Venta Morales Tempranillo

It is Sunday night and we had a great weekend. I was able to “play” outside a lot today with my new toy. . .Land Roller skates! It was so much fun. I am not the best skater, by any stretch of the imagination, but I am practicing. I was able to take Trigger for a walk and I finally got the nerve to skate down my driveway (instead of walk on the grass) and over the crack onto the street! Woo hoo! Really fun. My neighbor, Alex, who is 9 years old, came over and talked me through a lot of moves and then finally put his skates on. We had fun.

So. . .now it is relaxation time. We worked a bit on our Wall Street Journal crossword puzzle. . .had a martini. . .now we are sipping this Spanish wine that Tom purchased at our local Meijer’s grocery store. For dinner, I sliced two sizzler steaks that were in the freezer (from the cow that I purchased as part of the food co-op to which I belong). Then, I whisked together soy sauce, chopped garlic, brown sugar, pepper, and lemon juice. I will start by cooking the steak in a hot cast-iron skillet, then adding onions and broccoli and the sauce for a stir fry. This Tempranillo is perfect for our dinner. I wouldn’t have expected this wine to be so delicious, but it really is.  . . worth buying more, for sure. Lots of ripe fruit. Tom just said, “Big, but dry fruit; it’s big but it is not at all a fruit bomb. It’s very dry and tannic, but still fruity.” I agree. It’s tight and structured. Delicious. We are putting this on our list to get more.

Orovales Rioja (2007)

It is Monday night at the Werner household. I have prepared a tuna casserole and it is in the oven.  We both had rather hectic days at our jobs and now we are relaxing, reading the paper, listening to music, staring out the window, feeling the breeze. What a great way to rejuvenate after a demanding day at the office.

Looking out the window, I see nothing but bright blue sky. It is a beautiful summer night in Michigan. The grass is green, the trees are green and the sky is bright. I really love Michigan.

This Spanish red Tempranillo is delicious. It’s fresh and lively yet complex and spicy. The palate is full of concentrated fruit flavors with a vanilla and oak finish. Love this; a definite reorder. . .

I am going to serve our tuna casserole with fresh tomatoes and green onions from my garden along with garlic toast and green beans. (The casserole has elbow macaroni with celery, cream cheese, a white sauce, onions, dry mustard. The topping is Grape Nuts in melted butter [for crunch]).

Granrojo Rojo (2007)

Well, here we are; another Friday night after a long work week. We are listening to music and reading the newspapers. . .the neverending dismal news. . .but there is still so much joy and happiness; we just have to keep our eyes open.

I am finishing the bottle of  Granrojo Rojo 2007, a Spanish blend of Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon, to go with our dinner of a steak stir fry — steak, green onions, fresh spinach, tomatoes — served over pasta tossed with olive oil.

When I first opened this wine (earlier this week), I noted cherries on the nose; but tonight (after having been opened) I do not detect cherries, but instead, waxy crayons. There taste has cherries and basil with a minty finish.

Cheers!

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!

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!

Gran Feudo (2002)

gran-feudo-navarra-2002I don’t think I have ever seen my refrigerator as empty as it was today. I just never had time to get to the grocery store in about the last 10 days. So, today, Tom volunteered to go with me and we each took a cart and had little organizational meetings in the aisles. It feels good to be stocked up with nutritious food, once again.

As we shopped, Tom, of course, perused the wine selection and purchased this Spanish Gran Feudo, which we opened tonight. This is a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 25% Garnacha, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s nice!  The wine is medium-bodied and well-balanced. On the palate it is fruity and spicy with firm tannins. The finish is long with oak and vanilla notes.

For dinner, I am roasting a whole, stuffed chicken. I started the chicken in a 425 oven for about 40 minutes, then I flipped the chicken (it was getting nice and crispy), seasoned the flip side, drizzled with olive oil, turned the oven down to finish cooking slowly. I have some leftover mashed potatoes and gravy, which will go well with this dinner. I am either going to make a salad or a vegetable.

Stay warm and enjoy the weekend; cheers!

Barón De Barbón Rioja (2005)

Baron de Barbon Rioja 2005

This Barón De Barbón Rioja (2005) is my choice for this Sunday evening. I have made a casserole of baked beans with lots of crispy bacon (which is in a low-temperature oven), and I put together an apple crisp for dessert. Oh, and the main dish will be hamburgers on the grill with fresh tomatoes from the garden.

This wine is made from 100% Tempranillo. It is the perfect balance of toasty oak and very ripe strawberries and cherries. It is surprisingly light and refreshing with subdued tannins.

Tommy is out playing flag football tonight. He will be home soon for dinner. I was able to have a 30-minute Skype call with Tony yesterday morning. It was so good to see him and talk to him. I learned so much about his job, the culture, and his routine in South Korea.

Gigi, if you are reading this, hi!!! Thank you again for your sweet post the other day!

Baron De Barbon Tempranillo Rioja (2005)

Baron de Barbon Rioja 2005

We have been so, so busy and my blogging has taken a back seat, lately. But, it is Sunday night and Tom & I are enjoying an extended cocktail hour. I spent my day yesterday driving to my uncle’s funeral in Northern Michigan and, thinking I would stay in a hotel, I decided to drive all the way back home. Although it was a very long day, I am so happy to have made the trip. He was my favorite uncle and my mom’s twin brother. I connected with his three daughters, my lovely cousins.

It was raining when I got up this morning and I wanted to go for a run. I talked my son, Tony,  into accompanying me on his bike. It was great!

It is a beautiful evening in Michigan. We had rain this morning but the sun is shining and the sky is blue now. Neighbors are out and about grilling and enjoying the evening.

This wine is an elegant Spanish tempranillo that is dry and understated with licorice undertones. This is a perfect red for a special Sunday evening. Cheers!

Iglesia Vieja Reserva (2003)

Iglesia Vieja Reserva 2003This Iglesia Vieja Reserva 2003 from Spain is a blend of 68% Mataro, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 11% Tempranillo. The color is pure purple! The nose is a refreshingly soft spice. And the taste is fruity and succulent with a peppery finish. It is Sunday evening. I have a fresh, organic chicken (from a local farm) roasting in the oven. I used an entire garlic bulb as I prepared the chicken — put about 8 cloves under the skin and the rest of the garlic in the vegetables surrounding the chicken. I have potatoes and carrots tossed with olive oil and garlic cloves in the skillet, too.  Talk about fragrant! I started the chicken in the oven at 425 degrees for 45 minutes to make sure it would be crispy on the outside; then I turned the oven down the 325 to let it bake for 2 hours. It’s a long time in the oven, but I like the chicken falling off the bone. We’ve had a lovely weekend and anticipate a busy week ahead. Cheers!