Hess Select Cabernet Sauvignon (2007)

What a lovely Memorial weekend! On Saturday evening, we met friends for dinner at our local pub. On Sunday, our neighbors from both sides came over for a cook out. And tonight, it’s just Tom & I, for a cozy end-of-the-weekend cocktail hour. It is raining. We are so glad because we needed it after a string of hot, sunny days. We had fun painting our front door today; Tom is getting ready to install a screen/storm door and he had to add some furring, which had to be painted, so we painted the entire front door. I love our Navy Blue door!

We are enjoying our cozy evening and decided to open a special bottle. This Hess Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 is spectacular. If I had to choose just one wine to have night after night, this might very well be the one I would choose. I love the blackish color in the glass and the caramel, cherry, chocolate and some buttered toast nose. Lovely tart cherries on the palate along with round tannins meld into a dark-chocolate finish. This is a wine worth swooning over.

Tom: This Hess Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 is our kind of wine. It has big, dark-fruit, chocolaty taste. Young and fruity, but also tannic, so not fruit-bomby. A fascinating and sort of addicting wine. We had a busy weekend, seeing old friends and as well as neighbors, and putting together furniture for our new patio and prepping our front door for a new screen door. So this big wine really hits the spot.

Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon (2007)

It is a sunny and beautiful warm May Thursday evening and we are relaxing with a glass of this California Cabernet. I had a particularly eventful day at work and Tom is insisting that I do not cook (even though I stopped at the grocery store on the way home and I have everything I need for a stir fry). So, I happily agree; instead, I’ll heat up some leftover pizza and I will save the stir fry dinner for tomorrow.

I bought this Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 at Sam’s Club for around $7 a bottle, a very good value, in my opinion.  If you have read our blog posts, you know that I am a big fan of California Cabernets and this is no exception. This has loads of enticing jammy black fruit flavors. The finish is vanilla and oak. Easy to drink; easy to enjoy; perfect for a Thursday night pizza dinner. Tom, what do you think?

Tom: This Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 is a fun, New World-ish, unsophisticated, big wine, with blackberry fruitiness with some caramel, tannic, and acidic. Not subtle, but not a sweet fruit bomb either. A great middle-of-the-week wine at a great price, and will go great with pizza. We could do worse than to have some bottles of this always on hand.

Washington Hills Cabernet Sauvignon (2007)

I was out of town all last week so didn’t get a chance to update the blog. But I am home now and back in the groove. It is a hot May night in Michigan! We are supposed to be in the high 80’s all week, which must be some kind of record. I am glad I have my tomatoes planted.

So, tonight, we are enjoying this Washington State’s Columbia Valley Cabernet. I am roasting a whole, stuffed chicken with potatoes and sauteing fresh carrots and cauliflower (from my food co-op).  It’s a little warm to have the oven on, but this will probably the last time I roast chicken for awhile.

This wine is more apt to be served with red meats, but I like a good Cabernet with whatever we are eating! The nose is leathery while the palate presents cherries and green pepper. The finish is berry and smoke, through and through. This is excellent. I purchased this for $7.99 (on sale) from the A & L Wine Castle in Ann Arbor. This will go well with the dark chocolate brownies that I baked (I figured I should take advantage of having the oven on). Cheers!

Grayson Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon (2008)

Oh boy! It’s Friday night and we are looking forward to our weekend. I was going to say it will be relaxing, but really it won’t be, although we’ll enjoy ourselves! We have lots to do: mowing, grocery shopping, garden planting, running, laundry, etc. I leave on Monday for a 5-day seminar so I will make the most of my weekend.

For dinner, I am going to make really juicy, delicious hamburgers. . . I mixed the ground beef with onions and steak sauce and spices and will cook on high heat in my cast iron skillet, and I’ll toast the buns. Plus, I am making a fresh salad with lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, peppers and my homemade salad dressing (which is delish and good for you, to boot). So, I chose this lovely wine that I found at the A & L Wine Castle in Ann Arbor. Robert Parker loved it so it certainly lends credibility to what I think! Like most California Cabernets that I have had, this is delicious. The color is deep red and the  nose is rich with dark fruit, pepper and oak. It has a nice round mouthfeel with pleasant tannins. The finish is long with hints of vanilla and oak.

Robert Parker of Wine Advocate said it is “an incredible value,” “just amazing” and “tastes like Cabernet in the $25 – $40 dollar range.”  I was able to purchase this wine for $8.99 (on sale from $12.99). That’s $4 I can spend on something else! 🙂

Ku De Ta Malbec Argentina (2008)

Tom chose this wine and poured me a glass tonight. I was trapped in my chair because Trigger is cuddling with me. I just couldn’t get up! So, it is Wednesday night and we both had active and busy work days so our cocktail hour is particularly welcome tonight. This was a meeting-heavy day for me — and it was trying — so I was eager to come home to my cozy refuge. I threw together a weird dinner and I hope it tastes good. Here’s what I did. I had three pieces of leftover meatloaf, so I chopped it up along with some onions and browned it in a hot cast-iron skillet.  Then, to the meatloaf and onions I added tomatoes, broth, spices and some penne pasta. It is covered now and simmering. I also have some fresh spinach from the food co-op that I will saute. And, if I have the energy I will make a salad but no guarantees on that.

