Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Wine Cellar

I know that some of you know but others do not that I write a weekly e-zine "Diane's Home Kitchen." Every Thursday a new newsletter is sent out (or you can read it at the Diane's Home Kitchen web site at yahoo groups once a subscriber) and it is full of tried and true recipes I make in my own kitchen, a wine review and entertaining and kitchen tips. You can join and receive the weekly food and wine Diane's Home Kitchen here. Below are bits from upcoming newsletter relating to wine. The pictures in this post are views from my kicthen this morning.

Taken Out The Slider Window
When Talking About A Wine, Use the Words Experts Use

Acidity: Describes how tart or sour a wine tastes. The right amount of acidity preserves a wine's freshness.

Aroma: Refers to the smell of the grape variety used to make the wine. It can sometimes be described as fruity, floral, spicy, etc.

Balance: The harmonious combination of wine elements, with no characteristics being too dominant.

Body: The weight and fullness of a wine. A full-bodied wine fills the mouth.

Complexity: Determined by the number of different flavor elements and undertones a wine has.

Crisp: A fresh, young wine with good acidity. Generally used to describe white wines only.

Finish: The aftertaste or flavor that lingers in your mouth after the wine is swallowed. A long aftertaste indicates a good quality wine.

Mouth Feel: How a wine feels in the mouth and against the tongue. An important part of the total wine tasting experience.

Robust: A full-bodied, intense and flavorful wine.

Tannin: Denotes flavors of leather and tea in a young wine. It gives a wine its firmness and gradually fades away as a wine ages.

Consentino Winery 2005 Napa Valley "M Coz" Meritage 14.5% alcohol $150.00

Not that I am sick of all the sauvignon blanc I drank this summer, but my palate is ready for something heartier. The change of seasons to fall means its red wine weather, so here is one of my favorites. You have to get out your credit card for this one, but it is well worth it for a holiday celebration.

David and I have been members of the Consentino winery club for about 4 years now. We enjoy most of their wines, but our very favorites are their Cabernet Franc and "M Coz." While based on the traditional Bordeaux grapes cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot and petit verdot, the 2005 "M Coz" is pure California in brassiness and muscle. There's plenty of sweet oak in the blend, but the power of fruit picked at its prime shoulders through with vital; flavors of raspberries, currents and cherries, seasoned deftly with a few flakes of lapsang souchong, clove and mint.

Peanut Butter Cookies, Soft and Chewy for David

Blackstone, 2006 Sonoma County Merlot $17.00

This is a big, rich, meaty merlot that is full-bodied with aromas and flavors of black plum and toast. Aromatic, firm tannins and a dry finish.

Another Batch of Applesauce

Allan Scott 2007 Marlborough Pinot Noir (13% alcohol) $20.00

This pinot is the way I like them with a bit of heft. If you don't mind a screwcap, check out this bottle from New Zealand. Fat expressions of strawberry and raspberries with a spicy kick that I love.

Spaghetti Sauce with Beef and Italian Sausage in Crockpot

Opus One Napa Valley Red Wine 14% alcohol $190.00

Neither Baron Philippe de Rothschild nor Robert Mondavi lived long enough to see their jointly produced Opus One reach its potential, but it's being fulfilled now in the newly released 2005 version, which is the 5th version of this Bordeaux-inspired blend. This wine combines grandeur with finesse. The tannins are understandably gripping -- give the wine 5 years to soften -- but the wine's real charm is how it continually evolves in the glass. It's aromatic from start to finish. opening with smells and flavors of cassis, anise and licorice, then moving on to more truffled and dustier and spicier flavors. The texture is supple, the finish persistent. It's dramatic and it's harmonious, finally fulfilling its ambitious name.

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