Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet

We are under a winter storm warning so I made this chicken, white bean spicy chili for our dinner. I forgot to take a picture of our dinner at the table, which was in the bowl with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro, but this picture of the chili in the pot will do. The soup was delicious and hot and the wine is big enough to stand up to and complement the meal. It was fun to watch the giant snowflakes outside tonight. They were huge! A very cozy night for spicy chili and a big wine.

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Red Belly Black Shiraz

Dinner for one tonight. . .I poured myself a glass of this Shiraz, which we opened last night (and, didn’t finish, which is a bit unusual!). I sipped my wine while I made a delicious sautéed shrimp with lemon and garlic, angel hair pasta, broccoli and a salad. It felt a lot more hectic making dinner without Tom here to tend to Trigger. Sadly, Trigger is now elderly and quirky. She has a lot of urgent needs that keep us on the alert. Anyway, for the moment she is contented so I will start cleaning up the kitchen so I can relax. This wine is one of my favorite and I have blogged about it before so I have nothing new to say about it. In a nutshell, I find it to be quite luscious and smooth with a tangy plummy flavor.

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Castaño Monastrell (2008)

This Castaño Monastrell 2008 is a great value for a delicious Spanish wine. A dark cherry taste and chewy texture with a spicy finish.

This went very well with a stir fry of chicken, broccoli, and pasta.

We’re coming off a great weekend seeing the family. Our parents are settled in here as Chelsea residents now, and Tommy is back from Australia. All’s good…

Don Manuel Carmenere (2009)

A very busy week and weekend in our household. We have so much going on it is really a challenge. But here we are having this delicious Chilean wine — Don Manuel Carmenere 2009 — with a scrumptious dinner.

What I most love about this wine is the luscious color (deep, dark, blackish red) and the finish (dark chocolate with a hint of coffee).

Love this. . .

H.J. Fabre Malbec (2009)

We chose this Argentine H. J. Fabre Malbec 2009 for Thursday evening cocktail hour. I have been so incredibly busy at work that I have been rather brain dead in the evenings and unwilling to blog even though we have had some lovely wines and meals this week. Tonight, however, i am going to blog. I am inspired because we received several lovely comments. Very motivating!

Tonight we have decided on pizza to give me a break. Even though i find preparing meals enjoyable and relaxing, tonight I just needed to sit in my chair and read the newspaper!

This Malbec is hearty and spicy. This is the perfect choice for pizza. The nose is delectable chocolate with hints of vanilla. The taste is rich with plums and oak. This would be a good choice to swerve with beef, too. Yum. Cheers!

Cupcake Vineyards Malbec (2008)

Another lovely June evening in Michigan. Tonight is windy and cloudy but so nice for sitting on the patio and feeling the breeze and listening to the birds. We are having a glass of this Argentine Malbec from the Mendoza region. What an interesting wine. I find this to be mellower than what I would expect in a Malbec. I am finding it difficult to find the right words to describe this wine but here is my best shot: The nose is smoked meat — bologna, I think. The taste is robust and predominantly berries. The finish is vanilla.I am enjoying it. This is one reason I enjoy wine; every wine has the potential for  many different tastes, smells and textures. I love the challenge of identifying these sensory experiences with descriptive words.

Alamos Malbec (2009)

This is midweek of my vacation. It is so nice to be home and just doing whatever I want to do! Today, I went into downtown Ann Arbor for a haircut. Our sons met me and we had lunch at an Indian restaurant and then I meandered on home, stopping at a nursery on the way home to pick up some climbing vines for our pergola.

I was in the process of rubbing two pork chops with a spicy rub when Tony stopped by and said that he and Tommy would be coming for dinner after they played a round of basketball. So, I put the pork chops away and got out some chicken that I also had in the refrigerator (I only had two pork chops; not enough to feed all four of us). I quickly changed gears and prepared the chicken. I also scrubbed potatoes to bake alongside the chicken. I whipped up some biscuits, I scrubbed and sliced carrots for sauteing, and I peeled about 9 apples for an apple crisp. Now, everything is baking in the oven and Tom & I are having a cocktail while we wait for the boys to arrive. I thought this Argentine Malbec would be a good choice for our chicken dinner. This wine is abundant with blackberries, leather and pepper on the nose. The taste is lush with plums and pepper and smooth tannins. I like this very much. Also, this is a good one to let breathe a bit because the more I swirl the better it gets.

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Peñalolen Cabernet Sauvignon

We just finished dinner and it was delicious! I had purchased two steaks for our anniversary dinner (which was Friday) but because of some unforeseen circumstances, we weren’t able to have those steaks on our actual anniversary. So, here we are, a Monday after work, and we grilled steaks and opened this Peñalolen wine from Chili. I purchased this wine at Plum Market in Ann Arbor. It was $20 on sale for $17. And. . .it is oh so good. The first thing I noticed was the color. It isn’t red or deep purple — the best way I can describe this color is that it looks like iodine (mercurachrome). (I just asked Tom how to spell mercurachrome and he made it known that I was dating myself by using this descriptor.) But, that is the color! Do you all remember that color? The second thing I noticed was the taste of tobacco on the finish. This is a leather, tobacco and dark chocolate kind of wine and it is oh so good. This is definitely a keeper in our household. Certainly not an everyday wine, but a wine to savor on special occasions. And what better time than April 5, 2010?

Don Elias Garnacha (2008)

This Spanish wine was cultivated in an area of Spain known for its low production capacity. This  results in an intensely-flavored wine. My first sip was quite intense — it was verging on bubbly. However, with time to breathe, the bubbly intensity has dissipated and what is evident is a tasty mixture of fruit, wood and thyme. The finish is spicy.

A delicious choice for our Tuesday night. For dinner, I am reheating the bean soup that I made this weekend. We also have a half loaf of the whole wheat bread that I baked on Sunday. A very easy, yet comforting, dinner for a very cold winter evening.

McManis Syrah (2007)

It is Sunday evening and we are home from a three-day vacation with our sons, Tommy and Tony.  We had such a wonderful time hiking a 10-mile route on Lake Superior (National Shoreline) and seeing the magificent pictured rocks from the shoreline. So beautiful! I have some pictures and I’ll see if I am able to post any of them.

Now we are home. We have picked up Trigger who stayed (happily) with our friends, Jeanie & Vinny (and their dog, Snoopy, and cat, Pumpkin). Life is getting back to normal.

I purchased this wine from one of our favorite wine shops,  A & L Wine Castle in Ann Arbor.  This wine has a powerful finish. . .the finish is the point in which you will really experience this wine even though the nose and the initial sips are luscious and lovely. The wine is rich with boysenberry and soft in the mouth. The finish is very dominant with pine needles and licorice.

I am making soup for dinner because it is a cold night in Michigan. Plus, it snowed in Northern Michigan while we were there on our hike! Snowed!! October 10 and 11! So, I have a pot of vegetable soup on the stove. I am also making some whole wheat/flax seed rolls.