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Archive for January, 2014

Today’s Wine Review

On Sundays if we have no other plans, I pick Mitch up from work, come home and have a late lunch early dinner. I try to fix something nice more dinner like than lunch and of course wine to go with it all. I know it’s a bit early but its Sunday and we have no place to go, so why no unwind earlier? That just means I get longer to drink. The downside is that we can’t drink too much because we still have to walk the dogs. Too much wine and dog walking ends up with a trip to the emergency room. Good thing I have Aflac.

Today the weather cooperated and warmed up enough so that I could grill us a steak. Mitch likes his medium rare and I like mine rare so his goes on first then mine goes on after I turn his over. Steaks are quick and easy and one of Mitch’s favorite meals. The wine today was a California red blend from Sonoma County. Besieged 2012, bottled by Ravenswood and a blend of 35% Carignane, 20% Petite Sirah, 18% Zinfandel, 13% Mourvedre, 9% Alicante Bouschet, 5% Barbera, is a limited release with 14.5% alcohol content.

The wine was a dark rich red color, with blackberry aromas. I could taste black cherry and plum. The wine was dry but not harsh, with a bit of a bite and had a full finish. It went great with the steak and salad. I bought it for under $15 at our favorite wine store.

I am trying to widen my palette and drink more blends. We tend to buy mostly single varietals, like Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel and mainly because we are pretty sure of what we will get. Blends have a bit of a mystique about them. So much of buying blends is the label and the information or lack of on the label. Every time we go to replenish our wine stock I am going to be sure and throw in a couple of bottles of blends that I haven’t tried before. I know I can’t taste every wine out there, but I’m going to give it my best shot.

Today’s Wine Review

I have a friend that makes the best jalapeño jelly, some heat a little sweet, an awesome combination. The best part about it is that she always gives me a couple jars for Christmas. My friends know me, food and wine, you can’t go wrong. I shared some of the jelly with another friend that likes spicy too. Now he makes me jalapeño hamburgers and they are so delicious. G caramelizes onions and jalapeños, grills the burgers to perfection, adds pepper cheese and smears the jelly on the bun. A juicy burger that has just enough heat for the zing and a just enough sweet to keep your mouth from burning.

Last night we went over for burgers, G and I eat the jalapeño burgers, S and Mitch aren’t into hot and spicy so G makes them bacon cheeseburgers. Add to this sautéed brussel sprouts and potatoes, yum. To start the meal S made fresh guacamole and we opened a bottle of Cline 2012, Cashmere, a red blend from California. You can find the website at http://www.clinecellars.com. The wine was dry and smooth, with a little smoky flavor, and very full bodied. It was a nice start to the evening.

When the burgers came off the grill we opened a bottle of William Hill Estate 2012, Cabernet Sauvignon from California. The website is http://www.williamhillestate.com. The color was a very dark red almost purple in the glass. It was a big bold cab, dry a bit smoky with a nice bite. It had a nice finish that left my mouth a touch dry wanting to drink some more. I don’t know about the bacon cheeseburgers, but it went very nicely with jalapeño burgers.

For dessert we had a cherry cobbler with vanilla ice cream. To accompany the dessert I brought a bottle of Harry and David White Chocolate martini mix and a bottle of Pinnacle vodka. Since I’m not a big hard liquor drinker anymore, I didn’t know which vodka would be good, so I made I selection the way anyone that knows nothing about something would, price and pretty label. Luckily it worked out. The vodka was very smooth. A coworker had given me the bottle of Harry and David White Chocolate and said that it was very good. He was right. Two parts white chocolate mix to one part vodka, and it went down so smooth. S and I even poured some of the white chocolate mix over our cobbler, very tasty.

All in all the food was outstanding and the wines were definitely keepers and as always the company was the best part.

Today’s Wine Review

I am never going to lose any weight. No matter how hard I try to start the day with the best intentions, something always sabotages me. Alright it’s me, I’m the saboteur, I admit it. I’m just weak. This morning I took a couple of chicken breasts out of the freezer and put them in the refrigerator so Mitch could take them out to thaw when he got home from work. I even texted him to ask that he set them out on the counter. Well guess what? He forgot. In his haste to get home, let the dogs out and go get a haircut, he forgot to set the chicken out.

When I got home and saw the chicken still in fridge hard as bricks, I knew I was doomed again. I think he secretly planned to forget so he could have frozen pizza instead. The pizza is a DiGiorgno rising crust supreme (that means extra fat) with lots of pepperoni, a few olives and a sprinkling of chopped bell peppers. I always pick off the pepperoni and add bell peppers to my slice in order to justify eating it. It’s good in a pinch, even though I prefer the thin crust pizzas, these are Mitch’s favorite frozen pizzas. That’s good I can blame him for the two pounds I will probably gain tonight.

