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.

Monasterio de Santa Cruz (2006)

It is Wednesday evening. We are having a glass of this Spanish red while reading the paper. This wine’s core is inky black; the flavors are complex with a smooth, woody and spicy finish.This wine is top notch and I would definitely purchase it again.

I put together an unusual casserole tonight made with crumbled breakfast sausage, eggs, sour cream and cheddar cheese. Yikes, good thing I am not getting a physical tomorrow! But, it is in the oven and smells good. I am serving the casserole with fresh strawberries.

Monasterio de Santa Cruz (2008)

This is a Spanish wine that recently arrived at our house as part of a wine club shipment. This wine is made in the region of Tarragona on the Mediterranean, near Barcelona.

I chose this wine for our summer Sunday night dinner. This is a deep red, delectable and elaborate big red. The texture is smooth and the finish is woody.

I didn’t know what to expect from this wine because the label did not reveal any grapes or varietal for which I was familiar. Well, is is sumptuous. This is a complex wine with layers of fruit and oak.

I didn’t feel like grocery shopping today so I took  two steaks out of the freezer. We grilled those and I made steamed brown rice and sauteed mushrooms (in Malbec wine) and a salad from my garden (with my homemade viniagrette [olive oil, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, horseradish mustard, basil, oregano, rosemary, savory & thyme]). Dinner was delicious and the wine was a perfect match for a steak.

Granrojo Rojo (2007)

rojo-2007Oh boy, Friday has arrived! It is cold February night in Michigan and the forecast is for an even colder weekend. We are snuggled in for the evening — listening to music and reading the paper.

I chose this Granrojo Rojo 2007, a Spanish blend of Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon, to go with our dinner of spaghetti bolognese, fresh-steamed spinach and a salad.

This is a very pleasant wine. It doesn’t make me swoon like some wines do, but this is quite delightful, nonetheless. This vintage is young and fresh, with bountiful cherries on the nose and palate. The wine is light bodied with a fresh and minty finish.

This post was interrupted briefly with a Skype call from our son, Tony, who is in South Korea. It was so good to see him and talk to him. He is just as cute and sweet as ever.

Time to finish preparing dinner. Here’s to a great weekend, everyone. Cheers!

Baron de Barbon Rioja (2005)

Baron de Barbon Rioja 2005

It is Monday night and we are enjoying this Spanish Tempranillo very much. This will be a fairly quick post because I have some dinner preparations to monitor!

Yesterday (Sunday) I made oven-baked ribs; I started the process at 2:00 in the afternoon and took them out of the oven at 8:00 p.m. They were delicious and I will share my recipe with anyone who is interested. It’s definitely a weekend kind of meal if you work during the week.

Tonight I am making a pasta dish with fresh vegetables. I already have yellow and red peppers, leeks and fresh spinach, chopped, washed and ready. . .

The wine is very good with hints of licorice and blackberries.  It is light-to-medium bodied and dry. Lovely!

Luzon Jumilla Spain (2007)

luzon-jumilla-2007I stopped at the Plum Market in Ann Arbor on my way home from work tonight. I bought one large bag of groceries, mostly produce. But, of course, I slithered by the wine aisles to see what looked interesting. I bought two bottles, one of which we are tasting tonight.

This Spanish beauty Luzon Jumilla 2007 is 65% Monastrell and 35% Syrah. The color is inky with a violet rim. The aroma is spice and cherries with a bit of freshly ground peppercorns. The taste is refreshing and crisp, bursting with cranberries, plums, and mild spice. The tannins are subtle  but balanced. The finish is a curious combination of spice, tobacco, and thyme.This is quite a find! It was on sale at the Plum Market for $6.97. (I also purchased a $40 bottle on sale for $19; can’t wait to try it!)

For dinner tonight, I made a dinner from the groceries I picked up at the market: a steak stir fry with steak, asparagus, and cherry tomatoes (marinated in olive oil, cracked salt, and pepper), served over penne pasta and fresh beets, which I steamed for one hour (during cocktail hour, natch). It was delicious! Now, I am waiting for our son Tommy to come and eat the leftovers! He usually does a pretty thorough job! 🙂

Volteo Tempranillo Shiraz 2006

volteo-tempranillo-shiraz-2006It is Saturday night and very cold and snowy in Michigan. We are having a glass of this Volteo Tempranillo Shiraz 2006, which is delicious and will taste perfect with our dinner.

This is a Spanish wine.  Tempranillo is the primary grape used in Rioja, a well-known wine growing region in Spain. The nose is strawberry jam and vanilla. It is  medium-bodied on the palate with sour cherry and raspberries. The finish is so good: Coffee and chocolate, cloves, iron, and dirt.  The acidity adds just the right amount of bite.

This wine is a perfect choice for our dinner. I started with chicken drumsticks and thighs, which I soaked in a brine of saltwater for about 1 hour. Then I drained and patted dry. I seasoned heavily with salt and freshly-ground pepper and drizzled with olive oil. I then chopped three cloves of garlic and added to the chicken along with some freshly-chopped parsley. That marinated a while and then I threw everything into a hot cast-iron skillet to brown. After it was brown and crispy, I covered and let the chicken cook until falling-off-the-bone tender.

Meanwhile I prepared an apple cobbler for dessert by peeling and slicing apples and then adding a topping of butter, applesauce, brown sugar, flour, and lots of oatmeal, and baking for 30 minutes.

Now I need to finish the dinner with mashed potatoes and a salad of romaine lettuce, avocado, tomatoes and cucumbers with my homemade salad dressing (olive oil, balsamic and red wine vinegar, grey poupon mustard, basil, oregano, rosemary, savory, and thyme).

This morning I woke from a dream about my youngest son, Tony, and I have been thinking about him all day. Love you, Tony!