Ravenswood Merlot (2006)

I am finishing this California Ravenswood Merlot that we opened last night. I was pleasantly surprised both last night and tonight at this wine because generally Merlots are a bit too soft  for my tastes. However, this merlot is quite exceptional. It has a fresh, intense plum and cherry vanilla aroma. On the palate is a  full, round, ripe berry flavor with mouth-watering acidity (crisp and clean), followed by  a soft, chocolaty spicy finish with chewy tannins, which adds to the enjoyment of this wine.

It is a Monday evening, start of a new work week. I am reheating a pot of soup that I made last week for our dinner. Simple, but delicious. We’ll eat our dinner and check out “House”  —  one of my favorite TV shows.

Torciano Crete Rosse Chianti (2007)

I chose this Italian Torciano Crete Rosse Chianti for our Sunday night supper. I am enjoying being home after a 2-day trip to Indiana, with my school’s  Gymnastics team (it was our conference championship meet). I didn’t get home until very late and was unable to  unwind enough to sleep  — so, a short night for me. Then, up and out the door for my long run (11 miles). So, dinner tonight is simple: A batch of bean soup and a loaf of whole wheat bread. The soup is simmering and the bread is baking. . .and Tom and I are watching some of the basketball games (just watched Michigan State beat University of Southern California and Louisville beat Siena.)

So, back to the wine. This is a light wine. The nose is barely discernable. Perhaps it needs to open for awhile longer. The taste is understated and thin. This would be a great wine for new red-wine drinkers because it has a very mild taste. I’ll bet, though, that tomorrow the wine will have more character than it does tonight.

Las Perdices Malbec (2006)

I bought this las perdices Malbec at our local grocery store. It was on sale for $13.95.  Las Perdices Malbec is delicious and elegant. The value of this wine is tremendous; the quality is excellent. Dark-fruited and powerful, the nose is chocolate, blackberries, and cranberries. The wine is the fabric of Argentina but with the sophistication and intricacy of a French Bordeaux.

It is Monday evening and I am roasting a pork loin for dinner. (It was something I pulled out of the freezer yesterday.)  It was a beautiful day in Michigan; winter is not over but we have had a glimpse of spring!

Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet (2007)

It is Sunday evening and we have had a beautiful spring day in Michigan. I think we saw every, single person under the age of 12 in our neighborhood today — either on a scooter, a bike or bouncing a ball. We Michiganders sure do love the first snow-free, semi-warm day! (I also saw my first robin — a sure sign of spring!)

We are finishing this bottle of Penfolds Shiraz Cabernet from Australia tonight. This is the kind of wine that put Australia wines on the map. Deep red in the glass with pomegranate,  spice, dried cranberries and a bit of wood. Luscious and fruity, the tannins are firm. This is just an easy-to-drink, very enjoyable, lush red wine.

We are going to have a pot of homemade soup and a loaf of home-made bread tonight. Just a simple Sunday-night dinner. Cheers!

Arkel Malbec (2008)

It is Wednesday evening and I am back from an out-of-town trip for my job. It is good to be home, having a glass of wine, reading the paper with dinner on the stove, and music on the Bose.

Tom opened this bottle for us tonight. This is an Argentinian Malbec from the Mendoza region. According to Karen MacNeil, “. . .the wines made from Mendoza malbec have a grip, structure, and density rarely found in wines made from malbec in Bordeaux.” I would say this is an accurate description of this Arkel malbec. Full of berry flavors, this wine has a deep red color. The taste, in addition to berries, is dry and earthy. We both agree this is our kind of wine. It will go well with the pot of chili I prepared. I also purchased a loaf of sourdough bread and some sharp cheddar for our meal tonight.

It is great to be home; cheers!

Granrojo Rojo (2007)

Well, here we are; another Friday night after a long work week. We are listening to music and reading the newspapers. . .the neverending dismal news. . .but there is still so much joy and happiness; we just have to keep our eyes open.

I am finishing the bottle of  Granrojo Rojo 2007, a Spanish blend of Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon, to go with our dinner of a steak stir fry — steak, green onions, fresh spinach, tomatoes — served over pasta tossed with olive oil.

When I first opened this wine (earlier this week), I noted cherries on the nose; but tonight (after having been opened) I do not detect cherries, but instead, waxy crayons. There taste has cherries and basil with a minty finish.


Bogle Merlot (2006)

Tom’s parents gave us this Bogle Merlot when we saw them a couple of months ago. I am not a huge fan of Merlot, but I am a huge fan of Bogle so I was curious to find out how this wine would taste. (I happen to really love Bogle Petite Syrah so, let’s see about the Merlot.) The nose is plummy. Definitely cherries on the palate with grippy tannins. The finish is soft and gentle with hints of smoke and oak.

I am cooking pork chops and potatoes tonight. (I browned the chops, then added sliced potatoes (skins on), and a chicken-broth sauce, covered and simmered.) I am also going to make a salad. This Merlot will go well with dinner.

And, finally, the good news. The temperature (which was zero this morning when I got up) is supposed to go up starting tomorrow. yippee!

Domaine D’Aubaret Cabernet Sauvignon (2007)

It is a bitter cold Monday night in Michigan. We are hoping this is one of the last cold spells . . .but that may be wishful thinking.

I had to work late tonight so we are having leftover pasta for dinner. I am also making a salad and a vegetable. I chose this wine because I liked it very much the last time we had it. And, chances are good that my tasting notes tonight will be similar. Let’s see. . .well, let’s start with the nose;  spicy. The color? A deep, dark red. The taste has notes of cranberries and plums with cedar on the finish. Crisp tannins.


Catena Cabernet Sauvignon (2003)

catena-cabernet-sauvignon-2003I am finishing the bottle from last night of this Catena Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 from Argentina (that we opened last night for “Open That Bottle” night).  I have been cooking all day and everything smells savoury and delicious.

I started barbecue ribs at noon today and they are in the final stage of preparation. (I start by making a spicy rub which I apply to the ribs and let sit at room temperature for an hour.) Then, into a low-temperature oven (covered in foil) for 2 hours. Then, I take the foil off and bake for another 90 minutes. After that, I brush on a generous amount of barbecue sauce and bake another 90 additional minutes. Finally, I wrap the ribs in foil and place in a paper bag, wrap the bag tightly and let the ribs rest for another hour. It’s a long, slow process and worth every bite. These are fall-off-the-bone tender, but without the grease. . .and, because I had the oven going, I also baked an acorn squash and a loaf of bread. And, for dessert, I made a double batch of brown rice pudding. Meanwhile, I have hash browns cooking in a skillet. Yes, a big dinner, but one that will be comforting and delicious. Our son, Tommy and his girlfriend, Amanda, will join us shortly for a hearty feast.

Meanwhile, this wine is even better tonight than it was last night (see yesterday’s post). Full of ripe berries with touches of tobacco and graphite. This is a keeper. Cheers!