Savanha Pinotage/Shiraz (2008)

This South African blend of Pinotage and Shiraz is our choice for this hot summer Friday night. This is a spicy, plummy, bold-flavored wine that is an impeccable choice to accompany our sausage-red potato-cabbage skillet dinner. I particularly appreciate the finish — velvety, spicy and crisp. Here’s to a fun summer weekend!

Groote Kapp Pinotage (2007)

Groote Kaap Pinotage 2007It is Thursday, July 2, and another unseasonably cool night in Michigan. So I am taking advantage of the cool weather and using my oven. I have prepared a meatloaf, which is baking in the oven (made with ground beef, ground pork, spicy mustard, oatmeal, A-1 sauce, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, onions, celery, green pepper, milk,  salt, pepper, eggs and a little mixture of ketchup and brown sugar for a topping). It smells good. I have also harvested lettuce and green onions from my garden and added yellow peppers and avocados and will mix with my salad dressing (olive oil, red wine vinegar, spicy brown mustard, basil, oregano, rosemary, savory & thyme). So, there is my dinner. . .now on to the wine.

I chose this South African pinotage because it is a new bottle that we haven’t tasted, yet. This wine is 14.5% alcohol (most wines are 13 or 13.5%) but it does not have an alcoholic taste. This is a gutsy tasting big red with a whiff of smoke on the nose and palate. It’s a bit rough around the edges — the oak finish is a little on the harsh side, but even still, this is a very drinkable big red and I think it is a good choice to accompany our meatloaf dinner.  We have four bottles of this wine from our wine club and each bottle will be enjoyed.

Tomorrow is a holiday and Tom & I are off so (once again) we have found a reason to celebrate! Cheers!

(Happy Birthday to Steve Bono, a faithful reader and long-time red-wine enthusiast!)

Lindemans South Africa Shiraz (2006)

lindemans-south-africa-shiraz-2006It is Wednesday night — a mid-week, very cold night in Michigan — and we are enjoying a glass of wine while reading the paper and listening to music. It is -2 degrees right now. I have leftover soup (that I made over the weekend) on the stove for dinner tonight.

This Lindemans South Africa Shiraz 2006 is a wine that Tom bought on sale at our local grocery store. The nose is dull but the flavors are rich with chocolate, licorice and fruit. I have to hand it to Tom, this was a good value. I think most red-wine drinkers would enjoy this rich, fruity quaff.

Stay warm everyone. February will be over before we know it and then there will only be 6 more weeks of winter!

Lindemans South Africa Cabernet Sauvignon (2006)

Lindemans South Africa Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

We have had this Lindemans South Africa Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 many times. Tom purchased this on sale at our local grocery store. It is a Thursday night of a busy work week and we are reading the paper, listening to music, and having our “happiness hour” as my mother calls it.

This wine is fruit forward, somewhat jammy, with a predominant taste of strawberries and a smooth, velvety finish. If you are accustomed to Italian wines, this wine may strike you as extremely fruity and soft.

But this is a great value and, if you like fruit, an excellent quaff.

Zarafa Pinotage (2007)

zarafa-pinotage-2007It’s a Thursday night and I worked all day and then taught a class tonight. So, I need to get some dinner started because it will soon be 9:00 p.m. So, I’ll use my brother-in-law’s words for this post: “It drinks good.”

This Zarafa Pinotage 2007 is delicious but definitely needs to breathe to be at its best. Cheers!

Zaràfa Pinotage (2007)

zarafa-pinotage-2007We’re having this Zaràfa Pinotage 2007 from Trader Joe’s tonight. It’s quite pleasant.

Out of the bottle it’s simultaneously chocolaty and vegetal. As it breathes, the grassy, vegetal quality increases.

It’s a pleasant red table wine and a great value, and it’s fun to have a pinotage.

A Few Good Men Shiraz (2005)

A Few Good Men Shiraz 2005 is a South African Shiraz that we purchased recently at a wine shop in Traverse City, Michigan. The nose is fresh and inviting with cloves and spice. On the palate is a rich, complex wine wtih distinct undertones of pepper, spice and black cherry. The finish is very nice with a touch of black tar and leather. The tannins are smooth and silky.

It is Wednesday night and we are missing Barack Obama’s infomercial because we are still engaged in our cocktail hour (I worked late tonight) and reading the paper. For dinner tonight, I have prepared a very simple, but delicious soup. I start with ground beef and onions and add chopped tomatoes, beef broth, canneli beans, black beans, hot sauce and barley. It is simmering and I just took a loaf of whole wheat bread out of the oven. (I took a frozen whole wheat loaf out of the freezer this morning before work and let it rise all day.)

The wine is very good. A perfect mid-week quaff!

(Hi Tony! We love you and miss you!)

Lindemans South Africa Cabernet Sauvignon (2006)

It is a Thursday night and I worked late. We had a delicious martini to start our cocktail hour. Now we are having a glass of this South African Cabernet, which is quite nice. We keep buying this particular wine on sale at our local grocery store. I think it is usually on sale for $7.99. It is fruity with a predominant taste of strawberries but it is not sweet and it has a rather sophisticated level of complexity, which I enjoy. I have pizza in the oven and this wine should hold up well to the strong flavors. It is a hot and beautiful Michigan summer night. . .cheers!

Lindemans South Africa Cabernet Sauvignon (2006)

Lindemans South Africa Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

I bought two bottles of this Lindemans South Africa Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 today at the local grocery store because it was on sale. A good choice! The nose is fresh and lively and the taste is bursting with berries. This is a delicious “drink now” wine that requires no cellaring. The taste is fruity and friendly and, as my brother-in-law Bob says, “it drinks good.” The predominant taste is strawberry and the finish is velvety smooth.

I taught a class this weekend (Friday, Saturday & Sunday) so I did not get my normal down time this weekend. And, it is back to work tomorrow. At least I have this evening to unwind and rest my brain.

I was in the mood for a good home-cooked meal so I stopped at the grocery store on the way home from teaching and purchased ground beef, pork and veal. I mixed up two meatloaves and put one in the oven and one in the freezer. It smells good. Just what we need after a long weekend of work! For my meatloaf, I add oatmeal, milk, eggs, onions, spicy mustard and tomato juice (and lots of pepper). Delish!

Sebeka Cabernet Pinotage (2006)

Sebeka Cabernet Pinotage 2006This delicious Sebeka Cabernet Pinotage 2006 from South Africa is a fruit forward wine with notes of blackberry and herbs accompanied by black earth, smoke and acidic undertones. This dark red wine is medium bodied with grippy tannins. Tom purchased this wine for under $10 and we feel it is an excellent-valued wine.

Tonight, I taught the final class of an eight-week graduate-level course in educational leadership. I will sincerely miss my students because they were intelligent, passionate, and perceptive. I loved every single one of them. They invited me to the bar to celebrate the end of our class, but I did not join them because I have an early-morning meeting tomorrow. However, this “clink” is to them . . . and I’ll tell you each of their names from memory as I picture each and every student tonight.

Here’s to you Emily, Lisa, Paula, Michael, Emma, Melissa, George, Scott, Jennifer, Kathryn, Karen, Matt, Amy, Jason, Brian (yes, I am visualizing you as you sit in the classroom from right to left). Cheers to you and congratulations to you for finishing the Organizational Theory class!