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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Penfold’s Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet (2008)

Tonight we are having this Penfold’s Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet 2008 blend. This wine has become a standby for us because it is a good value and a quintessential high-quality Australian big, juicy red. We  stock up when we find it on sale for about $10 at our local grocery store. I enjoy the taste of plums & blueberries coupled with dry, pucker-producing tannins. The dark chocolate finish is so satisfying, who needs dessert?

For dinner, we grilled chicken breasts that I had rubbed with a mixture of brown sugar, chili powder, oregano and olive oil. I heated up leftover cheesy potato casserole and I also steamed fresh green beans. It made for a very tasty dinner which we thoroughly enjoyed. We really enjoy sitting on our patio enjoying our wine while Tom does the grilling.


A.R.H. Family Shiraz Cabernet Merlot (2009)

A wonderful weekend and lovely Saturday night. I am listening to “my” football team on the radio and hoping for a big win.

We both worked hard around the house today and completed many chores on our to-do list. Now, a well-deserved relaxing evening.

This A.R.H. Family Shiraz Cabernet Merlot 2009 is our choice for a cozy fall evening. This is rich in plum flavors with a tobacco finish. This goes well with out dinner of ground turkey/black bean/pasta which I served with fresh sauteed spinach and some homemade baked beans.

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!

The Optimist Shiraz Cabernet (2008)

We opened this delicious Australian blend last night and I am finishing the last couple of swallows tonight. I like this wine very much. I have  mostly enjoyed Shiraz and Cabernet blends and this is no exception. On the one hand, you have the very fruity, spicy Shiraz, and on the other hand, you have the complexity and prominent tannin quality of the Cabernet. It’s a great combination. This wine is easy to drink, and bursting with fruit. For lack of a better explanation, it is a happy wine!

A bright purple in the glass, the nose is refreshingly minty. The taste is big fruit on the front with pepper and oak on the finish.

For dinner, I am sauteing shitake mushrooms in red wine (from my food co-op) and reheating a leftover beef/noodle dish (that I had made from a slow-cooked pot roast). I am also stir frying asparagus. . .and then I want to watch House. Gotta see what’s up with my favorite grouchy doctor.

Happy Monday everyone. Only four more days until the weekend.

Bonterra Cabernet Sauvignon (2006)

It is Sunday night and we are going to grill steaks. I chose this luscious Bonterra (California) Cabernet Sauvignon to accompany our dinner.  This has been stored down in our basement because I rate this a special wine. This wine has everything that I love in a red wine. It is  big, dry, fruity and bold. Yum, yum, yum.

So, yesterday I spent 5 hours on the campus football field engaging in “Football 101” for women. Groups of about 10 women cycled through 9 position stations. At each station, we practiced getting into a stance, doing things like the Icky Shuffle and the Double Icky Shuffle, flipping our hips, punting, throwing the ball, catching the ball, blocking and on and on. Getting into a stance, we would get yelled at from a coach “Get your a– up in the air!”  We learned every position from the inside out. It was a long, arduous, educational and fun day! I have always admired our student-athletes but now I understand a bit more about why they come in from practice looking exhausted and taking the elevator instead of the stairs.

This wine will go perfect with our grilled steaks, brown rice, fresh salad and. . . something new for me. . .fried green tomatoes. The only reason I am going to make fried green tomatoes is because Tom was helping me stake my tomato plants today (they are so big that the tomato cages are pulling out of the ground) and in the process of staking, he broke off a branch. So, I found a recipe for the fried green ‘mators, and I have everything set to go (including a black, cast-iron skillet, which the recipe insists upon).I can’t wait to try them! (The recipe says to slice the green tomatoes and let them stand for 15 minutes after salting. Then dip in milk, flour, egg, bread crumbs and fry in olive oil.

For anyone who is looking for a lush Cabernet, I highly recommend the Bonterra, 2006. Cheers!

Rosemount Estate Shiraz Cabernet (2004)

I found this large, 1.5 Liter bottle of the Australian blend of Shiraz and Cabernet at the 50% off table at the Ann Arbor Kroger’s store (I loaded my cart with all the good reds and this was one of them). This is your typical Australian fruit bomb — a round feel in the mouth and the palate bursting with fruit and subtle tannins. There is nothing to complain about unless you prefer a more austere wine. And, what a deal! This large bottle was $21.79 and half priced at around $10.50.  I have had a roast cooking slowly all day, which I will serve on buttered noodles with a vegetable and a salad. This wine will complement our dinner nicely.