Since most of my wine tasting reviews center around food pairings too, I’ve decided to expand my reviews to include more food reviews.
Tonight, I made a special meal, our anniversary dinner. For some, this means dinner out at a nice restaurant, for me making something special and a really nice bottle of wine is more fun and more special than eating out. I know, I’m a glutton for punishment, but I love to cook and create something amazing on a plate. The challenge comes in making something really yummy and amazing with only a few ingredients.
Tonight the menu was:
Mexican Pinwheel Flank Steak
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
The wine I chose was a 2009 Rosenblum Zinfandel from Monte Rosso Vineyard in Sonoma County, California. This was a bottle I picked up at our local Total Wine for $35. Pricey yes, but well worth the money. The wine was a dark reddish purple color in the glass and very opaque. I could smell plums when I stuck my nose in the glass. The wine tasted like plums and vanilla, with a hint of spice, smooth and full tasting like velvet. The wine went perfectly with the flank steak.
This wine is one of the best Zinfandels I’ve had in a long, long time and well worth the pricey price tag.
Today was a beautiful fall day, sunny and in the fifties, but as the sun got lower in the sky the air cooled down very quickly. That made it a perfect night for leftover roast beef. This time to go with the roast I paired it up with a bottle of Zinfandel from Lodi, California. The wine, Mad Duck, vintage 2013 had 13.5% alcohol and strangely enough also bottled in McFarland, California. A bottle cost me under $15, which makes it a good bargain wine.
We started off with a tossed salad topped with bleu cheese and raspberry vinaigrette. The wine balanced the two tastes perfectly, the bite of the bleu cheese and the sweet vinaigrette. The leftover roast beef had gotten a wee bit hotter after sitting in the refrigerator for two days. I think adding the extra shakes of crushed red pepper helped. The blackberry tastes from the wine helped tone down the extra red pepper in the meat. At least I think so since Mitch didn’t complain, just poured a second glass, a good sign.
The wine was a dark red color in the glass, more transparent than the heavier opaque Zinfandels I’ve had in the past. This one had a slight alcohol smell with a bit of wood. The first sip had a spicy bite then the blackberries filled my mouth. The wine was somewhere between sweet and dry, a nice balance between the two spectrums and had a medium finish.
Though this wine is not the great big jammy Zinfandel of my dreams, it is still a very good Zinfandel. This one is a slightly lighter version of the big heavy Zins, I’ve had in the past. This wine would be a really good red wine in the summer when it’s hot, almost too hot for a red, just chill if a bit and drink away.
Today started off rainy and chilly with temps in the low fifties and in honor of the chilly fall weather, I set out some beef strips and marinated them with chili powder, minced garlic and crushed red peppers for a touch of heat. I wanted to try something a bit different for the vegetable and decided on sautéed green beans to go with the beef strips.
For the wine I opened a bottle called The Federalist, a Zinfandel, vintage 2013, from Lodi, California. The wine had an alcohol content of 14.9% and had a bit of a bite and burn from the alcohol. The first smell was a whiff of the alcohol then I smelled the blackberry. My first taste tasted of blackberry then cherry with a medium finish. The wine was a lighter version of a big jammie Zinfandel, not as big and bold, but a nice stand-in.
The wine was a dark reddish color with a hint of purple, almost translucent not the dark almost purple wine of other Zinfandels I’ve tasted. You can find The Federalist at http://www.federalistwines.com. I bought the wine for less than $15, so not a bad deal.
The wine went well with the spicy beef, but I think that maybe a Pinot Noir might have gone better. Something to try the next time I make this dish. I’ll keep you posted.
With the move and our new schedules I am just not getting in a routine. We are in the process of looking for a house, but have not found “The One” yet. We both feel like the apartment is little more than a two bedroom hotel, something very temporary, like we are only guests. Now that Mitch is on nights we only get to enjoy a glass of wine together on his days off. I can still drink after he leaves for work and sometimes I do enjoy a glass or two, but I always feel a little weird drinking without him. I don’t feel that weird, though.
