For Christmas dinner, I decided on a small standing rib roast, since it was just the two of us. I bought a four pound New York style standing rib roast with nice marbling.
The menu for dinner was:
Rib Roast with Garlic
Roasted Northwest Style Vegetables
Wine – Pinot Noir
I cut about fifteen half inch slits in the fat at the of the roast and shoved in a garlic clove in each of the slits. Then I sprinkled salt and pepper on the top. I put the roast uncovered in a 350° oven until the internal temperature was almost 135° (rare) in the middle, almost 2 hours. For the potatoes, I cut slices into each potato that were about a quarter inch wide and almost all the way through potato, leaving each slice hinged at the bottom. Then I drizzled some olive oil across the top and placed each potato in a small baking dish and put it in the oven along with the roast. I then spread the vegetables on a cookie sheet, drizzled them with olive oil, salt and pepper and minced garlic and baked them in the same oven for about 45 minutes.
For the wine, I opened a bottle of Wine by Joe, a 2014 Oregon Pinot Noir. The wine was a red color in the glass, translucent, I could see through the wine. The wine was dry with a hint of a smoky wood smell. I could smell the alcohol, too, which was 13.5%. The wine was a light Pinot Noir with a medium finish. This was a nice light Pinot Noir, good to just sit and sip or with cheese and crackers or fruit. Maybe not the best wine to go with a standing rib roast, but it was super tasty and went along with the meat just fine.
Christmas is almost here and the weather across the country is frightful. I think most of the country is in the deep freeze, even here where the temperatures don’t usually dip down in the teens. Surprise, I woke up to sixteen degrees and couldn’t get enough clothes on to keep out the chill.
So, in order to heat things up a bit, I decided to spice up my cooking. For dinner, I took a couple of slabs of boneless pork ribs and rubbed them down with some hot Jamaican Jerk rub and marinade. Then I roasted them in the oven at 375° for 45 minutes until the ribs were cooked through and quite tender. Since the oven was already on, I roasted a cookie sheet of broccoli florets that I drizzled olive oil on and sprinkled with salt and pepper.
For the wine, I opened a bottle of Meiomi Nouveau, Pinot Noir, vintage 2015 which I was told was an American Beaujolai. But nowhere on the bottle did it reference a Beaujolai, but it listed the grapes as sourced from 3 different areas, 42% Sonoma County, 36% Santa Barbara County and 22% Monterey County. The wine had an alcohol content of 13.7%. The wine was a red color in the glass and fairly transparent, not as opaque as other Pinot Noirs I’ve had. I could smell cherries and alcohol. The wine had a tart bite and was a bit harsh. It had a dark fruit taste and helped kill the burn of the hot spicy ribs.
I prefer the regular Meiomi Pinot Noir, which is much fuller and softer but still full of fruit.
I had a rare chance to experience a bottle of wine from Chile today. We don’t normally buy wines from Chile or other countries from South America. Maybe it’s a slight bias or lack of knowledge, but I tend to stick to American, Italian, French, Australian and New Zealand wines. Oh yes, and German wines. And I have so many wines to taste from these countries that I tend to keep it simple.
Tonight for dinner, I grilled a strip steak, roasted cauliflower in the oven and made a salad. To go with dinner the wine was a Pinot Noir from Radius, vintage 2015, from the Central Valley in Chile. I originally bought the bottle because I have had the Red Blend by Radius which is a Washington wine and also very tasty. The wine is a bargain at under $10 and had an alcohol content of 13%. The wine was originally produced and bottled by Viña Alto Roble, Sagrada Familia S/N Curicó-Chile and imported by Precept Wine Seattle, Washington.
The wine was a translucent reddish purple color in the glass and had a slight alcohol smell when I stuck my nose in the glass. I tasted strawberries and raspberries on the first taste swirling the wine around in my mouth. The wine while not super dry was also not sweet, just a nice juicy fruit taste. There was spice and a little smoke on the finish. To say the wine went down easy was an understatement.
Normally I will open a Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel to go with a steak, but I wanted to try something different and I can say that I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the steak and Pinot Noir went very nicely together.
I will have to broaden my wine choices to include more wines from South America and definitely look for this wine again.
While in Kansas City on a recent business trip I had an opportunity to go to dinner with one of my sons along with his wife and children. We went to dinner at a local restaurant that if you live anywhere in the two state region, you’ve either eaten there or have at least heard of it. Strouds is a bit of a legend around there, if you like fried chicken or chicken fried steak along with the fixins’, mashed potatoes and green beans, served family style, then you’ve probably eaten there a time or two. While fried chicken and the crispy fat laden skin is so good, I avoid it like the plague, because if I succumb to my craving I would not stop at one piece of chicken.
Lucky for me Strouds now serves a chicken salad that comes with your choice of fried or grilled chicken, blue cheese, hearts of palm, pimento and artichokes. I get it with the grilled chicken and fat free Italian salad dressing. The salad is large enough to satisfy as an entrée and is very tasty. That way I can justify the cinnamon roll at the end. I am trying to eat better, but I am not going to pass up dessert. Dessert and wine, not going to deprive myself of either one.
