Bliss Family Vineyards (2009) Cabernet Sauvignon

We had a fun Saturday together. I started my day with a run with my girlfriends before it got too hot. There were five of us this morning: Pat, Christi, Chris, Jeanie and me. We ran pretty fast on the country roads because every time we ran in the wooded, shaded areas, we were swarmed by deer flies, so we had to keep speeding up to outrun them.

Tom & I gave into the heat at about 5:00 this afternoon after walking Trigger. . .decided to close the windows and turn on the air conditioner. It’s going to be in the 90’s all week.

So tonight we started our evening with a Negroni cocktail. It was our first. I had read an article on it and we decided to try it. For two of us: 2 oz. gin, 2 oz. sweet vermouth, 2 oz. Campari. Shaken over ice and poured over a short glass with ice and topped with an orange slice. We really enjoyed it very much.

After our cocktail, we grilled steaks and asparagus and had a glass of this Bliss Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 from Mendocino, California. This is a structured Cab with spice and blueberries on the nose . The taste  has some oak and a touch of mint with a dark chocolate finish. A great wine for a blissful weekend!

Hess Select Cabernet Sauvignon (2007)

Happy Labor Day weekend! It is Sunday evening and we have had a whiff of fall air. I am wearing a long-sleeved t-shirt for the first time in many months!

It was a beautiful day in Michigan with a cerulean blue sky and high puffy clouds. The temperature was in the high 60’s.

We started our evening with a gin martini inside. Then we moved outside on the patio to grill steaks and have a glass of this exceptional California Cabernet. This is a special wine for us. We have had it before and loved it.

This is a big, fruity wine. It is well structured with firm tannins. Lusciously delicious, in a word.


The Holdings Cabernet Sauvignon (2007)

It is Monday night. We both worked today, natch. We had some nice rain today and our grass looks green and healthy.

When I drove home from work, I saw Tom on his run. He looked fast. I don’t know how he runs at the end of the day. I really like to run first thing in the morning or during my lunch hour. I am not a good after-work runner, but he is.

So, after he came home and showered, we started our “happiness hour” with an icy-cold martini. Now we are sipping a glass of this California “The Holdings” Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles. We are going to grill a steak and have that with a baked sweet potato and a salad.

I am already a fan of California Cabernets and this is no exception. This one is particularly lush with lots of fruit — both on the nose and on the palate. The mouthfeel is velvety smooth and silky. There is a touch of mint on the finish. This was an excellent choice for our steak dinner.

Tomorrow is our youngest son’s birthday. Tony will be 24 years old! I can’t wait to see him when he comes home from his year-long teaching job in South Korea. Happy birthday Tones!

Monasterio de Santa Cruz (2008)

This is a Spanish wine that recently arrived at our house as part of a wine club shipment. This wine is made in the region of Tarragona on the Mediterranean, near Barcelona.

I chose this wine for our summer Sunday night dinner. This is a deep red, delectable and elaborate big red. The texture is smooth and the finish is woody.

I didn’t know what to expect from this wine because the label did not reveal any grapes or varietal for which I was familiar. Well, is is sumptuous. This is a complex wine with layers of fruit and oak.

I didn’t feel like grocery shopping today so I took  two steaks out of the freezer. We grilled those and I made steamed brown rice and sauteed mushrooms (in Malbec wine) and a salad from my garden (with my homemade viniagrette [olive oil, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, horseradish mustard, basil, oregano, rosemary, savory & thyme]). Dinner was delicious and the wine was a perfect match for a steak.

Forbes Creek Cabernet Sauvignon (2007)

We received four bottles of this California Forbes Creek Cabernet Sauvignon in our 4Seasons wine club shipment. I opened a bottle tonight; a beautiful summer June evening. It is just delicious. I am very glad to know there are three bottles remaining! This is very easy-to-drink with  flavors of ripe fruit, black pepper and a hint of tobacco. There is a subtle touch of oak on the finish. This is delightful! Tom & I had no problem finishing the bottle.

For dinner, I had planned on making stir fry. Tom volunteered to grill the steak, so instead of stir-frying the steak, we grilled it. I first marinated the steak in a marinade of olive oil, red-wine vinegar, salt & pepper and spicy mustard. While the steak was grilling, I made a salad (with lettuce from our garden, red & yellow peppers, avocados and cucumbers); I also cooked a pot of penne pasta. Then, I sauteed asparagus in hot oil along with chopped garlic tops (the green stem that grows up from the garlic bulb). I tossed the asparagus and garlic tops with the penne pasta along with olive oil and fresh ground salt & pepper to accompany the grilled steak and the salad. It was just delicious. And, the California Cab was perfect with this meal.

Down Under Shiraz (2008)

It was a perfect day. I have tried to imprint it in my mind so I can remember it always! The weather was gorgeous. I ran a good 1/2 marathon with some of my girlfriends. Our son, Tommy, and his girlfriend, Amanda, came over for dinner. This was my kind of day!

Tom & I started our cocktail hour with a cold and fizzy gin & tonic with a fresh wedge of lime. Then, out to the grill to start the steak. We opened a bottle of this Down Under Shiraz, which was the perfect choice for our steak dinner. I also made oven-roasted potatoes (potatoes cut up in chunks with skin, mixed with olive oil and freshly ground salt & pepper, then roasted in the oven for about 90 minutes), and a really delicious fresh salad.  I grilled aspargus on the grill, as well. I also made brownies for dessert with ice cream. Everything tasted delicious.

But, back to the wine. A perfect choice for a grilled steak — full of berry flavors with a  generous complement of black pepper and hints of oak. Excellent!