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.


Chateau Les Tuileries (2008)

We are having some extreme weather tonight in Michigan. The wind is steady at 40 mph with gusts up to 60 (if the weather reports are accurate, and by the sounds outside, I believe it). I had to really grasp the steering wheel on my drive home tonight from work. My car was getting blown around. Also, the temperature is in the 20’s but the wind chill is below zero. So, winter has arrived with a vengeance. I am so grateful to be home and out of weather. I can’t imagine what a homeless person does on a night like tonight.

So, it is Wednesday night and we are glad to be home with power. I imagine there are many people who have lost power by now. I have a casserole in the oven. This casserole is a new recipe I am trying with ground beef, noodles, mushrooms, onions, cottage cheese & sour cream, broth (the noodles were added without being cooked, hence the broth to make sure the noodles get cooked to “tender perfection”). . .a  comforting and filling dinner, I hope, for a very cold night.  I am also baking an acorn squash and I am going to make a green salad.

Oh dear. I hear sirens. How many mothers out there cringe when they hear a siren? I still do. . .I always think about my two sons and wonder where they are and if they are safe.

Getting back to the purpose of this blog entry — the wine. It’s good. It’s earthy and fruity (but emphasis on the earthy).This is exactly what I would expect from a French Bordeaux blend.No complaints here!

Kíona Washington State Proprietary Blend (2002)

kiona-washington-state-proprietary-blend-2002It is a Wednesday evening and I had to work late and drive to a school downriver in Detroit to give a presentation. Driving home was dark with rain mixed with snow. I am so happy to be home. Tom poured me this glass of Kiona Proprietary Blend red wine, which we opened last night. It’s made from 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc.

I have had to get accustomed to the Washington State wines and this one is no different. This wine does not make me swoon, but that is probably because of me, not the wine. I have grown accustomed to a certain kind of wine and I have discovered that Washington State wines are different from what i am used to. I find Washington wines sharp and woody. This is not a fruit forward wine but the finish is bursting with cherries. For me, this wine requires a bit of concentration to appreciate. The work is worth it. As it breathes, and as I savor the complexities, I find I like it very much.

Weekend — hurry and get here!!  Cheers. . .

Robert Mondavi Vinetta (2006)

robert-mondavi-private-selection-vinetta-2006I am waiting to see what Tom chooses for our wine tonight. We just finished a martini — the life-giving fluid, as Tom always says. It is Sunday after Thanksgiving, the snow is falling heavily in Michigan, Trigger is snuggled in my chair with me and we are anticipating our week ahead. We had an active weekend and wish we had one more day to recover.

I have a pot of beef stew on the stove — a change from turkey! I started with a chuck roast, which I cut into cubes, dried with paper towels and seasoned with salt and pepper. I browned the beef in a cast-iron skillet with very hot oil; I added a chopped onion and two cloves of garlic (chopped); then I added about 1/4 cup tomato sauce, the remains of a bottle of dry red (probably a cup or so) and a small can of chicken broth and let it simmer for awhile (at least an hour, probably more). A few minutes ago, I transferred the beef mixture from the skillet into a larger pot and added thyme, bay leaves, cubed potatoes and carrots. It’s covered and simmering now.

And Tom has brought me a glass of wine! It is something he bought today at our local grocery store, Polly’s Country Market. He said it was on sale for $8. This Robert Mondavi Vinetta 2006 is very good. This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (72%), Merlot (10%), Petit Verdot (10%), Malbec (7%) and, last and least. Cabernet Franc (1%). I really like these red blends; so interesting. This is very Bordeaux like. The nose is delightful — with hints of nutmeg and cinnamon. On the palate is wood, cocoa and bramble. The tannins are firm. Tom selected a good wine for our beef stew on this snowy, winter night. Cheers!

Kíona Washington State Proprietary Blend (2002)

I ordered this Kíona Washington State Proprietary Blend 2002 as part of a case of reds. This one was on sale for R9.99. It’s made from 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc.

It’s an interesting tasting wine and it is growing more complex as it breathes. The nose is reminiscent of tree sap with spice.  The taste is very fruity with cherries and raspberries. The tannins are firm and the finish is very long. We are very much enjoying this Washington State wine.

It is a Saturday evening and we have had an active day. I started my day with an 8-mile run and I also worked in the yard, did laundry, and took Trigger for a couple of long walks. (It was a gorgeous autumn day in Michigan.) I am roasting a fresh chicken that I purchased from a local farmer. I also made a fresh apple cobbler from an old recipe that I have had for years (the crunchy part is made with oatmeal). So dinner is smelling pretty yummy and I think this wine was a good choice for roasted chicken.

Our son Tommy is working tonight so it is just the three of us (if you include Trigger). I’m looking forward to Tuesday. I want to watch TV all night!!

Grevin California Cabernet Franc

It is Saturday night and Tom is in West Virginia at a reunion with his graduate-school buddies. I am enjoying the company of my son, Tony, who is home briefly before he leaves for South Korea for a new job. I have pork chops on the grill, brown rice steaming, fresh green beans sauteeing and a salad ready to toss (mostly from the garden). This wine is good. We opened it last night and it was a bit tight and needed some decanting. Tonight it is quite delicious. Time to turn the chops. . .cheers!

Grevin Cabernet Franc 2006

Grevin Cabernet Franc 2006

We very much enjoyed this Grevin Cabernet Franc 2006 from our wine club.

It had a fresh-smelling nose of pine and celery and tastes of vanilla and caramel.

We’ve sometimes thought that Cab Franc by itself is a bit much — not enough fruit and not an easy quaff — but we found this Grevin quite nice and quite easily drinkable.