A Few Good Men Shiraz (2005)

A Few Good Men Shiraz 2005 is a South African Shiraz that we purchased recently at a wine shop in Traverse City, Michigan. The nose is fresh and inviting with cloves and spice. On the palate is a rich, complex wine wtih distinct undertones of pepper, spice and black cherry. The finish is very nice with a touch of black tar and leather. The tannins are smooth and silky.

It is Wednesday night and we are missing Barack Obama’s infomercial because we are still engaged in our cocktail hour (I worked late tonight) and reading the paper. For dinner tonight, I have prepared a very simple, but delicious soup. I start with ground beef and onions and add chopped tomatoes, beef broth, canneli beans, black beans, hot sauce and barley. It is simmering and I just took a loaf of whole wheat bread out of the oven. (I took a frozen whole wheat loaf out of the freezer this morning before work and let it rise all day.)

The wine is very good. A perfect mid-week quaff!

(Hi Tony! We love you and miss you!)

Ten Mile (California) Vintage Proprietary Red Wine (2005)

Tom and I went up north (Traverse City) to see my folks this weekend. My dad had saved me a newspaper clipping with a one-page advertistement from a wine shop. “The Blue Goat” had a wine sale that ended at 7:00 p.m.  So, the four of us took a drive over there and arrived with about 20 minutes to spare. Tom and I quickly chose a dozen reds that were on sale that looked interesting to us. This is one of them.

This Ten Mile Vintage Proprietary Red Wine 2005 is classic California red, a blend of old vine grapes of Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Barbera, Malbec, and Carignane.  In the glass is very dark purple hues with a nose of pepper, and black tea. On the palate is plummy fruit along with dusty, smoky undertones. The feel in the mouth is supple and medium bodied, while the nicely-structured acidity provides a complexity that is impressive for the price. The finish is plums and licorice.

For dinner, I have chicken simmering in the skillet with potatoes (to mash). I am going to make some gravy from the chicken drippings and a vegetable. But, we are in no hurry. The chicken can simmer a long time and still be delicious!

Bodega Norton Malbec (2007)

It is a rainy, cold Friday night in Michigan and it is soooo nice to be home! Trigger is cuddled up next to me and Tom and I are reading the paper. I needed to stop at the grocery store on my way home tonight to get ingredients for a recipe that I need to bring to the “cooking group” on Monday night. This is a group of women who recently invited me to join. They get together once a month. There is a different “planner” each month who plans the meal and distributes recipes to all the members. We then make our dish and bring it to the dinner. Anyway, I digress. As usual, although I stopped to only buy lemons, eggs, butter and phyllo dough, I also picked up two bottles of wine. This is one of them.

This Bodega Norton Malbec 2007 is a red from Mendoza, Argentina. Our son Tony and his friend George spent some time in this region last summer and tasted some wonderful Malbecs. The winemakers know what they are doing! This Norton Malbec is silky smooth and smoky. Very rich cedary taste. The tannins are discreet and the finish is long.

For dinner tonight, I am making a dish of sauteed steak (cut up in small chunks) with asparagus, fresh tomatoes, and green onions from my garden, served over spaghetti tossed with olive oil and freshly-ground salt and pepper.

Cheers. Have a great weekend — and, if you are in the midwest, stay warm.

Clos Du Bois Cabernet Sauvignon (2005)

This California Clos Du Bois Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 is ohhh-la-la. Tom chose this wine tonight (Tuesday) to go with our dinner (which is in the oven) of meatloaf, baked acorn squash, mashed potatoes and corn. This is yet another one of my recent Kroger purchases. It was on sale —  from around $15 to $10.

This is delicious wine with powerful flavor. In the glass is a deep, inky red.  On the nose is a combination of cranberries and licorice along with hints of nutmeg and oak. On the palate is thick blackberry flavors with a long and rich finish. If you like a good Cabernet, I can’t imagine you wouldn’t enjoy this one. If I find a good deal, I’ll get a case. I am very much enjoying this wine.

I am thinking about our son, Tony, in South Korea. He would like this wine. . .

George Phillips Cellars Zinfandel (2004)

This California George Phillips Cellars Zinfandel is my choice for this Monday night. It is damp, rainy and cool in Michigan. And very dark at 7:30 p.m. For dinner, I have put together a large cast iron skillet with skinless chicken breasts, red potatoes and a chicken-broth & mushroom sauce. It is simmering now and I will add a vegetable in a few minutes. Nothing fancy but sustenance for this start-of-the-work-week evening. I took quite awhile to choose a wine for tonight because what we happen to have stocked right now are big reds typically more suited to red meat and/or cheese. But, I am glad I came across this Zinfandel; it will be perfect for tonight’s dinner.

In the glass it is not impressive; it looks rather thin and pale compared to the big, purple inky Cabernets we are used to. However, the color is deceiving. This is a big, jammy dry wine. By the way, this is the same grape that produces “white zinfandel” but that is an entirely different wine — the white zinfandel is made from the same grape but with the skins removed, which makes for a very different wine.

