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Wine Wednesday|Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Pinot Noir

Wait, wait…Don’t drink that… yet!

This little Pinot is a great illustration in the value of letting wine breathe. What started off as fairly thin, somewhat sour and dry and basically flat turned into a nicely drinkable wine with a light sweetness that we both really enjoyed.  It’s not a mind-blowing wine, but it is very solid for the price ($6.99).  A very nice flexible wine that would go well with a lot of different foods.  Also a nice little inexpensive gift to bring to a friend’s house – just remember to let it sit for about 3o minutes!

Wine Wednesday|Chook Shed Shiraz 2009

Wine time!

Today we head down under for a taste of Shiraz (or “Shazam” as a friend likes to call it).  I immediately fell for the label, which isn’t an indicator of quality, but packaging does go a long way.

This one was decent, but not an overwhelming favorite.  My notes include “sharp, peppery, a little sour with a hot finish.”  I thought it was straight down the middle in terms of body – not very heavy or thick but not thin either.  My husband, L, thought it was a little on the sweet side and a bit heavy, saying that it “tasted like a light syrup.”

Wine Wednesday|Peachy Canyon Incredible Red Zinfandel 2008

Blurry but not because of the wine!

I think I’m turning into a Zinf-a-phile!  Maybe the California native in me is coming through.

We liked this one.  Here are my notes:

– Fairly smooth
– A little tangy, but not tart or sour
– Some kind of fruit taste – maybe plum?
– A little hot at the end but not overly so – makes for a nice finish/after taste
– Husband’s assessment?  He thought it was a little “thick” (I would say “syrupy,” but I think we mean essentially the same thing), but drinkable

Wine Wednesday|Monte Ducay Reserva 2005

What did I say a couple of weeks ago about the importance of notes?  This one will be brief* because I can’t find my chicken scratchings on this bottle, but I do remember that it was solid and quite affordable (less than $6).  It’s one of the few at this price point that I would bring to a friend’s house.  While it wasn’t mind-blowingly remarkable, it also wasn’t overly or underly anything (sweet, sour, spicy, etc.) and should go well with just about anything a sturdy red wine would complement.

More next week!

Cheers.

*This post may lack substance but at least the photos are getting better!

Friday Tip (the last for now*)|Easy Meals (part 4)

Hey friends!

I’m cheating a little here – this didn’t get published on Friday** and the photo isn’t mine, but the lamb roast we made on Monday looked a lot like this before we cooked it and was astoundingly good.  And we still have leftovers, making this a dinner that lasted for three meals (leftovers got put into a curry and the last of it will be going into something else today).  So while it was spendy (at about $8/pound), the ROI*** on this dinner, both in dollars and work put in, was pretty high.

Wine Wednesday|Chateau de Seguin Cuvee Prestige 2008

Not sure which is more difficult - learning to "talk wine" or learning to photograph wine bottles

Definitely not a favorite here.

The wine was thin and sort of flat.  There was a dryness to it, but there wasn’t any real flavor to round out the dryness.  My husband tasted it, said “it tastes bad,” and poured the rest of his down the drain, and poured a glass of our standard boxed wine.

I didn’t dislike it that much.  But I won’t buy it again.  There really wasn’t much character to it.  Still lacking the language to describe the differences in wines very well, all I can say is that I didn’t like this one.

Friday Tip|Easy Meals (part three)

Kashe pictured with penne and no cheese

Kashe Varnishkes is one of the best and easiest dishes on the planet.  It’s also one of the cheapest.  Double score.

There’s not much to write about this dish before the recipe, because there really isn’t much to it; pasta, onion and buckwheat.  That doesn’t sound impressive as a meal, but it’s very hearty and very satisfying, due at least in part to the frying of the onion in chicken fat.

Wine Wednesday|Layer Cake 2010 Shiraz

Yes that is my laptop in the background - need to hire an art director!

Today is quite a posting day!

When I bought this, a couple of my friends were a little jealous that I’d be drinking it over my “weekend,” which led me to a bit of excited anticipation.  Although I don’t always like what everyone else likes, I was told by more than one person that this is a pretty fantastic wine.

Here’s what the winemaker has to say about this one:

Daring Cooks September 2011|Stock, Soup & Consommé!

Participating without really participating!  But first…

Peta, of the blog Peta Eats, was our lovely hostess for the Daring Cook’s September 2011 challenge, “Stock to Soup to Consommé”. We were taught the meaning between the three dishes, how to make a crystal clear Consommé if we so chose to do so, and encouraged to share our own delicious soup recipes!

Friday Tip*|Easy Meals (part two)

Happy Friday!

Keeping with our easy meals theme, I’m resurrecting a recipe that I’ve posted before.  Since we’re doing easy this month,  I think that applies to me too.

Lentils are extremely nutritious and very easy to make.  It’s just a matter of simmering with some spices (turmeric and salt) and then finishing with oil.  Brown lentils are super healthy, but they take a while – about 45 minutes to an hour.  Their cousin, pink lentils** (which you can see are actually orange) however, take about 10-15 minutes.  In fact, this light meal (which doubles as a nice snack) can be made in about 20 minutes, and it only takes that long because you need 20 minutes to make rice.