Archive for February, 2016

Wine with friends in AZ

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

2014 Malbec
Cahors, France
At Caffe Boa, Tempe
Very young for a red, but a really nice mellow front. A bit smoky in the end – I think that will smooth out with time. Tina: 4; Jay: 2 Paula: 3.5

San Giorgio white blend, Coelho Pinot Noir

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

Finally, some wines from vineyards whose win clubs we don’t belong to.

San Giorgio
2014, white
55% Pinot Grigio, 45% Garganega
Venezie, Italy
Fred Meyer’s? Maybe New Seasons
With parmesan-crusted tilapia (bought pre-prepared from the store, and we were Not Impressed) , asparagus, sauteed mushrooms, and couscous. Fresh and well balanced. Soft apple flavors in front, with a pleasant tartness lingering after you swallow. Would be a good ‘house white’ – both relatively cheap and versatile.
Paula: 3.5 Ted: 3.4
(Ted had a really hard time rating this one – whites just aren’t his thing, but some meals demand it.

2013, Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, OR
bought at New Seasons
With roast chicken (also from New Seasons), tossed salad, sourdough bread. Very light pinot, in color and flavor. Not much flavor in front and a texture that is the opposite of syrupy (we tossed around words like “thin” or “airy” but couldn’t settle on one). Light earth flavors on the finish. Definitely didn’t overpower the chicken. Ted thought it had some unpleasant flavors on the finish but Paula disagreed, hence the divergent ratings.
Ted: 2.5 Paula 3.0

Also, the store-bought chicken didn’t have the weird artificial flavors of the ones from Fred Meyers, but was too dry, like the ones from Whole Foods. We still haven’t found one nearly as good as homemade – or even better, the raw but premarinated, ready-for-cooking ones we used to get from Albert Heijn back in the Netherlands.

Tomorrow: Valentine’s Day wine-blending event at Montinore.

Picpoul (and bonus Tempranillo)

Saturday, February 6th, 2016

We got some extra lake time this weekend; I was able to work from home today and ted took the day off, so we headed out on Thursday night instead of our usual Friday. On Thursday we had the rest of last Sunday’s pot roast, with some of Abacela’s Fiesta Tempranillo (the Fiesta is their lower end wine). Then Friday we had fish, and opens a bottle of Picpoul to go with it. This is one of the last few of a case we bought at Ardiri a couple years ago; at the time they had some kind of partnership with a French winemaker and sold their wines alongside their own. The interesting thing was that this wine tasted exactly like like the first bottle we had; it doesn’t seem to have changed at all over the couple years we’ve had it.

2012, red
Fiesta Tempranillo
Umpqua Valley, Oregon
From the wine club
With leftover pot roast, mashed potatoes, and homemade bread. Flavor progression goes through fruit, light tannins, tobacco, and harsher tannins. Finishes better than it starts. May age well.
Ted: 3.1. Paula: 3.0

Picpoul le Pinet
2912, white
Languedoc region, France
From Ardiri
Willed grilled tilapia with lemon/butter/wine sauce, sautéed kale, and tomato/mozzarella salad. This was a very good pairing. This wine has crisp favors and vibrancy similar to a Vinho Verde. Refreshing and just a bit tart; has a robust finish with flavor of oak. M probably has at least a few more good years in it.
Paula: 4. Ted: 3.8

Abacela head-to-head

Monday, February 1st, 2016

Ted asked me to make pot roast tonight, specifically so we’d have a dinner that could accompany our tasting of two full-bodied Abacela wines: the 2012 regular and Reserve Tempranillo wines.

Cooking notes: I tried to come to a compromise between the Pioneer Woman’s pot roast recipe and the one from the Food Lab; I mostly used the former, but added in slurry made of tomato paste, grated garlic and soy sauce from the latter. We ate it right away, not the next day as recommended by TFL. I have to say this came out more like TPW’s recipe, which is to say: it’s a good pot roast and I would be happy to serve it to company – but the company would not be completely bowled over and asking for the recipe as they were last time I made TFL’s pot roast. It’s good to have both recipes handy; TPW’s is much less work and can be eaten that night, but if it’s an occasion that merits extra work, or if you just feel like going all out, you want the Food Lab. Also, I did use carrot, but instead of potatoes I added in parsnips and turnips, since I had some from out CSA, and I’d definitely do that again – they add some nice complementary flavors.

2012 Abacela Estate Grown Tempranillo vs 2012 Abacela Tempranillo 2012 South East Block Reserve
Umpqua Valley
from the wine club
With pot roast (including carrots, parsnips, turnips) and sourdough bread.
Estate Grown is fruitier up front but harsher on the finish where you can’t really distinguish individual notes among the tannins, while the Reserve is more complex with vanilla and tobacco notes late into the finish. We feel that both will benefit from further aging, and Abacela agrees with us, since they say these are drinkable for a decade. Also, both need to be opned to aerate a while before you drink them, as is common with the bigger reds.
Ted: Estate Grown 3.2; Reserve 3.4
Paula: Estate Grown 3.2, Reserve 3.5