This Zinfandel has chewy tannins and great fruit flavor. It is smashing! 🙂 Cheers!

Red Knot Cabernet Sauvignon (2007)

I purchased this South Australian Red Knot Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 yesterday during a Sam’s Club shopping spree. I was coming home from a football game and had a list of things I needed. Natch, I had to browse the wine isle. Tom wasn’t with me so I was really struggling with a full cart of heavy items plus humongous paper-goods packages (toilet paper and what-not). But I managed to slide some bottles in the crevices of my cart! I actually purchased two of these and I am glad I did.

This is extremely smooth and velvety in the mouth with intense flavors of blackberries and cherries. On the finish is chocolate. The tannins are soft and mild; I enjoy firmer tannins, but this is a nice change of pace.

For dinner, I have cut up two steaks (that I purchased on sale at Krogers) and those chunks are marinating in olive oil and seasoning. I will stir fry the steak with fresh asparagus, tomatoes & green onions freshly picked from my garden. I will serve this over some Barilla penne pasta. I have enough for four, in case our son Tommy and his girlfriend Amanda join us. We think they might so I am prepared.

I just asked Tom what he thought of this wine . . . I am quoting: “I would say that this is a very rich, chocolately, tannic Cabernet.” Oh, Tommy and Amanda have just arrived! Time to sign off. Cheers everyone!

Sterling Vintner’s Collection Shiraz 2006

I stopped at Kroger’s on my way home from work today to buy some groceries. Of course, I wandered quickly through the wine isles and picked this up on sale (regularly $15.99 on sale for $9.99). I’m not sure if we have had this Sterling Vintner’s Collection Shiraz or not — I’m quite certain we have had the Cabernet Sauvignon. This is not the least bit disappointing. I wanted something nice for our Friday night (I am making spaghetti sauce and will steam some fresh spinach). This is a very fruity and lush big red with lots of pepper and ripe fruit. The wine is full bodied with velvety tannins. I want to add, as well, that the wine has substantial legs in the glass (along with a little piece of cork in my glass).

Cheers and happy Friday!

Tormenta Cabernet Sauvignon (2007)

This Chilean Tormenta Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine made using totally organic wine-making techniques and grapes. Tom and I are pretty much oohing and ahhing over it. In the glass, it is dark purple with good legs. The nose is a bit minty and the palate is soft with blackberries and olives. The finish is woody and smokey. This is far too good a wine for a Thursday night, but, oops, I already opened it so we might as well enjoy it!

I have a “what do I have in the refrigerator?” dinner on the stove tonight. I’m not proud of it, but it will suffice. I started with a hot cast-iron skillet and browned chunks of smoked, polish kielbasa, then added unpeeled, diced, potatoes. Then, I added chicken broth and let that simmer awhile. Once the potatoes were tender, I added a small bag of saurkraut and a bag of frozen green beans. That is all simmering now and will turn out to be an okay dinner for a night in which I am running low on groceries. The wine does make it rather special, though! Cheers!

Bogle Petite Sirah (2006)

bogle-petite-sirah-2006We opened this Bogle Petite Sirah 2006 last night. I nearly swooned. I eagerly claimed the remaining wine for myself tonight — thanks, Tom! The blackish-purple hue is beautiful in the glass. The nose is blueberry, through and through. On the palate is a surprisingly jammy, yet dry, burst of fruit. There is a hint of black pepper along with ripe fruit and oak on the finish. The tannins are firm. I really like this wine. I recommended it to my friend Erin today, who also loves a big red wine.

For dinner I made a very simple soup, but one that I enjoy very much. It starts with browned ground beef and onions. Then I add canned tomatoes, beef broth, kidney beans, black beans, and barley. Although very simple, it is savory and satisfying. I will also add a few drops of hot sauce in a few minutes. I also baked a loaf of whole-wheat bread and that is out of the oven and cooling. So this petite sirah is the perfect wine for this meal of soup and bread. Cheers!

(By the way, I purchased this wine at Kroger’s; it was on sale. Marked down from $13.99 to $9.99.)

Francis Ford Coppola Rosso (2006)

francis-ford-coppola-rosso-2006The Francis Ford Coppola Rosso 2006 is a full-bodied, vivid, tangy blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon. I really like this wine because it is bursting with fruit flavors. The tannins are grippy and the finish is woody. I bought this wine on sale at Kroger’s in Ann Arbor. I would definitely purchase this again if I can find it for under $10. I believe this was priced at around $13 and it was on sale for $9.99.

Tonight’s dinner is nothing to brag about: leftovers! I am going to heat up some leftover chicken and brown rice casserole and make a vegetable. I don’t know about you, but sometimes Mondays can be brutal and this is all I feel like doing tonight.