Occasionally we switch it up with our best friends and we go over there for dinner and wine. G makes a mean steak, marinated in his secret sauce and always cooked to perfect, rare of course. He also made bruschetta with roasted tomatoes from his garden. Oh my god these were so good, I could have eaten the whole pan all by myself. But at the last minute I remembered my manners and forced myself to not be a glutton. He roasted ears of corn in their husks on the grill which gave me the opportunity to try something I saw on Facebook on how to de-husk corn on the cob effortlessly.
After the corn is cooked, you take it off the grill and place the ear on a cutting board and with a sharp knife, cut the base of the ear of corn off. Then pull the ends of the husks slightly away from the corn. Grab the tip of the husk at the opposite end of the corn and pull off. The husks and almost all of the silk come cleanly off the cob. So simple and easy I wish I would have known this a long time ago.
The first bottle of wine we had to go with the bruschetta was a New Zealand Pinot Noir called ARA Single Estate from Marlborough, 2009. You can find them at http://www.arawines.co.nz. It had a light fruit nose, dry and soft, with a medium finish. It was very drinkable. Needless to say, the bottle didn’t last long.
To go with the steaks for dinner we had a bottle of Louis M. Martini, a California Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012. Their website is http://www.louismartini.com. This was a super smooth buttery tasting wine. It smelled of soft fruit without the high alcohol smell of some Cabernets. It had a full finish that filled my mouth with a wonderful softness and went down with no burn or bite at all. I will definitely add this one to my must buy list.
Steaks on the grill, bruschetta made with tomatoes from the garden, great wine and better friends, you can’t ask for much more than that.
We have had a very pleasant summer so far, not the usual blast furnace complete with humidity in triple digits. This means that we have been able to drink a lot more red wines and not just chilled whites or rosés. Don’t get me wrong, I love white wines and rosés, but steak goes much better with red wine and with the summer heat we grill out most every night. Besides I think Mitch would stage a mutiny if all I fixed all summer was chicken and pork chops.
To go with the steaks on the grill, I opened a bottle of Mark West Pinot Noir, 2012. Mark West is a California wine and can be found at http://www.markwestwines.com. This wine was a brownish red purple color in the glass and had a fruit forward smell and taste. It had a light spicy taste with a medium finish. It was a very nice very drinkable wine. This is one I will be buying a lot more of when I go for my regular wine re-stocking.
Another really good Pinot Noir is Roaring Meg, 2010, from Mt Difficulty Estate, in New Zealand. The web site is http://www.mtdifficulty.co.nz. This is a wine I had in Texas on vacation earlier this year. It was full of crisp flavors of peaches and pears with a hint of spiciness. When I stuffed my nose in the glass I could smell honey and fruit nectar. It was a wonderful glass of wine and one that I will buy if I can find it.
As far as summers go, this one has been a very mild one around here. I’m not complaining mind you, in light of the previous three summers, this one has been very pleasant, rain now and then, temperatures only hit the nineties a few times, almost picture perfect. The only down side has been that because of the really long cold winter, it has taken my vegetable garden longer to produce any zucchini, cucumbers and tomatoes.
This summer I’ve experimented with new white wines I hadn’t tried before. Overall I’m making a bigger effort to get out of my comfort zone and try more red and white wines. A few have been really good.
One of the white wines that I hadn’t had before is Concannon Selected Vineyard, Sauvignon Blanc, 2012. A California white wine that was very light and tart, with a grapefruit aroma, and a clean taste. It had a nice light finish.
Another new wine we had was one of the wines we bought in Texas. Becker Vineyards, Wildflower, Fleur Sauvage, 2012. This is a Texas High Plains white wine blend. This wine was off dry, demi-sec. It was a wine that went really well with spicy food.
The third one is one that we’ve had many times, Toscana Villa Antinori, an Italian white blend. The vintage was 2011 and super tasty. The wine was tart and dry, with a mineral taste like a Sauvignon Blanc. The first taste was grapefruit with a medium finish.
One of the best things I’ve discovered about wine is that there is always a new wine to taste. No one can ever say that they’ve tasted them all. This is a passion that can never be fulfilled, but will never get boring either.