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Posts Tagged ‘Rose’

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.

 

 

Fire Extinguisher

About that pan-seared salmon I was mentioning the other day

Well, we just had to have it…on top of a mound of broccoli rabe.  :)

Whoo-wee!!  That broccoli rabe was fully loaded with garlic and red pepper flakes!  It lit our mouths on fire, I tell you! 

We definitely needed a wine to cool things down, so I grabbed for the 2011 Calcu Rosé from Chile (Sample, MSRP: $13 US).

This Chilean rosé made up of 55% Malbec, 35% Syrah and 10% Petit Verdot is slightly sweet, with hints of cherry and strawberry.

2 Stars out of 4For some reason, thoughts of creamsicles entered my mind, but it’s perfect for extinguishing mouth-fires on contact.  :)

 

Summer Days Driftin’ Away

See our wines from the many regions of Italy.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not quite ready to stow away my flip flops and shorts for the season just yet.  For some reason, the Summer of 2011 seemed to slip between my toes, retreating out to sea rather quickly this year.  Maybe my family and I did so much that everything is just a blur to me now, or maybe (deep down inside) I just want to take in a few more warm and sunny days to put an exclamation point on the Summer of 2011.  If I were to ask my sons right now how to accomplish this, they’d probably say, “Let’s go noodling!” 

 

Ummm…sorry guys:  diving into murky water and sticking my hands and legs into a hole to be bitten by a 70lb catfish isn’t quite the ending I had in mind.  Unfortunately, for lack of better plans, it seems that the earthquake, hurricane and tornados experienced in the northeast will be the exclamation point(s) on the Summer of 2011. 

The other night, in the midst of yet another summer rain storm, I whipped up a simple steak stir-fry and grabbed two bottles of wine that were produced by Château de Jau.

Now, I don’t typically make my wine pairing selections based on the way a label looks, but for some reason Benjamin Vautier’s artwork made me think happy summer thoughts. 

We started with the 2010 Le Jaja de Jau Sauvignon Blanc (Sample, MSRP: $10 US). Jaja” is an old French slang word for a glass of wine – an everyday or house wine.  This jaja was a big zap of lemon with some lime and granny smith apple flavors.  It finishes clean, but had a little too much pucker for my liking. 

2 Stars out of 4 for the 2010 Le Jaja de Jau Sauvignon Blanc. 

We moved on and closed out the evening with the 2010 Le Jaja de Jau Syrah Rosé (Sample, MSRP: $10 US).  The 2010 Le Jaja de Jau Syrah Rosé is made from 100% Syrah grapes and is a straight-forward fruity rosé that fills your mouth with strawberries and hints of violets.  Although it was a nice jaja, maybe a splash of Grenache, Cinsault or Mourvèdre would have made me gaga.  :)  

2 Stars out of 4 for the 2010 Le Jaja de Jau Syrah Rosé

Cheers to the last days of summer!

Week #17: Who Are You Callin’ Sugar?

It’s crunch time in this 2010 NFL season:  playoff scenarios and mathematical probabilities are being hashed out; fantasy football leagues & pools are buzzing with excitement; and football analysts and armchair quarterbacks are all starting to voice their opinions on which teams will win and which teams will bite the dust and pack up their lockers until next season. 

For this last remaining week in the regular season, I’ve decided to make a very gusty off-the-field move that could unleash a throng of challenge flags or incite someone to douse me with a cooler full of Gatorade for suggesting such a ‘Flowery’ final regular-season food & wine pairing. 

Preparation for week #17 from the WineLife365 Playbook: 

You’ll need a smoker, some prime cuts of meat, and wait for it…Rosé wine.  Yes – ‘Pink’ wine! 

Most guys wouldn’t have a problem with this Pink lying on the dining room table directly in front of them, or watching the cool Cirque du Soleil thing while casually sipping on a “manly wine” like say – Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images North America

However, having this Pink directly in front of them seems to spark a whole different set of intense, if not adverse, reactions. 

What a complete and utter shame to judge a wine on its color! 

Why?  Because the classic, real pink stuff, like this French 2009 Reserve Grand Veneur, Côtes du Rhône Rosé (MSRP: $14, Sample) is absolutely marvelous with a variety (and I mean variety!) of “manly” kinds of food like: 

  • BBQ Chicken
  • Pulled Pork Sandwiches topped with Cole Slaw
  • Chinese takeout
  • Pizza
  • Chips and Salsa
  • Doritos and Potato Chips
  • And lots of other somewhat salty and spicy foods!

Putting it all out on the line this Sunday…   

If you’re ready to give it all you’ve got this last Sunday in the regular season, here’s your NFL ticket to-do list: 

1.) Go out and get yourself a massive smoker.  Heck, take up a collection from all of your buddies if you need to, because it’s so worth it! 

2.) Assemble and season your smoker prior to Sunday morning.   

3.) Season your ribs, chicken, fish, ham, pork, turkey… or anything else you want to smoke! 

4.) Wake up early Sunday morning, put on your game jersey (and some pants!), throw some hickory or mesquite wood into your smoker, put whatever meat(s) you’ve chosen to smoke and fire-up the smoker…then go sit on your couch! 

Once the meat is done, pair your smoked fare with a deliciously floral, herbaceous, strawberry and watermelon packed pink beauty, such as the 2009 Reserve Grand Veneur, Côtes du Rhône Rosé – it’s a game winning touchdown!

 

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