Even though September is almost here, we are still experiencing hot days and cool nights, the sun shines every day and no rain is on the horizon. Summers are truly paradise here in the Pacific Northwest. I planted a garden this year and am harvesting more zucchini, squash and cucumbers than I can keep up with. I’ve given so much away to friends and neighbors. I keep looking for new recipes to fix all the zucchini and squash. Pinterest has become a bit of an obsession.
To go along with the summer vegetables and grilling, I’ve found a wonderful Rosé wine. It’s a Washington, Rosé from Columbia Valley called Soaring Rooster, from Tagaris Winery. It’s a young wine, vintage 2016 with an alcohol content of 12%. I found it quite by accident. I had gone to our local wine and liquor store in search of a particular German beer and there right by the carts was a display with this wine. The bottle looked interesting and the wine inside was a dark reddish pink, darker than most rosés I have seen and tasted. It was reasonably priced at $12 a bottle, so I grabbed a bottle.
I opened it to go with grilled pork chops, roasted zucchini and a Greek cucumber salad. I chilled the bottle to about 45° in my wine cooler. The wine is off-dry, fresh and crisp tasting like strawberries and a hint of lemon. There was a subtle mineral after taste and a hint of jam. It was a great complement to the grilled meat and vegetables.
This wine would also be delightful all by itself, just sitting and sipping on the patio enjoying the last of summer and on into the mild fall days. I will be going back and buying quite a few more bottles.
After returning from a recent business trip, we’ve had a busy weekend. First it was a day of wine and chocolate tasting on Saturday on Bainbridge Island. We tasted our way through the island, seven wineries offering up some of their wines along with chocolatiers letting us sample some gourmet chocolates. We drove to the island on one side of the island, then winding our way across the island then took the ferry back across Puget Sound to Seattle.
Tonight, for dinner, I fixed an early Valentine’s Day dinner. I made a shrimp dish, Garlic Seared Shrimp with Smoke Paprika and oven roasted vegetables. For the wine, I opened a red blend, Radius, 2014 from Walla Walla, Washington.
The wine is a wonderful red blend that is soft and smooth, fruit forward, with cherry notes and a hint of oak. The wine just fills the mouth and tastes of dark fruit and ripe cherry, with a lingering finish. The wine went along very well with the shrimp and vegetables.
Last night we had a rare evening together so you know that means, yep I cook a real meal and there was wine with dinner. I sautéed pork chops and roasted broccoli for dinner and for the wine I opened a bottle of wine that was a gift from our friends.
The wine, a Pinot Gris, was a Washington State white wine, Summit Estates, from Columbia Valley. The wine was a 2014 with 13% alcohol content. It was a very pale yellow color almost colorless in the glass. I could smell honeysuckle and a light lemony citrus scent. I tasted apricot and lemon when I swirled the wine around on my first taste. The wine was dry with a medium finish and a hint, just a hint of mineral on the finish.
The wine surprised me some, because so far all the Washington Pinot Gris’ have tasted very dry with a lot of mineral, like a California Sauvignon Blanc instead of the fruit forward California and Italian Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio, respectively. The wine from Summit Estates was quite pleasant and one glass turned into two glasses. Okay, three glasses.
This is definitely a wine I will look for again.
I’m squeezing out every opportunity to grill outside before it gets too cold. Yes, I know you can grill outside year round, but when it gets too cold and rainy, it takes longer to warm up the grill and longer to cook the food on the grill. And since I am a rare steak girl, longer on the grill means not as rare, at least in my experience. That usually means I move my cooking inside and make more one pot meals.
Last night for dinner I fired up the grill to cook a steak, a nice big two-inch-thick strip steak. I made roasted Brussel sprouts and a salad to go with the steak. For dessert I made baked apples with strawberry white balsamic vinegar.
The wine was a Washington Cabernet Sauvignon from Isenhower Cellars. The wine from Horse Heaven Hills, vintage 2013 had an alcohol content of 14.5%. This was a limited production wine, only 72 cases were produced and one that we had tasted at their tasting room on a recent weekend trip to Woodinville, Washington. The wine was a dark red color in the glass and I smelled cherry and wood when I stuck my nose in the glass. The wine had a dark fruit taste with a dry medium finish. There was a tart bite at the end with a bit of a smoky flavor. The steaks went well with the wine both enhancing the taste of each one.
The nice thing was that the wine still tasted as good this time when I was sober as it did after many tastings on our tasting trip. You can find them at http://www.isenhowercellars.com.
Today is the last day of our vacation. It’s back to getting up early and going to work all day. Last week we started off our vacation with a day of wine and whiskey tasting in Woodinville, Washington. I tried the whiskey varieties at the Woodinville Whiskey Company, and didn’t gag, which totally surprised me. The Woodinville Whiskey Co. makes three different whiskeys, Rye, Bourbon and American Whiskey. In fact, the American Whiskey was almost pleasant tasting. We tasted their vodka and maple syrup too. We bought a bottle of the Rye Whiskey and Vodka, then headed on to the wineries.
Our first stop was Isenhour Cellars tasting five of their wines. We carried out a bottle of the Cabernet Sauvignon and a bottle of the Cabernet Franc. The Cabernet Sauvignon was smooth and dry with a dark fruit taste. Next stop was at Chateau Ste Michelle, which has a large estate and tasting room in Woodinville.
We stopped at Goose Ridge Cellars where I bought two bottles of Rosé made from Pinot Gris. I asked how they got a Rosé from a Pinot Gris, but the ones managing the tasting room either didn’t know or weren’t telling. Then we moved on to Castillo de Feliciana, a winery that made wines in Spanish style. The Malbec was very fruit forward and quite yummy.
On Saturday, we drove out to Mount Rainier and stopped at a winery on the drive home. The winery, Rainier View Winery and Nursery, made their wines in the German style, very fruit forward and high in alcohol content, all their wines were around 18%, requiring many pretzels during the tasting so one of us was capable of driving home. They had some very interesting and different wines. One, called Glacier Breeze was turquoise blue in the bottle, and one was a Jalapeno wine, which lit you on fire as soon as it passed your lips. Not real sure why I would drink Jalapeno wine, the torture effect alone has a dampening effect, but I’m sure there are those that are into pain.
Oh well, it’s back to work and only a glass or two in the evening again, but now I have may more bottles to sample.
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.
Another night home alone means another bottle of something light. This time it is a Washington State wine from Walla Walla, B. Lovely Late Harvest Riesling, 2014. This is definitely not a wine that Mitch would drink. But if you’re looking for a pretty sweet wine, this is a good choice.
The wine has an alcohol content of 9.2%, so it is pretty light to drink many glasses. The wine was a pale yellow in the glass almost clear. I caught a whiff of beer when I stuck my nose in the glass. I tasted honeysuckle and syrup with my first taste. The wine had a light finish and left an after taste of honey.
It might be a good balance with a fiery hot spicy dish. If all you are looking for is a sweet glass of wine, this is it, but if you want a fuller wine that is still soft and has a nice fruit taste, this one may not be for you. This is not a wine I will buy again, even though it is not terrible, it is not what I’m looking for in a wine.