Cooking with Wine

…which doesn’t mean it’s going IN the food. Opened a fridge chilled bottle of Texas wine, Grape Creek 2015 Rendezvous. A Texas Rhine… how cool is that?! Even cold it had potential, but as it warmed the complexity of flavors became far more distinguished. Dark cherry, red cherry, licorice, sandelwood spice. Light in color, but medium bodied. A delightful surprise to keep me company while I prep the steaks and cauliflower mashies. Happy Saturday! I’m on the San Bernard Beach…I mean River. Harvey left lots of sand for us. #Grapecreek. https://everydaycabrene.com/2017/10/14/cooking-with-wine

Give me the Grüner!

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Count Karolyi Grüner Veltliner 2015

Reaching into fridge on a Sunday afternoon, I find this lonely bottle, leftover from some riverside gathering, just waiting to be opened and enjoyed… and enjoyed it was.  It is a perfect transition  from lean, citrus, acidic whites of summer to the fuller, spicier (and often red), wines of September, or in Texas, October.

This Count Karolyi 2015 Grüner Veltliner hails from Hungary.  Hungary has been making wines since the Roman times and their wines (think Tokaji Aszu) were held in very high regard for several hundred years, up until World War II.  Following Soviet occupation, fine wine production was discarded.  For fifty years,  cheap, sweet, bulk made, state-run, red wines with no discerning qualities were enjoyed by practically no one.  Fortunately, at the end of the Cold War, the Soviets withdrew from Hungary and the Hungarian wine culture has been undergoing a renaissance ever since.  Grüner Veltliner is a bit player in Hungary, but its cool climate nature, crisp acidity, and ability to reflect its terroir, make it an interesting up and comer.  This particular Grüner, from the Pannon wine region, is crisp, bursting with ripe pear and nectarine and is perfect for light summer foods and white meat dishes… or just a hot, fall day in Texas.   Continue reading “Give me the Grüner!”

Thai Food, Rosé & Barry Manilow

Eating at our favorite local Thai spot. Vieng Thai is pretty hip tonight. We've got our usual Eggplant Salad, Pad Thai and Spicy Clams, but tonight….tonight we have Barry Manilow and Frank Sinatra being sung by a hipster Asian guy. Frankly, who cares about the wine?? But since you asked, we are chilling with Domaine de Pellehaut Harmonies de Gascogne 2016 Rosé picked up at #MemorialWineCellar Maybe a little dry for the fire that's about to be served, but it's a lively and lovely aperitif. Mouthwatering watermelon and kiwi. We will make it work. Along with the Willie Nelson being sung in the background. #ViengThai #Pellehaut #rose

National Rosé Day Pre-Gaming!!

Everyone shows up for Rosé pre-game. Dragonflies especially. This Domaine Loubegac Willamette Rosé hits all the right notes–and lots of them.  Cling peaches, apricot, ripe yellow Apple and strawberry with a bouquet of yellow and white flowers.  Gorgeous. Thank you Beth Ogden for the introduction. #Rosé #Willamette #NationalRoséDay #BethOgden

My Pink Heaven

img_5726First, let me get past the myth that have so many of you as Pink Haters.  There wasn’t one sweet wine among the twenty or thirty that I tasted.   Sweet pink existed!  There was pink Moscato.  But sweet pink was not on my radar.  I was looking for dry pink.  Pink with some bubbles.   Pink with a little tannin (that’s right!).  Pink with a little attitude.  I found all the pink I could possibly love and I left a swath of iced down, delicious pink still untasted… being enjoyed by other pink lovers…who had more time than I did.  It hurt to leave.  But the effort of leaving just kept me wanting more.  God, I really do love good Rosé!!  I admit… I  even like medicore rosé.

Yesterday, Houston was home to pink.  A treasure trove of Rosé (thank you Southern Glazers) put out for buyers to sip through and determine what pinks should grace their wine list for the summer…or even all year through.  I was lucky to be there.  What is my favorite Rosé?  I’m still enjoying the looking, but here are a few that talked to me.

Casata Monfort Pinot  Grigio Romato.  This is an Italian Rosé made from a grape we consider to be a white wine grape–Pinot Grigio.  However, Pinot Grigio grapes have a lot of color in their skin and this wine was created to be a Rosé.  Skin contact with the juice gives the wine its coppery color and also some  unique complexity.  $20-ish

Palmer Brut Rose. Amazing.  Bubbles.  Could not spit this!  $75(?).  Spendy but so worth it.

Paul Cheneau Brut Rose.  This was the most unique of the pink bubbles I tried because it was dry and loaded with, of all things, dark fruit flavor.  Blackberry  and dark cherry bubbles.  Who knew? Lots of fun.    $15.

Pleasant Hill Sangiovese Rose.  This 2016 Rose hails from Brenham, Texas.  Pink is even better when its local and this local is great.

Lageder Lagrein Rosato from Alto Adige.   Another excellent Italian Rosé  $18-ish.

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Moet and Veuve Cliquot had a great presence… but I never made it to that side of the room.  Whispering Angel and Miravel showed up, too.  But you have already heard about them, I’m sure.  They are top sellers in the United States, respectively.  They have helped put Rosé in your shopping cart.  You are putting Rosé in your shopping cart??!!

To add icing to my pretty pink cake, the Southern Glazers offered up a Rosé Master Class led by Gillian Balance, Master Sommlier.  It was an Old World vs. New World tasting and both came up as winners.  Three tiers of Chateau Minuty rosés Cote de Provence) made up the Old World entrants.    The Chatea Minuty 281 retails for over $60.  Talk about a serious Rosé!!  And it was awesome!!  Matua Pinot Noir Rosé (Marlborough, New Zealand), Chateau St. Jean Bijou Rosé (California)  and A by Acacia Rosé (Napa Valley) were the New World offerings.  Slightly darker in color.  A bit less acidity.  All the wines were fresh, dry, enjoyable and lovable.

 

Taking a Pulse with Thumbprint

After a week of heavy lifting, moving my son into a new apartment in a strange town and a flight home with rough connections, it was time for a steak dinner.  My husband requested a nice red for both sautéing mushrooms and a dinner beverage.  If you’ve read my past blogs, you will know my wine cooler has  been on the fritz with a slow upward trend in temperature.  Outside 86 F.  Cooler 66F.  So it’s been time to pick out the older fruit. 

I brought out the Thumbprint Alexander Valley, Schneider Vineyard, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon.   I was hesitant. Unsure.   An eleven year old Cabernet from a new world vineyard.  Would it still be good??  The first sip was uninspiring–as often first sips are.  However, we were on an inspiring ride from there.  Dark plums, cassis, tobacco, sweet hot cigar and vanilla lit up my night!!   A perfect pair with my steak (what Cab isn’t?) and mushrooms.  Gorgeous wine completed a gorgeous full moon night. 

We bought this wine during a visit to Napa in 2007 or 2008 with a great group of new friends. The wine is still good and so are the friends.  Price–Unknown.