Bolla Chianti (2008)

Just as I started to write, Louie Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World started playing. Instantly puts me in a happy, grateful and joyful mood. . .so don’t expect a negative review! I love that song.

So, here we are a Monday evening. It is unseasonably hot in Michigan. . .low 90’s or maybe high 80’s by now at close to 8:00 p.m. So, we are going to grill burgers and I am going to make a green salad with my homemade salad dressing. It occurs to me that I have never purchased salad dressing, ever. I can’t even imagine it could be good. . .not when freshly made is so tangy and delicious.
Mine is a simple concoction of olive oil, red wine and balsamic vinegar, spicy mustard, and basil, oregano, Rosemary, savory and thyme. Simply delicious.

This wine was a good deal at our wine shop in Ann Arbor. I picked up two of these this weekend. . .along with another 22 bottles ( a variety). We were running low. It was getting to be a wine crisis in our household so I solved that issue. Now we are stocked for the time being.

This is a nice every day wine. I would describe this as fresh and crisp. Like many Italian wines, this is not fruit forward but rather a bit dry and austere with acidic characteristics. It is a nice alternative to a California Cabernet or an Argentine Malbec.

Time to make the salad. . .cheers!

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Collezione di Paolo Poggerissi (2008)

Ahhhh, Friday night after a very eventful and demanding week (which is why we haven’t posted in quite awhile). But, we made it through. We said goodbye to our youngest this morning (just writing this makes me want to cry). He is on a jet now to Seoul for one month and then on to Australia for who knows how long?  Be smart, be safe.  .  .

So, I just finished teaching a week-long graduate-level class in the evenings after my day job. What a great class! Loved it! And now we are winding down. I have a pot of spaghetti sauce with meatballs simmering. I chose this Italian Chianti made with 100% Sangiovese grapes for our dinner. This is a lovely sipping wine. I could just sit here and relax all night — and forget about dinner if I could! The color is a bright purple and the nose has opened considerably since I opened it, yet it is still quite subtle — a touch of cherry and vanilla. The taste is very smooth with a bit of caramel on the finish. This will be perfect with spaghetti and meatballs.

Happy Friday; here’s to a slow-moving weekend (let’s not let it end too soon)!

Placido Chianti (2008)

A beautiful June Michigan evening. The sun is shining brightly at 8:00 p.m., the birds are chirping and the temperature is in the high 70’s. Tom & I just finished our (last Friday’s) Wall Street Journal crossword puzzle. I am mentioning this tonight because we sailed through this particular puzzle. So, therefore, we are celebrating (natch).

We are very much enjoying this Placido Chianti 2008. We bought this wine at our local grocery store for $8.95. It’s very good. Placido Chianti is a fun, light-hearted quaff with a touch of floral on the nose. The taste is dry and slightly tannic.

For dinner tonight, we are having some leftover casserole that I made a few nights ago. The casserole was made with ground beef, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, cheese, etc.,. . .all yummy ingredients. That is reheating and I am making a fresh salad with lettuce and green onions from my garden (and my homemade vinaigrette).

Tom: This Placido Chianti 2008 is a very pleasant red, quite dry, with a floral (I’m copying Melody’s word) and peppery nose and a medium body. Very drinkable. I’m sure this wine is very Italian food-friendly: fragrant, pleasantly acidic. A fun discovery for $9.

A Papavero Primitivo Puglia (2008)

It’s Monday night and we are relaxing after a day of work. Tom chose this Italian red for our evening. I like this very much. . .very old world. . .not particularly fruity. . . the tannins are smooth and the finish is elegant.

This will go well with our dinner. I had a pound of ground chicken in the refrigerator. I mixed it with 2 eggs, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, oregano, salt & pepper and made meatballs, which I browned in a hot cast-iron skillet. Then, I removed the meatballs for a bit, and sauteed onions and garlic, added tomatoes and pesto and then put the meatballs back in the skillet. This has been simmering for an hour. I am also making a salad to go with our spaghetti and meatballs. It smells so delicious!

It’s nice to start the work week with a relaxing evening and good dinner. The week ahead will be busy so this will get us off to a good start.

Il Papavero Primitivo (2008)

Saturday night . . .at last! What a busy work week. Today I went to our men’s basketball game and happily we won! Now we are settling in for a quiet evening at home. We have music playing, we’re working on the Wall Street Journal crossword puzzle, and dinner is simmering.

I chose this wine from our wine club shipment for tonight. This is very much like a Zinfandel — but Italian style. Fruity yet astringent. Rich color. Plummy nose. Lots of fruit on the palate with a dark chocolate finish and velvet tannins. This will be a good choice for our pork loin/mashed potatoes/sauteed spinach dinner. Nothing fancy but comforting food for tonight.

While I was at the game today, our son, Tony, Skyped from Ecuador. I am so sorry I missed his call, but at least Tom was here to talk to him. He is doing great and I miss, miss, miss him!

Tenuta Curezza (2008)

Happy Saturday! It was a beautiful sunny and cold day in Michigan. I started my day with a 7-mile run with my friends, Jeanie & Chris. It was 10-degrees but because the sun was shining, it didn’t seem too cold; the snow was sparkly and it was a fun run. The rest of the day was relaxing. . .lovely. I did a little crochet, read my novel, snoozed on the couch, walked Trigger.

For dinner, I made a double batch of meatballs, using one pound of ground beef and one pound of ground turkey. I froze half of them for another night. The other half has been simmering in a spicy tomato sauce for our dinner tonight.

I have been saving this bottle of wine because it was a gift to me from a very special person. Amy Watkins gave me this bottle of wine on the last day of our class in December. Amy is a highly-intelligent and dedicated teacher who just finished her Master’s degree. My class was her final one in the program. I so enjoyed reading Amy’s papers and her final research project. What a special young woman! I had Amy two times during her master’s program and she was pregnant both times! Now that is dedication!

I chose this Italian wine to go with our Italian dinner tonight. It is scrumptious. I can see why Amy liked it so much. The color is bright purple with an abundance of fruit flavors and some pepper on the nose. Full-bodied, I can taste cherry coke and blackberries on the palate. The finish is long with minerals and spice. This is luscious and such a treat for our Saturday evening.

Thank you, Amy Watkins! I love the wine and I loved having you as a student.

Tom: This is a really nice red wine from the Salento peninsula, the heel of Italy. It has a big dark-fruit taste and nice dry tannins. This is very good as a sipping wine and will be great with spaghetti. Italian wines (at least the modest ones we drink) sometimes seem stingy on fruit to me, but this one is big and rich.

We heard from Tony today: he’s now staying in Montañita, Ecuador, and learning to surf.

Chianti Gabbiano

Melody_Research-StLouisI have recently returned from a once-a-year committee meeting. This year’s meeting was in St. Louis, Missouri.

Our chair, Kurt, and fellow committee members Katie, Janis, Jeff, Nicole and I all went to dinner together at “Charlie Gitto’s Downtown” restaurant. We chose  the Chianti Gabbiano (of which we ordered and consumed three bottles).  The wine was light and pasta-friendly with a nose of berries and tobacco.  The six of us had a lovely evening. . .processing and discussing the day’s meeting together, sharing bits of our personal lives (e.g., children, nieces and nephews choosing colleges, dogs, student loans, meeting our mates) and enjoying delicious Italian food and wine. It was a great way to wrap up a long day. The wine was reasonably priced at $29 (or was it $24?) a bottle.

To my fellow “NCAA Research Committee” members, until next year. . .cheers!