Friday, September 30, 2011
Pale color, lemony nose with some hints of anise. Crisp and tart, with the lemon showing bright and fresh. The anise flavor faded more into fennel on the taste. Good length to the finish, ending with a last little burst of lemon. The first half of the bottle went down with some grilled chicken with minimal spicing, but the second half on day two was even better with a fennel and shrimp risotto. The fennel taste in the wine was great with the dish. The acidity cut the richness and the fennel overtones really matched well. Good honest wine that went great with food.
13% alcohol and $14. Good wine.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
The Burgundy of choice was a 2006 Louis Jadot Beaune Boucherottes premier cru. I opened the bottle as we began dinner prep and poured half of it into a decanter, and a little bit into my glass. Very closed nose with earth and spice but no fruit showing.
Forty-five minutes later the beef tenderloin was sauced and ready. The wine was still closed but after some swirling there was enough fruit to plunge ahead. This was a very reticent wine, it kept refusing to give up very much in the way of aroma save for earth and wood spice. Near the end of the meal the cherry flavors began to emerge and the silkiness of the wine started to bloom. Acids and tannins were great and the mouth feel was wonderful. For the last bite or two of beef the wine was a great foil. I loved the earthiness in the wine.
Later that evening I poured another glass from the now re-corked bottle. The fruit was much more pronounced and the wine had mellowed, but it still wasn't ready.
The last fair sized glass was left for the next evening, and twenty-four hours was what this wine needed. Wonderful, ripe fruit aromas, finally subdued earth and a wonderful silky feel in the mouth. It was difficult, but I forced myself to drink that last glass slowly. Lots of smiles.
$25 and 13% alcohol.
Monday, September 19, 2011
The roast is a six pound, bone-in pork shoulder roast. It was brined for six hours in a mixture of kosher salt and sugar. After that it was rinsed and thoroughly dried. A mixture of kosher salt, sugar and smoked paprika was rubbed all over it and it was wrapped tightly in plastic film and refrigerated for 24 hours.
While it came to room temperature after its stay in the refrigerator I built a small fire in the grill. The coals were all pushed to one side and the roast was placed on the far side. A drip pan partially filled with water sat under the roast and a few apple wood chips were tossed on the fire. The lid went on the grill and I monitored the vents so that the temperature in the grill never got above 325 degrees. Five hours later the roast was done and the air in the neighborhood smelled of pork and apples. A few hungry neighbors wandered by to check things out.
The pork rested for about half an hour while I made a sauce from some of drippings from the catch pan, some sugar, vinegar, mustard and mango chutney. When that had reduced we carved the pork, opened a couple bottles of apple cider and spent a wonderful evening sitting outside watching the blue sky turn into evening pink. The dogs even managed to get a few pork tidbits mixed in with their dog kibble.
Life can be very good, and very delicious.
Friday, September 16, 2011
Most interesting was tasting both a Kabinett and a Spatlese from two separate vineyards. The wines involved were the 2009 Graacher Himmelreich and 2009 Veldenzer Elisenberg. The Elisenbergs were sharp, focused and very precise with citrus and peach flavors. There was a distinct difference between the Kabinett and the Spatlese, with the Spatlese being more full and fruity while the Kabinett was dry and racy. The Himmelreichs were fuller wines from the start, explained by Dr. Richter by saying there was clay in the slate soil of this vineyard that lends fuller flavor whereas the Elisenberg is slate and quartz primarily. I was getting apple and yellow plum aromas from the Himmelreich wines. I loved the Kabinett, but the Spatlese quickly put it to the rear. Very, very good wine and one I could sit, smell and sip all day.
Click below for the rest of this article.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
I like all kinds of wine, and though I do have my favorites I still try and keep an open mind about the rest. The nicest thing I can say about this wine is that it was inoffensive. It was light, which I expected, but it was almost devoid of flavor, of acid, of tannin, of any form of soul or reason to exist. It wasn't bad, it just didn't seem to be there at all. It was enough to make one wonder what the point was or even if there was a point to be made.
The steak was good from the grill and the soup pictured below was delicious. It was yellow tomatoes and yellow peppers cooked together and pureed with just a hint of heavy cream, a tiny touch of garlic and salt and pepper. That was the best part of the meal.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Friday, September 9, 2011
In the summer I miss braised food as much as I miss a fresh, ripe tomato in the winter. Lamb shanks became the braise of choice. Browned, they were thrown in the pot with wine, garlic, onions, carrots, leeks, tomatoes, and herbs. At the end we added white beans. I also made another winter dish, polenta. The results are pictured below.
The wine was an old friend, a Foppiano Petite Sirah from Sonoma's Russian River Valley. Year in and year out no one makes Petite Sirah better than Foppiano. In this case it was the 2005 vintage. Inky dark in the glass the nose was all about black fruit and black pepper. There was a little bit of earth peeking out as well. The taste was just as full as the color was dark. The wine just oozed ripe fruit, spice and a hint or two of chocolate. Good acid and loads of tannin balanced this wine out. Despite its size it was not heavy and overburdened with anything. It was just a delicious mouthful.
It stood up to and really complimented the lamb, and it definitely picked up on the rosemary, thyme and sage that were in the braising liquid. Good stuff.
#20 and 14.5% alcohol
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Dinner was a pan seared and oven roasted tri-tip beef roast with a Romesco sauce of tomatoes, peppers, almonds, garlic, pimenton and olive oil. Good little wine and a good meal to go with it. The best "critter label wine" I've had for awhile.
$12 and 13% alcohol.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
The 2009 vintage was, being kind here, terrible and all the red wine was declassified to the second label. The bottom line was bad for the winery, but certainly good for the consumer as both of released wines were quite enjoyable.
The Cabernet Sauvignon is comprised mostly of cabernet sauvignon, with some petit verdot and some syrah blended in. The wine was very closed on the nose with some faint aromas of dark cherries and earth coming out along with some dark plums. Dark color in the glass. Definitely a full flavored wine with a rich, fruity feel in the mouth and flavors of black cherries and other dark fruit. The wine seemed a little low in acid but there was good tannin. The finish was a little short, but not enough to detract from the overall pleasure.
The Cabernet Franc was the better of the two to me. Brighter cherry flavors and aromas, sweet tannin and vanilla from the oak, medium mouth feel and a tart and cheery finish to it. The fruit here was definitely more toward the red end of the spectrum. The finish was a little nicer and there was a littel burst of fruit at the end. Easy wine to drink. Both are great values at their price point.
Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.1% alcohol and $12.95
Cabernet Franc, 13.5% alcohol and $11.95
Both wines carry the Ohio River Valley AVA
Friday, September 2, 2011
12% alcohol and $12