Rose Wine

Last week was Bob’s birthday and we did a little something different to celebrate. Rather than trying to buy him something (impossible – he always ends up buying what I think of before I can) or traveling somewhere (end of the school year for me and a bit hard to get away) we had a few friends over and did a blind rose tasting. Four wines, three we were familiar with, one new, blind. Could we determine which wines were which and would be still love our favorite wines without the labels?

We actually picked out five wines for this “tasting.”

  • 2018 Bedrock Ode to Lulu
  • 2018 Domaine Guy Mousset Cote du Rhone
  • 2018 Longboard Watergirl
  • 2018 Domaine Loubejac
  • 2017 Cosado Morales

Bob picked four of these five – the Bedrock, the Guy Mousset, the Longboard and the Loubejac. I knew the first three were going in, but did not know which of the last two he picked. He uncorked them, took off the foil from the neck and wrapped each in a paper bag. When the time came to pour, I picked from the fridge, numbered the bag and poured without him looking; this way we both were tasting blind.

img_20190512_092914-1I am embarrassed to say, I did not correctly identify a single rose – a much worse result that the Sauvignon Blanc tasting we did a few months ago. Bob got one correct. the surprise winner was the 2018 Domaine Loubejae from the Willamette Valley. This Total Wine pick up was less than $15 and the unanimous favorite among all of us drinking. Lulu came in second for three of us and the last two split for third and fourth. I was very surprised I could not identify the Lulu or Guy Mousset since they are my “go-to” rose wines, but that is okay. There were no bad wines in this line up, nothing that we didn’t like. Let me repeat that – we liked every wine we tasted, even the ones that came in “last.”

It was a fun evening and I think we may have to try this with Pinot Noir or Zinfandel in the fall.

Desire Lines Cole Ranch Riesling

  • Producer: Desire Line Wine Company
  • Location: Mendocino County, CA
  • Year: 2017
  • Type: White
  • Price estimate: $22
  • Tasting notes: Medium yellow in color with an aroma of apples, white grape and honeysuckle on the nose. Some of the traditional petrol aroma present, but not prominent. Apple is the dominant flavor in this wine this year, followed by white peach, apricot, and (oddly) a bit of cherry. Nice acidity but not overly harsh. Good finish with some white pepper and tart apple.
  • Conclusions: While not as good as the 2016, this is still a winner in my book. Very apple-y in taste (but I like that) and just a really pleasant wine to drink.
  • Notes: Last year was the first release for this winery and I felt pretty lucky to get some of the first release after I tasted the first bottle. Bob and I liked it so much, we held one bottle of the 2016 to see what it would do in a few years. I’m kind of excited to hold a bottle of the 2017 and do a vertical tasting in a few years. This is assuming that A. I have the space to just store wine that I’m not going to drink and B. I can keep myself from opening the bottle before 2020. Neither is a given.

 

Well Hello Again

I’ve been slacking in the post department. I have excuses – good excuses – for this but the result remains the same … I’ve been slacking in the post department.

February was super busy between projects at work and Mom’s birthday celebration. I managed to stave off the cold I felt threatening for most of February until that was over, but once the end of February hit, I got sick and stayed sick for a while. At first it was just enough to make me not want a drink and to really tire me out. Then over spring break, it got worse, but then better until the beginning of April where it turned into what I can only assume was the flu. Fever, chills, dizziness, lack of appetite and just general everything hurts.

So … between super busy stuff at work and being sick for a few month I’ve slacked on the posting. I haven’t been very creative in the kitchen, we haven’t traveled anywhere and I drank far less than normal since it’s just not a good idea to combine illness and drinking.

 

The pets are doing really well. They have all come to an accord and have realized that no one is going anywhere, no one is going to hurt anyone else, and they will all get food, love and attention. The girls still run around the house every day, chasing each other and playing. It is really nice to see and a little surprising at how active they still are. Tigger is doing better – he seems to have gained some weight back although he still can’t meow. He can hiss just fine and when the girls get to be too much for him, he lets them know, but he does play some with them and seems to be okay with their company. Arthas is awesome. He does really well with the cats and now I can walk him without him going nuts when he sees another dog. He still doesn’t like them, but he is so much better. We are working on the weight – he went up to 53.5 pounds and we are slowly getting him back under 50. He will never be skinny, and that’s fine, but at least he is dog shaped now and not sausage shaped.

I took advantage of being sick and not able to be terribly active to do some knitting. I finished (finally) the blanket for the spare room – it is about a mile of yarn and really heavy, but I think it looks great. Needing a smaller project, I also started making some cat toys. The fish and the heart are probably my favorites, but the octopus come out pretty cool too. I’ve alternated between giving them to my cats and saving them to donate to a local shelter. Recently I started on a cardigan and if it turns out that I can do it, I’m going to make one for Val too. Bob has requested another scarf, so my queue of projects is growing.

