Villa Maria || The Perfect End Of Summer Dinner for Two


Kick back and unwind because it's still summertime and what better way to enjoy than with some delicious bubbly paired with a simple, yet tasty and elegant, dinner for 2 al fresco. I've teamed up with Villa Maria to show you how to pair their Bubbly Sauvignon Blanc with my Spicy, Peppery Peel n' Eat Shrimp that is sure to be special for your friend, family member, or loved one.


A little bit about this bubbly

This Bubbly Sauvignon Blanc is crisp, light and has so many different components including a burst of ripe melon and fresh lime aromas. The kick of bubbles on the finish just screams light summer + seafood dinner. Think shrimp, lobster rolls and hand-shucked oysters! The winemakers describe that the bubbles "enhance zingy fruit flavors capturing the essence of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc." 

What pairs perfectly with a little Sauvignon Blanc? Spicy Pepper Peel n' Eat Shrimp!

The bubbly and light flavors of the wine work nicely with the fresh seafood and the peppery and spice kick from the shrimp! Pick up some unpeeled shrimp from your local store, use your household spices and get to cooking. Whip this up in no time, about 30 minutes and dinner is ready, thank me later. :) 


Time: 30-35 minutes Yield: 3-4 Servings

For the Marinade: 

  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 pound shrimp - unpealed 
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chile flakes
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric 


  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp lemon
  • 2 tsp sriracha
  • 2 t mayo
  • 1/2 tsp seasame oil 


  • 1/2 cucumber
  • shredded manchego, I sliced this on my vegetable peeler
  • 2 cup of Arugula 
  • Lemon Juice 
  • Olive Oil 


  1. Make your marinade of, garlic, pepper, salt, paprika, chile flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil and turmeric. Mix together with your shrimp and set aside in the fridge. Let marinaded for 15-1hr. 
  2. Prepare your salad! Dump your arugula in a bowl with some shredded manchego cheese and thinly sliced cucumbers with a bit of lemon juice and olive oil. 
  3. After preparing your salad, make your sauce of garlic, lemon, Sriracha and sesame oil. 
  4. After shrimp is marinaded, heat a pan (I used a cast iron) over medium high heat with some oil and let it get hot. Once hot, add on your shrimp 3-4 on each side until it becomes grilled and a bright orange color. Take off and cool. 
  5. Garnish with some cilantro and lemon juice. You can either place on a plate or over an ice bath, either hot or cold works! Dig in and enjoy! 

Make Dinner for 2 As Easy, Fast + Simple as Possible (Tips) 

  1. Mise En Place! Work as a team to get dinner ready at the table as quickly as possible. One of you works on the marinade while the other one starts + finishes the salad. You can split the time in half.  Also make sure you clean as you go. So after dinner is done, you just have to clean up the dishes you ate on! 
  2. Ambience: Make it romantic! Put on some relaxing music, light some candles, buy some fresh flowers. Make it look presentable and summery. If you have a patio or backyard, I suggest moving din out there and bringing out your best wine glasses. :) Another TIP! Bring your wine and shrimp to the beach and have a picnic while sipping on the bubbly and listening to the waves. 
  3. Buying groceries: Sometimes you can buy extra items past suggestion sizes + when you're cooking you can make extra for the next day. For example, for this leftover shrimp recipe, for the next day, you can chop it up and mince it with celery, onions, mayo and mustard and make a shrimp salad with greens. 
  4. Plating: For this recipe, make 1 large shrimp over ice and one salad bowl, bring out 2 larger white plates and you can both pick off from there! 
  5. Enjoy. :) + no phones! A dinner date with your loved or with your friend - get off your electronic devices and be in the moment pealing your shrimp, sipping on your wine and getting deep into conversation or something just as simple as talking about your day. A true way to unwind.  

Enter to win a trip for 2 to New Zealand with Villa Maria! 

Villa Maria is giving 1 lucky winner (and a guest!) the chance to win a round trip with airfare from the U.S to New Zealand as part of their Open Another World campaign. Enjoy 7 days and 6 nights between the North and South Islands in addition to visiting the Villa Maria Wine Estates. Hello, wine!!  

Entering is simple and you can sign up here! You better believe I am, fingers crossed. :) 

Summer doesn't have to end with Villa Maria's BubblySauvignon Blanc and with this Peel n' Eat Shrimp recipe, I am going to put this duo on repeat.