William Knuttel Cabernet Sauvignon (2008)

I was going to finish the dregs from last night’s wine, but Tom insisted that we open a new bottle because I am going out of town tomorrow and, of course, we have to enjoy our last evening together until Saturday. So I chose this William Knuttel Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, which I thought initially was a Napa Valley Cabernet . . . oh boy! I LOVE California Cabernets. But after we opened it and observed the color in the glass and experienced the nose, we knew it was not a pure Cabernet. Sure enough, when reading the “fine print” I discovered this is a blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. That doesn’t make it an inferior wine, but it is clearly not what I expected. Still good, but very different. There is a distinctive nose and taste of a blend with Cabernet Franc and we pretty much recognized it immediately. Also, I have to brag about Tom, who correctly determined the year to be 2008 by the color in the glass.

This is a very good mid-week quaff with a rich cherry and plum nose. The taste is cranberry, licorice and tobacco. The finish is lengthy. We are going to have this tonight with some leftovers so instead of a picture of dinner, I decided to post a picture of Trigger in her new red shirt.

Cheers!

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Robert Mondavi Meritage (2008)

Here we are nearly at the end of our work week. It has been one week since my knee surgery and I am doing really well. I am not using crutches at all and I did some yoga during my noon hour. Can’t wait to run!

This Robert Mondavi Meritage 2008 is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. Tom bought this today when he went to the grocery store for orange juice. (Tom is very good at checking out the wines when he stops at the market.) We are both enjoying this one veery much. It was $12 on sale for $10. It is complex with layers . . . on the palate is abundant dark fruit while the finish is a lovely combination of raspberries and blueberries. This is unusual but we don’t detect vanilla or caramel or spice. Just berries. Very pleasant and I would definitely purchase this again.

For dinner, I am making a dish that is both comforting and healthy. Our food co op started up this week so i needed to incorporate some of my healthy organic vegetables. First, I browned a pound of ground beef that is from a local cow! Wow. What a difference. Ground beef from a local farmer is so different than what you buy in a store. I added some chopped onion and celery and carrots (all from the co-op) and then added canned chopped tomatoes. After that simmered for awhile, I added chicken broth, fresh spinach and some elbow macaroni. And I am cooking some fresh beets. We should get our prescribed servings of vegetables.

All on all, a great cocktail hour and a delicious dinner.

Kíona Washington State Proprietary Blend (2002)

kiona-washington-state-proprietary-blend-2002It is a Wednesday evening and I had to work late and drive to a school downriver in Detroit to give a presentation. Driving home was dark with rain mixed with snow. I am so happy to be home. Tom poured me this glass of Kiona Proprietary Blend red wine, which we opened last night. It’s made from 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc.

I have had to get accustomed to the Washington State wines and this one is no different. This wine does not make me swoon, but that is probably because of me, not the wine. I have grown accustomed to a certain kind of wine and I have discovered that Washington State wines are different from what i am used to. I find Washington wines sharp and woody. This is not a fruit forward wine but the finish is bursting with cherries. For me, this wine requires a bit of concentration to appreciate. The work is worth it. As it breathes, and as I savor the complexities, I find I like it very much.

Weekend — hurry and get here!!  Cheers. . .

Robert Mondavi Vinetta (2006)

robert-mondavi-private-selection-vinetta-2006I am waiting to see what Tom chooses for our wine tonight. We just finished a martini — the life-giving fluid, as Tom always says. It is Sunday after Thanksgiving, the snow is falling heavily in Michigan, Trigger is snuggled in my chair with me and we are anticipating our week ahead. We had an active weekend and wish we had one more day to recover.

I have a pot of beef stew on the stove — a change from turkey! I started with a chuck roast, which I cut into cubes, dried with paper towels and seasoned with salt and pepper. I browned the beef in a cast-iron skillet with very hot oil; I added a chopped onion and two cloves of garlic (chopped); then I added about 1/4 cup tomato sauce, the remains of a bottle of dry red (probably a cup or so) and a small can of chicken broth and let it simmer for awhile (at least an hour, probably more). A few minutes ago, I transferred the beef mixture from the skillet into a larger pot and added thyme, bay leaves, cubed potatoes and carrots. It’s covered and simmering now.

And Tom has brought me a glass of wine! It is something he bought today at our local grocery store, Polly’s Country Market. He said it was on sale for $8. This Robert Mondavi Vinetta 2006 is very good. This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (72%), Merlot (10%), Petit Verdot (10%), Malbec (7%) and, last and least. Cabernet Franc (1%). I really like these red blends; so interesting. This is very Bordeaux like. The nose is delightful — with hints of nutmeg and cinnamon. On the palate is wood, cocoa and bramble. The tannins are firm. Tom selected a good wine for our beef stew on this snowy, winter night. Cheers!

Kíona Washington State Proprietary Blend (2002)

I ordered this Kíona Washington State Proprietary Blend 2002 as part of a case of reds. This one was on sale for R9.99. It’s made from 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc.

It’s an interesting tasting wine and it is growing more complex as it breathes. The nose is reminiscent of tree sap with spice.  The taste is very fruity with cherries and raspberries. The tannins are firm and the finish is very long. We are very much enjoying this Washington State wine.

It is a Saturday evening and we have had an active day. I started my day with an 8-mile run and I also worked in the yard, did laundry, and took Trigger for a couple of long walks. (It was a gorgeous autumn day in Michigan.) I am roasting a fresh chicken that I purchased from a local farmer. I also made a fresh apple cobbler from an old recipe that I have had for years (the crunchy part is made with oatmeal). So dinner is smelling pretty yummy and I think this wine was a good choice for roasted chicken.

Our son Tommy is working tonight so it is just the three of us (if you include Trigger). I’m looking forward to Tuesday. I want to watch TV all night!!