Ramirez de Velazco Malbec 2008

ramirez-de-velazco-malbec-2008We’re have this Ramirez de Velazco Malbec 2008 and recovering from a long week.

It’s quite nice. It tastes of vanilla and light blueberry-ish fruit at the front and of mint at the back. Pleasantly dry and tannic.

Melody is cooking a pasta-and-chicken dish. It smells wonderful. The medium body will go nicely with it.

Lindemans South Africa Cabernet Sauvignon (2006)

Lindemans South Africa Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

We have had this Lindemans South Africa Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 many times. Tom purchased this on sale at our local grocery store. It is a Thursday night of a busy work week and we are reading the paper, listening to music, and having our “happiness hour” as my mother calls it.

This wine is fruit forward, somewhat jammy, with a predominant taste of strawberries and a smooth, velvety finish. If you are accustomed to Italian wines, this wine may strike you as extremely fruity and soft.

But this is a great value and, if you like fruit, an excellent quaff.

Baron de Barbon Rioja (2005)

Baron de Barbon Rioja 2005

It is Monday night and we are enjoying this Spanish Tempranillo very much. This will be a fairly quick post because I have some dinner preparations to monitor!

Yesterday (Sunday) I made oven-baked ribs; I started the process at 2:00 in the afternoon and took them out of the oven at 8:00 p.m. They were delicious and I will share my recipe with anyone who is interested. It’s definitely a weekend kind of meal if you work during the week.

Tonight I am making a pasta dish with fresh vegetables. I already have yellow and red peppers, leeks and fresh spinach, chopped, washed and ready. . .

The wine is very good with hints of licorice and blackberries.  It is light-to-medium bodied and dry. Lovely!

Luzon Jumilla Spain (2007)

luzon-jumilla-2007I stopped at the Plum Market in Ann Arbor on my way home from work tonight. I bought one large bag of groceries, mostly produce. But, of course, I slithered by the wine aisles to see what looked interesting. I bought two bottles, one of which we are tasting tonight.

This Spanish beauty Luzon Jumilla 2007 is 65% Monastrell and 35% Syrah. The color is inky with a violet rim. The aroma is spice and cherries with a bit of freshly ground peppercorns. The taste is refreshing and crisp, bursting with cranberries, plums, and mild spice. The tannins are subtle  but balanced. The finish is a curious combination of spice, tobacco, and thyme.This is quite a find! It was on sale at the Plum Market for $6.97. (I also purchased a $40 bottle on sale for $19; can’t wait to try it!)

For dinner tonight, I made a dinner from the groceries I picked up at the market: a steak stir fry with steak, asparagus, and cherry tomatoes (marinated in olive oil, cracked salt, and pepper), served over penne pasta and fresh beets, which I steamed for one hour (during cocktail hour, natch). It was delicious! Now, I am waiting for our son Tommy to come and eat the leftovers! He usually does a pretty thorough job! 🙂

Brick Kiln Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon (2006)

brick-kiln-cellars-cabernet-sauvignon-2006This Brick Kiln Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 from California is absolutely wonderful. We’ve had this before and loved it.

It is Sunday night and we have had lots of snow today and all weekend. Both Tom and I ran today and yesterday. The footing was slippery so we had to run slowly. We are in the depth of winter, for sure. We have about 30 inches of snow on the ground. And it is still snowing.

I contemplated several dinners for tonight but settled on a pot of chili and homemade bread. It just makes sense on a cold night to have a hot, spicy bowl of soup and warm, melt-in-your-mouth bread. I think this chili will be really delicious. I took extra care in chopping celery, onions, and garlic to sautee with the ground sirloin and then added lots of beans and tomatoes and spices.

Now the wine. I like this one through and through. The nose is black licorice (Tom says caramel). On the palate is coffee, chocolate, and blackberries (Tom says blackberries and minerals — such as pencil lead). The tannins are medium with a well-balanced acidity. The finish is totally ahhh-inducing.  This is a wine I want to have again!

Volteo Tempranillo Shiraz 2006

volteo-tempranillo-shiraz-2006It is Saturday night and very cold and snowy in Michigan. We are having a glass of this Volteo Tempranillo Shiraz 2006, which is delicious and will taste perfect with our dinner.

This is a Spanish wine.  Tempranillo is the primary grape used in Rioja, a well-known wine growing region in Spain. The nose is strawberry jam and vanilla. It is  medium-bodied on the palate with sour cherry and raspberries. The finish is so good: Coffee and chocolate, cloves, iron, and dirt.  The acidity adds just the right amount of bite.

