Saturday, September 20, 2014

El Coto Rosada

As usual in this area there is an end of summer sale on rose' wines. I bought a mixed case to carry me through until the next wave arrives in the spring.  The wines were marked down from as little as 25% and  much s 60%.  Some I've had before while others will be completely new to me.

It has been several years since I drank an El Coto wine so it was the first wine I drank out of the case.  It was delicious.  The wine is a blend of Tempranillo and Garnacha.  It received a slight chill while a spatchcocked chicken cooked on the grill.  I opened the wine just as I was applying a glaze to the nearly finished chicken.  The glaze was a mixture of maple syrup, orange zest, red pepper flakes and fresh thyme.  It gave the chicken a spicy sweetness with definite orange flavors.

The wine was fresh and fruity with aromas and tastes of cherries and strawberries,  There was a dusty dryness in the aromas and that also carried through to the taste.  It gave the wine a distinctive sense of being from an arid region.  The finish wasn't overly long, but it was good and proper.  The flavors in the wine amplified the orange taste of the chicken.  Excellent match and one that may be repeated.

2012 El Coto Rioja Rosada.  13% alcohol and $9. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Cotes du Rhone

If there's a better value in a basic, red wine than E. Guigal's Cotes du Rhone I would love to find it.  This wine from the 2010 vintage is packed with flowers, fruit and earth and has almost perfect balance.  It's also consistent from year to year as other vintages have been almost the same.  And they do this for less than $15.    Simply amazng.

After pouring the first glass the rest went into a decanter for a little more than an hour while dinner was working.  The tightness was gone by the time the steak hit the plate and the wine was making some beautiful music with the beef.   The acid and tannin cleared the palate between bites and sips.  The evening was long and wonderful.

E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone.  14% alcohol and $14.  

Saturday, September 13, 2014

First Taste of Autumn

"Under the harvest moon,
When the soft silver
Drips shimmering
Over the garden nights,
Death, the gray mocker,
Comes and whispers to you
As a beautiful friend
Who remembers."
-  Carl Sandburg, Under the Harvest Moon
Thanks to a large cold front from Canada the temperatures which were 90 degrees last Saturday are 62 degrees this Saturday.   The humidity is gone and the dew point is low and the skies are clear.  This is as good as it gets in this area.

There was the first, fresh sauerkraut in the market this week, some fatty pork, butt steaks and some freshly made bratwurst.  They were all combined with apples and onions and the first of the seasons apple cider to braise away during the afternoon.

The wine was a beautiful friend who remembers, a 2007 Alfred Merkelbach Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Kabinett.  It's full of slate and apples and citrus peel.  Like the weather - it is almost perfect.  With the food I believe it is perfect.

2007 Alfred Merkelbach Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Kabinett  9% alcohol and $15 several autumns ago.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Rhinegeist Franz

There was enough spice in the chicken meal described in the post below that I thought a beer would be the best accompaniment.  The only beer in the house was a Franz Oktoberfest from the Rhinegeist brewery in Cincinnati.  The brewery describes it as "untraditional" and it certainly was.    It was mellow with deeper flavors than I expected and wasn't the greatest match for spicy food based on hot peppers.  Cougar or Truth from the same brewery would have been better choices. 

Good beer but not for this meal.

Rhinegeist Franz.  5.4% alcohol  Munich and Vienna malts.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Local and Spicy

Harvest is in full force in this area and a trip through the farmers market provided nearly the entire meal tonight.  The chicken was local, as were the onions, the tomatoes, the very hot red peppers and the first of the fall garlic.  The herbs were from my garden so that left only the rice and the seasonings on the chicken as 'strangers to these parts'.

The chicken legs were marinated in lime juice and olive oil, and when they came out of the marinade the vegetables went into the marinade.  The seasonings on top were ancho chilli powder, smoked paprika, cumin and cayenne pepper.   The vegetables were poured over the top of the chicken and both went into a hot oven for thirty five minutes,  just enough time to cook the rice.

The local peppers were quite hot and provided a pungent and prickly sensation to go with the mellowness of the tomatoes and the chicken.  There was some brow mopping during the meal but it was all delicious.

There was a beer!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Drew - Fog Eater 2010

It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them. I was so preposterously serious in those days…Lightly, lightly—it’s the best advice ever given me. So throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly, my darling.
—  Aldous Huxley from Island
This is a wine that is dark in the glass but so light and agile on its feet.  It's full of fresh, medium cherry flavors with great tannin and acid underneath.  A full bodied wine that isn't heavy.  It's confident and real.  It's also delicious.  More please.

Drew Pinot Noir, Fog Eater, Anderson Valley.  13.6% alcohol and $45.