Santa Rita 120 Carmenere (2009)

We grilled burgers tonight and I made a salad with lettuce from our garden. Tom chose this Santa Rita 120 Carmenere 2009 from Chile to accompany our simple meal.

This was a good choice. The Carmenere has lots of fruit on the palate and spice on the finish. It complemented the burgers laden with spicy mustard and onions.  I found this wine on sale for under $10.

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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.

Fetzer Cabernet Sauvignon (2006)

It is Friday night and I just got home from a trip “up north” to see my folks and also to see our son, Tommy, perform in his band (The Ben Daniels’ Band) in the same town up north (Traverse City). What a great three days! But, I am happy to be home.

We are going to grill hamburgers tonight and I have picked lettuce and little green onions from my garden for a salad.

Tom poured me a glass of this California Fetzer Cabernet Sauvignon. Now, here is a bottle that I, more than likely, would not have purchased on my own. No good reason. . .just a groundless bias for some reason. I think of “Fetzer” as being a common and less- than-attractive name for wine (perhaps because it is available at most grocery stores). Totally groundless (and maybe snobby), I admit.  So, when Tom brought me this glass of wine I was prepared to not like it. But, I am pleased to say it is very good. This wine was on sale for $6.99 (regularly priced at $9.99) and it is an excellent value. This is a fruity, juicy Cabernet with lots of black cherries in the aroma; this same burst of fruit mixes with vanilla  on the palate. The finish is chocolatey. This will go great with our burgers and salad.

It is great to be home. Back to work on Monday!

Beringer California Collection Cabernet Sauvignon (2006)

We’ve had this Califorina Cabernet many times before but we always come back for more. It’s Friday night and we are listening to music and reading the newspapers. I just got home from a one-night trip and it is great to be home. For dinner, I am going to make a gigantic salad. . .with baby romaine lettuce, avocados, orange peppers, some hard-boiled eggs, and some parmesan chicken breasts (leftover from another meal). My salad dressing is my own invention. I start with a bit of spicy brown mustard and add olive oil and red-wine vinegar and a little balsamic vinegar. I add oregano, basil, rosemary, savory and thyme, salt & pepper and shake it until blended. It is wonderful.

I really enjoy this wine every time we have it. Lots of berries on the palate with a vanilla and oak finish. Something fun to try. . .kind of goofy, but interesting. . .take a sip of this wine normally and taste it. Then, take a sip while at the same time “slurping” air. It’s fascinating how many more flavors come through with the slurping method!

Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon (2006)

Robert Mondavi Private Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2006I am finishing this bottle of Robert Mondavi Private Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 from California tonight, while Tom is finishing a bottle of Walnut Crest Cabernet. (We had a few sips left in each bottle.)  The Robert Mondavi is a juicy-fruit quaff with spicy plums. I like this wine very much.  I think there is a case of this wine calling my name. I am making skillet chicken tonight along with mashed potatoes and a salad. The chicken is simmering in the skillet now and I am about ready to get up and start the salad with some fresh lettuce, green onions, cucumbers and tomatoes all picked from my very tiny garden! Maybe I can convince Tom to blog about the Walnut Crest, too.