three wines, plus cooking notes

More recent wines – one fairly unlikeable, two pretty good. We probably need to stay away fro the wines for the rest of this week, because Friday we’ll be heading out to the town of Dundee, where you can’t throw a wineglass without hitting a vineyard, for a long weekend to celebrate my birthday. (Ted’s comment today: “Well, I think I’ve narrowed it down from hundreds of wineries to about 25 – I’ve got different loops, just depending on what we want to do.”)

Thursday, 3/3/2016
Christopher Michael
2014 Pinot Noir
Tualitin, OR
bought at New Seasons
We had this with cod with a mustard caper sauce, Brussels Sprouts and sourdough bread. Cherry flavors up front transition to flavors of Liquid Smoke (well, it’s smoky and a bit chemical-y) on the palate. There’s a long finish with some other nasty flavors at the end – we couldn’t nail them down. This was one of those where, the more we drink, the less we like it – especially after we finished dinner and were drinking it on its own.
Paula: 2 Ted: 2.4
Note: though I can’t recommend this wine, I can really recommend the pan-fried cod with mustard-caper sauce. Cod isn’t my favorite fish, so I appreciate a strong sauce on it – and it’s an unusual and pleasant change to try a new recipe and have it be both tasty and quick and easy to make.

Friday, 3/4/2016
La Fiera
2014 Primitivo (basically the same as Zinfandel)
Salento, Italy
bought at New Seasons
With tapas (mostly an antipasto-type dinner – salami, proscuitto, cheeses, bressaola, veggies, stuffed mushrooms). Warm spice aromas, red berry flavors in front, with spice flavors coming in early on the palate. Mellow, medium-bodied and well balanced. Some tannins with a touch of bitterness on the finish.
Ted: 3.2 Paula: 3.2
Cooking note: I do not recommend using matzo meal as a subsitute for breadcrunbs in stuffed mushrooms – they drank all the oil I added but still didn’t want to stick together.

Saturday: No wine at dinner, because we just had mac’n’cheese – yes, basic Kraft Dinner in the blue box. I was on the Rose City Yarn Crawl in the limo set up by my local yarn store and after 10 (!) yarn stores I was wiped. We did have “champagne” in the limo – a bottle of Muller-Thurgau sparkling wine I brought (light, slightly sweet, perfect for day drinking) and some Cook’s someone else brought.

Sunday, 3/6/2016:
Elk Cove
2014 Pinot Blanc
Willamette Valley, Oregon
bought at the vineyard
With roast chicken, asparagus, and homemade bread. A little sweeter in the beginning with hints of pear that quickly transition to a burst of citrus with grapefruit flavors and an acidic flavor. Tart, but that’s less noticeable when drinking it with food.
Paula 2.9 Ted: 3
Cooking note: rubbed that onto the chicken breast and legs, under skin – it came out very tasty. Lately, also, I’ve been making my chicken soup from the carcass of roast chicken instead of from raw chicken, as my family’s tradition recipe says. It still makes good soup, and the chicken tastes much better before it’s been in soup than after.

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