Monday, October 20, 2014

2010 Jarhead Red

This is a story of passing through a wine shop and being stopped in my tracks by a name and a label.  I put two bottles in my basket before picking up a third bottle and reading the back label.  Jarhead Red is a wine made by U.S. Marines by U.S. Marines.  A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each bottle go to a Marine Corps scholarship fund.   Nothing beats drinking wine made by former members of an organization of which I am a former member, and one which supports a worthy cause.  In this case the Firestone winery is involved by way of Captain Adam Firestone and Sgt Ruben Dominguez. 

This particular vintage is a blend of Cabernet Franc with Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault and Syrah playing the backup role.  A couple of weekends ago I opened the first bottle at a pig roast where another, and much younger, Marine was  one of the guests.  It was definitely a full bodied wine but the brightness of the Cabernet Franc and it's cherry flavors really shone.  It was mouth filling and had just enough acid and tannin to support the fruit.  A very well balanced wine.  Once the cork came out it was the first of six assorted bottles to be completely drained.  Most of it was consumed by the two Marines in attendance and led to stories and raunchy jokes.  It was a fun time and wine.

Jarhead Red California table wine.  $14 and with the table wine designation it was under 14% alcohol.

Friday, October 17, 2014


The wine is Lucien Albrecht Cremant D'Alsace Brut Rose, a sparkling wine made from 100% pinot noir.  Fruity with strawberry and cherry flavors and a little bit of yeast.  The finish is dry and delightful.  A good way to end a Friday and start a weekend.

Lucien Albrecht Cremant D'Alsace Brut Rose.  12% alcohol and $19.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


"All things on earth point home in old October: sailors to sea, travelers to walls and fences, hunters to field and hollow and the long voice of the hounds, the lover to the love he has forsaken."    Thomas Wolfe, Of Time and the River
The leaves are nearing their peak of color here and there was a young pig sacrificed to the god of a smoker last weekend.  Good food and good wine and more to follow. 

The tomatoes are mixed with parsley and basil and grated, fresh mozzarella cheese.  They were dressed with red wine vinegar and olive oil.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Roederer Estate

The wine with the pizza in the post below this one was Roederer Estate Brut, Special Cuvee from California's Anderson Valley.  The wine is blend of pinot noir and chardonnay.  It is tart and refreshing, a little bit yeasty, prickly with bubbles and finishes dry and refreshing.  The finish is long.  The yeastiness appealed to me the most.  It's not nearly as strong as champagne with the yeast, but it is there and recognizable. 

I resealed the wine after drinking two thirds of the bottle and finished it later that evening with some freshly popped popcorn with black truffle salt and butter. Amazing combination.

Roederer Estate Brut, special Cuvee.  $21 and 12% alcohol.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Grilled Pizza

Perhaps instead of grilled pizza the title should read pizza from the grill.  Regardless it was delicious.  The ingredients were a purchased crust, tomato sauce, olive oil, Provolone cheese, pepperoni slices, fresh mozzarella and parmigiano, and a little salt. 

It's sitting on an antique, but still very much used, flat burner plate from a cast iron, wood burning  stove.  When the fire in the grill was raging the cast iron went over the coals to get hot and after a minute or so the pizza went onto the cast iron.  The lid was clamped back on and after another minute the temperature was near 550 degrees.  It took four minutes to cook the pizza.  When  it came off the grill it got a dusting of fresh basil and oregano. 

To the left was the beverage of choice for the evening - the second half of a bottle started in the late afternoon.  Amazing how an overcast,  cool, and drizzly day can be brightened up with a good glass of sparkling wine.

It certainly improved my mood.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Riesling and Lobster

The local market had a special on Maine lobster tails just about the same time that I saw a recipe for a stir fry featuring lobster.  My usual luck is that events like these are at least a week apart with the lobster being off-sale by the time the recipe is noted. 

There were onions, peppers, garlic, ginger and pineapple in the stir fry mix and hoisin and oyster sauce in the liquid mixture.  I tossed in a few dried peppers to kick up the heat a little.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable meal but I kept thinking how much better it would have been with pork rather than lobster. 

The wine was a 2008 Jakob Schneider Niederhause Klamm Riesling Kabinett from the Nahe.  The wine was crisp and sharp with apple and lychee flavors mixed in with a good bit of lime zest.  It was drier in both mouth feel and taste than I am used to with Mosel Rieslings, and with the sweetness of the pineapple in the food this was great.  It was sharp and tart and only semi sweet.  Very long finish on this wine.  Sadly this was my last bottle of this particular wine and have seen no others in the market here.

Good meal and a good wine.

2008 Jakob Schneider Niederhause Klamm Riesling Kabinett.  8.5% alcohol and $16

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Home Again

“Agassiz does recommend authors to eat fish, because the phosphorus in it makes brains. But I cannot help you to a decision about the amount you need to eat. Perhaps a couple of whales would be enough.”................Mark Twain

It's good to be home and cooking again.  Last night was a fillet of red snapper that was pan seared and served with a mango, red onion, cilantro and lime juice salsa.  The rice was cooked in coconut milk.  The wine was a 2013 Kinkead Ridge Revelation White, a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Albarino.  Good fish and very good wine.