2007 Louis Jadot Pouilly-Fuisse: Much better than expected, with honey and lemon

sept. 11, 2010: we opened this to pair it specifically with the blue gill aaron fried up after marinating the blue gill in a cajun mix from gander mountain (see earlier post). this frenchman was very good, adding a noticeable yellow color to the glass. emilie, greg and i all commented that this was a better-than-average pouilly-fuisse, with hints of honey and lemon. i was expecting it to be very acidic, but it wasn't; in fact, it was almost syrupy, though not overwhelmingly so. a good wine that we probably bought at schnucks some time ago. 13 percent alcohol.

2008 Montes Malbec: Fruity, rough, easy to drink

sept. 11, 2010: we had aaron and emilie over for dinner tonight. aaron fried up some blue gill he had caught some time ago (it was frozen) and that he had caked with a spicy cajun seasoning that was delicious. we also oven-roasted some asparagus with canola oil (which produced less smoke than olive oil), salt and pepper, and also some homemade mashed red creamer potatoes with the skins on, some buttermilk, butter, salt, and some garlic that emilie sauteed separately with butter. we also had some green hungarian wax peppers from fred and nancy's garden that they wrapped with bacon and filled with rice and cheese.

the meal worked out great, and to start greg opened up this malbec since we were wanting to save the pouilly-fuisse we've had waiting for the blue gill entree. this 2008 chilean montes was very flavorful and slightly rough as many malbecs tend to be. it's 14 percent alcohol. not sure where we bought it, but we usually try montes malbecs each year.

2006 Rosenblum Cellars Contra Costa County Zinfandel: Smooth, gentle, definitely worthwhile

sept. 6, 2010: greg and i got back from the long labor day weekend after spending a couple of days in bloomington. we stopped by the sahara mart, which we had never been to before, and discovered they have a very nice selection of wine for very decent prices.

we had had a rosenblum cellars maggie's reserve with rob williamson back around new year's eve, and i remembered my dad talking about the contra costa county rosenblum being very good. so we dropped about $20.99 (with a 10-percent 12-bottle case discount) and opened this up pretty soon after we arrived back home.

paired with the leftover brats (andouille and green onion) from friday night, it was a great match -- so gentle and soft, with some blackberry flavors. 14.4 percent alcohol. definitely a wine to get again.


Montinore Estate: Two Oregons over Labor Day

sept. 3, 2010: we invited emilie over for dinner with us. greg grilled up some andouille, tomato and garlic, and green onion brats that victoria bought from the rivertown butchershop in newburgh. victoria made a butternut squash recipe via http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/garlicky-baked-butternut-squash/Detail.aspx and, for starters, we had this cold avocado soup via http://www.countryliving.com/recipefinder/cold-avocado-soup-3510. both recipes turned out very well and were relatively easy to make.

ron at winetree on washington avenue suggested two oregon wines that we had never tried before. the first was a 2007 muller-thurgau montinore estate willamette valley that was smooth, gentle and elegant at cooler temperatures. as it warmed up, it ended with inklings of tart lemon. we started the evening with this wine, and emilie said she could see this being a good beginner's version of good wine. about $8 at winetree. 11.2 percent alcohol.

ron also recommended a 2006 montinore estate gewurztraminer, which was much more honey and lemon. this was a wine that definitely was well-paired against the spicy andouille we had to celebrate the labor day weekend. but this oregonian wasn't as enjoyable on its own. it's definitely a wine to pair with strongly-flavored, spicy meats. 13.5 percent alcohol. about $17 at winetree.