The restaurant didn’t have a wine list, they mainly offer beer and cocktails, but they do have a few wines. I chose the Pinot Noir not knowing the name, just that it sounded like a nice choice on a hot evening. The wine was surprisingly good, soft and smooth, with cherry flavors and a medium finish. I asked if I could see the bottle and take pictures of the wine label front and back. The wine, Canyon Road, Pinot Noir, is a California Wine. The vintage, 2015, which also surprised me, because it was so smooth for such a young wine.
I had never heard of Canyon Road Wines, but from what I could find out online, I think I will have a hard time finding a bottle outside of a restaurant. If you are ever in Kansas City and find yourself at Strouds Restaurant, order the Canyon Road wine and let me know what you think.
Summer is here and sweltering heat is encompassing most of the country. Not here though, the summer is mild and pleasant with highs in the low seventies. Perfect weather for dinner on the patio. I wish we had a patio table so we could have dinner on the patio, but for now I only get to surmise what dinner on the patio would be like.
There would be a slight breeze just enough to keep the air from being stagnant. There would be no bugs, flies, bees or mosquitoes. Even though the sun is out, the table would be in the shade of the tall cedar trees. There would be the smell of honeysuckle in the air, mixing with the aroma of grilled meat. The steaks on the grill would be cooked to perfection and the wine, a bottle of Opus One Cabernet Sauvignon, vintage 1998 served at cellar temperature of 65° would be served in oversized wine glasses. The steaks would complement the wine, not the other way around.
A nice dream, but in reality, there is no patio table and no bottle of Opus One. (We drank that bottle with best friends and a frozen pizza, very classy). The steaks were cooked to perfection along with grilled vegetables, but dinner was served inside and the wine was a Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, California. The wine, BearBoat vintage 2008 had an alcohol content of 13.8% and cost under $15.
The wine was a strawberry red color in the glass. There was strawberries and alcohol on the nose when I stuck my nose in the glass. The first taste had a slight taste of strawberries and vanilla. The wine was dry with a slight bite at the end. It didn’t have big fruit taste of some other Pinot Noirs I’ve had. It was okay, but not something I would buy again. In all, it was a bit of a letdown to drink with a good steak. I should have gone with something else.
Spring is in full swing in the Northwest. I can’t believe all of the beautiful blooming bushes and plants here. There are so many new and different plants here that I’ve never seen before. There’s one that has white blooms that are multiple tiny flowers growing in the shape of spikes and smell like cotton candy. And lucky me, I live behind a Master Gardener so I can sit on my deck and soak up all of her beautiful garden. Of course I’m sitting there with a glass of wine in my hand too.
My latest wine I’ve tried is a Rosé from Oregon. Acrobat Winery is an Oregon winery in Eugene, which is south of Portland on 5 Highway, just down the road a ways from us. Acrobat Rosé is made from Pinot Noir grapes. It was a light pink almost peach hue in the glass. The wine had light floral notes in the glass and a hint of citrus. The wine tasted light and clean with a dry finish. The wine, vintage 2014 had an alcohol content of 13.5% and is very affordable. I paid under $15 a bottle. You can find Acrobat on the internet at http://www.acrobatwinery.com.
This is another one of the types of wine I drink when I’m home alone. When I am home all by myself I tend to drink lighter wines, Moscato, Riesling or Rosé. For some dumb reason I feel like I’m cheating on Mitch if I drink a big red wine without him. Dumb huh? I need to work on my guilt feelings. Maybe I should buy 2 bottles of the same wine, then he’ll never know.
I can’t believe my good fortune, this is the first January I have ever spent not wearing leather down mittens, fifteen layers of clothing and not thawing out until May. The temperatures here are in the low forties in the mornings and the highs for the day in the high forties to low fifties. Awesome! I can feel my toes and actually enjoy walking the dogs. It’s almost a miracle. But in the spirit of winter, I’m still cooking like it’s cold out. For dinner I fixed spicy chicken breasts and for the wine I opened an Oregon Pinot Noir.
The wine, Willamette Valley Vineyards, Whole Cluster Pinot Noir, was a real treat. It was a young wine, vintage 2014 with an alcohol content of 13.7%. The wine was a medium dark red color in the glass, not as dark as a Cab, but still a nice dark reddish purple color. I could smell the alcohol, but it didn’t have that bite or tartness with a high alcohol wine. The wine was smooth and dry with a full finish. It didn’t have a big fruit taste like the California Pinots have, this had a drier taste that I felt on the back of my mouth.
This wine, a Whole Cluster wine, means that the whole grape clusters are fermented uncrushed. This is to make the wine ready to drink upon release without any added aging, or so the back of the bottle claims. There was also an added note at the bottom of the back label:
“PS. Please return this bottle to the winery for a 10 cent refund. Thank you for recycling.”
The first thing that came to mind, “Road Trip!” Awesome. Now I have an excuse to drive to Turner, Oregon, to get my 10 cents back.