That's rain on the wine bottle pictured above. The rain began about 2:00 AM this morning and has yet to stop. It's not hard, but it has been constant, and for this time of the year it's highly unusual. The temperatures have also been unusual in that they have been almost chilly. My thanks to the Canadians for the lingering cold front.
Dinner was supposed to be pork chops on the grill but the weather killed that idea. Instead they were dusted with flour and Bavarian seasonings and pan fried. Going with the winter theme we went with mashed potatoes and made a pan gravy once the chops were removed from the pan. Good, almost winter like meal.
The Illinois trip last weekend also added thirteen bottles of wine to the cellar, although this statement is a little misleading. Only one of the bottles carried an Illinois appellation. The other twelve were a mixed case of Mazzocco wines from California. Friends were doing some house cleaning on overstocked wine and sent them home with me. It's the best kind of friends!
I opened one of the wines with dinner tonight. The wine was a 2003 Stone Ranch, Old Vine Carignane from Mazzocco Vineyards near Healdsburg in Sonoma county. Bright cherry red in the glass the wine just reeked of fresh strawberries with a little cardamon thrown into the mix. Good acid joined the strawberries in the taste along with a little fresh cherry juice. The tannins were mild but they were lingering. The finish was dry and fruity. This was a good medium weight red wine and perfect for summer. I can't recall the last varietal Carignane I had. The taste profile is great because it will help in picking out these flavors in Rhone and Spanish wines that use this grape as part of their blend. Good wine and an even better learning experience.