Veramonte Cabernet Sauvignon (2008)

I bought this Veramonte Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 at “World Market” in Ann Arbor. Lately, I have been stopping in there and picking up a dozen bottles at a time — my strategy is that about half of my dozen are on sale and pretty inexpensive while the other six bottles are not on sale but look to be very good. This averages out to be a very reasonable price per bottle.

Time and time again, I find that you get what you pay for with wine. This goes against what I often read, which is that price has nothing to do with the quality of wine, but on the basis of experience I would generally disagree with that premise. Now, granted, I am not talking about $100 vs. $10 bottles of wine. My experience has been in the $15-20 vs. the $4 – 10 bottles of wine.

I purchased this particular bottle for $9.99. Happily, this wine is an excellent value, which is consistent with many Chilean wines that we have enjoyed. We are generally very pleased with the quality of Chilean red wines and this is no exception. This is medium bodied with a pleasant mineral and cedar taste and slightly metallic finish.

We are having this wine with a black bean/tortilla/salsa casserole (I really should come up with a clever name), baked acorn squash and green salad.

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Walnut Crest Cabernet Sauvignon (2008)

Okay, this Walnut Crest Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 is a cheap wine that my husband bought at our local grocery store (I believe he said it was around $6). So, being a little bit of a wine snob (or so I like to think) I was prepared to not like it. Well, I like it. Granted, I am not going to rave about it, but it is pleasant. This will go well with a simple meal I have prepared — a savoury casserole of ground beef, onions, peppers, potatoes, corn, cheese, etc. . .a simple wine for a simple meal! The predominant taste is cranberries with notes of thyme and sage. The finish is a little hotter than I would like, but not bad at all.

Sadly, this is my last day on vacation and I am back to work on Monday. Usually, I am celebrating “TGIF” but tonight I am sorry to see Friday arrive. . .however, it’s been a delicious week for me and I enjoyed every minute. And, while I hate to see it end, I will enjoy getting back to work (once I get there- haha).

Tom: A friend, calling from a supermarket wine aisle, recently asked for a wine recommendation and I said, “Anything from Chile is good.” My thinking was that more-expensive Chilean wines, both reds and whites, are great and the less-expensive are at least OK. This Walnut  Crest Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 is a test case. It was under$6. I think it proves the rule. It’s at least OK. It has dark fruit and some tannins (although a bit too much sweetness). But it’s an OK table wine, and better than many other fruit bombs that your $6 -$7 could buy. If you’re underwhelmed, for $11-$12 you can pick up a Casillero del Diablo Carminere and have a pretty darn good Chilean.

Peñalolen Cabernet Sauvignon

We just finished dinner and it was delicious! I had purchased two steaks for our anniversary dinner (which was Friday) but because of some unforeseen circumstances, we weren’t able to have those steaks on our actual anniversary. So, here we are, a Monday after work, and we grilled steaks and opened this Peñalolen wine from Chili. I purchased this wine at Plum Market in Ann Arbor. It was $20 on sale for $17. And. . .it is oh so good. The first thing I noticed was the color. It isn’t red or deep purple — the best way I can describe this color is that it looks like iodine (mercurachrome). (I just asked Tom how to spell mercurachrome and he made it known that I was dating myself by using this descriptor.) But, that is the color! Do you all remember that color? The second thing I noticed was the taste of tobacco on the finish. This is a leather, tobacco and dark chocolate kind of wine and it is oh so good. This is definitely a keeper in our household. Certainly not an everyday wine, but a wine to savor on special occasions. And what better time than April 5, 2010?

P.K.N.T. Silver Collection Carmenere (2008)

I purchased this Chilean P.K.N.T. Carmenere today at our local grocery style while doing a major food shopping expedition. This was $8.99 and on sale today for around $6.

This is quite yummy! The nose has a fresh and spicy aroma and the palate is spicy and dry. I have no complaints, whatsoever, about this very reasonably priced Chilean wine.

I had some fresh mushrooms in the refrigerator so I sauteed them (along with ground beef and onions) and added spices, tomatoes and spinach for a spaghetti sauce that has been simmering for the last 3 hours. I also have some very dark, flat greens (that arrived as part of my vegetable food co-op share) and I am not sure whether this is spinach or kale or something else?), but i will saute in olive oil. And, I am going to make a fresh green salad. Should be a healthy and filling dinner. This wine will be a good choice for a strong-flavored spicy meal.

I have had a lovely day! I am home during this week between Christmas and New Year’s and loving every minute.

Carma Carmenere (2008)

It is Monday night after our Thanksgiving weekend. I was going to say that it was difficult to go back to work today, but after thinking about those people who are unemployed and how grateful I am for my position, I have to say that I was happy to be able to go back to work.

Nonetheless, it is nice to be home after a long day! We have our Christmas tree lit and music on the stereo and dinner in the oven. Very cozy!

Tom chose this Chilean wine for our evening cocktail hour and dinner. This is delicious and complex. The nose is fruity but not sweet. The taste . . .ooh la la! Lots of flavors: berries, coffee, chocolate and spices. Our kind of wine, for sure! The finish is tobacco and chocolate.

For dinner, I have a casserole that is a bit like a meatloaf with sliced potatoes (and other vegetables & some cheese) on top. . .smells good. . .and some baked acorn squash and a salad.

Sockeye Pinot Noir (2008)

We chose this delicious Chilean Pinot Noir for our Thanksgiving dinner feast. That was last night and we had a wonderful dinner. . .but I was so caught up in the moment that I didn’t really eat much, so we are having our leftovers tonight. But, back to our Thanksgiving day. We were happy to have my sister and her husband and our son, Tommy and his girlfriend, Amanda, for dinner. For our pre-dinner cocktail hour, we served martinis (for us) and strawberry daiquiris (for the non-martini drinkers). Then, we sat down to dinner of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberries, sauteed asparagus, baked squash,and buttermilk biscuits. We had pumpkin pie for dessert.

Tonight it is quiet in our home; Trigger is snoozing quietly by my side. I have the leftover turkey, squash and stuffing reheating in the oven. Now I have the time to really savor this wine. Raspberry  nose; the palate is strawberry jam and some floral notes. The finish is long with a bit of tobacco and cherry.

This is a great wine for roast turkey. Tonight I will actually see how the meal tasted last night (when I was too caught up in the happiness of our togetherness to eat).

Los Rosales Cabernet Sauvignon (2007)

Well, here we are in the middle of the week — Wednesday night. Hectic work days for both of us. But now we are home and life is good. Listening to music while enjoying a glass of this Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon, talking and reading the papers.

(For those of you who are interested in my dinner menu. . .when I got home I immediately plunged a package of chicken drumsticks into a saltwater brine. After about an hour and a half, I dried the chicken and placed in a bag of flour, breadcrumbs and spices and shook until evenly coated. I then browned the chicken in hot olive oil in a cast-iron skillet. Then, I turned the chicken to low (but did not cover). The chicken will continue to cook for another 45 minutes or so and I will serve with mashed potatoes, asparagus and a fresh salad.)

Back to the wine. This is a good Chilean red! The color certainly caught my eye. . . a brownish red opaque in the glass. The nose is tobacco and cedar. The taste is black fruit — currants, a touch of blackberry — along with a metallic finish. Tom is raving about it. He loves it. I like it very much but I’m not raving about it. . .so there you go. I would say between the two of us, it is safe to say that the wine is definitely above average.