Chateau Fouzilhon Coteaux du Languedoc (2008)

It’s Tuesday night and we just worked a bit on the Friday Wall Street Journal crossword puzzle. We are almost finished so we will have to wait for Friday to get our new puzzle. It’s fun to do puzzles with Tom because he is so smart!

So, it’s snowing in Michigan and I am glad to have made it home safely. I heard from two people that there was a fatal crash on M-14, which is a highway that I pass but don’t have to drive  on my commute. The roads were very slick tonight.

For dinner, I am making a penne pasta dish with pesto, tomatoes, onions and — I know this will sound strange — but, leftover meatloaf.  I had about a half of a meatloaf in the refrigerator and rather than reheat it I decided to crumble it in a tomato sauce; it should take a lot like meatballs. I added some penne pasta to cook right in the sauce. I am going to steam some spinach and make a salad, as well.

We had a martini and now are having a glass of this Languedoc. A lovely French wine — not particularly fruity, but full of flavors like bramble, a touch of blueberries, oak and spice.  Fairly complex, this wine offers grippy tannins and a strong finish. Tom is making happy faces with his wine so I know he is loving it; so am I. A great choice for a snowy, cozy night in Michigan.

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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.

Claude Val Vendanges Vin De Pays D’oc (2006)

claude-val-vendanges-2006-vin-de-pays-docIt is a cold Sunday night in Michigan. We are sitting here with a glass of wine, Enya on the Bose, Trigger on my lap, a pot of homemade soup on the stove and a loaf of bread in the oven. Does life get any better? Even in the deep, dark Michigan cold, I feel happy and cozy and blessed!

Tom chose this Claude Val Vendanges Vin de Pays d’Oc 2006 tonight. I think it is fabulous. We think we bought this on a trip up North to see my folks — at a place called “The Blue Goat” in Traverse City. Wow, yummy. I really, really like this one. In the glass, it is not our usual blackish red, but rather a pale purple. On the nose is the scent of cloves and honeysuckle. On the palate, I taste peaches, strawberries and roses. The feel is round in the mouth with structured tannins.

If we don’t finish this tonight, it will definitely be what I choose to have tomorrow! Cheers!

Ten Mile (California) Vintage Proprietary Red Wine (2005)

Tom and I went up north (Traverse City) to see my folks this weekend. My dad had saved me a newspaper clipping with a one-page advertistement from a wine shop. “The Blue Goat” had a wine sale that ended at 7:00 p.m.  So, the four of us took a drive over there and arrived with about 20 minutes to spare. Tom and I quickly chose a dozen reds that were on sale that looked interesting to us. This is one of them.

This Ten Mile Vintage Proprietary Red Wine 2005 is classic California red, a blend of old vine grapes of Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Barbera, Malbec, and Carignane.  In the glass is very dark purple hues with a nose of pepper, and black tea. On the palate is plummy fruit along with dusty, smoky undertones. The feel in the mouth is supple and medium bodied, while the nicely-structured acidity provides a complexity that is impressive for the price. The finish is plums and licorice.

For dinner, I have chicken simmering in the skillet with potatoes (to mash). I am going to make some gravy from the chicken drippings and a vegetable. But, we are in no hurry. The chicken can simmer a long time and still be delicious!