Robert Mondavi Meritage (2008)

Here we are nearly at the end of our work week. It has been one week since my knee surgery and I am doing really well. I am not using crutches at all and I did some yoga during my noon hour. Can’t wait to run!

This Robert Mondavi Meritage 2008 is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. Tom bought this today when he went to the grocery store for orange juice. (Tom is very good at checking out the wines when he stops at the market.) We are both enjoying this one veery much. It was $12 on sale for $10. It is complex with layers . . . on the palate is abundant dark fruit while the finish is a lovely combination of raspberries and blueberries. This is unusual but we don’t detect vanilla or caramel or spice. Just berries. Very pleasant and I would definitely purchase this again.

For dinner, I am making a dish that is both comforting and healthy. Our food co op started up this week so i needed to incorporate some of my healthy organic vegetables. First, I browned a pound of ground beef that is from a local cow! Wow. What a difference. Ground beef from a local farmer is so different than what you buy in a store. I added some chopped onion and celery and carrots (all from the co-op) and then added canned chopped tomatoes. After that simmered for awhile, I added chicken broth, fresh spinach and some elbow macaroni. And I am cooking some fresh beets. We should get our prescribed servings of vegetables.

All on all, a great cocktail hour and a delicious dinner.

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Vitiano (2007)

Happy Thursday . . .over-the-hump-day! Tom is out of town so I am having a quiet evening and trying to relax after a hectic day.  I worked late and then stopped at Plum’s Market on the way home and picked up a few groceries for dinner. Of course, I couldn’t walk past the wine without looking. I only bought one bottle and this was it. The blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet intrigued me. Good choice, Melody! The texture is soft and the flavors complex. The initial impression is ripe fruit and black pepper.  It took me awhile to nail the finish. . .but happily I did. . .celery! I can’t say that celery is a popular wine-tasting term, but I promise you, it is the perfect descriptor.

So, I grilled a burger for my dinner and had it with my fresh tomatoes from the garden. I have some watermelon waiting for me if I can find the room.

Sonoma Vineyards Merlot (2007)

This is a stormy, steamy Friday night. We are under a tornado warning and a severe thunderstorm warning. We’ve definitely had the severe storm but I think we have been spared the tornado. We are listening to Michael Crawford crooning and the thunder and rain pelting on the windows. Cozy, cozy, cozy!

We are looking forward to a stay-at-home weekend, although our get-a-ways have been stupendous. . .this weekend will be catch up on our tasks weekend.

Johnny, Melody, David

I have posted a picture from last weekend’s class reunion in Northern Michigan. Such fun!

So, in spite of the heat today, I am roasting a stuffed chicken with potatoes for our dinner. I selected this California Merlot. Although I don’t consider myself a Merlot fan, it works well with certain meals and this is one of them. The wine is soft, somewhat fleshy and feels round on the palate. Lots of fruit, too. In the words of my brother-in-law. . .this drinks good.

By the way, in the picture. . .Johnny and I attended a 2-room schoolhouse and sat at a round table with the rest of our kindergarten class! Every grade had a row. . .one room had kindergarten through 3rd grades (one row per grade) and the other room had 4th through 7th grade. Our teacher was Mrs. Goodrich.A stellar educator! I think the other room’s teach was Mrs. Bowen.  How many of you attended a red-brick, 2-room school?

Sterling Vintner’s Collection Meritage (2007)

We are enjoying a lovely, July evening. Strangely, the sun is shining brightly, but it is raining. We are very happy to have the rain because we needed it badly. But it is odd to have the rain while the sky is seemingly clear.

Nonetheless, here we are enjoying the soft rain, windows open with a gentle breeze. I took advantage of the cooler evening to put a chicken casserole in the oven (a basic chicken and rice combo).

While completing our weekly “Wall Street Journal” crossword puzzle, we are enjoying this Sonoma, California blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot. The nose is subtle and takes awhile to reveal itself but with some decanting it offers chocolate and blackberries. The taste is a deliciously complex mix of fruit, spice, flowers and chocolate. Very yummy. This wine was $13.99 but on sale for 9.99, which is an excellent value. Had I paid the full price, I would have been satisfied but at this price it is a real find.

Sterling Vintner’s Collection Meritage (2007)

It’s Monday night and very dark. . .we have our Christmas tree lights on and the house is cozy. Trigger is snuggling with me and we are reading the newspaper. Tom poured me a glass of this California blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot. The nose is a rich black cherry and a bouquet of roses. The taste is delicious. . .chocolate, raspberries and pepper. The tannins are just right: Firm but mellowing as the wine breathes.

For dinner, I prepared a casserole. . .but I wrapped it in foil and put it in the refrigerator for another night (I have a busy week ahead). For tonight. we are going to have leftover steak & broccoli stir fry with brown rice and the most delicious cole slaw. (Although this cole slaw recipe is very simple, it is the best I have ever had.) Want the rec ipe? Just let me know!

I am enjoying this glass of wine very much. I would not hesitate to buy this again (it was on sale for $8.99).

Randall Harris Merlot (2006)

I recently ordered and received a 12-bottle case of red wine from a company that was advertising by email recently. The case of wine included 2 bottles of this Merlot. Now, I am not a huge fan of Merlot because I generally find it to be too soft; I prefer the bigger taste in a Cabernet, Malbec or Carmenere. However, this Merlot is not bad. The nose is nice with cherries and pepper. There is a strong raspberry on the palate — a bit too overwhelming for my personal taste — but I can imagine that many wine drinkers would find this very appealing and luscious. The finish is pleasant with spice and fruit.

For dinner, I have made (what else?) turkey soup! The highlight of this soup will be the very rich and savory broth, which came from yesterday’s all-day-simmering of the turkey carcass and vegetables. I added a small bag of cubed potatoes (which I got from our organic food co-op and needed to use) along with some corn and other vegetables. It is a very simple soup but I think it will be nourishing and delicious.

De Loach Private Collection Merlot (2006)

de-loach-merlot-2006It is another Friday night at our household and we are celebrating with an extended “happiness” hour. I have the dinner table set and dinner on the stove. Meanwhile, we are listening to music on the Bose, reading the paper, and enjoying this De Loach Merlot 2006 from California.

I have a habit of shying away from Merlots only because they usually taste too “soft” for my particular tastes.  I like the bigger tastes of Cabernets, Malbecs, Carmenere, etc.  But I am pleased to say that this Merlot represents itself well. While it is a bit creamy in texture, it has a fabulous nose. The taste is heavily cherries and vanilla. On the finish I can taste the oak.

I am thinking about a friend of ours, Tom, who is a very intelligent wine taster. He has good instincts about the aromas and tastes of wine (and he also has a very science-oriented approach and mind). He mentioned to us that our wine reviews are generally positive, which is true. I thought it worth mentioning that the reason we are generally positive with our reviews is that we only purchase wine that we think we will enjoy–as opposed to some wine connoisseurs who will purchase many wines to do blind tastings — that is not what we do. We purposefully try to purchase the wines that we think we will love. And we’re pretty good at it!

Cheers!