Valoroso Cabernet Sauvignon Touriga Nacional Syrah (2010)

We are having this delicious, silky Portuguese wine with our dinner. I made a beef and potato casserole, fresh spinach, salad and garlic toast. The wine is a bright red in the glass with a strong aroma of licorice and cassis, tastes of dark cherries and cedar. Delicious after a long day that started with a 10k race, a football game and Saturday-night Mass.
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The Original Smoking Loon Syrah (2008)

Tom poured me a glass of this California Smoking Loon Syrah 2008 to sip while I prepared dinner tonight. I was not gung ho to have this wine tonight because a) it was the dregs leftover from last night [I had not had any, but Tom did] and b) I had a vague memory of not enjoying this particular wine. But I decided to be opened minded (for a change). What I discovered is that my memory was probably accurate in that this is not a wine that tickles my taste buds, particularly. Yet, it is not distasteful and it is entirely drinkable, especially for a Tuesday work night. So considering Tom purchased this on sale at our local grocery store for $8 (normally $11.49), I would have to say it is a good value. The color is purple ink, with a chocolate, strawberries, caramel and sage nose. The palate is very fruity with intense blueberry and strawberry flavor and a finish of  an unusual combination of chocolate and rosemary.

For dinner I prepared what I believe is a healthy dish of high-protein pasta tossed with peas, salmon, olive oil and scallions with a squeeze of fresh lemon. We really enjoyed it.

Grande Reserve de Gassac (2009)

A dreary day in Michigan with gray skies and rain. . .and a Monday. Ucky. I felt low on energy all day. But, the work day ended and now we are home together and everything is AOK.  I had nothing planned for dinner tonight but threw together a few stray ingredients: a lone chicken breast from the freezer, a pint of fresh pea pods from the vegetable co-op, a bunch of fresh asparagus, a fresh tomato from the co-op, some basil and freshly grated parmesan cheese. I did a quick stir fry of the chicken and vegetables and tossed with thin spaghetti, olive oil and parmesan cheese and it was delicious. The trick was not to overcook the pea pods. Their fresh crunch added just the right touch.

We had this colorful meal with this French Grande Reserve de Gassac 2009, which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. Smooth and easy-to-drink with a sharply-pungent finish. This would  go very well with a chocolate brownie, which is waiting for us if we choose to indulge.

Mas Donis Barrica Old Vines (2007)

It’s Monday night and I have had such a wonderful day. First, I’m on vacation. Second, I got a lot done, starting with a 6-mile run this morning. But, most importantly, both of our sons are home today! Tony, who came home from a 9-month trip around South America and Tommy, who came home to see his little brother! It’s been so much fun. They both just left the house to play basketball at their old junior-high basketball courts while Tom & I relax, read the paper and enjoy this lovely wine. I bought this wine at Baxter’s in Ann Arbor. The owner recommended it to me. This purple Mas Donis Barrica Old Vines is a blend of 85% Grenache (from an historic vineyard) and 15% Syrah. The nose has a piquant blend of cloves, ambrosial flavors with a fruity finish.The only thing I didn’t like about this wine is the label, which is silly of me. . .

Falcon Ridge Syrah (2006)

We are in the midst of a winter storm advisory. We have several inches of new snow and it is still snowing. The advisory is in effect until early tomorrow morning.

But, it is Thursday night, which means that tomorrow is Friday which is a happy day because the next day is Saturday!!

I can’t remember where we purchased this Falcon Ridge Syrah 2006 but Tom chose it tonight because I am making a steak dinner (I am trying a recipe in which you sear the steak in hot oil [stovetop] and then put it in the oven on a low temperature. Hey, I am NOT sending Tom out to grill in this weather!) I am also baking potatoes and making a fresh salad. I have a recipe for a sauce to drizzle over the baked potatoes, which includes freshly squeezed lemon juice, sour cream, chives and vinegar. . .sounds interesting, doesn’t it?

This wine is okay but it isn’t one I would recommend, particularly. Even if it was a good deal (which it probably was) this won’t be on my “buy again” list. It is very drinkable and absolutely adequate, but it just isn’t great. First of all, the texture is rather thin. The taste is plummy but the aftertaste is predominantly mineral-ly. Tom used the word “leather” to describe the finish, which I thought was very descriptive, too. It’s a little of both — metal and leather. This is not my cup of tea, particularly. However, I will have no qualms about finishing my glass because it is not bad; it is just not my favorite.

Tom: This Falcon Ridge Syrah 2006 is pleasant and interesting: it’s light-bodied but tannic, dry, a nice dark-fruit taste with a bit of a leathery finish. I like it. It’s different than our usual cabs (the light-body-ness may be typical of syrahs; I just don’t know that much about syrahs). (The neighborhood kids are outside playing street football in the snow, I think they’re hoping for a snow day tomorrow…)

Amado Sur (2007)

We chose this Argentinian blend of 72% Malbec, 16% Bonarda and 12% Syrah for our dinner. I purchased this wine for $16 at the A & L Wine Castle in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This is so delicious. Everything I enjoy about a wine is in this one.  The taste has a touch of raisins — not too fruity; definitely more old world style. A lovely finish.

We were delighted to have both our sons and our oldest son’s girlfriend for dinner. I had made a pot of spaghetti and meatballs, which I served with a tossed salad and steamed broccoli and a loaf of crusty garlic bread. For dessert, I made peanut-butter/oatmeal/chocolate chip cookies. Everyone had seconds and a good time was had by all!

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.