Domaine La Roquete Chateauneuf du Pape

We had this wine several evenings ago. It was delicious: dry, tannic, dark fruity. No negatives; a step up from our usual fare.

(Interestingly, the history of Chateauneuf du Pape is entwined with the Popes.)

A lot going on right now: my mother is moving up to live in our town this week. Just a little moving hassle, and then it will be smooth sailing. Melody is traveling for work this week. I’m traveling for work next week.

(It kind of reminds me of that old movie, “If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium.”)

The Pessimist (2009)

This is our second bottle of The Pessimist Cabernet Sauvignon 2009. I bought this, for the second time,  at World Market in Ann Arbor. I lke this wine very much. How can you go wrong with a Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon? I am convinced that California produces the best Cabernets and the Paso Robles region never disappoints. This is my kind of wine.

So here we are in the middle of a busy work week. I concocted some spaghetti sauce, simmering in the skillet, and we are reading the paper and decompressing from the day.

This wine is lush and bold. Very delicious and a good choice for our dinner. We have been working the Wall Street Journal crossword puzzle. Does anyone know a five-letter word for “bridge pad” that starts with “i” and ends with “y?”

Haras Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

Melody is in San Antonio on business. One of the first things she’ll ask when she returns is, “Did you blog?” So…

…I’m having this Haras Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 from Chile (on sale, under $10, from our grocery store).

Big, VERY chocolaty, nice New World dark fruit, a tiny bit sweet.

Very nice. Melody would like this. More evidence that: if you don’t know what wine to get, get something from Chile. You can’t go wrong.

Melody usually talks about the food she is preparing. I can say that hummus, pretzels, and swiss cheese are on the menu for tonight (and they go well with this Haras Cab). Trigger will have some ham. Otherwise, we’re in survival mode until Melody returns…

William Knuttel Cabernet Sauvignon (2008)

I was going to finish the dregs from last night’s wine, but Tom insisted that we open a new bottle because I am going out of town tomorrow and, of course, we have to enjoy our last evening together until Saturday. So I chose this William Knuttel Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, which I thought initially was a Napa Valley Cabernet . . . oh boy! I LOVE California Cabernets. But after we opened it and observed the color in the glass and experienced the nose, we knew it was not a pure Cabernet. Sure enough, when reading the “fine print” I discovered this is a blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. That doesn’t make it an inferior wine, but it is clearly not what I expected. Still good, but very different. There is a distinctive nose and taste of a blend with Cabernet Franc and we pretty much recognized it immediately. Also, I have to brag about Tom, who correctly determined the year to be 2008 by the color in the glass.

This is a very good mid-week quaff with a rich cherry and plum nose. The taste is cranberry, licorice and tobacco. The finish is lengthy. We are going to have this tonight with some leftovers so instead of a picture of dinner, I decided to post a picture of Trigger in her new red shirt.


El Bombero Cariñena 2009

We had this El Bombero Cariñena 2009 from Spain with goulash that Melody made. The wine was very nice: tasty, soft, not super tannic, very drinkable. Very much a Spanish table wine. It would be excellent a little chilled as a summer wine.

I just got back from Florida and Melody is off to San Antonio in a couple of days. Busy times, but all good. Our sons should be together right about now in Fremantle, Australia, so we’ll be on the lookout for news.

Black Stump Durif Shiraz (2010)

This Black Stump Durif Shiraz 2010 is certainly our first ever 2010 wine.

I went back to work after a break today and had a very busy one. So tonight is a good night to chill ands enjoy this dark, fruity wine from the “sticks” in Australia.

I am making an unusual dinner tonight. I had purchased an organic ham steak (of all things) at our local Farmer’s Market this summer and threw it in the freezer. Tonight I am baking that with potatoes and will steam some broccoli for a simple, but what I hope is delicious, dinner.

This wine is yummy. Fruity, lush, not sweet. Just a rich and full-flavored Shiraz sure to please most any red wine drinker.

Pillastro Primitivo (2008)

Tom selected this Pillastro Primitiv0 2008 for us tonight to go with our chicken casserole dinner. (I found this recipe today by searching Google for ingredients that I had on hand, since I have not been grocery shopping in awhile.)

Sadly, this is my last day of vacation. I go back to work tomorrow. I love my job, but I also love being home! I guess that is a win/win situation, actually.

So, I have to tell a quick story for those of you who crochet. . .I have been working diligently on an afghan. This is not my first. I have made baby blankets, hats and afghans and consider myself a pretty good crochet-er. . .well, I couldn’t figure out why it took me so long to complete one row. I figured it out this afternoon. Here is the gist: The pattern has a base of 175 stitches.  Today I counted the  stitches in my current row to see if I was still at 175. I stopped counting when I got to 500! No wonder it took me so long to complete one row. Obviously, I made some HUGE mistake reading the pattern and I was increasing stitches like crazy. I think it is a lost cause and I should cut my losses. This is after three giant balls of yarn and countless hours of crocheting. I am going to chalk this up to a learning experience (and a laugh on me)!

This wine is typical Italian: somewhat musty on the nose and a strong taste of oak on the palate. The finish is vanilla and caramel. I much prefer a California Cabernet Sauvignon, but this is a fine old-world wine that offers a pleasant change from our usual.

The Pessimist (2009)

Here we are. . .the second day of the new decade and we are enjoying the happy calm that comes after a productive day. I spent the day with my parents helping them with some errands. It was a good day.

We didn’t get a chance to read the Sunday paper this morning so we are doing this tonight. I have some leftover soup on the stove and we are enjoying this new wine (for us) curiously named The Pessimist 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon. From a region in which we are familiar, Paso Robles makes a good Cabernet. I am not disappointed. Big, bold and satisfying. It is on my “buy again” list.

Gran Calero Monastrell (2008)

It is New Year’s Eve and soon we will ring in the new year of 2011. We have had a productive and eventful year with many changes, twists and turns . . . and we managed each event to the best of our ability. We feel happy that we were able to accomplish much and care for those for whom we love so dearly.

Tom chose the wine tonight and wisely selected this Spanish red Gran Calero Monastrell 2008 for our simple, but delicious, dinner. We tasted this together and we exchanged our impressions, which were incredibly similar. Light body, subtle nose. Thin texture with a taste of dark chocolate and a hint of coffee on the finish. Interesting. Not “to die for” but not the least bit unpleasant.

For dinner I made a whole wheat crunchy bread that I started at 8:00 this morning and put in the oven at 7:30 tonight. And a turkey-potato soup that I actually started yesterday by slow-cooking turkey thighs overnight, then deboning and skinning and letting the broth cool and congeal to remove the fat; sauteing onions, garlic, carrots, celery and potatoes; then adding the rich, savory broth and turkey. Presto! Soup!

Happy New Year’s to you and yours.