not overly sweet at all and the perfect way to kick off an afternoon of Rose.

Handley Cellars Pinot Noir Rose – I am a fan of Pinot Noir Roses as well as Anderson Valley wine, this did not disappoint.  The wine is a beautiful pale pink in color, not sweet at all, instead, it was dry with flavors of crisp cucumbers.  I have never thought of pairing Rose with food but thought this would go well with grilled seafood.  A very accommodating wine.

Lazy Creek Vineyards – Rose of Pinot Noir is another luscious wine from the Anderson Valley.  This was also a light in color rose with low acidity and dry.  I tasted hints of citrus as well as strawberries.  Again, a great Rose to enjoy on a hot summer evening.

Bonny Donn Vineyard – one of the first wines I ever enjoyed in California was the Le Cigare Volant.  When I saw that we would be drinking the Vin Gris de Cigare during the private tasting with Randall Grahm, I could not wait and I knew I would not be disappointed.  This wine is not made from red wine byproducts.  Instead, the grapes are harvested at their peak ripeness and made into this lovely rose.  Hints of roses, citrus and minerals make it the perfect afternoon wine.  Leave it to this winemaker to make a wine in a can that is fun and playful;  La Bulle Moose which is made with Vin Gris de Cigare and then carbonated.  The perfect summer wine!

Experience Rose Napa

Domaine Anderson – Rose of Pinot Noir again another lovely Anderson Valley Rose with hints of strawberries as well as watermelon.  This is a very balanced wine that is dry and very drinkable. I  would most likely enjoy a rich triple cream cheese.  I have a feeling one cannot go wrong with Roses from the Anderson Valley.

Now that I have shared a few favorite wines, I want to share this recipe for Pulpo de Maria alla Coggiola with you.  Not only was it the winning nosh of the day but it was my favorite as well.  I believe we sampled it ten times before casting our vote.  Had to make sure it was perfect right?  This recipe would be really lovely served at summer parties with a splash of your favorite Rose.  As soon as I spy some fresh octopus at the market, I definitely plan on making it.  I might even make it as an entree too!


Experience Rose Napa

Recipe:  Pulpo de Maria alla Coggiola

Cilantro Serrano Mojo – Green Sauce

  • Garlic 1 head
  • Serrano, without seeds 1 ea. Or to taste
  • Cilantro 1 bunch
  • Extra virgin Olive Oil 100 mL
  • White Wine Vinegar 50 mL
  • Rosé, reduced slightly to 50 mL
  • Water from boiled crinkled potatoes 50 mL
  • Salt, kosher, or sea salt to taste


1. In a food processor, pulse garlic, serrano, and cilantro until begin to combine. Scrape the bowl once in a while.

2. Combine vinegar, Rosé, and water. 

3. Stream in oil while the food processor is on. If the mixture becomes too thick, loosen the vinegar-water mixture. Alternate between additions of oil and water, until homogenized. 

3. Season with salt or additional serrano to taste.

Note: Taste better made a day or night before, flavors will marry overnight. 

Sofrito Aioli – Red Sauce

  • Extra virgin olive oil as needed
  • Onions, grated 3 ea.
  • Tomatoes, grated 6-7 ea.
  • Spanish paprika “Pimenton”- Sweet 3 tsp.
  • Spanish paprika “Pimenton”- Spicy 3 tsp.
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • Mayonnaise as needed


1. Cover the bottom of large pan with at least ½ inch of oil. Heat oil and add the onions. Reduce heat and cook until golden brown, caramelizing the onions. Stir occasionally or add a little water to prevent burning.

2. Add tomatoes and paprika. Mix. Cook until all the water is evaporated. The tomatoes and onions should have melted into each other.

3. Add any desired herbs and squeeze of lemon juice.

4. Allow to cool. In a blender, combine the sofrito with spoonfuls of mayonnaise until desired creaminess. Finish with extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

Note: Taste better made a day or night before, flavors will marry overnight. 

Crinkled Potatoes

  • Yellow, waxy potatoes, skin on 2 pounds
  • Kosher salt 1 cup + as needed
  • Water to cover potatoes


1. Place potatoes in a medium-sized pot.

2. Cover potatoes with water, and add salt. If potatoes are not floating, add more salt.

3. Bring the water to a boil, lower heat, and simmer until you can pierce the potato with a knife.

4. Drain the water, leaving a little water at the bottom. 

5. On low heat, shake the pot until salt begins to crystallize around the potatoes. 

6. Cover the pot until the skins have wrinkled.

7. Spread out onto a sheet pan to cool. 

8. Slice potatoes thinly for the base of the tapa.

Charred Kumquats

  • Kumquats, picked, small and sweet 1 pound


1. Slice kumquats medium-thin thickness, making little circles.

2. Remove any seeds.

3. On a grill with a wire-mesh rack, or with a torch, char the kumquats enough without burning.

Grilled Octopus

  • Octopus, whole 1 ea.
  • Water as needed
  • Rosemary 3 stems
  • Thyme 3 stems
  • Paprika 6 tablespoons
  • Garlic 1 head
  • Onions quartered 2 heads
  • Extra virgin olive oil


1. Fill a medium-sized pot at least halfway with water. Add the rosemary, thyme, paprika, garlic, and onions. Bring to a boil. 

2. Blanch the whole octopus several times.

3. Bring the liquid down to a simmer, place the octopus in and simmer until tender.

4. Allow to rest.

5. Grill over wood, rest, and chop octopus into pieces, removing beak especially. Tentacles are the best meat, while meat from the head tends to be stronger tasting yet still delicious.

6. Cover the octopus with additional paprika and olive oil.

7. Slice medium-thin pieces of octopus to place on the tapa. The octopus should be tender but should be a good meaty bite.

Putting it all together

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Paprika
  • Microgreens or pea shoots
  • Charred Kumquat
  • Sofrito Aioli – Red Sauce
  • Grilled Octopus
  • Cilantro Serrano Mojo – Green Sauce
  • Crinkled Potato


1. Place a piece of sliced crinkled potato as the base.

2. Cover the potato lightly with the Cilantro Serrano Mojo

3. Place a piece of sliced octopus next.

4. A small dollop or spread of the Sofrito Aioli – Red Sauce.

5. A charred kumquat piece on the aioli to hold it in place.

6. A couple of microgreens or pea shoots on top.

7. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika.

** Disclaimer – I was given two VIP tickets to Experience Rose. I was not required to write about my experience or to share anything.  All opinions are of my own.  The recipe was supplied by chefs Kevin Tom, Olga Kokarenko and Bernardo Riosas (students at the CIA), as well the photography was used with permission from Experience Rose.









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