Monday, November 11, 2013

Real Men Eat Quiche and Drink Wine: Wine Me During the Holidays

Real Men Eat Quiche and Drink Wine: Wine Me During the Holidays:                                                     Wine Me During the Holidays Now that Halloween is over, we have 2 important holidays ...

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Wine Me During the Holidays

                                                    Wine Me During the Holidays

Now that Halloween is over, we have 2 important holidays around the corner:
Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I am writing this blog because my wife and I have a tradition of making pizzas and drinking 
wine every Halloween while dispensing candy.Sharing pizza and wine with our neighbors and friends while the kids all dressed up, deliver the sweet goods to the trick or treaters.

Normally, I would have made wine this year, a chardonnay and a syrah / cabernet blend.
However, I went on the cheap, not making any wine, buying wine and buying pizzas.
Soooooooooo, on that note here are a few wines that we shared and enjoyed with friends and neighbors during Halloween night.
Wines that were good and would be enjoyed during Thanksgiving and Christmas.

2011 Alexander Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

Bottled under the Wetzel Family Estate, this cab is a nice blend of cabernet franc, malbec,
and petit verdot. This wine has a long shelf life, so you could serve it to your
family and friends on Christmas Day 2028.

My friend Craig brought over a zinfandel appropriately labeled '11 Zinfandel.
I tend to wait until the cold weather sits in to drink zins. 
Definitely did not have to wait on this one. Delightful.

'11 Zinfandel
Produced by Boeger Winery up in Placerville, one of my favorite places to find good wines.

Any wine from El Dorado or Amador Counties, and you know they are going to be rich, full-bodied good wines.

Neighbors and foodies, Coretta and Brian came along to bring over 2 wines
from Casa Nuestra. A red wine and a petit syrah.
Can't say that I have ever been to Casa Nuestra winery, but after sampling these 2 wines,
I might have to make a road trip there.

2010 Casa Nuestra Petit Syrah

Two Goats Red - Napa Valley Estate Red Wine

2 flavorful wines from Casa Nuestra Winery for under $40 each.

And finally for bottle #5 on the list, a wine I would think my brother or father-in-law would enjoy.
2008 Contemassi Toscana Red

An Italian Super Tuscan. I think those are 3 words that I truly enjoy repeating.
Italian Super Tuscan. 90% Sangiovese and 10% Merlot.
100% Delicious. Like my brother would say: "Amo quest vino! Posso avere piu?"
Imported by Vinum International

Wines for the holidays. Wines to share with friends and neighbors.
Don't wait 'til next Halloween to enjoy these.
Share them for your next holidays.

I will have a few more gifts next blog.
As always, enjoy.

Steven W.

Monday, August 5, 2013

A few summer wines - all under $20 a bottle

Here are a few summer wines - all under $20 a bottle.

Crist Family Vineyard Spenser's 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon from Carmel Valley, 

A good varietal and great find for - $20.

Lake & Vine 2011 Lake & Vine Sauvignon Blanc $7.99 a bottle.
No website information but a nice buttery light wine for under $10.

GV Cellars  2008 Solano County Green Valley Sangiovese 

Priced at $18 on winery website and marketed with a different label. Cheaper at retail outlet for
1/2 the price.

Three Rivers Winery 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley

One of my only wines not from the California region. This one from Walla Walla, Washington.
Direct winery price $21. I paid under $20 at wine shop in my area.
It pays to shop around.

Cambridge & Sunset 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon.
Bottled by a small vineyard portfolio from Wine Trees USA / AW Direct
Check out a lot of their portfolio of wines.

Michel Schlumberger 2011 California Merlot Benchland Wine Estate

The 2010 Le Sage Merlot is $35 / bottle. The 2011 Le Flirt of Rose Merlot is
priced at $20 a bottle. I got mine for under $20.

6 Nice wines. Less than $20 / bottle. I think that is a pretty good deal.
What do you think?
Send me your great deals.

Thanks and enjoy the wines!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Real Men Eat Quiche and Drink Wine: Puttanesca & 4 Wines

Real Men Eat Quiche and Drink Wine: Puttanesca & 4 Wines: Puttanesca & 4 Wines I love watching my wife cook. Even better, I love to taste and enjoy the dishes she cooks and brings to the table. ...

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Puttanesca & 4 Wines

Puttanesca & 4 Wines

I love watching my wife cook.
Even better, I love to taste and enjoy the dishes she cooks and brings to the table.
Yesterday, we rambled off to Trader Joes

to get some cod.
We thought we would bake or grill the cod.
Cod is a nice light white fish.
My wife decided to make a puttanesca sauce.
Place the puttanesca sauce over the cod and bake in the oven for about 10 - 12 minutes
at 350 degrees.

Hopefully I captured her recipe here, otherwise I'm swimming with the fishes.

Puttanesca sauce:

4 tbsp. of olive oil
1 dozen baby tomatoes - chopped
1/2 jar of capers with the juice
2 cloves of garlic - minced
1 dozen ripened and cured olives - chopped
1 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lemon

In a skillet pan over medium / low heat, place the olive oil and the minced garlic.
Cook down for about a minute.
Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until they start to blister.
Add olives and stir.
Add balsamic vinegar. and stir.
Add capers with juice.
Stir and cook down until sauce thickens.
Add salt & pepper to taste.
Squeeze 1/2 a lemon juice.