Our normal pairings with the pizza is a beer for Mitch and I usually drink one of the lighter, sweeter wines we have. Tonight I thought I would open one of the bottles of Missouri wines we bought last fall from a vineyard down in Southern Missouri called Meramac Vineyards. It was called New World Wine, a white wine made from the Niagara grape. It was the color of straw, very golden and smelled like an overripe bloom, maybe an orchid, almost sickenly sweet. It even tasted flowery sweet. The wine tasted much better last fall when I was a little drunk. It was one of last wines I tasted in a whole slew of wines. This is a wine that I shouldn’t have purchased and wouldn’t have if I hadn’t overindulged on the wines and on an empty stomach to boot.

It’s a good thing I only bought one bottle this time; usually I can’t be trusted after tasting a bunch of wines. Oh well better luck tomorrow.

Today’s Wine Review

White or red, there is no bias here. I love to drink both, I know call me crazy. A lot of people I know tell me they don’t like white wine only red and I always wonder why. There are so many different varieties of white wine and each has their own nuances and styles. From ice wine to Sauvignon Blanc I love to drink each one. I don’t wait for summer just to drink white wine either; I drink it all winter too.

Last night we opened a bottle of Simi 2012, Sauvignon Blanc. It is a California wine from Sonoma County and it was very good. You can find them online at http://www.simiwinery.com. The wine was almost the color of water, clear in the glass with a citrusy aroma. The first sip had a dry mineral taste, then I could taste the grapefruit and ended with a clean smooth finish. The second glass went down as easy as the first. Good thing no one was driving.

This would be an awesome summer wine too. Served chilled sitting around enjoying the warm summer breezes and sipping away. Can you tell I miss warmer weather?

Today’s Wine Review

For Christmas a very dear friend sent me a beautiful basket with all kinds of goodies and five count them five bottles of Sterling Vineyards wine. I have never tasted any Sterling wines so this would be an adventure. There was a three bottle of red and two bottles of white wine. A Zinfandel, Cabernet, Meritage. Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay. The first bottle we opened was the Zinfandel, 2011. Sterling Vineyards is a California wine, you can find them at http://www.sterlingvineyards.com. The Zinfandel is from Central Coast region.

I fixed a marinated roast and rosemary garlic roasted potatoes and the Zinfandel was a perfect accompaniment. Or maybe I should say the meal went very well with the wine, because it was the real star. The wine was a reddish purple color with berry aromas. The wine had a light taste, smooth with a nice bite and a soft finish. It was lighter than most other Zinfandels that I’ve tasted, but it was so tasty. This would be a great summer red wine on my buy again list.

Below is a picture of the basket and all of the goodies that came with it. I have eaten my way through sampling chocolates, cookies and crackers that I usually don’t ever eat. I just love the holidays.

wine basket

Today’s Wine Review

I seriously overate last night. I’m still recovering today and see about an hour on the elliptical. We have a tradition that for your birthday, you pick your menu and I will fix it for you. From the salad to the dessert whatever you want, I will fix it from scratch. Last night it was Mitch’s turn to pick the menu. His menu choice is always the same.

Chicken Fried Steak
Mashed Potatoes/Gravy
Corn on the Cob
Hot Rolls/Butter
Cherry Pie ala Mode

I throw in a tossed salad so that at least one thing will be healthy, because the rest consists of about a million calories and a thousand grams of fat. And because I don’t want to be the only one indulging in this gastric nightmare besides Mitch, I invited our friends and family over to suffer through with me. They brought along a bottle of Joel Gott Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 and a bottle of Cavicchioli Spumante.

We started off with the Cabernet and it was delicious. The wine was a dark red ruby color in the glass. It had a lush smooth taste with a hint of berry. It had a full body and a wonderful finish. It tasted so good that I almost forgot that I was not helping my heart and waistline chowing down on all that comfort food.

For dessert we opened the bottle of Cavicchioli an Italian Spumante to accompany the cherry pie. It was very tasty too. The alcohol content was 8% making it easy to drink and drink and drink. The sparkling wine was a great pairing with the pie, not too dry and not super sweet. It was a light bubbly wine that went down so very easy. It reminded me that I need to drink sparkling wine more often.

Thank goodness Mitch’s birthday happens only once a year.

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