Gran Bombero Garnacha (2006)

It’s Monday night. I took the day off after a busy weekend of work-related events. The day was beautiful–sunny and unseasonably warm for an early-March day in Michigan. I did some crocheting; I went for a run; and I spent time in the kitchen making spaghetti and meatballs (and coleslaw) for dinner.

This Spanish wine has a rich purple color. The nose is licorice and plums. It tastes deliciously spicy and the finish is surprisingly creamy — but, just when you think it might be a touch on the bland side,  a spicy bite on the finish saves the day.

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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.

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.

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!

Prestige Cotes du Rhone (2007)

prestige-pont-du-rhone-dotes-du-rhone-2007It is Sunday night and we are relaxing with a glass of wine. Trigger is next to me, the Christmas tree is lit and the Boze is playing a lovely relaxing CD. I have a roast simmering on the stove with potatoes and carrots peeled, washed and ready to put in the pot.

Tom chose this Prestige Cotes du Rhone 2007, a French blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre, for our evening. This has a pretty high alcohol content — 14% — but the taste is not at all hot or alcoholic.  The nose is lushly floral. The palate is chocolate and spice, while the finish is gentle with notes of bitter chocolate and vanilla. This is going to be a great accompaniment to our pot roast dinner. I think this wine is wonderful. . .I hope that we have more, and I think we do!

Pont du Rhône Côtes du Rhônes (2007)

pont-du-rhone-cotes-du-rhone-2007Tom purchased this Pont du Rhône Côtes du Rhônes 2007 French red at Trader Joe’s. We are enjoying this on this rainy and cold Saturday night in Michigan.

I immediately noticed a wonderful nose. This blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdere is lovely. On the palate is anise  and pine. The tannins are nicely balanced with pepper and fruit. This is an acidic wine that is bursting with flavor.This is a great find. Absolutely. I will put this on our “purchase again” list!

For dinner, I am simmering a big kettle of bean soup with a ham bone that I bought from the local butcher. I have a loaf of whole-wheat bread rising on the counter. It’s looking like it’s about 20 minutes away from putting in the oven.

It is so cozy to be home, warm, and comfortable on this cold night. I walked by lots of homeless people when I was in San Diego this week. I know that I am a very lucky lady. Trigger is cuddled next to me as I write this and I am glad we are all together.