On a recent business trip to KC I enjoyed dinner with our best friends and in my honor one of the bottles we drank was a Zinfandel. They know about my obsession and being the best friends in the world, they help enable me in my quest for the perfect Zinfandel. For dinner they threw a couple of giant T-Bones on the grill along with grilled corn on the cob. The wine was The Immortal Zin from Pierano Estates, in Lodi, California. It was a 2012 vintage with 14% alcohol, but didn’t have that hot taste some wines have with a high alcohol content.
This was a really nice wine, big and jammie with soft berry flavors. I could smell the blackberry notes from the bottle before it was even poured. The wine filled my mouth with a soft fullness and went down so easily. It was soft and smooth and so drinkable.
With Halloween right around the corner, all those big kids parties that want Halloweenie sounding wines, should add this one to the wine list. This is one wine that I will be buying many bottles of.
Happy Labor Day Weekend! A three day weekend is just what I needed and as an added bonus Mitch had Saturday and Sunday off too. That meant we could do some exploring around some of the state parks and other sites. After spending the day around the Puget Sound we came home gave the dogs a much needed bath in Mitch’s tub not mine then settled in for dinner and wine. Lots of wine.
Since we still don’t have a grill, I decided to make Sautéed Chicken, pasta and a Marinara sauce. I made a salad and opened a bottle of Zinfandel to go with the chicken. The wine was a Sonoma County, California Zinfandel from Marietta Cellars. This was a 2010 vintage and had 15.3% alcohol. You can find them at www,mariettacellars.com. I bought the bottle for under $15 and had my fingers crossed in my long suffering search for a great Zinfandel. This time I was not disappointed.
The wine was a dark reddish purple color in the glass and as soon as I stuck my nose in the glass I smelled blackberry jam, not a hint of alcohol as is often the case with a high alcohol content wine. The first taste was a hint of sweetness, then the blackberry jamminess came bursting in my mouth as I swished it around. I could detect a hint of woodiness on the finish. The wine was dry, soft and smooth with a full lingering finish. The blackberry jam flavors complementing the chicken and spicy marinara sauce well.
This is definitely a wine I will buy many bottles of on my next wine shopping excursion.
I have been so lax in writing about all of the wine I’ve been drinking. I didn’t stop drinking I just got lazy. My apologies, I will try and do better.
I feel live the Man of La Mancha sometimes, doing battle with windmills. Only my windmill is finding the perfect Zinfandel. Sadly my quest continues.
I found a bottle of BR Cohn Zinfandel and bought it, because every bottle of BR Cohn Cabernet Sauvignon I’ve had has always been very good. So when I saw that BR Cohn also makes a Zinfandel, I thought I would give it a try. It was a 2010 vintage with 15.2% alcohol and from Sonoma Valley, California. It was a bit pricey, $30 a bottle, I wasn’t going to get it because of the price, but Mitch being the pusher, said go ahead, what do you have to lose. So I did.
It was a dark red in the glass, with a slight cherry aroma when I stuck my nose in the glass. It was dry, astringent and had a dry full finish. Not the big jammie Zinfandel I’m looking for. It was drinkable and okay for a wine, just not The One.
So my quest continues, maybe one day. Until then I have a lot more windmills to battle with.
I found it! Well not exactly, but I’m getting closer. In my search for the perfect Zinfandel to replace the Rosenblum, Planchon Vineyards bottle I had a few years ago and was pure heaven, I had a bottle of a close second last night with dinner. For dinner I had the old standby, a bottom round roast that simmered all day in the crockpot to go along with the wine.
I opened a bottle of Peirano Estate Vineyards, Old Vine Zinfandel, the Heritage Collection, vintage 2012. It is a Lodi, California appellation with 14.0% alcohol. The color in the glass was a dark red, but not as dark as some Zinfandels I’ve tasted, a little like a Pinot Noir, but a bit darker. As soon as I poured the glass I was a bit skeptical because of the color. I stuck my nose in the glass and smelled a waft of dark fruit, no alcohol which was a little surprised because of the 14% alcohol content. Then came the first taste. I could taste blackberry and cherry notes. It was smooth and had that jammy taste that I’ve been looking for. It was soft and smooth and of so drinkable.
The cost of the wine is quite tasty too, under $15 a bottle. Peirano Vineyards can be found online at http://www.peirano.com. This is definitely a wine I will buy again and multiple bottles this time.