Hopefully I’ll be better about posting now that the school year is winding down and I feel better. It may be a bit before I get wine posts up, but I should have plenty to post in June since Bob and I are heading to Sonoma for a little vacation. I’m super excited.

 

 

Sourdough French Toast

Val gave me a sourdough starter and brought sourdough bread with her when she came out for Mom’s birthday. I don’t usually have bread in the house … not unless I am making something specific so French toast is usually not on the menu. But … fresh home-made bread just begs to be made into French toast, so I did.

French toast isn’t hard – start with day old bread, or slightly stale bread. Eggs, milk, butter and a hot pan and you have breakfast.

Recipe:

  • 1/2 loaf sourdough bread, sliced thick
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • butter, maple syrup and fruit for serving

Beat eggs and milk in a bowl. Dip bread into egg mixture and let soak for a few minutes. Heat a large frying pan over a medium high flame and melt some butter in the pan to coat the bottom. Before adding the bread, dip each side of the bread again in the egg mixture. Cook a few minutes on each side – until the egg coating begins to brown. Serve immediately.

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Cremant D’Alsace

  • Producer: Kuentz Bas
  • Location: Alsace, France
  • Year: No Vintage
  • Type: Bubbly, white
  • Price estimate: Mid twenties (Bob picked it up and could not remember the exact price)
  • Tasting notes: Medium yellow color in the glass. Slightly darker and more intense color than I’m use to for sparkling wine. Aromas of bread, apple and apricot – very pleasant smelling. Lots of yeast/bread notes on the palate with an unexpected soft texture. Apple, apricot, pear notes are balanced by mineral notes that run through the wine. Long, lingering finish.
  • Conclusions: Wow! This was one of the best sparking wines I’ve had in a long time. Beautifully balanced, soft texture in a bright wine. I need more of this in my life.
  • Notes: Bob picked up our cheese box this month and he grabbed the last bottle of this Cremant while he was at the cheese shop. I’m so sad they don’t have any more and am now on a quest to find it. The difference between this wine and the one we picked up at Trader Joe’s for under ten dollars is pretty noticeable. They both have their place, but this one is well worth the extra money and seriously I think the best sparkling wine I’ve ever had.

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Twisted Drop Stitch Infinity Scarf

I wanted to make myself a scarf, learn a new stitch and have a smaller project that I could travel with. The blanket that I’m (still) working on is really bulky and would not do well on a plane or in a car. I had this really pretty silk and bamboo yarn just lying around so I decided to try something new.

IMG_20181209_104933At first I tried this really pretty basic lace stitch with the two strands intertwined. I loved the effect, but I had a really hard time with remembering which row I was on (two-row repeat so that is important) and purling the thin, slick yarn. I really love the effect of this but the project was a little much for the easy project I wanted. So, I searched and came up with a different stitch to try – the twisted drop stitch. I can’t remember where I found the stitch, but I did and I loved it. It looked pretty easy and the scarf would not require a pattern per se, so … why not.

I decided to go back to the long tail cast on (something I don’t normally do because I horrible at estimating how long to make the yarn and always up with way too much or way to little) and just go with however may stitches I could – it turns out that one arm length of yarn for me was twenty stitches.

The basic idea of this stitch is that you wrap the yarn around your needles twice – once over both needles, then once over only the right needle – and knit as normal. This creates the elongated stitch of a drop stitch and the twisting effect. With the two strands of yarn, this came out to a really pretty pattern. I did one row of twisted drop, then two rows of regular knit stitch for the scarf and use as much yard as I had (two skeins of each color) then seamed the ends together. I probably could have done just one row of knit between the drop stitch rows, but I like the way this turned out. It has some weight to it and will be pretty warm, so who knows when I’ll get to wear it. 🙂

 

 

Mom’s Birthday

I don’t entertain very often. Socializing takes a lot out of me and large scale parties scare the dickens out of me. While I’m good with the planning, organizing and most of the details, just the thought of doing all of that makes me twitchy sometimes.

But … Mom had a big birthday this year and Val and I decided that a party was in order. Since I’m on the same coast as Mom and Dad I got to do most of the planning (which I do like). We wanted something really nice, a little different and something that would be special for Mom. So … I went to my favorite cheese shop and talked to Louise about planning a party/dinner for the big day. I also made sure to send info to family as soon as mom gave the initial okay so she couldn’t back out.

It was a really lovely evening. I forgot to take pictures once people started arriving and went into hostess mode – not something that comes naturally, but I tried. Louise and her team did an incredible job and it seemed like everyone had a fantastic time. Good food, good company and good wine … its hard to go wrong.

To make myself even more out of my comfort zone, I hosted lunch the next day at home.

Again, once people began to arrive, I forgot to take any pictures. Arthas had a great time convincing everyone that he was starving and needed food. It was really nice to see everyone and spend time together. Mom’s birthday provided a great excuse to get everyone together and catch up. I can only do this once every ten years, but once a decade, it is kind of nice to stretch out of the comfort zone and play hostess.

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