Saturday, June 18, 2016

Lazin' on a Sunny Afternoon

It is seasonably hot here, though the humidity is still a little low.  The grill is ready to light for some Italian grilled pork for dinner and it was time for a refreshment.

The Americano is equal parts Campari and sweet red Vermouth shaken over ice until very cold.  It was poured into a glass with crushed ice and topped with club soda.  Sweet at the front end and bitter at the back end and low in alcohol.  Perfect for the day. 

Monday, June 13, 2016


Great Miami River.  June 13.  7:00 AM EDT

“AND what is so rare as a day in June?  Then, if ever, come perfect days; Then heaven tries earth if it be in tune, And over it softly her warm ear lays; Whether we look, or whether we listen, we hear life murmur, or see it glisten;”
Nature was very kind this morning.  After two days of temperatures over 90 degrees (F) and high humidity we woke this morning to 55 degrees and much less humidity.  The resident canine and I were out before dawn and spent several hours walking the bike paths along the river and through the woods.  It improved both of our moods, and developed an appetite that will be satisfied this evening.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Domaine du Dragon

Provencal rose time - specifically a 2015 Domaine du Dragon Grande Cuvee.  Beautiful light, copper color in the glass, as pictured above.  This was a pleasant surprise as the aromas coming out of the glass weren't fruity at all - they were very floral instead.  Sniffing this wine was like walking through he garden. 

The wine was tart and tight with tremendous acid on the first sip.  Light strawberries and cherries finally made their presence known in the mid-palate.  The finish was bone dry and crisp. 

There was a grilled yellow tail snapper from the grill and a bit of farotto Nicoise to eat between sips of wine.  Add in a remarkably low amount of humidity in the air and no clouds at all and it was a Grande Cuvee  evening.

2015 Domaine du Dragon Grande Cuvee, Cotes de Provence.  13% alcohol and a true bargain at $13. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Still the Best

While all the lobster/butter/wine matches at the lobster party were good and interesting my favorite was the most traditional, Chablis and lemon butter.  In this case it was a 2011 Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin Vaudesir Grand Cru.  It was a big step up from the first two wines.  Fresh scents of lemon and limestone sitting on top of deep fruit and dryness.  It was in perfect balance with the unctuousness of the butter and the sweetness of the lobster.  It had an amazing length to the finish. I loved this wine. 

This was the tenth year for this party with friends, though it goes back another twelve years with family. There were two new guests this year and they brought what turned out to be my second favorite wine, a 2013 Cloudy Bay Chardonnay from New Zealand.  This was a richer wine in both color and taste but still stayed on the balanced side of things.  The fruit was more pronounced and forward than the Chablis and the finish was a bit sweeter and shorter, but it was a very good wine. 

A brace of lobsters after cooking
2011 Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin Vaudesir Grand Cru.  13% alcohol and $85.
2013 Cloudy Bay Chardonnay.  13.5% alcohol and $40.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Lobster Wine #2

Not only did the cooking method and the wines vary for the lobsters this year the dipping sauces varied as well.  There were three drawn butters available, plain, lemon ginger, and a third that had a subtle hint of garlic, rosemary, tarragon and lavender in it.  With that butter the 2013 Kinkead Ridge Ohio River Valley Estate Viognier/Roussanne was tremendous. The wine was much more full bodied than the Dr L Riesling.  Melons and citrus and oily herbs were strong in this wine.  Those herbal flavors really matched well with the herbs in the butter.  The herb butter tended to overpower the Riesling, but it was a wonderful match for the Kinkead Ridge.

2013 Kinkead Ridge Ohio River Valley Estate Viognier/Roussanne.  14% alcohol and $16. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Lobster and Riesling

Yesterday was the annual lobster day and we steamed and grilled sixteen of the lovely critters.  For years this has been a "Chablis" day but this year we mixed things up a bit. 

First up was a 2014 Loosen Brothers Dr. L. Riesling from the Mosel.  Riesling is not my first choice for lobster but this one certainly worked well with the grilled version, not so much with the steamed version. A dry, tart and sharp wine with tons of the mineral sensation that somehow seemed to be a much better choice with the slight smokiness of the grilled lobster.  There was some fruit in the wine when it was chilled, a little more as the wine warmed up but mostly this was about how the minerality played with the smoke.

There was a long finish on this wine, one that gave a hint a sweetness at the very end.  At $11 a bottle this wine is amazing. 

Sarah before her demise
2014 Loosen Brothers Dr. L. Riesling, Mosel.  11% alcohol and $11.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Spring Bloom

There was a major camera malfunction recently so I now must admit my addiction to that object.  It took three weeks for repair this time and to say I was lost without is an understatement.  The I-phone camera is fine but fine just doesn't get it done.  

There are wine notes and other things to post but I'll start with the first lily to bloom in the garden this spring, a yellow bee lily.  And the photo below is the resident canine complaining that I should not be taking pictures of flowers, I should be inside fixing her breakfast.