Dancing Bull Cabernet Sauvignon (2007)

We are back from our summer vacation/family reunion and ready to get back in the blogging groove. We had the most fabulous, wonderful time in Texas with the Werner family: Host & hostess Bob & Suzanne and sons Matt, Dan & Ben (and dogs Callie and Jake); Bill & Linda and middle son, Michael; Pat and Bob and dogs Molly & Bella; Steve and Janet and daughters Emily and Katie; Tom & I and our sons Tommy & Tony, and the king and queen of the Werner family, Joe & Mary. All 20 of us stayed with Bob & Suzanne and we all loved every minute. Speaking for myself, this family reunion was one of the best times of my life!

We arrived home last night and unpacked. Today we were both back to work. On my way home, I stopped at Kroger’s and did grocery shopping and, natch, I looked at the wine. This Dancing Bull was on sale for $6 if purchasing 4 or more bottles (normally $13.99). So, I bought 3 of the Cabernet and 1 Zinfandel. I opened this Cabernet tonight to go with our dinner of hamburgers on the grill and salad. (By the way, we are under a heat advisory up here in Michigan; it was in the mid-90’s today.)

I like this wine. The nose has some leather along with strawberries and dark chocolate. The taste is very fruity — more so than most Cabernet’s for which I am familiar, but I think this would be a real draw for wine drinkers who generally drink and enjoy Australian fruity reds. The fruit is plummy with strawberries. The slightly smoky finish is enjoyable. This is a great wine to accompany your cookout with grilled meats.

Cheers to the Werner family. We miss you . . .

Dancing Bull Zinfandel (2005)

It is a Thursday evening in Michigan; the weather has really turned cold, dark and, quite frankly, depressing for Michiganians who thrive only in the summer. Lucky for me, I am not one of those people. Although I prefer the carefree-ness of summer weather, I try my best to embrace the changing seasons. Today, for example, I went for a 42-minute run during my noon hour at work. It was very cold! Windy, dark, cold, with a little precipitation in the air. Nonetheless, I made myself go out there and I warmed up after about the first mile and had a great, invigorating run and felt wonderful the rest of the day. Moral of the story: Get out and embrace the yucky weather!!

So, tonight Tom chose this bottle of wine for our dinner. (I purchased this at one of my favorite wine shops in Ann Arbor — the A & L Wine Castle.) For dinner, I prepared an oven-baked chicken dish. . .. chicken that was first brined in saltwater, then dredged in a combination of eggs beaten with spicy mustard. . .then tossed with a mixture of bread crumbs, falafel and spices. This will result in a tasty, juicy, crispy baked chicken. Because I was going to be using the oven, I also put together a quick apple crisp — with a totally made-up recipe. I took the remains of apples that I bought at a farmer’s market, peeled and sliced and put them in a glass baking dish, then I mixed some melted butter with flour, brown sugar and lots of oats (and cinnamon) and spread that mixture over the apples. Then, I spooned some applesauce over everything and it is baking (and smelling delicious) along with the chicken.

And now to the wine. . . this is great! For some reason, I have a psychological block against Zinfandel. I find Zinfandels to be a little on the sharp, astringent side. This is no different but,, in this case,  the sharp astringent quality is coupled with a rich and luscious cherry and vanilla taste that is wonderful! It is a lovely blend of flavors and textures that combine for a real treat.

So, cheers to miserable Michigan weather because it really is all about how you choose to take it all in.