Thursday, October 27, 2011
We fired up the grill and sacrificed a large rib-eye steak to the grilling gods as a thank you for the summer past. The wine was a 2006 Mazzocco Maple Vineyard Reserve Zinfandel from California's Dry Creek Valley. Almost black in the glass, the wine was virtually opaque. Warm blackberry and dark cherry jam in the nose and those same flavors were there in the taste. Pure taste of those fruit with some prickly tannins mixed in. The mouth feel was intense and the flavors just lasted forever. A well made wine and quite tasty, but it was a bit big for my taste.
We sipped one glass with the steak and then poured a second glass to go with a chunk of Rogue River Creamery blue cheese from Oregon. The wine was big enough to be called a near-port and one taste with the blue cheese brought all that home. Great stuff with the cheese.
15.8% alcohol. No price since the wine was a gift.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
The wine department was adequate and I did manage to find a few interesting things. The wine with the lobster tails was a 2010 Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc / Viognier from California. The blend is 79% Chenin Blanc and 21% Viognier. The nose was definitely Chenin Blanc with the bloom of melon and honeysuckle aromas. Nice pear and tart apple taste and great acidity. The Viognier provided a nice mouth feel to this wine. Tart finish with crisp fruit notes made it a very nice bottle of wine with the lobster, and we finished the bottle two days later with some fresh sea scallops. Good with those too.
13% alcohol and $13.
Friday, October 21, 2011
It might be a basic Chablis but it is very good. Bright, green-gold in the glass, the aroma was tart, minerally and not all that fruity. There was some hint of lemon, but the wine was basically closed up. We used some in the rabbit, poured a small glass and let the rest breathe until dinner.
By the time we ate the wine was showing signs of tart, green fruits and some citrus. Highly acidic in a very pleasant way. It left a wonderful dry, almost chalky feel to the mouth at the very end. Absolutely delicious with the rabbit. The butter and oil in the dish were rich and the citrusy quality of the wine really played well with that. There was no citrus in the dish save for the citrus quality that the wine imparted.
A very nice match and a very tasty and savory wine at a more than reasonable price.
12.5% alcohol and $22.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
No doubt with the weather, it is now mid-Autumn and the cooler nights make for some good eating and good wines, and a hearty braised beef is warming and rewarding.
I browned a small chuck eye roast with a good amount of marbled fat and tissue in it, then tossed in some carrots,onions, celery, garlic, canned tomatoes, anchovies and tomato paste, Thyme and rosemary were in the mix as well as some wine. The meat braised in a low oven for four hours and then was allowed to cool completely in the pan. The fat and spent vegetables were removed, the broth thickened slightly and everything was rewarmed for dinner. Packaged, extra wide egg noodles were the only side dish.
The wine was a 2008 Michele Chiarlo Barbera D'Asti "Le Orme." Medium red in the glass the wine was earthy in it's aromas. This was a damp earth as opposed to a dry earth. Lots of bright cherry flavors with more than enough acidity in the taste, but it was correct here. Two hours later, while the beef was still cooking, the wine finally opened up and was much more balanced. By dinner time the wine was really showing well with the fruit and earth equally balanced in both aroma and taste. The medium body and acid cut through the richness in the meat. Good bottle of wine for a good meal.
13% alcohol and $16.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Wine? Of course there was wine, a 2005 Willi Schaefer Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese. Just about a perfect match. Great acidity, clean, pure flavors of apple and peach, wonderful sweetness and a great finish that was both dry and tart. Extremely focused wine. Heaven.
Friday, October 14, 2011
The wine was a 2002 Reilly's Clare Valley Stolen Block Shiraz from Australia. It had been sitting in the cellar for four or five years. Lots of wonderful, ripe fruit in the nose, mostly blackberries and black plums. The wine wasn't shy about filling the mouth with flavor. Unctuous flavors of dark fruits and fruit jams with bits of cinnamon, leather and vanilla adding to the mix coated the tongue and the side of mouth, and they clung there for some time. There was still some tannin showing and almost enough acid to carry everything. In the end the wine was just a little bit too big, even after sprinkling the rib-eye with some blue cheese bits. This was a sipping wine and not a drinking wine, and after one glass I was satisfied.
15.5% alcohol and $24
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Some garlic and ginger and shallot went into a large, heavy skillet with some olive oil. When that was active and fragrant in went the mussels and a light splash of white wine. On went the lid and when the mussels began to open I added a large tablespoon of Thai green curry sauce and stirred it into the broth.
The result was way beyond good. The mussels were plump and just cooked through while the sauce was spicy, sweet, earthy, and a perfect match. There was a good amount of crusty bread to soak up the juices.
The wine was the last glass and a half of the Kinkead Ridge Riesling discussed below. Just barely off dry it was very tasty with the mussels, but remarkable with chunks of the bread dipped in the sauce.
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Cool, crisp, fresh and primary also describes the 2010 Kinkead Ridge Ohio River Valley Riesling we had with dinner Thursday night. When this wine was released back in May it had just been bottled and seemed loose and light. Four months bottle age helped this wine. Now it is definitely focused and the Riesling flavors are coming to the front. This wine had a very linear taste - most of the flavor seems to run down the center of the tongue while the sides pick up the acidity. Very good with two grilled Kurabota pork, rib chops. One was cooked with minimal seasoning of salt and pepper and the other had some added paprika and once it was flipped on the grill the top was coated with a mango chutney. Hard to choose between the two chops but the wine was great with both.
$12 and 11.9% alcohol
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
A bit of kerosene at the very beginning, but that quickly blew off and left a precise and tart nose of lime, peach and a bit of pear skin. Solid mouth feel and full bodied. Wonderful flavors of stone fruit with dry and crisp citrus on top of it. Sweet at the edges but tart at the finish. Just a wonderful wine to go with some pork cutlets with both a mustard sauce and a an oriental sweet and sour sauce. Throw in a small salad and a couple slices of crusty bread and it was a great meal.
Very nice to sit outside on the patio under a shade tree and sip this while watching one of the dogs chase squirrels and the other sit next to you in case there were snacks to go with the wine.
9.5% alcohol and $21