Today’s Food and Wine Review

Spring has sprung and not a day too soon. The winter here has been sucky to say the least. We had the coldest driest January on record, then the wettest February and March on record. I am so ready for warmer and drier weather. In honor of spring, I fired up the grill and grilled some chicken breasts. Nothing exotic, Lemon Pepper Chicken with roasted green beans and potatoes. For the wine, I opened a bottle of Benziger, Sauvignon Blanc, vintage 2014.

The wine, a California North Coast Sauvignon Blanc was very light, almost clear in the glass and had a dry mineral aroma in the glass. The wine was very dry that tasted like lemons and grapefruit, with a crisp mineral finish. I served it chilled and the light crisp wine went along well with the lemon pepper chicken breasts.

This is definitely a wine that I will buy again.


Today’s Wine Review

A three-day weekend means firing up the grill and opening up the wine bottles. For one of the meals, I grilled thick cut pork chops that turned out to be super moist and very tasty. For the wine I decided on a Sauvignon Blanc.

I opened a bottle of Airfield Estates, Sauvignon Blanc vintage 2014, from Yakima Valley Washington. The wine was almost clear in the glass with just a very faint hint of pale yellow color. I smelled lemons and minerals when I stuck my nose in the glass. The wine was very dry with a mineral taste and a light citrus taste. It was a light and crisp wine that had a dry finish.

I would put this wine up against some of the California Sauvignon Blancs I’ve tasted. The wine was dry and crisp and clean tasting and went well with the pork chops.

Today’s Wine Review

Cooler temperatures and rain have made a comeback here, at least for the next week or so. I’ve rescued a few of my pans and utensils from the storage unit and am able to cook again. Tonight it was a favorite of mine, chicken fajitas. For the wine I opened a bottle of Erath Pinot Blanc, 2013, an Oregon white wine.

The Pinot Blancs that I’ve had in the past were soft and off-dry, fruit forward wines. This one was quite different than those. This wine was dry, crisp and had that mineral taste synonymous with a Sauvignon Blanc. The wine was a yellow golden color more like a Chardonnay than a Sauvignon Blanc. The wine tasted somewhere between a Sauvignon Blanc and a Chardonnay, with that hint of that flat beer taste I get whenever I drink an oaked Chardonnay.

I think this wine would have gone better with a different dish. Maybe something not so spicy like grilled chicken or shrimp. It didn’t go that well with the spicy chicken. Oh well live and learn. There are many more wines out there to try.

Today’s Wine Review

In keeping with my New Year’s resolution I have been drinking more wine and writing down my experiences. Last week on my semi-monthly wine stock up one of the bottles of wine I bought was a Sicilian white wine from MandraRossa, Fiano, 2009. It had 13.5% alcohol content. The Fiano grape is an Italian grape that produces very little juice and small yields.

To go with the wine I fixed a salad and chicken breasts, sautéed in garlic olive oil and onions. The wine was a bright yellow color, almost the color of straw. It was dry, not as dry as a Sauvignon Blanc, acidic with a hint of a citrus taste, and had a full finish. To me there wasn’t much taste, in fact I thought it was kind of bland, but Mitch liked it more and drank most of the bottle by himself.

It went well with the chicken, not overpowering the dish. But I could probably have had a Sauvignon Blanc or a Pinot Grigio and it would have gone with the chicken just as well and I would have been happier.

Oh well, at least I can say I gave it a chance and I can move on to another bottle.

Today’s Wine Review

Today’s Wine Review

In two weeks it will be Thanksgiving and the official kick off of the holiday season. I know that the stores have been running ads and specials since before Halloween, but to me Thanksgiving is the starting point. Running around in search of the perfect gift for family, friends and co-workers, promises to be a constant source of anxiety and stress. I don’t know about you, but I agonize over the perfect gift for each one of my family members and close friends. Mitch hates going shopping with me because he knows that I’m going to drag him all over the countryside looking for that perfect gift, I’ll even go to multiple stores looking and looking, then head back to the first or second store and buy the item I had first seen. Silly huh? Well this year I would like to say I have a plan and not go through the same shopping excursions as in the past, but I know that nothing will change, I will go through the same agonizing search. The difference this year will be that I plan on drinking more wine which will ease my anxiety some.

I’ve been working on my list of wines that will get me through the holidays and some may end up as Christmas presents, hostess gifts and just because I wanted to gifts. The list is a mixture of red and white wines all under $25 a bottle and some are under $10 a bottle so as not to break the bank and still have very tasty drinkable wines.

For the white wine drinker I have a few choices that I always buy just to have around.

