George Phillips Cellars Merlot (2005)

George Phillips Cellars Merlot 2005It is hot today so I made a macaroni-tuna salad for dinner. I added carrots, celery, onions, peppers and peas to the spiral pasta and made a mayo/sour cream/ranch dressing mix to blend it all together. For this meal, we chose a merlot from California.

I am pleasantly surprised at this George Phillips Cellars Merlot 2005. It is not soft. Instead, it is sharp and astringent with plenty of blackberries and hints of violet on the finish. TriggerPerfect for a hot summer night!

By the way, here’s a photo of Trigger, who is always a part of our wine tastings.

Château Lucière Bordeaux (2006)

Chateau Luciere Bordeaux 2006

We are enjoying a mid-week cocktail hour this June evening. Both Tommy and Tony are visiting tonight and I have big dinner plans — which includes the grill — and 10 minutes ago the rain was pouring down. I thought I might need to resort to pizza to save my husband from grilling in the rain, but the rain has stopped and the sky is bright once again. Yay!

This Château Lucière Bordeaux 2005 is one of my favorites. I purchased a case of it recently. It is richly Chateau Luciere Bordeaux 2006 glassflavored, dry, and tannic with a big, lusty finish.

Our son Tommy is a member of The Ben Daniels Band. The band played at The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor last night. It was just fantastic. We were sitting close to the stage and took some pretty good pictures. Tommy plays the bass guitar. Their music is very good and original.

Rancho Eleora Vineyards Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon (2005)

Rancho Eleora Vineyards Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon 2005This Rancho Eleora Vineyards Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 came to us via a wine club. I chose it tonight (a Monday) to serve with a delicious dinner that is on the stove. This is our kind of wine in every way. From the moment the black and inky liquid was poured into the glass, we could tell we would love it. The aroma is heavenly with a fresh, spicy fruit on the nose. The taste is absolutely luscious; it is very fruity, but also dry and tannic with a very long and velvety finish. I have a hunch we will finish this bottle and let dinner simmer a bit longer.

For dinner, I brined some chicken before drying and seasoning. Then I browned the chicken in hot olive oil until crispy on all sides. After it was browned, I added cubed, freshly-chopped potatoes and parsley and covered the skillet. It’s been simmering for over an hour and I know the chicken will be off-the-bone tender and the potatoes will be infused with the broth of the chicken. I also harvested some lettuce and green onions from my garden. I will make a salad with that — along with some avocado and yellow peppers. For the salad, I make an oil-and-vinegar dressing consisting of olive oil, red wine vinegar, poupon mustard, horseradish, basil, oregano, savory, thyme, and rosemary. Yummy. Cheers!

Columbia Crest Two Vines Vineyard 10 Red Wine (2005)

Columbia Crest Two Vines Vineyard 10 Red Wine 2005It is a beautiful June Saturday evening. We started the evening with a refreshing gin and tonic with plenty of fresh-squeezed lime. Now, we are having a glass of this Columbia Crest Two Vines Vineyard 10 Red Wine 2005, a delicious blend of Syrah, Sangiovese, and Cabernet Sauvignon. This Washington State blend is luscious and fruity. The nose is a delicate whiff of vanilla and cloves. The taste is plums and spice. Tom purchased this wine for about $8 from Polly’s (our local grocery store).

I harvested some lettuce from my little garden for our salad tonight. I am also marinating pork chops, which we will grill. I have brown rice steaming now. Cheers and happy summertime!

Beaulieu Vineyard Coastal Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Beaulieu Vineyard Coastal Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2005This Beaulieu Vineyard Coastal Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 is quite nice.

It’s quite fruity but still tannic, with hints of berries and maybe a touch of vanilla.

Very pleasant and drinkable.

It was on sale and thus a good value at under $10.

Rancho Eleora Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Rancho Eleora Cabernet Sauvignon 2005We’ve opened this Rancho Eleora Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 to go with shish kabobs on the grill.

It is a very nice, big cabernet, tannic, but also with something of a New-World, big-fruit taste of blackberries and plums. We’re really enjoying this before dinner, and it’s bound to go well with the shish kabobs.

Vezzani Sangiovese Rubicone 2007

Vezzani Sangiovese Rubicone 2007We opened this Vezzani Sangiovese Rubicone 2007 to go with spaghetti tonight.

It has a dark-ruby color, a pleasantly mild but distinctive Sangiovese nose (that certain yeastiness), and a nice dark-berry fruit taste.

This is a great example of an Italian table wine, and it paired beautifully with our spaghetti, spinach, and salad (from our garden). We both loved it.