http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127092887&sc=fb&cc=fp (the recipe is toward the end, and she grilled it instead of baked it.) she paired this with steamed carrots and red creamer potatoes, and some carmelized onions (3 yellow onions plus salt, black pepper and a dash of sugar really do reduce.) the recipe can be found via http://allrecipes.com/HowTo/Caramelizing-Onions-Step-by-Step/Detail.aspx.
victoria decided to pair this chicken dish with an oregon pinot, since sauvignon blancs are generally too risky given greg's antipathy toward grapefruit. greg and emilie liked this pinot since they like acidity. greg and victoria got a nose of strawberry, and the flavor was somewhat woody. victoria thought this wine smoothed out and became gentler towards the very end, after it had been open for a while. emilie and greg would both get this wine again. also, emilie and victoria noticed that this was a lighter-colored pinot noir than others we've had. 13.6 percent alcohol. winetree.
by the way, this 2008 eola hills is apparently the best-selling pinot noir in the portland, ore., metropolitan area. it was about $18 at winetree.
greg bought this mendoza, argentinian, at winetree. he liked it, saying the nose was fruity. victoria also liked it, though it had the roughness of a typical malbec. it wasn't as fruity as the gascon malbec. 14.5 percent alcohol. this bottle had sediment.
may 22, 2010: victoria prepared a baked goat cheese salad with mustard vinaigrette, so we wanted to pair it with a white sauvignon blanc (our wine pairing book advised new world creations would work best with goat cheese. but the main reason was greg needed a white wine to make the gravy for his venison dish.) so nancy and i stopped by winetree on our way back from the farmers market and the antique stores. tim, one of the wine guys, asked another of the employees there for a rec for a no-grapefruit sauvignon blanc. (he knows more about reds than whites.) so we were advised to get this south african, which worked out pretty well on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year so far. nancy in particular is more of a white wine person than a red wine person, so she liked it. but greg said fred didn't like it too much because it had a grapefruit flavor. 13.5 alcohol. less than $10.
may 22, 2010: greg prepared venison steaks (he shot the button buck himself) in creamy brie sauce. this recipe worked out well, but the gravy (made with a south african sauvignon blanc) was the best part. greg really enjoyed this paired with the venison. he said it was a subtle match. victoria just isn't sold on this vintage. alan had given greg this as a gift for his birthday, and greg was overjoyed at his generosity. but victoria thought it was a little too acidic for her, without much full flavor. 13.5 percent alcohol. gifts.
http://winecask.blogspot.com/2010/02/cantina-zaccagnini-montepulciano.html had billed it as fruity. so we thought, why not? as for the results, greg liked it. it had some slight tannins but was also fruity. but victoria said her immediate impression was that it was a bit tightly closed in flavor, though it opened up as the night wore on. it was easy to drink, and held up well against the spicy andouille. less than $20. 13 percent alcohol.
as for this loire valley white from nievre, france, greg really prefers this chilled. but victoria liked it, since honey and lemon flavors (which were most evident at room temperature) are really appealing to her. greg had bought this at a discount at big red; one of the wine guys there said it would soon go bad, but it didn't for us.
we paired it with grilled chicken breasts that we marinated in some leftover beefstock, fresh thyme, green onions, sea salt, fresh sage, fresh rosemary, white onions and canola oil. we let that marinate for about 45 minutes, and we steamed some carrots. we also had some leftover mashed turnips with bacon that we had made the night before, and miniature summer squash we had purchased at the first-annual farmers market in downtown evansville (seasoned with a south african sauvignon blanc, rosemary, thyme, garlic salt and crushed garlic). the chicken was tender and moist, though lightly flavored. we could have added more salt to the mix, and possibly marinated it for longer than 45 minutes.
greg likes this zinfandel, but he said it's best to buy a bottle and sit on it for a while. so we'll buy two and take it to alan's for a basement treatment that will last a couple years or three. sounds good. this wine could stand to mature while we do the same. two years and counting, starting tomorrow :)
may 9, 2010: emilie arrived back home from visiting sean in ottawa just in time for a meal of grilled tuna via http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/tuscan-style-grilled-tuna-steaks-recipe/index.html. also, we had it with grilled salmon via http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Grilled-Salmon-I/Detail.aspx. both turned out well. next time, we might want to grill the tuna for less than 4 minutes each side since it was a bit dry. this was victoria's first time working with raw tuna steaks, and she noticed right away before seasoning it that tuna is a less fatty fish than salmon. but overall, the flavors for both were very good. we also had steamed carrots and asparagus.
may 5, 2010: greg prepared a delicious grilled chicken seasoned with garlic salt, and steamed carrots with dill. this was the perfect pairing with this crisp california sauvignon blanc from winetree, which was only about $12. it wasn't the most flavorful of sauvignon blanc we've had (that was greg's first reaction), but victoria thought it was a good value summer wine if you are looking for something easy to drink during the warmer months. the label on this wine says it's a blend of styles from the loire valley, new zealand's marlborough region, and coastal california. it definitely didn't have the floral aromas of a new zealand s.b. 13.5 percent alcohol.
april 30, 2010: we paired this south australian, mclaren vale, shiraz with grilled chorizo and grilled sheboygan brats from the newburgh butcher shop. victoria had purchased it that afternoon at the winetree, where the owner said this batch of molly dookers were made with better quality grapes than in previous years. that's because it wasn't a good growing year for shiraz grapes, so instead of putting these grapes into the higher priced molly dookers, the vintners put them in this level of molly dookers (the highest price md's are priced at more than $100, and they aren't sold in indiana, apparently.)
victoria loved this wine! first of all, at 16 percent alcohol this was a high octane wine, definitely something that will make sure you stay home and finish it that night. she said it was jammy, chewy, with a good balance of tannins and acidity. the chorizo we had it with was a good match for this powerful wine. whenever possible, she tries to match brats with australian shiraz because of the spicy aspect of each pairing.
greg, on the other hand, did not like this wine at all when it was cold. he said it was so acidic it turned his stomach, and the nose had vapors of alcohol. he said the wine became more jammy as it warmed up, but he still wouldn't get this wine again.