Ironstone Vineyards – Symphony – CA Wine – White blend – Fresh and bright, light and clean, a little sweet fruit forward wine that is very drinkable and goes well with spicy foods or just sitting on the deck enjoying a couple of glasses

Apothic Wines – CA Wine – White blend – Fuller body, a bit sweet and fruity taste that goes well with spicy Mexican food

Ruffino – Lumina – Italian Wine – Pinot Grigio – Light and crisp – tastes like pears – almost clear in the glass – goes well chicken and salads

Joel Gott – CA Wine – Sauvignon Blanc – Dry with a mineral taste, light and clean – very nice with pork chops

Clos du Bois – CA Wine – Sauvignon Blanc – Dry clean and crisp, with a citrusy taste, great chilled in the summer

For the red wine drinker these are some of the wines that I keep on hand to go with whatever I decide to fix for dinner.

Silver Palm Wines – CA Wine – Cabernet Sauvignon – Very smooth, tastes of cherries and dark fruit, soft and not at all harsh, goes great with steaks on the grill

Joel Gott – CA Wine – Zinfandel – Very smooth and jammie tasting, full bodied, goes well with grilled red meats

Belle Glos Wines – Meiomi – CA Wines – Pinot Noir – Soft and smooth, with a spicy bite, dark fruit taste and dry, nice finish goes well with red meat or turkey

Joel Gott – CA Wines – Cabernet Sauvignon – Lush and smooth, dry full bodied with berry notes, another wine that goes well with grilled meats or pasta

Tormaresca Puglia – Neprica – Italian Wine – Red blend – Full bodied and dry, nice bite with dark berry fruit taste, it has a nice balance, goes well with steak

This list is just a start, a teaser so to speak. I’ll make another list as it closer to Thanksgiving, this one with some of my favorite sparkling and dessert wines.

Today’s Wine Review

Summer is in full swing and here in the Midwest, Summer means heat and humidity. And what makes heat and humidity more palatable? Something cold to drink. It’s a perfect time to drink the lighter wines out there. On my last wine stock up run, I bought eight bottles of white wine, three red and one rosé. I wanted more rosé but I had a difficult time finding any that sounded appealing.

I have to admit that the one I did buy, I bought because of the label. Once again I got sucked in by those marketing wizards. It was a French rosé called AIX Vin De Provence vintage 2013 and was a very pale blush color, not as pink as some I’ve tasted. It was reasonably priced at <$15 so I thought I would give it a try.

It didn’t taste at all as it was described on the label. The label described “bright fruit flavors” and “delicate floral notes”. Well to my uneducated nose, the first thing I smelled was alcohol and at 13% there was plenty to go around. I was expecting pears or strawberries, but what I tasted was more like a dry Sauvignon Blanc with a drop of red food coloring. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the wine, but it was as though someone had switched labels on the bottles. This wine had all the mineral notes of a Sauvignon Blanc and was almost paper dry.

Another rosé I tasted was from our trip to Texas in May I bought a very nice rosé from Pedernales Cellars, from the Texas Hill Country. It was a dry rosé vintage 2013 and was a bright pink color. The first thing I smelled was strawberries and the alcohol second. It is a very refreshing wine that is so drinkable. I found myself refilling my glass more than normal.

I’m on the hunt for more rosé wines. I’ve had a few that are very tasty and some that I wish I’d never opened the bottle. I know it’s a dirty job but somebody has to do it and it might as well be me.

Today’s Wine Review

Even though there are technically twenty-one days until the first day of summer, it feels like spring has abandoned us for the muggy days of summer. I just got back from walking the dogs and am soaked through. So I thought today would be a perfect day to drink some chilled soft white wine and chill out.

We had a very nice French White Bordeaux 2012 from Chateau La Castillonne. It was a Sauvignon Blanc, very light and dry but soft and tasted like pears. It was a wine that we had tasted at a French wine tasting a couple of months ago and bought a few bottles. It was very affordable at <$13 a bottle. It went very well with the grilled pork chops and salad.

Another nice white wine that we like to keep on hand is a California wine from Joel Gott. We have tasted quite a few different Joel Gott wines, red and white and so far we have not been disappointed in any of the bottles we’ve had. Their Sauvignon Blanc is almost clear in the glass. The wine is everything a Sauvignon Blanc is supposed to be; dry with a mineral taste, clean and crisp with a tart finish. I usually don’t pay more than $13 a bottle for it and sometimes catch it on sale for $11. It goes very well with grilled chicken or grilled pork.

So if you’re looking for something light and clean you can’t go wrong with either one of these wines.