So, I don’t know how good dinner will be but the wine leading up to it is fantastic! This wine is from the home of the Malbec grape, Mendoza, Argentina, which is near the base of the Andes mountains. I don’t know what it is about the  Mendoza region, but they produce great wines. The flavor is robust with lots of fruit. It has a great mouthfeel with structured tannins. I like this very much. A winner!

Santa Carolina Cabernet Sauvignon (2007)

We are having a cold spell in Michigan. No one is complaining, though, because we have had such a beautiful spring. But tonight it is cold and rainy. A cozy night and I am thankful to be inside looking out the window.

For dinner tonight I have two round steaks (they look like cubed steaks to me) cooking in a mushroom sauce (with mushrooms from my food co-op). I added potatoes to the mix to simmer. I will also make a fresh salad and steamed green beans. So, for the wine, I chose this Santa Carolina Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 from Chile. I stopped at the A & L Wine Castle (in Ann Arbor) on the way  home from work last night and purchased 11 bottles. This was one of them. The nose is a bit different than what I am used to — floral with some cedar. The palate is interesting. . .and, no lie, I pondered for awhile and concluded that I was tasting green peppers and chocolate. . .then I checked the label and discovered that the wine makers said ” Bright ruby red in colour, with hints of green pepper and chocolate. . .” so I guess my impressions are not unique. Grippy tannins with a vanilla finish. Like it! This was on sale for $7. I would have to say this is a very good value. There is no doubt: Chilean wine is a very good value.

Tom: This Santa Carolina Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 is a very big wine, very full-bodied, tannic, with a chocolaty, dark-fruit taste. Very big. Perhaps a tiny bit overly acidic (to my taste), but a wonderful wine and an amazing value. A friend asked me for wine advice last week, and I said, “Really, anything from Chile is great.”

Viansa Vintners Cabernet (2004) North Coast

It’s Sunday night and we are relaxing with a glass of wine and enjoying all the green outside on this Michigan evening. It is rather chilly tonight and expected to be below freezing tonight. That’s okay. We’ve had such a beautiful spring; we were due for some cold weather. I’m making the most of the cool weather and roasting a stuffed chicken which is almost done. I am also making mashed potatoes and a salad.

Oh, and by the way, it is Mother’s Day! In addition to calling our mothers, I had a call from our youngest son. And my oldest had to work today but he came by yesterday with flowers. I am a very happy and proud mom, for sure! There is nothing like motherhood. How grateful I am for my two wonderful and loving sons.

And, now to the wine. I am generally positive about the wines that I blog about, but that is because we purposefully choose wines that we think we will enjoy (as opposed to true wine tasters who do blind tastings). And, here is another example. This wine is one that I like very much. First of all, it’s a California Cabernet, which has become one of my favorite “go-to” wines. Secondly, it is full of fruity flavors on the palate — plums and cherries — and chocolate. The finish is making me swoon. There is more chocolate along with spice and oak. It’s absolutely delicious. For anyone who is interested, this wine can be ordered from laithwaiteswine.com.

Maipe Malbec (2009)

I bought this Argentine Malbec from a wine shop off of Zeeb Road in Ann Arbor on the recommendation of the owner. It’s reddish purple in the glass with an earthy nose. Lots of fruit on the palate — black cherry and blackberry. Round tannins. There is only one thing that I don’t like about this wine and that is the label! I like everything else. This is a good value at $10 a bottle.

We are having a blustery weekend. The west side of the state may be getting snow. We have frost warnings over on this side. We knew it had to happen; we’ve had such beautiful spring weather. So, it’s cold and the wind is howling, but we are warm and cozy inside.

Castello Montedoro (2006)

It is a rainy Monday evening — but it was sunny and beautiful all day until now. So, home from work. . . I have meatloaf, butternut squash and potatoes in the oven. I have some fresh broccoli ready to steam. I chose this Italian wine for our dinner. This wine is from Italy’s Puglia region. Usually, I find Italian wines to be rather austere (in a good way), but this one is much fruitier than what I have experienced, generally. This is delightful! It’s a deep — blackish — color. The nose is plummy with some thyme. The taste is wonderfully fruity with some woodiness.

I am now the proud owner of a little stuffed koala and kangaroo (on my desk at work). Thank you, Jay! It’s a bloody ripper to have you in the USA!

Venta Morales Tempranillo

It’s an early-May Sunday evening. It’s been raining on and off but it is very warm for a spring night in Michigan. We have our windows open and can hear the birds, the frogs and the trains.

I am finishing this bottle of Tempranillo that I purchased at the Plum Market in Ann Arbor. I really, really like this wine and may purchase a case, actually. Although I like to have a lot of variety for my blog, I also like to stock up on the wines that I really enjoy and this is definitely one of them.

I have chicken in the oven for our dinner tonight. I brined the chicken for about 2 hours (in salt water) and then rinsed and coated with bread crumbs and spices. I am also making sauteed carrots (I have a lot of carrots to use up from my food co-op), spinach (also from the food co-op) and potatoes. And, a salad. Meanwhile, we are reading the paper and working half-heartedly on Friday’s Wall Street Journal crossword puzzle.

This Spanish Tempranillo is luscious with a color of ink in the glass. It is bursting with black fruit.  The aroma is fresh cherries and a bit of smoke. You can sink your teeth into these tannins.