Valoroso Cabernet Sauvignon Touriga Nacional Syrah (2010)

We are having this delicious, silky Portuguese wine with our dinner. I made a beef and potato casserole, fresh spinach, salad and garlic toast. The wine is a bright red in the glass with a strong aroma of licorice and cassis, tastes of dark cherries and cedar. Delicious after a long day that started with a 10k race, a football game and Saturday-night Mass.
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Casa de Ermelinda Freitas Valoroso 2010

This Casa de Ermelinda Freitas Valorosa 2010 is intriguing. First of all, we just don’t drink many Portuguese wines. Second, it is very fruit-flavored (dark, blackberry fruit) without being sweet or fruit-bomb-y. A very pleasant, surprising wine. I think Melody will enjoy the other bottle of this when she comes home.

This is where Melody describes what she is cooking. I’ll just say that this big Valoroso should go well with my hamburger.

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Valoroso Cabernet Sauvignon Castelao (2008)

A Wednesday June evening and we worked on the Wall Street Journal crossword puzzle for awhile. I had opened a bottle of another wine last night and I can’t even drink it. . .not good (see previous post). . .so I opened this bottle of Portuguese wine and THIS is more like it. If you like ripe plums, this is your wine. An abundance of plum flavor on the palate with a touch of spice and tobacco on the finish.

For dinner tonight, something so simple I am almost embarrassed to write about it — but I had a pound of ground beef in the refrigerator and I had a long, demanding day at work (that’s my excuse) — so, I browned the beef in my cast-iron skillet, drained the fat and then added chopped onions, followed by a large can of diced tomatoes. That simmered while we worked on our crossword puzzle. Then, I added a can of chicken broth and about 3/4 box of elbow macaroni and covered the skillet to simmer. When that is done, we’ll have a tasty goulash that I will serve with a vegetable and salad. Extremely plain but comforting. . .

Valoroso Cabernet Sauvignon Castelao (2008)

It’s a Friday night — woo hoo! It was a long and arduous work week for me and included a very, very long road trip to do a presentation and then turn around and drive back. (Well, ride back; I didn’t have to drive. . .my colleague did all the driving; thank you, Mike!)

So, here we are; taking a deep breath and relishing in our Friday night status! I have leftovers (pot roast) heating up on the stove. I also have some kale I will saute and I am going to make a fresh salad with arugula, romaine, avocado and carrots (that’s all I have) with my homemade salad dressing. This is the best salad dressing. It is all we ever eat in this household. In a nutshell, here is what I do: I take a bottle of spicy mustard that is close to empty. I add olive oil, balsamic vinegar and red wine vinegar until it is almost full. Then, I add basil oregano, savory, rosemary and thyme, along with salt & pepper. Shake until the spicy poupon/horseradish mustard is mixed well and what you have is a simply delicious salad dressing. This bottle will last for many salads (or until you have nearly finished the next spicy mustard).

I chose this wine (from a wine club) for tonight because I think it will hold up well to the roast beef. This Portuguese wine is just the ticket tonight. Lots of plum and a bit of spice on the palate and a velvety, silky finish. There is nothing not to like . . .as it breathes, I also note cloves and a touch of tobacco.

Dona Sophia (2007) and Villa Farnia Montepulciano D’Abruzzo (2008)

Last night we had friends over for dinner. After a lengthy cocktail hour full of good conversation (and perfect gin martinis) we sat down for dinner and some red wine. We drank several bottles, two of which I am listing here. Both were fabulous.

I had prepared a totally organic dinner. For starters, I stuffed a well salted and peppered grain-fed chicken with a lemon, fresh thyme and 5 cloves of garlic.  I put the chicken in my cast iron skillet and drizzled it with olive oil and cooked in a hot, 425 degree oven for one hour. Then, I added carrots and potatoes (from the farmer’s market), more sprigs of thyme and 5 move cloves of garlic to the skillet along with about 1/2 cup chicken broth. Then, I turned down the oven to 350 and let it roast another hour and a half. I also sauteed a pint of pole green beans  (freshly picked), and made a salad with freshly picked lettuce, tomatoes, peppers and onions. So, I think dinner was delicious and healthy. For dessert I served some decadent chocolate cookies that I had prepared earlier in the day accompanied by some lemon sherbet.

I was too busy to write down my wine-tasting notes, but I can tell you that these two bottles of wine were a hit. Fabulous.

Tonight we are having a less-expensive wine that Tom bought on sale at the grocery store. I will blog about it tomorrow night (assuming we don’t finish it tonight). For dinner tonight, I am making a chicken stroganoff made with boneless, skinless chicken strips sauteed in butter, fresh mushrooms and onions sauteed in butter, then, the  addition of a thickened chicken broth and sour cream to simmer. I am going to serve it with buttered noodles, sliced fresh tomatoes and sauteed Swiss Chard. Yummy!

Dona Sophia (2007)

I finished the rest of this Portugal “Dona Sophia” wine Friday night after a long and arduous work week. Tom opened a bottle of something new that he had purchased at the grocery store.  I opted to have the remaining glass of this because I really like it.

This is an opulent, richly-colored red Portuguese wine with a mouthful of black fruit and a balance of acidity and tannins.

We grilled hamburgers for dinner. I picked two warm, ripe juicy tomatoes from the garden to serve on the burgers. I also sauteed asparagus in olive oil. It was a great way to celebrate the end of the work week.

Quinta Da Alorna Vinho Tinto (2005)

Quinta Da Alorna Vinho Tinto 2005This Quinta Da Alorna Vinho Tinto 2005 from Portugal was one of my Christmas gifts from Tom. (I received a nice collection of a variety of wines.) It is a Wednesday night and we have had a demanding work week so far. So this wine is a real treat tonight. Tom chose it because I am cooking chicken (in the skillet) with potatoes.

The wine is delicious. It is fruity and full bodied with very gentle tannins. This wine is a blend of Tinta Roriz, Castelao, Syrah, and Alicante Bouschet. The nose is berries and spice. On the palate is black cherry and ripe raspberries . The finish lingers and is very satisfying. This is an exceptional mid-week quaff and will pair well with our chicken.