Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet

We are under a winter storm warning so I made this chicken, white bean spicy chili for our dinner. I forgot to take a picture of our dinner at the table, which was in the bowl with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro, but this picture of the chili in the pot will do. The soup was delicious and hot and the wine is big enough to stand up to and complement the meal. It was fun to watch the giant snowflakes outside tonight. They were huge! A very cozy night for spicy chili and a big wine.

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The Full Fifteen (2010)

The Full Fifteen 2010 is a nifty Australian red with quite a spicy punch. It is abundant with fruit. Full bodied and delicious.

(It seems to be some kind of blend. Amazingly, no varietals are listed on the label.)

This went well with our dinner — a ground beef casserole and fresh sauteed spinach.

Peter Lehmann Layers Red (2008)

We have had a couple of very busy weeks and, as a result, our blog has been ignored. Tonight we change that. Tom opened this Peter Lehmann Layers Red 2008 from the Australian Barossa Valley for our dinner of spaghetti casserole and sauteed green beans.

I bought this wine at World Market for $14.99. It is a combination of several different grapes. The result is a somewhat simple red table wine.

However, there are distinct layers of flavors that keep this from being a run-of-the-mill blended wine. I noticed cedar on the nose, raspberries in the mouth and dark chocolate on the finish in this medium-bodied wine. There is a slight syrupy texture that is not my cup of tea. But, in spite of that, this is a good wine.

I am not going to put it on my “buy again” list but, then again, I am not going to waste a drop while we enjoy this bottle!

(We recycled the bottle before we could take a photo, so here’s a cheat shot…!)

Pillar Box Red (2007)

Here we are settling in after a busy week. I was in Reno all week doing work-related business. I came home very late last night and spent today unpacking, doing laundry, grocery shopping, etc. It is nice to be home. It was a cool day with rain. A perfect day to be in the house.

I chose this Pillar Box Red 2007 to go with dinner. This is a cool weather dinner. The first in a long time. I bought a sirloin tip roast at the grocery store today. It is in the oven in a covered pot with onions, carrots and potatoes (with garlic tucked into crevices). It has been roasting
on low heat for about 4 hours.

This wine is from the Southeastern side of Australia. This makes us think about our son, Tony, who is in Perth. We realize Perth is on the other side of the continent, but still. . .it doesn’t take much to make us think of him!

The wine is delicious. I bought this for $14 at A & L Wine Castle in Ann Arbor. The nose is fragrant and fresh. The taste is dark chocolate and tobacco. The finish gets your attention. . .

This is going to be the perfect wine for our Saturday night beef roast.

Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet (2006)

It’s been a while since we’ve had the time to blog but tonight is quiet. I made a pot of soup on Sunday to put away for tonight, so that is reheating and I have time to sit, have a glass of wine and stare out the window.

So, we are finishing some dregs tonight. . .I am having the rest of this Penfolds and Tom is having the last bit of a Tempranillo.

I really want to like this because I generally love a blend of Cabernet and Shiraz . And, who can argue with a name like Penfolds? But, honestly, I do have some reservations about this one. First, the positives: It is full of fruit in a characteristic Australian way. It really tastes  quite delicious, first sip. The color is deep purple in the glass. Now, the not-so-positive: It is a little thick on the palate. . .not too much nose. . .so fruity as to seem almost like grape juice. . .not a lot of complexity. However, having said this, I admit that I do enjoy this fruit-forward wine on a night like tonight — which is — a Monday. . .and we are just enjoying a glass of wine while we read the paper and wind down for the night. To summarize, I want to be accurate with my taste notes, but also be clear that this wine is a good middle-of-the-week quaff. Enjoy!

Black Opal Cabernet Sauvignon (2008)

It’s Wednesday night. We both worked hard today. After talking about our days, we finished off Friday’s Wall Street Journal crossword puzzle. . .for me, this is a good way to get my mind off of work and onto something else — which I needed to do after my day today!

So, for dinner, I am going to work on finishing off some leftovers. I have some leftover pork roast from Sunday night, mashed potatoes and sauteed red cabbage; to that, I will also add sauteed spinach and a tossed salad. And, I have peeled and sliced some kiwi for our fruit.

Tom purchased this Australian fruit bomb at our local grocery store. It’s what I would say is your somewhat typical Australian Cabernet: super fruity, soft tannins and delicious. I like it! What keeps this wine from being something I swoon over is it’s lack of complexity and depth. But, this is more than adequate for any occasion and I would never turn it down, that is for sure. Absolutely no complaints!

Lindemans’ Shiraz (2008)

This Australian Lindemans’ wine has been on sale for $5.99 at our local grocery store. So Tom has been picking up a couple bottles each time he stops to buy groceries. He poured me a glass of this tonight after we sipped and enjoyed a lovely, ice-cold martini. It is Saturday night and we just returned from a weeks’ vacation in Northern Michigan. We had so much fun! We waded in crystal-clear Lake Superior, ate Whitefish in a small upper-peninsula town, and hiked in lush, green forests out in the middle of nowhere! Now we are home and have unpacked, done the laundry, grocery shopped, etc., so that we are ready to go on Monday when we both go back to work.

This wine is truly new-world. It isn’t shy about being fruit-forward. The wine is uber-plummy and full bodied with a smooth finish. (That use of “uber” is in deference to my running partner, Jeanie, who taught me that word.) Jeanie, Pat and I went for an 8-mile run this morning. None of us were feeling particularly energetic so we were all happy when we finished.

Today was one of those rare days when I couldn’t think of anything to cook for dinner. . .so, in desperation, I took a meatloaf out of the freezer. (Whenever I make meatloaf, I make two and put one in the freezer.)  So that is in the oven now along with a couple of potatoes. This wine is perfect for a meatloaf dinner.

Cheers!