Bogle Merlot (2006)

bogle-merlot-2006Tom and I returned tonight from Arden, North Carolina, where we visited his sister Pat and her husband Bob in their home in the mountains. Tom’s parents Joe and Mary from Florida and younger brother Steve and his wife Janet and their daughters Emily and Katie from Virginia were also there. Trigger accompanied us and happily cavorted with her much-larger canine cousins Molly and Bella, a Goldendoodle and a Labradoodle.

We ate lavish meals and drank wonderful red wines from Argentina, California, Chile, North Carolina, and Virginia. We toured nearby Ashville, North Carolina, and loved it.

This Bogle Merlot 2006 is part of a collection of wine that was a gift from Tom’s parents. It’s a lovely, soft merlot, with hints of vanilla and caramel.

As we relax after our 11-hour drive home today, we are thinking about our family and loving the memories.

Deepwater Point Zinfandel (2007)

deepwater-point-zinfandel-2007Tom opened this Deepwater Point Zinfandel 2007 from California, which we have had before, for our Tuesday evening. We are having yet another winter storm, with snow and cold temperatures. Tom and I are supposed to leave very early tomorrow morning to start our 11-hour drive south to his sister’s house in North Carolina. We are hoping we can make the trip — the winter storm will be in effect through tomorrow. I am packed and ready to go and hoping for the best.

This wine is quite spectacular. It is full of fruit and spices with just the right amount of tannins. I love the taste of pepper on the finish.

For dinner, I made a casserole with leftover ham. It smells very good. I started with fresh, cubed potatoes, sliced carrots and celery, which I cooked until partly tender. Then I sauteed the ham with onions and green peppers and added a mixture of milk and flour to thicken, and added cheese. Then I mixed everything together and baked it; I sprinkled it with bread crumbs at the end. It is ready so I should go.  (I also baked an acorn squash and made bisquits.)

A cozy meal on a cozy night. Cheers!

Montes Malbec (2007)

montes-malbec-2007Tom poured me a glass of this Montes Malbec 2007 from Chile for our Saturday night cocktail hour. I am a fan of Malbecs and this is just another example of why I enjoy this wine. The color is a lovely dark red in the glass. The aroma is intense, especially right out of the bottle. The taste is delicious; spice, butterscotch and oak make for a rich and complex quaff. The tannins are soft, yet well structured.

It is 8:00 p.m. and I haven’t started making dinner; guess I better get moving! I think I will reheat our leftovers from last night. . .

Belezos Rioja (2005)

belezos-rioja-2005This Belezos Rioja 2005 from Spain is our choice for this snowy Friday night in Michigan. We have at least 11″ of new snow today. What a storm! It was beautiful. All the schools were closed. I went out later in the afternoon and the roads were slippery, snow covered and treacherous.

We purchased this wine up north in Traverse City at “The Blue Goat” for $11.99. In the glass, this is lovely red and violet. On the nose is cinnamon, strawberries and flowers. The taste is full of fruit and licorice.

For dinner tonight, I have a loaf of whole wheat bread in the oven. (Anytime I can be home, I love to make bread.) I have a skillet of beef stew on the stove. I’ll make some green beans and it should be a fragrant and cozy meal.

I talked to Tony tonight on Skype. Happy day!

Solar de Estraunza Crianza (2004)

solar-de-estraunza-crianza-2004Tom selected this Solar de Estraunza Crianza 2004 from Spain for our Thursday, December evening. I am home late tonight because this was a teaching night for me. We are awaiting a big snow storm — the reports say a storm warning with snow arriving at 4:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. tomorrow. Fun, fun, fun!

We purchased this wine when we were up north visiting my parents in Traverse City. We had stopped in a wine shop called “The Blue Goat” and purchased a variety of red wines. This was one of them.

This is yummy. This Crianzas is a vibrant-flavored and easy to drink. The flavors are vanilla, spice, cherry and black dirt.

Our son, Tommy, just came home with a new CD that he recorded with his band, “The Ben Daniels Band.” We are listening and it is very good!

Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel (2007)

cline-ancient-vines-zinfandel-2007We are having a glass of this Cline “Ancient Vines” Zinfandel 2007 from California. This wine (which has a high alcohol content of 14.5%)  is bursting with flavor. Grapes for this wine originate from very old vines in the Oakley, California region. The flavor is strong coffee and chocolate along with blackberries and a bit of pepper.

It is a Monday night and brutally cold in Michigan. This morning when I got up at 5:45 a.m. it was a balmy 45 degrees. Within a couple hours, the temperature had dropped to a bone chilling 16 degrees with strong winds. Oh! It was so cold! I had three different meetings that required me to walk around campus. On the way home I stopped at Kohl’s and purchased a new scarf and hat.

This morning before I went to work, I took frozen bread dough out of my freezer. It sat on the counter all day and I baked it tonight to serve with my turkey soup (which I made from all the savory and flavor-filled broths from Thanksgiving). It’ll be a comforting and warming dinner tonight and this wine is quite perfect for this winter night.

Prestige Cotes du Rhone (2007)

prestige-pont-du-rhone-dotes-du-rhone-2007It is Sunday night and we are relaxing with a glass of wine. Trigger is next to me, the Christmas tree is lit and the Boze is playing a lovely relaxing CD. I have a roast simmering on the stove with potatoes and carrots peeled, washed and ready to put in the pot.

Tom chose this Prestige Cotes du Rhone 2007, a French blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre, for our evening. This has a pretty high alcohol content — 14% — but the taste is not at all hot or alcoholic.  The nose is lushly floral. The palate is chocolate and spice, while the finish is gentle with notes of bitter chocolate and vanilla. This is going to be a great accompaniment to our pot roast dinner. I think this wine is wonderful. . .I hope that we have more, and I think we do!

Gran Feudo (2002)

gran-feudo-navarra-2002I don’t think I have ever seen my refrigerator as empty as it was today. I just never had time to get to the grocery store in about the last 10 days. So, today, Tom volunteered to go with me and we each took a cart and had little organizational meetings in the aisles. It feels good to be stocked up with nutritious food, once again.

As we shopped, Tom, of course, perused the wine selection and purchased this Spanish Gran Feudo, which we opened tonight. This is a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 25% Garnacha, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s nice!  The wine is medium-bodied and well-balanced. On the palate it is fruity and spicy with firm tannins. The finish is long with oak and vanilla notes.

For dinner, I am roasting a whole, stuffed chicken. I started the chicken in a 425 oven for about 40 minutes, then I flipped the chicken (it was getting nice and crispy), seasoned the flip side, drizzled with olive oil, turned the oven down to finish cooking slowly. I have some leftover mashed potatoes and gravy, which will go well with this dinner. I am either going to make a salad or a vegetable.

Stay warm and enjoy the weekend; cheers!

Valentin Malbec (2008)

valentin-malbec-2008It is Friday night; dark, cold and did I mention dark?  We have both worked hard this week. Our weekend doesn’t hold much free time, either. Welcome to the season, right?

I am reheating a pot of the turkey soup that I made this weekend. My refrigerator is about as bare as I have ever seen it. I desperately need to go grocery shopping. Thankfully, I had this flavorful pot of leftover soup to put on the stove tonight because as I drove home from work  my car wouldn’t let me stop at the grocery store; it drove me straight home.

This Malbec is very good.  This wine came to us in our Wine Insiders wine club package. This wine is velvety on the palate with firm tannins. It’s lovely; I would get this again in a minute. We actually opened this last night so this is the last of the bottle. I hope we have more!

Corral del Sol Cabernet Sauvignon (2007)

corral-del-sol-cabernet-sauvignon-2007bTom poured me a glass of this Chilean Corral del Sol Cabernet Sauvignon 2007; we opened the bottle last night. It is a Wednesday evening and I have meatloaf in the oven. I’m going to make cheesy hash brown potatoes and a vegetable and call it good for a mid-week meal.

I really like this wine. The nose is leather, through and through. (I can imagine walking into a boot shop.  .  .) On the palate, the wine is very dry and acidic with cherry and vanilla flavor. The finish is moderately long with a taste of pine.

The Chileans know good red wine. I like this one very much. Our son, Tony, would like this one!