Liberty School Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon (2010)

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Tom always gets me roses on Valentine’s Day so this morning I texted him from my office and said “I don’t know if you are thinking about flowers, but I would prefer a special bottle of wine for us to share in lieu of flowers.” So I got home from work today and there were a dozen red roses on the table and this bottle of wine. That just makes me melt. He didn’t have to do that. . .

I went to a bit more effort tonight than usual (for a midweek meal) because I wanted our Valentine’s dinner to be special. . .so I made roast chicken. I filled the cavity with fresh lemon wedges and garlic and rubbed the outside with spices before roasting at 500 degrees for 1 hour and then turning the heat down for the remainder of the bake time. I threw some carrots and potatoes in the skillet along with the chicken. Very fragrant and flavorful.

The first taste of this wine was leather and tobacco but as it decants I note dark fruit. . .blackberries and ripe plums. Tom says “the tobacco is strong but very pleasant.” I think it is great and complements are chicken dinner nicely.

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Chateau La Rose Saint Bonnet Medoc (2009)

This Chateau La Rose Saint Bonnet Medoc 2009 is a luscious French red wine.

Although it probably is more of a steak wine, we had it with our dinner of roast chicken.

In hindsight it was probably too big of wine to have with chicken, but nonetheless i enjoyed it. Lots of ripe berries, oak and spice with a touch of tobacco on the finish.

For dinner, we had a roast chicken, cole slaw (if anyone wants my super-delicious, easy recipe, let me know; it’s tangy, crunchy and delicious), and angel hair pasta tossed with olive oil.

Concannon Petite Sirah (2005)

Happy Sunday to all. We had a good weekend together. And now we are celebrating our weekend! 🙂

I bought this Concannon Petite Sirah 2005 at the Plum Market on my way home from working on Saturday afternoon. This appeared to be great value and I was tempted to buy more than one bottle, but I decided we should try it before I stocked up. This large 1.5 liter bottle normally sells for $30 but was on sale for $10.

Quite frankly, I like it a lot. I hope it is still on sale when I return because it is an excellent value.

This Petite Sirah hails from Northern California. It is bold and rich. The black in the glass provides a hint of what is to come, which is silky body and oaky fruit. The finish is long and complex.

For dinner, I have a chicken roasting in my trusty cast iron skillet. The chicken is stuffed with onions, seasoned and surrounded with potatoes. I also baked a pan of dark chocolate, walnut brownies. I can’t eat these (too many calories) but my husband can and will and he deserves to after all the yard work he did today.

Farewell, weekend. . .

Washington Hills Cabernet Sauvignon (2007)

I was out of town all last week so didn’t get a chance to update the blog. But I am home now and back in the groove. It is a hot May night in Michigan! We are supposed to be in the high 80’s all week, which must be some kind of record. I am glad I have my tomatoes planted.

So, tonight, we are enjoying this Washington State’s Columbia Valley Cabernet. I am roasting a whole, stuffed chicken with potatoes and sauteing fresh carrots and cauliflower (from my food co-op).  It’s a little warm to have the oven on, but this will probably the last time I roast chicken for awhile.

This wine is more apt to be served with red meats, but I like a good Cabernet with whatever we are eating! The nose is leathery while the palate presents cherries and green pepper. The finish is berry and smoke, through and through. This is excellent. I purchased this for $7.99 (on sale) from the A & L Wine Castle in Ann Arbor. This will go well with the dark chocolate brownies that I baked (I figured I should take advantage of having the oven on). Cheers!

Terre di Ricaldone Barbera d’Asti (2005)

We have had this Terre di Ricaldone Barbera D’Asti 2005 before but it was quite a long time ago. I retrieved this wine from our storage area in the basement — mainly, because I wanted an excuse to check on my son who isn’t feeling well and was watching TV downstairs. So, I was able to breeze through on my way to pick out a bottle of wine and also check on him and see how he was doing. (He is sick; maybe has the flu but he is relaxing and taking good care of himself.)

Although I noticed from my notes that I really enjoyed this wine the last time I had it, my experience is different tonight. Tonight I am finding that the nose is musty and I do not like a musty nose. The nose is a big part of the wine; so it is difficult for me to get past it; however, in spite of this, the taste of the wine is typical Italian and very good.

For dinner, I am roasting a fresh chicken that we bought at the local farmer’s market yesterday. I also tossed some fresh, diced potatoes into the cast-iron skillet with the chicken. I am baking an acorn squash and will make a salad. (I harvested the remaining lettuce from my garden today so I have some wonderful, baby-leaf lettuce for dinner tonight.) I am going to hand over the computer to Tom so he can write his tasting notes, too.

Tom: To my palate this is a pleasant Italian with a taste common to many Italian wines: an Old World, slightly vegetal quality. It has a light-to-medium body and is fairly dry. (This is the opposite of, say, a fruit-bomby Australian. Each has its place, depending on one’s mood and food.

Columbia Crest Two Vines Merlot-Cabernet (2006)

Columbia Crest Two Vines Merlot-Cabernet 2006Tom purchased this Columbia Crest Two Vines Merlot-Cabernet 2006, a Washington State blend, at our local grocery store. We selected it tonight because we are having roast chicken for dinner. This wine is quite a value — it was $7.95 but on sale for $5.50. The nose is blackberries and raspberries. A fruit-forward quaff, it feels malleable in the mouth with a gentle, yet fruity, finish. This is certainly a great bottle of wine at a very low price.

It is a beautiful July Sunday evening and we go back to work tomorrow. Having spent the last three days/evenings teaching, I wanted a good home-cooked meal so I went to our local butcher and bought a fresh whole chicken. I am roasting that along with potatoes and carrots. I will make a salad, too.

Hayes Ranch (In the Saddle) Cabernet Sauvignon (2006)

Hayes Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2006Tom purchased this California Hayes Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 at our local grocery store for way under $10. In a word, it’s yummy. Lots of dark berries and oak. A balanced blend of tannins and fruit makes for a silky finish. This is a great value for a California Cabernet.

It is a stormy May night in Michigan. Everything is green and fresh. The air just smells clean! We have our windows open and there is a light breeze with thunder rumbling in the distance. I have a whole stuffed chicken roasting in the oven tonight. Althought it is midweek, I am on vacation so I have time to cook more extravagant mid-week meals than usual. It smells fragrant and delicious. But, back to the wine; I recommend it!