Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wine Wednesday: Root: 1 Cabernet Sauvignon

What!?!  Two red wines in a row???  I know, right?  It just happened that way, don't get excited.  Who knows how long it will be before I feature a red wine again.  I picked this up because I was making this Jacques Pepin Beef Stew, and because the stew contains an entire bottle of red wine, I thought the only appropriate drink to go with it was another bottle of red wine.   Also, I thought the bottle was pretty cool.

This is a Chilean wine called Root:1.  -  apparently Chile is one of the only places that has grapes growing on original root stocks.  A disease of the grape called phylloxera (do NOT google that, so gross) wiped out most of the grape vines in the world and so to fight the disease, most growers started grafting cuttings onto disease resistant stocks.  I'm not sure if this makes the grapes better or worse, but I just thought you might enjoy a mini history lesson with your Wine Wednesday.

This is a nice, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon.  I would go so far as to call it velvety.  K recommends that you let it breathe, and advises that it opens up nicely.  Also, did I mention the bottle is pretty cool?

Aren't my pumpkins cute?  I picked them up at Pier 1 Imports.

Wine:  Root:1 Cabernet Sauvingnon
Year: 2011
Region: Chile
Purchased From: World Market
 Price: $10
Verdict: 4/5
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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wine Wednesday: Red Diamond Pinot Noir

That's right, I have a red for you this week!  I know it doesn't happen very often.  But watch out, because I'm on a roll - I have another one for you next week.  K and I picked up this one while we were taking advantage of Fry's wine sale - buy six bottles, get 30% off, in addition to sale prices!  This means that I got this bottle of wine that is regularly sold at $10.99 for only $5.59. That is crazy talk!  In case you didn't know, Fry's is owned by Kroger, so it is a sister store, sort of, to our beloved Fred Meyer.  Well, more like step-sister store.  But we take what we can get.  If you have a Kroger affiliate where you live, you can probably take advantage of a similar sale.

We bought this wine because we knew we had some grilled steaks in our future.  And we pretty much only drink red wine when we are eating steak.  It turns out that this wine might not have been the top choice to go with steak, although it was pretty great.  It was a very smooth wine, soft and mellow.  Not at all what I am used to with Pinot Noirs.  I actually said this when I first tasted it - "It's like drinking a fuzzy blanket!"  and it was.  In a good way.  I would recommend this wine if you want a nice, drinkable Pinot Noir.

Wine:  Red Diamond Pinot Noir
Year: 2011
Region: California
Purchased From: Fry's
 Price: $5.59 (Reg 10.99)
Verdict: 4/5
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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wine Wednesday: King Estate Luminous Pinot Gris

When K and I were on our trip to the Northwest a few weeks ago, we did a little bit of wine tasting.  Of course I couldn't miss my favorite winery in the world, King Estate.  We decided to pick up a bottle of this limited edition Luminous Pinot Gris.  Don't be fooled by the pink color, this is not a rosé!  I am not a fan of the rosé, so I was surprised that I actually liked this wine.  That's because unlike a rosé , which is traditionally made from red grapes that are separated from their skins,  this is made from Pinot Gris grapes and is allowed to soak with the skins for 72 hours.  Traditionally Pinot Gris is separated from its skins before fermentation, because the Pinot Gris grape is actually purplish grey.

Anyway, this is a really nice crisp, dry wine.  It isn't at all sweet, but it isn't too tart.  It's nicely balanced.  The skins added tannins, which give it a tiny bit of astringency.  I realize that doesn't sound like something you would want to find in your wine, but it worked here and was not at all unpleasant.  This wine was great with spicy foods, but also it cuts sweetness nicely.  I served it with some easy happy hour foods, a  few kinds of bruschetta and also some figs stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in prosciutto.

Because this is such a great summer wine, and figs are such a great summer fruit, I decided these two had to be on the same table.  I made my favorite fig and goat cheese bruschetta, along with pesto and sopressata bruschetta, and a new one with brie, figs and prosciutto.  

I had some figs left over, so I quartered them lengthwise, almost but not quite to the bottom.  Then I stuffed them with goat cheese, wrapped them in prosciutto and topped them with freshly cracked pepper and a little drizzle of honey.  Then I baked them for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees.  

Wine:  King Estate Luminous Pinot Gris
Year: 2011
Region: Oregon
Purchased From: King Estate Winery
 Price: $18
Verdict: 5/5
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