This weekend was an audition. The Vina Alarba Old Vines Grenache that has been the "house red" for better than a year is gone from the market place so the search is on for a replacement. The rules are that it be good and inexpensive.
The Louis Martini 2005 Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon is the first candidate. The wine is normally $17 but there is "sale" in the market place at this time and it can be had for $12 a bottle or $10.80 a bottle if one buys a case. The $17 price is too high as is the $12 price for an every day wine, but the $10.80 is just about right.
The nose was a nice balance between ripe fruit and a little dirt. There were dark cherries and currants in the taste and just a hint of vegetables. This is a medium weight cabernet with moderate ripe tannins and good acid balance. The middle is fruity and sweet without being over ripe. There is just enough acid and tannin on the finish to clear the palate. Not a great wine but a highly drinkable one. The wine is 13.8% alcohol.
Saturday I spent the day waiting on the satellite TV repairman. That took most of the day but the thing is up and running again. Waiting around most of the day is frustrating so I wanted something simple for dinner. Garlic roasted potatoes, a small salad and a grilled New York strip steak filled the bill nicely. The wine was a nice compliment to the steak. Nothing profound here, just a good drinkable wine.
Sunday was to be all about salmon on the grill, but that got sidetracked when a reduced price on a small rack of pork showed up at the market. Rubbed with olive oil, garlic, lemon peel and fresh sage, the pork was cooked over indirect heat on the grill with just a few hickory chips added for a light smoky flavor.
There was some fresh, but store bought, pumpkin ravioli topped with olive oil, basil and pecorino Romano cheese and another tomato salad. The second half of the Martini cabernet was sitting in the bottle and it matched well with the pork. It had mellowed only slightly from the previous day so it was still fresh and fruity and still had enough on the finish to cut the richness of the olive oil. Dessert was simple - a large scoop of coconut, chocolate chip gelato.