Alma Andina Reserve Malbec (2008)

Well here we are . . . a Thursday night in the midst of a very busy work week. I have another big day tomorrow so I will be happy to see the weekend arrive.

I opened this big Alma Andina Malbec 2008 for our dinner tonight. This is a big, bold fruit-forward Argentine wine that is rich in vanilla-cherry flavors with a dark-chocolate finish. Our son, Tony, would like this wine. (I believe I have a very good feel for what he likes.) Tony spent time in Argentina and loved it.

For dinner we are having pot roast with potatoes, carrots, and onions. And I am making a fresh green salad with my homemade salad dressing. Lest you think I somehow managed to get this meal together after a 10-hour work day, I will admit that this meal is mainly leftovers from the weekend. But, delicious leftovers!

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Ku De Ta Malbec Argentina (2008)

Tom chose this wine and poured me a glass tonight. I was trapped in my chair because Trigger is cuddling with me. I just couldn’t get up! So, it is Wednesday night and we both had active and busy work days so our cocktail hour is particularly welcome tonight. This was a meeting-heavy day for me — and it was trying — so I was eager to come home to my cozy refuge. I threw together a weird dinner and I hope it tastes good. Here’s what I did. I had three pieces of leftover meatloaf, so I chopped it up along with some onions and browned it in a hot cast-iron skillet.  Then, to the meatloaf and onions I added tomatoes, broth, spices and some penne pasta. It is covered now and simmering. I also have some fresh spinach from the food co-op that I will saute. And, if I have the energy I will make a salad but no guarantees on that.

So, I don’t know how good dinner will be but the wine leading up to it is fantastic! This wine is from the home of the Malbec grape, Mendoza, Argentina, which is near the base of the Andes mountains. I don’t know what it is about the  Mendoza region, but they produce great wines. The flavor is robust with lots of fruit. It has a great mouthfeel with structured tannins. I like this very much. A winner!

Black Opal Cabernet Sauvignon (2008)

It’s Wednesday night. We both worked hard today. After talking about our days, we finished off Friday’s Wall Street Journal crossword puzzle. . .for me, this is a good way to get my mind off of work and onto something else — which I needed to do after my day today!

So, for dinner, I am going to work on finishing off some leftovers. I have some leftover pork roast from Sunday night, mashed potatoes and sauteed red cabbage; to that, I will also add sauteed spinach and a tossed salad. And, I have peeled and sliced some kiwi for our fruit.

Tom purchased this Australian fruit bomb at our local grocery store. It’s what I would say is your somewhat typical Australian Cabernet: super fruity, soft tannins and delicious. I like it! What keeps this wine from being something I swoon over is it’s lack of complexity and depth. But, this is more than adequate for any occasion and I would never turn it down, that is for sure. Absolutely no complaints!

Quail Creek Shiraz (2008)

I purchased this bottle (along with 2 others and 3 bottles of the Cabernet) at Whole Foods Market the other night. We had the Cabernet last night and tonight I wanted to try the Shiraz. This wine was on sale for $4.99.

At first whiff and taste, this wine has kerosene qualities. Not impressive initially. I am going to let the wine breathe a bit before I share any additional tasting notes.

Meanwhile, I can describe our dinner, which will be almost entirely made from leftovers. Tom is going to reheat (on the grill) a boneless loin pork chop (we grilled two the other night but ended up sharing one) and I will reheat some brown rice and a dish of leftover cheddar mashers that I made for another meal. I am going to put together a delicious fresh salad with my home-grown lettuce and onions (and store-bought tomatoes, avocado, peppers and cucumbers) and homemade vinaigrette.

Okay, I allowed the wine time to breathe and I am back at my computer to report on my tasting. The wine has a delightful purple color on the rim. I still detect a bit of kerosene on the palate, but the wine is much better now than it was 20 minutes ago.  As the kerosene taste diminishes, tobacco and caramel become evident. The finish is sharp and pungent, yet quite satisfying.

This will not rank as one of my favorite wines, yet I see it as a good value at $4.99 and not at all distasteful for a midweek quaff.