Trapiche Malbec (2008)

It is Friday night and we are both a little on the “sapped” side from a long and demanding work week. It is 8 degrees outside and we are staying in and keeping warm and cozy tonight. I have a kettle of bean soup reheating on the stove. We’ll have the soup along with some bread and cheese for our supper.

I purchased this Trapiche Malbec 2008 from Mendoza, Argentina wine at our favorite wine shop (A & L Wine Castle) in Ann Arbor. It was on sale for $6.79. This is a good value because the wine is excellent. The nose is plummy with a touch of licorice. The taste has big mouth-filling fruit with vanilla; the tannins are understated and mellow.

This wine makes me think of our son, Tony, who is in South America. He also enjoys a good Malbec and has had the opportunity to enjoy Argentina’s wines while traveling through that area. (Cheers, Tony!)

Tom: This is a great wine. Tannic, big fruit taste, grapy but not fruit-bomby. Makes me think of steak on the grill; will have to remember this for next summer.

Advertisements

Don Elias Garnacha (2008)

This Spanish wine was cultivated in an area of Spain known for its low production capacity. This  results in an intensely-flavored wine. My first sip was quite intense — it was verging on bubbly. However, with time to breathe, the bubbly intensity has dissipated and what is evident is a tasty mixture of fruit, wood and thyme. The finish is spicy.

A delicious choice for our Tuesday night. For dinner, I am reheating the bean soup that I made this weekend. We also have a half loaf of the whole wheat bread that I baked on Sunday. A very easy, yet comforting, dinner for a very cold winter evening.

The Optimist Shiraz Cabernet (2008)

We opened this delicious Australian blend last night and I am finishing the last couple of swallows tonight. I like this wine very much. I have  mostly enjoyed Shiraz and Cabernet blends and this is no exception. On the one hand, you have the very fruity, spicy Shiraz, and on the other hand, you have the complexity and prominent tannin quality of the Cabernet. It’s a great combination. This wine is easy to drink, and bursting with fruit. For lack of a better explanation, it is a happy wine!

A bright purple in the glass, the nose is refreshingly minty. The taste is big fruit on the front with pepper and oak on the finish.

For dinner, I am sauteing shitake mushrooms in red wine (from my food co-op) and reheating a leftover beef/noodle dish (that I had made from a slow-cooked pot roast). I am also stir frying asparagus. . .and then I want to watch House. Gotta see what’s up with my favorite grouchy doctor.

Happy Monday everyone. Only four more days until the weekend.

Il Papavero Primitivo (2008)

Saturday night . . .at last! What a busy work week. Today I went to our men’s basketball game and happily we won! Now we are settling in for a quiet evening at home. We have music playing, we’re working on the Wall Street Journal crossword puzzle, and dinner is simmering.

I chose this wine from our wine club shipment for tonight. This is very much like a Zinfandel — but Italian style. Fruity yet astringent. Rich color. Plummy nose. Lots of fruit on the palate with a dark chocolate finish and velvet tannins. This will be a good choice for our pork loin/mashed potatoes/sauteed spinach dinner. Nothing fancy but comforting food for tonight.

While I was at the game today, our son, Tony, Skyped from Ecuador. I am so sorry I missed his call, but at least Tom was here to talk to him. He is doing great and I miss, miss, miss him!

Chateau Fouzilhon (2008)

I was in the kitchen making a few dinner preparations and said to Tom “I am out here all alone slaving away and I am parched.” He saved the day and opened this bottle of wine and brought me a glass!

This French Coteaux du Languedoc is a classic French wine. Tom and I were just sharing our thoughts and we think that — if you had a continuum with Australian fruit bomb wines on one end and Italian austere wines on the other end, this would fall in the middle of those two. It is not a fruit bomb, but it is not austere. It is fruity in a subtle way with a nice dose of pepper and spices. The tannins are rounded and smooth. This is what I would describe as old world. We both love it. This is not “easy to drink” as are some of the California and Australian wines. This takes a bit more effort to taste and enjoy all the complexities. . .a good wine for savoring.

For dinner tonight, I am being a bit creative. I have some organic kale that I received as part of my food co-op membership. So, I browned some ground beef and onions in my cast iron skillet. Then, I added the whole bunch of kale, which I had chopped. I added a large can of petite tomatoes and that simmered while we enjoyed our cocktail. Then, I added chicken broth and elbow macaroni to cook. So, we’ll end up with a goulash with lots of dark, green kale to boost the nutrition value. I think it will be very tasty. I am also going to make a salad.

Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon (2006)

I purchased this wine at the A & L Wine Castle in Ann Arbor. I had clipped a coupon from the newspaper that was to expire on January 31, so I made it a point to visit one of my favorite wine shops. The coupon was for $20 off $100 of wine. . .so, I carefully and studiously studied the wine bottles and brought bottle after bottle up to the counter . . .only to discover that the coupon couldn’t be used on wine with “green” price labels. (The green price tags indicated a reduced price.) Well, let me tell you, it was difficult because 80% of the wines had green price tags. But, being the trooper that I am, I left the green-tagged bottles on the counter (to purchase) and went back in search of non-discounted wines (which were considerably more expensive) and managed to use my $20 coupon, even though I spent far more than $100. Ah, well, that is a pleasant issue.  I didn’t mind. I brought home 13 bottles of very interesting wines. This was one of them.  This WAS a green-tagged wine: Normally priced at $12.99 on sale for $9.99.

I opened it last night (Sunday) for dinner with our son Tommy and his girlfriend, Amanda. I had a pork loin roast with mashed potatoes, gravy, steamed carrots, salad (and homemade cookies).

I like this wine very much. I suppose part of the reason I like it so much is because I was able to share it with Tom, Tommy & Amanda, but I also liked it because it is fruity with undertones of tobacco and a spicy finish. Just delicious. Love it.

I am finishing just a swallow of it tonight before we open another bottle of something different. It is every bit as good tonight as it was last night.

Black Opal Cabernet Sauvignon (2008)

It’s Wednesday night. We both worked hard today. After talking about our days, we finished off Friday’s Wall Street Journal crossword puzzle. . .for me, this is a good way to get my mind off of work and onto something else — which I needed to do after my day today!

So, for dinner, I am going to work on finishing off some leftovers. I have some leftover pork roast from Sunday night, mashed potatoes and sauteed red cabbage; to that, I will also add sauteed spinach and a tossed salad. And, I have peeled and sliced some kiwi for our fruit.

Tom purchased this Australian fruit bomb at our local grocery store. It’s what I would say is your somewhat typical Australian Cabernet: super fruity, soft tannins and delicious. I like it! What keeps this wine from being something I swoon over is it’s lack of complexity and depth. But, this is more than adequate for any occasion and I would never turn it down, that is for sure. Absolutely no complaints!