Casa de Ermelinda Freitas Valoroso 2010

This Casa de Ermelinda Freitas Valorosa 2010 is intriguing. First of all, we just don’t drink many Portuguese wines. Second, it is very fruit-flavored (dark, blackberry fruit) without being sweet or fruit-bomb-y. A very pleasant, surprising wine. I think Melody will enjoy the other bottle of this when she comes home.

This is where Melody describes what she is cooking. I’ll just say that this big Valoroso should go well with my hamburger.

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Valoroso Cabernet Sauvignon Castelao (2008)

A Wednesday June evening and we worked on the Wall Street Journal crossword puzzle for awhile. I had opened a bottle of another wine last night and I can’t even drink it. . .not good (see previous post). . .so I opened this bottle of Portuguese wine and THIS is more like it. If you like ripe plums, this is your wine. An abundance of plum flavor on the palate with a touch of spice and tobacco on the finish.

For dinner tonight, something so simple I am almost embarrassed to write about it — but I had a pound of ground beef in the refrigerator and I had a long, demanding day at work (that’s my excuse) — so, I browned the beef in my cast-iron skillet, drained the fat and then added chopped onions, followed by a large can of diced tomatoes. That simmered while we worked on our crossword puzzle. Then, I added a can of chicken broth and about 3/4 box of elbow macaroni and covered the skillet to simmer. When that is done, we’ll have a tasty goulash that I will serve with a vegetable and salad. Extremely plain but comforting. . .

Valoroso Cabernet Sauvignon Castelao (2008)

It’s a Friday night — woo hoo! It was a long and arduous work week for me and included a very, very long road trip to do a presentation and then turn around and drive back. (Well, ride back; I didn’t have to drive. . .my colleague did all the driving; thank you, Mike!)

So, here we are; taking a deep breath and relishing in our Friday night status! I have leftovers (pot roast) heating up on the stove. I also have some kale I will saute and I am going to make a fresh salad with arugula, romaine, avocado and carrots (that’s all I have) with my homemade salad dressing. This is the best salad dressing. It is all we ever eat in this household. In a nutshell, here is what I do: I take a bottle of spicy mustard that is close to empty. I add olive oil, balsamic vinegar and red wine vinegar until it is almost full. Then, I add basil oregano, savory, rosemary and thyme, along with salt & pepper. Shake until the spicy poupon/horseradish mustard is mixed well and what you have is a simply delicious salad dressing. This bottle will last for many salads (or until you have nearly finished the next spicy mustard).

I chose this wine (from a wine club) for tonight because I think it will hold up well to the roast beef. This Portuguese wine is just the ticket tonight. Lots of plum and a bit of spice on the palate and a velvety, silky finish. There is nothing not to like . . .as it breathes, I also note cloves and a touch of tobacco.

Dona Sophia (2007)

I finished the rest of this Portugal “Dona Sophia” wine Friday night after a long and arduous work week. Tom opened a bottle of something new that he had purchased at the grocery store.  I opted to have the remaining glass of this because I really like it.

This is an opulent, richly-colored red Portuguese wine with a mouthful of black fruit and a balance of acidity and tannins.

We grilled hamburgers for dinner. I picked two warm, ripe juicy tomatoes from the garden to serve on the burgers. I also sauteed asparagus in olive oil. It was a great way to celebrate the end of the work week.