January 28, 2009

Wednesday's Wine - Borsao 2007 Red Wine and Rose Wine

I decided to visit Spain via two wines from Borsao. One "Red Wine" which is actually 75% Garnacha and 25% Tempranillo grapes. It is deep reddish purple with berry flavors and kind of earthy. It's a great table wine for the low price of $6.00. The other is "Rose Wine" which is "100% Garnacha" according to the Wine Advocate. They also said that it is "Medium pink-colored, it exhibits an enticing nose of rose petals and cherry. Crisp and dry on the palate, it has a solid core of cherry fruit, good grip, and a fruit-filled finish." -Rated 87, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate. It's also around the same $6.00. The first label is the one from the 2007 Red Wine. And the second label is from the 2007 Rose Wine.

I've been sipping on these for the past week. Tonight I decided to have them side by side to see what mostly Garnacha grapes taste like in different levels of development. Of course, I decided to have them with a vegetarian chili that was WAY spicy (I finally figured out which of my baggies of frozen green chilis are the extra hot ones)! Due to the HEAT, I kind of prefered the Rose which is generally served chilled and was slightly sweeter than the Red. It also has a definite cherry aroma even when it warms up. It was definitely a nice counter point to the hot (spicy and heat versions of hot) chili.

Nevertheless, I also enjoyed the Red Wine (Disclosure: I've had this one a few times...heh). It went well with my very tender pot roast over the weekend. The Rose went well with a chicken taco and chips and cheese caso. I recommend both at any price under $10.00. Enjoy!

January 21, 2009

Wednesday's Wine - Barefoot Merlot

I've been working on this bottle of wine for two weeks. HUH!?! Okay, I couldn't resist getting a 1.5 liter bottle for $9.00. That's like $4.50 for a regular size bottle of wine (which is a great deal when you don't live in Two Buck Chuck California)!!! Anyway, I know I generally avoid Merlot, but once in awhile you happen across a surprise. So let me tell you a story.

It all happened down in Texas. I was spending a few days with my mother after Christmas and she gifted me with making my FAVORITE all time dinner! This happens to be Beef Stroganoff. My mom's version is served over Uncle Ben's Wild Rice instead of noodles or plain rice. She serves it with a romaine salad and crusty bread. And of course, red wine. My mom doesn't drink red wine as often as she used to due to health issues, but for my favorite dinner she had me looking at HEB (a grocery chain in Texas) for a bottle. There it was on the shelf with it's "Double Gold Medal" sticker and a price tag of $6.00. I know my mom likes a lighter red these days, so I thought, "Hey, it's a double gold medal winner, it must be decent anyway." I also remember someone in the blogosphere suggesting that I try it. Well, I loved it! So much so that I sprung for the double gold medal double bottle size when I got home. That's a lot of good wine for one person...

Anyway, Barefoot Merlot starts out on the front of the palate with some nice fruit flavors. Typical to many red wines, it has some berry flavors mixed with some spiciness. On the back of the palate it's smoother than expected, but slightly astringent. And oddly a bit like dessert, but not sugary.

Here's what I found on Barefoot's website:


Medium to full body, balanced tannins.
Red cherry & plum.
Mocha finish complemented by smoky vanilla oak.

84 Points BEST BUY
"A little sharp and raw, but there's so much nice blackberry, cherry and spicy cola fruit, and the wine is so balanced, that at this price, its a bargain."
Wine Enthusiast
Tasting Panel
March 01 2007

"The Merlot is rich in plum, mocha notes, a hint of oak, and nice texture."
Quarterly Review of Wines
Tasting Panel
June 01 2007

4 Stars
"This is a very pretty Merlot! It is loaded with scents and flavors of rose petals, chocolate covered cherries and a sprig of mint. This delicious wine is consistent from the first sniff through to the finish"."
Sign On San Diego.com
Sue Straight
January 01 2007

Jennifer, the winemaker quoted above, also made these food suggestions:

Barefoot Merlot is perfect with beef, poultry, red sauce pastas, cheeses and desserts.

I also had it several times with Green Chile...heh. ENJOY!

