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Posts Tagged ‘2008’

The Kids Are Alright…Are We?

Once a year, our kids take a vacation to get away from us.

Well, that’s not entirely true…

You see, every year during the first week in July, since our sons were toddlers, my parents take them to the beach…without us!  Time on the beach, boat rides, water slides, bumper cars and junk food…the whole nine yards for one entire week. 

With all of the day-to-day commotion that takes place in our house – the kids, the dog, the laptops, television, video games and constant tomfoolery – it’s hard enough to hear what we’re saying to each other, let alone hearing yourself think.

It’s funny, though:  my wife and I start out excited to have some alone time, but by mid-week we miss them like crazy!  Nevertheless, Kristi and I do, in fact, get to spend some quality time together, which includes having more time to try new wines!  :)

One of the most intriguing wines that we sampled, when the kids were away, was the 2008 M Trignon White (MSRP: $23.99 US).  This wine is from Chateau Du Trignon, which is nestled at the foot of the Dentelles de Montmirail in Gigondas, France.  The 2008 M Trignon White is made up of 100% Muscat, and it packs one heck of a concentrated sweet/dessert wine punch!  Right off the bat, you might think you’re drinking a French Sauterne. Fermented in stainless steel and cold stabilized to preserve freshness, this wine just oozes in sweet honey, honeysuckle, apricots, lemon and peach flavors.

3 Stars out of 4 for the 2008 M Trignon White.  It’s crazy-syrupy-sweet, cheaper than most Sauternes, and it comes in a rather interesting, perfumey-looking bottle.  It’s perfect for those who would rather drink dessert than eat it.

Another wine, which was a bit off the beaten path for us, was the 2010 Domaine Houchart Rosé (Sample, MSRP: $12 US) from Domaine Houchart which is owned by the Quiot family from France’s famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape.  The thing that drew me to this wine was its interesting blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault.  This summer sipper possesses a lot of nice acidity that makes it a pair well with many different food combinations.

I paired it with a thinly sliced spicy grilled chicken breast topped with fresh bruschetta and shaved parmesan cheese.  The soft strawberry, lavender and minerally finish paired nicely with this dish, however it wasn’t quite enough to give it 2 big thumbs up.

2 Stars out of 4 for the 2010 Domaine Houchart Rosé.  This Rosé definitely shows its best characteristics around foods with a little gusto and spice:  it’s a no-brainer with barbecue.

 

 

Poor Man’s Chef: The Machinist

Ivan:  Oh, no. You look like you seen a ghost.
Trevor Reznik:  Funny you should say that.  The guys at work don’t think you exist.
Ivan:  That’s why I can’t get a raise.

I know it’s been a while since the last post, so I will answer some of the questions I’ve been asked:

No, I have not fallen off the face of the earth.
Yes, I’m still drinking wine.
Yes, I still write a blog.

And just in case you’re wondering…no, this isn’t a movie review of The Machinist.

There have been a number of new things going on in the WineLife365 household that have served to cause quite a distraction.  Mostly good stuff, though!  Most recently, we’re finishing up a bathroom remodel.  Now I won’t lie to you:  I’m not doing the work, but it did make me think about my cooking skills.  You see, I’ve built (or repaired) all types of dinner specials,” and I’ve become quite the Journeyman at manufacturing some highly delicious salads.  Like this one…

Like a good machinist, I start by laying out all of my variable parts:

  • Baby Romaine Lettuce
  • Red Onion
  • Portabella Mushrooms
  • Heirloom Tomatoes
  • Crumbled Blue Cheese
  • Leftover grilled London Broil
  • Briannas Chipotle Cheddar Dressing

Next, I grab a sharp knife and make all the necessary precision cuts for easy consumption.  Finally, I use all my “milling around in the wine closet knowledge” to come up with what I hope will be a highly acceptable application to my Cowboy Salad.

My die to put the stamp on this creation?

The 2008 Anka (Sample, MSRP: $20 US) from Chile!  Made from organically grown grapes, it’s a blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 7% Carmenere, 4% Syrah and 1% Petit Verdot.  Whoa…that’s quite a list, but it added up to 100% delicious!

3 Stars out of 4 for the 2008 Anka.  With its humongous smoky black cherry, green bell pepper, black currant, black pepper and roasted almond flavor, it was the perfect choice to complete this meal.  

25 Days of Christmas: Day 18

December 18, 2011

Dear Mr. Claus,

I know that you’re very busy right now getting ready for Christmas Eve and checking your list twice to see who’s been naughty and nice this year.   But I was wondering – if it’s not too much trouble – might you be able to fulfill one very selfish special wish for a guy who has been good and quite nice at times naughty this year?  He does all of the cooking (except for baking) and almost always cleans up afterwards (He’s got OCD issues when it comes to loading the dishwasher).

That really, REALLY swell guy happens to be me!

If you can, I wish for an entire bottle of 2008 Achaval Ferrer Finca Bella Vista Malbec ($100) from Mendoza, Argentina to share with my beautiful wife (she’s been really good this year, too!). Just to let you know, my wife and I tasted this badass totally kickass electrifying and elegant Malbec earlier this year and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it ever since!  In a nutshell, it was probably the most badass best red wine that I tasted in 2011!

I’m not sure if you’re into wine or if you’re possibly a wine collector, but if you’re either – this is really something special!  Only 980 cases were made of this old vine Malbec.  It’s pure gold with its bold dark fruit, dark chocolate, violets and fresh herb flavors.  Here’s an interesting tidbit about the 2008 Achaval Ferrer Finca Bella Vista Malbec:  it takes nearly a pound of grapes to make just 1/3 of a bottle of this wine.

I’m really sorry for rambling on, but I guess you’re used to it by now.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Santa!

Love,

Mark

P.S. I hope you like the Domaine Du Margalleau Sparkling Vouvray NV and cookies that I’m leaving out for you.

25 Days of Christmas: Day 6

I was just saying yesterday that I really hate (I mean REALLY HATE!) wrapping gifts.  I dislike it so much, that on several occasions I have actually paid to have presents “professionally” wrapped at various department stores.  One look at my “wrap jobs” and you’d immediately understand:  my gifts tend to look like they’ve been wrapped by an entire first grade class.  Therefore, Day 6 of the 25 Days of Christmas is dedicated to all my fellow brothers and sisters who detest wrapping gifts!

Here are a couple of gift-worthy wines for the wine lovers in your life – AND they come already wrapped for you! (Note: Bows not included)

  • Who doesn’t like a little bubbly?  Nicolas Feuillatte Blue Label Brut from Champagne, France is composed of 20% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir, and 40% Pinot Meunier.  This bubbly is packed with tiny bubbles swimming in pear, apple, almonds and hazelnuts.  For less than $40, you get a beautifully wrapped, elegant and super smooth Champagne that will undoubtedly make the lucky recipient beam with holiday cheer!

  • Looking to add a little sexiness?  Consider giving the Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Rose as a gift instead!  Consisting of 60% Pinot Noir, 10% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Meunier, this wine pairs perfectly with  a variety of holiday dishes.  This wine also retails for $40…wrapped.

  • Finally, if you think red wine is the way to go, why not tell someone that they’re “the tops” by giving them a bottle of the 2008 Uno Malbec from Antigal Winery & Estates.  This Argentine Malbec comes in a unique looking gift canister.  Both the bottle and canister showcase a distinctive copper/bronzed-looking metal “number one,” that appears as if it’s been riveted on.  Oh yeah, and the wine inside this beautiful packaging is pretty swell and very easy to swallow at $20…wrapped!  :)

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