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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Chalone Vineyard Estate Grown Syrah (2008)

We are in the middle of our heat wave like the rest of the country. I worked all day in air conditioned comfort so I can’t say I suffered except for when I had to get into my car that was parked in a sunny parking lot. Even so, pretty mild compared to what some people are going through who do not have air conditioning.

We enjoyed a relaxing cocktail hour (more like two) and read the newspapers (tonight we get two of them). For dinner, I made a casserole with leftover chicken. I chose this California Chalone Vineyard Syrah 2008 that I have been saving for quite awhile. We had it before and really enjoyed it. It’s very good. Quite simply, it is juicy fruity with minerals and oak. Delicious.

Also, here’s a shot of us tasting wine at the Saddlehorn Winery in Burton, Texas, during our recent family get-t0gether. They grow Blanc du Bois and Black Spanish grapes. (This photo captures the extremely rare event of Melody drinking white wine…)

The Original Smoking Loon Syrah (2008)

Tom poured me a glass of this California Smoking Loon Syrah 2008 to sip while I prepared dinner tonight. I was not gung ho to have this wine tonight because a) it was the dregs leftover from last night [I had not had any, but Tom did] and b) I had a vague memory of not enjoying this particular wine. But I decided to be opened minded (for a change). What I discovered is that my memory was probably accurate in that this is not a wine that tickles my taste buds, particularly. Yet, it is not distasteful and it is entirely drinkable, especially for a Tuesday work night. So considering Tom purchased this on sale at our local grocery store for $8 (normally $11.49), I would have to say it is a good value. The color is purple ink, with a chocolate, strawberries, caramel and sage nose. The palate is very fruity with intense blueberry and strawberry flavor and a finish of  an unusual combination of chocolate and rosemary.

For dinner I prepared what I believe is a healthy dish of high-protein pasta tossed with peas, salmon, olive oil and scallions with a squeeze of fresh lemon. We really enjoyed it.

Grande Reserve de Gassac (2009)

A dreary day in Michigan with gray skies and rain. . .and a Monday. Ucky. I felt low on energy all day. But, the work day ended and now we are home together and everything is AOK.  I had nothing planned for dinner tonight but threw together a few stray ingredients: a lone chicken breast from the freezer, a pint of fresh pea pods from the vegetable co-op, a bunch of fresh asparagus, a fresh tomato from the co-op, some basil and freshly grated parmesan cheese. I did a quick stir fry of the chicken and vegetables and tossed with thin spaghetti, olive oil and parmesan cheese and it was delicious. The trick was not to overcook the pea pods. Their fresh crunch added just the right touch.

We had this colorful meal with this French Grande Reserve de Gassac 2009, which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. Smooth and easy-to-drink with a sharply-pungent finish. This would  go very well with a chocolate brownie, which is waiting for us if we choose to indulge.

Grand Réserve de Gassac Languedoc 2009

We had this Grand Réserve de Gassac Languedoc 2009 (a wine club wine) with steak (from our farmer) and pasta.

It was tasty and meaty (as Languedoc wine is supposed to be). A blend (of Cab, Merlot, and Syrah), but a big blend.

A really nice wine and a great meal.

Melody has to work late on March 17, so we made March 16 our St. Patrick’s Day night.

Chalone Vineyard Syrah (2008)

We are back from our Christmas travels to family in North Carolina where we were snowed in for two days! It was great fun. Tom and I braved the snow and cold to walk 1.5 miles to a gas station to get milk for our nieces, Katie and Emily. A fun and invigorating adventure!

And now here we are in balmy (relatively speaking) Michigan. I have pot roast in the oven and we are enjoying this Monterey, California Chalone Vineyard Syrah 2008 that I purchased at World Market in Ann Arbor. It was priced at 24.99 but it was on sale (natch).

This Syrah has a grapey nose with robust flavors of grass and minerals. We like this one and it is perfect for our pot roast tonight.

A shout out to Bono tonight!

Tilia Malbec Syrah (2009)

This Tilia Malbec Syrah 2009 is our choice for our Tuesday night. I had a demanding work day so I am reheating soup and baking some rolls for our dinner.

I purchased this wine last weekend at World Market. It is a good buy at $10.99 a bottle. This is rich with coffee and chocolate flavors with a substantial finish. The only thing that I don’t like about this wine is the label, which is kind of amateurish in my opinion. I would not have chosen this based on the label, which shows MY amateurish-ness. . .but the wine rep at World Market told me this was a good one. And it is. It is delicious and I will buy this one again.

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.

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.