January 20, 2009

Tuesday's Time Waster - Watching the Inauguration ALL DAY

But I wouldn't really call watching history being made a time waster! First, it's just a relief to have a new President in office. Second, it's very refreshing to see the colors of the rainbow being represented (didn't you love the benediction poem)!?! Third, it's kinda fun to see the country partying like it's the New Year and a Superbowl rolled into one. And now I think I shall retire to the bed chamber for some new sweet dreams!

January 17, 2009

Saturday Surf - Well That's Depressing

So per usual, I was catching up on my blog roll and over at Deep Confusion I watched Keith Olbermann summarize the horror of the Bush administration in 8 minutes (or really about 9, but who's counting). I'm just glad it's almost over. Thank the goddesses that more rational minds prevailed in November.

PS. Welcome to the new observers. If you click on their pictures, it will take you to their own info pages and you can read all about them!

January 11, 2009

Sunday Surf - A Green Chile Recipe

Actually, I didn't surf anywhere on the web to find this recipe. I got it from the wife of a guy that I used to work with and who is an excellent cook. In case you have no idea what green chile is or how it's different from the kind of chili that usually has beans in it (red chili and actually it can be made with or without beans), or you only know of Cincinnati style chili (that's a whole 'nother blog post), let me explain. Green chile is made from green chile. No duh, huh!?! Okay, see here in the west/southwest we love the stuff. We eat it smothered over burrito's or by the bowl or on huevo's ranchero's...HUH???

I'd never heard of green chile either, before I moved to Colorado, but now I'm addicted. I was born in Texas and they don't do green chile that much and then I moved a lot, but not in the southwest and mostly in Ohio. No green chile there. Anyway, in the southwest, like New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona green chile comes in a variety of ways. I prefer the most common way since it's the most versitile, and frankly it's focused on the green chile and not a bunch of added ingredients.

This recipe was originally made for either a really large family or for a party. I've put in parentheses what I do instead for a smaller amount to serve a family for one meal or a single person for a few meals (basically in parentheses I cut this recipe down to roughly 1/4 of the amount of ingredients and it still lasts for several meals).

2 to 4 lbs. cubed pork (I use between 8 to 10 oz.)

2 Tbs or so of Olive Oil ( use 1 Tbs)

3 to 4 cloves of garlic chopped or minced (I use 1 large clove)

10 Tbs flour browned in a skillet (I use about 3 Tbs)

10 - 12 roasted green chile peppers rough chopped (I use this same amount even for my version cause I LOVE green chile's and I mix a bunch of mild chile's with a few really hot ones, cause I'm a heat freak!)

4 - 6 cups of water OR can substitute 1 or 2 14oz cans of diced tomatoes for some of the water (I use 1 can and add enough water to bring the chili to the consistency that I want depending on what else is part of the meal...although I like it thicker like a gravy)

Salt or Garlic Salt to taste (since I use a large clove of garlic I usually just use regular salt)

Brown flour in a skillet until tan or light brown and set aside. In a large stock pot, cook pork in olive oil and season with minced garlic and salt until pork is well browned but not burned. Lower the heat to medium low, add flour and throughly coat the pork. Add green chile and stir. Mix in the tomatoes/water and bring to a light boil. Add additional salt as desired. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Serve it ladled over a bean burrito and garnish with cheese, lettuce, and chopped tomatoes. Or serve it in a bowl with cheese on top and tortillas. Or smother eggs with green chile and cheese...YUM! Enjoy!

PS...if you make it, pop back by and let me know what you think.

January 8, 2009

Thought for Thursday - Blogging Burnout

So I went on holiday to Austin, TX for the holidays to recover from the first 4 months of my new J.O.B. and ended up more tired. Driving to Texas and back is exhausting when you're over 40. I remember doing this drive when I was just a tad younger and not feeling so worn out. I think it's mostly related to having a full time job (complete with boss) AND being over 40 that did me in. Anyway, I'm back to work and still feeling tired. So now that I've tired you all out as well, I think I'll go do some more work...on my part time business. Yeah, I don't know how I find the time...heh. Anyway, my apologies for not having the energy to blog lately. However, I did find out that more people wait breathlessly for my wine recommendations than I thought. I promise to drink some new ones just for my stealth wine post readers. Cheers!