This wine is a perfect choice for our dinner. I started with chicken drumsticks and thighs, which I soaked in a brine of saltwater for about 1 hour. Then I drained and patted dry. I seasoned heavily with salt and freshly-ground pepper and drizzled with olive oil. I then chopped three cloves of garlic and added to the chicken along with some freshly-chopped parsley. That marinated a while and then I threw everything into a hot cast-iron skillet to brown. After it was brown and crispy, I covered and let the chicken cook until falling-off-the-bone tender.

Meanwhile I prepared an apple cobbler for dessert by peeling and slicing apples and then adding a topping of butter, applesauce, brown sugar, flour, and lots of oatmeal, and baking for 30 minutes.

Now I need to finish the dinner with mashed potatoes and a salad of romaine lettuce, avocado, tomatoes and cucumbers with my homemade salad dressing (olive oil, balsamic and red wine vinegar, grey poupon mustard, basil, oregano, rosemary, savory, and thyme).

This morning I woke from a dream about my youngest son, Tony, and I have been thinking about him all day. Love you, Tony!

Amala Springs Cabernet Sauvignon (2005)

amala-springs-cabernet-sauvignon-2005I am home from a 4-day, work-related trip to Washington DC. It is good to be home in spite of the fact that the temperature is below zero!

I have lots to do to catch up from being away, but tonight is just a time to relax, read the paper, listen to music and enjoy the comforts of home.

After unpacking, I rummaged through the refrigerator to see what I could put together. Happily, I had a bag of golden potatoes and some good kielbasa. So, I washed and cubed the potatoes, chopped some onions, and cut up the kielbasa to brown in a skillet; then I added chicken broth (and, later, some green beans) and let it simmer. It smells good.

This Amala Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine club selection. I have gotten to the point where I pretty much trust that a Cabernet from California is going to be good. This one doesn’t disappoint.  Lots of fruit on the palate with oak and vanilla on the finish. There is nothing not to like in this one.

Cheers to my sister-in-law Janet who drove from her house in Reston, VA to visit me while I was in DC. We had a great evening together talking and laughing (alot). What a lovely person and I am lucky to call her my sister.

amala-springs-cabernet-sauvignon-2005Melody is out of town, so I’m wine-tasting and blogging for two… I opened this Amala Springs Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 from California.

It’s pleasant and on the soft side (one might even guess it’s a merlot). The tastes are of toffee and light fruit. It’s a nice quaff, an easy table wine rather than a big gigantic red.

At this point Melody would describe what’s she’s cooking for dinner. This is bachelor week, but I’ll describe the pizza that Tommy just left to pick up: my side will have pepperoni, sausage, green peppers, and banana peppers; Tommy’s side, I’m guessing, will be meatless with extra sauce.

I think the Amala Springs Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 will go nicely, in a low-key way, with my side.

Château Portal Minervois (2006)

chateau-portal-minervois-2006It is a Monday evening and we are relaxing before dinner with a glass of wine, the newspaper and a glass of this Château Portal Minervois 2006 from France. It is very cold in Michigan tonight and we are under another winter snow advisory with snow expected starting tonight and through tomorrow (along with wind). I fly to a conference in DC tomorrow so I hope the wind doesn’t make for a bumpy ride.

This Château Portal Minervois 2006 wine is from a wine club; I think 4 Seasons Wine. The nose is a combination of geraniums and licorice. The taste is cigar box and vanilla. The finish is long and spicy. A very delicious selection for a Monday night. We are having leftover chili, the remains of our whole-wheat bread from last night, and a wedge of cheddar cheese.


Claude Val Vendanges Vin De Pays D’oc (2006)

claude-val-vendanges-2006-vin-de-pays-docIt is a cold Sunday night in Michigan. We are sitting here with a glass of wine, Enya on the Bose, Trigger on my lap, a pot of homemade soup on the stove and a loaf of bread in the oven. Does life get any better? Even in the deep, dark Michigan cold, I feel happy and cozy and blessed!

Tom chose this Claude Val Vendanges Vin de Pays d’Oc 2006 tonight. I think it is fabulous. We think we bought this on a trip up North to see my folks — at a place called “The Blue Goat” in Traverse City. Wow, yummy. I really, really like this one. In the glass, it is not our usual blackish red, but rather a pale purple. On the nose is the scent of cloves and honeysuckle. On the palate, I taste peaches, strawberries and roses. The feel is round in the mouth with structured tannins.

If we don’t finish this tonight, it will definitely be what I choose to have tomorrow! Cheers!