Sterling Vintner’s Collection Meritage (2007)

It is Sunday evening and we have had the most beautiful autumn weather. I am in shorts and t-shirt! For us northerners, this is a big deal for October. Tom spent most of the day finishing staining our pergola in the back yard. What a happy day to have that finished. I did laundry, grocery shopping and cooking, plus I took some short bike rides to enjoy the pretty leaves, the fragrant air and the warm temperature. Now we are relaxing. We worked on the Friday Wall Street Journal crossword puzzle and made some progress.

Our dinner tonight is a chicken pot pie that I started cooking much earlier in the day. I purchased some inexpensive chicken (leg quarters) and stewed those this afternoon. Then I deboned and skinned the cooked chicken for my pot pie. I started by sauteing onions, celery, carrots and chunked (unpeeled) red potatoes in butter for about 10 minutes. I added flour and mixed well and added chicken broth and evaporated milk until thick and creamy, threw in the cooked chicken, salt and pepper and put in a casserole and covered with pie crust to bake for an hour.

Our upstairs stash of wine is dwindling so i went to the basement to get this Sterling Vintner’s Collection Meritage 2007. I don’t want to sound overly effusive but this is DELICIOUS!! I really love this. This combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot is just what i adore in a wine . . .chocolate, cherry, vanilla. . .but not sweet, just fruity and totally inviting and sumptuous.

Here’s to all of us that are going back to work tomorrow to give our best. Cheers!

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Avalon Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (2007)

It is Tuesday evening and we are finally having a relaxing cocktail hour after a rather busy week and weekend. We are in the midst of a winter storm warning. Tom already spent about an hour shoveling the driveway and it is still coming down. We expect another 6-10″ of snow tonight.

Our wine supply is starting to dwindle. And, what is left is our good wines. We always save the best for last! This is one of the good ones. I purchased this lovely California Cabernet at one of  our favorite wine shops in Ann Arbor — the A & L Wine Castle. It was priced at $18.99 and on sale for $15.49.  A quick search on the internet indicates that it is sometimes available for $12.

This wine is a good example of why I often say that I like a good California Cabernet. What’s not to like? This wine is delicious. The nose shows some mint, cherries and blackberries. The taste is ripe berries, vanilla and just a hint of black licorice. The tannins are wispy — I don’t know another word to describe — light and dry, maybe?

For dinner tonight, I took the remains of a roasted chicken and put the leftover chicken in a casserole with red potatoes, vegetables and chicken stock (thickened). It is baking in the oven and will turn into a “chicken pot pie-like” casserole. I am also going to stir-fry carrots, pea-pods and leeks and make a salad (I have a LOT of vegetables from my food co-op delivery).

The best part of this meal, though, will be this Avalon Cabernet Sauvignon. It doesn’t get much better than this.