Add to chicken, steak or fish.

4 Wines to buy and try:

Marietta Vineyards  Old Vine Red Lot Number 58
this is my 2nd pick from Marietta Vineyards, bottled in Geyserville, CA.
Another good red table wine.
Nice aromas and fruit.
Great price: $11

2007 Talmage Pija Blend
A red wine from Mendocino, CA.
Best wine of the week.
Aged in french oak barrels.
Taste great right at pouring.

2010 Trentadue Old Patch Red Lot #34 Red Wine
A nice blend of zinfandel, syrah, carignane,  and petite syrah.
Taste of pepper, black cherry, jams, plums, and spices.
Another great price: $10.50

2010 Substance Cabernet Sauvignon
A Washington State wine.
Cool website for wines.
I thought I was back in chemistry class in high school.
Wines listed as if they were on the periodic table.
Cs is the cabernet sauvignon.
Definitely taste of molasses, chocolate, cocoa, and pepper.
Reasonably priced at $19.

There you have it a simple sauce, and 4 simple but delightful
and inexpensive wines.

Comments, recipes, wines?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Real Men Eat Quiche and Drink Wine: 2 quick recipes and A whole lot of new wine picks

Real Men Eat Quiche and Drink Wine: 2 quick recipes and A whole lot of new wine picks: 2 quick recipes and A whole lot of new wine picks Acorn squash I made this as a side dish. Simple and quick. 1 acorn squash 1/4 cup ...

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2 quick recipes and A whole lot of new wine picks

2 quick recipes and A whole lot of new wine picks

Acorn squash
I made this as a side dish.
Simple and quick.

1 acorn squash
1/4 cup of water or orange juice
1tbsp. of brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup
1tbsp. of  melted butter.

Cut acorn squash down the middle.
Place the cut side (flesh side) down in the water or orange juice in a baking dish
 ( like pyrex or microwavable bowl.)
Microwave on high for 8 - 10 minutes.
Drizzle with melted butter and your choice of
brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup.
Add a tsp. of nutmeg if you wish...

Split Pea Soup
This is the best way to use a ham bone and extra ham.
Every time I have the opportunity to use a chunk of ham and
a ham bone, I make split pea soup.
Just thinking about it makes me want to run to HoneyBaked Ham
and get one of their spiral sliced hams.

Now that I am thinking about the ham and the soup, I might as well write
down the recipe and share it with you so you will know
how I feel about ham and split pea soup

2 cups of split peas
1/2 cup of diced celery
1/2 cup of diced carrots
1 cup of diced onion
1 cup of diced ham
4 1/2 cups of water
2 1/2 cups of milk
salt & pepper to taste

I rinse the peas in a colander and place them a large cooking pot
of boiling water.
(Roughly 4 1/2 cups of water.)
Add the onion, carrots and celery.
And ham bone if you want.
Simmer slowly the ingredients for 45 minutes until the peas turn soft.
Remove the bone.
Add the milk.
Blend everything in a blender.
Add seasoning to taste.
If needed, Add a little chicken stock to thin the soup.
Add a tbsp of bacon fat if you want more zing to the soup.
Serve warm.
Drizzle with a little olive oil?
Yeah, why not!
Add croutons.
Garlic ones.
I'm hungry!

Now for my wine picks of the week:

2010 Trader Joes Alexander Valley  Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 

2009 Conn Creek Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

 2009 Gold Ring Vineyard Mendocino County Cabernet Sauvignon

 2008  Queen Mary 2 Cunard  Merlot Private Label bottled by Wente Vineyards

2005 Archetype Barossa Cabernet Shiraz blend

2006 C & B Totem Ridge Vineyard Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2006 Mendocino Farms Redvine Series Red Wine

2007 St. Francis Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon

2006 Terra d'oro Amador County Sangiovese

2009 Cameron Hughes Lot 57 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2 quick recipes and A whole lot of new wine picks.
Just thought I would share.
What are friends for?
Wine and food.
It's all good!

Thoughts, suggestions, comments:
email me at:

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Here's a few more wines, yes drinkable pleasures and under $20.

Here's a few more wines, yes drinkable pleasures and under $20.

I often find these picks at Trader Joes (which may not be available on the East Coast, SORRY !) the Grocery Outlet, Whole Foods, Safeway,  Lucky's and Costco.
I guess I have to be the 1 to try the wines before they get to your table.
I had a Chilean wine last week that tasted like a true volcano!
Earthy was a true description.
So, sometimes I am lucky and sometimes I'm not.
I like wine reviewers but I don't always recommend their wines based on their reviews or their point scale.
Except.... maybe Robert Parker.
I often see a lot of wines claiming they are 90+ points.
Any wine 90 points or +++++ should be a wine to share with family and friends.
You should be able to pull the wine off the shelf and know that you don't have to worry about picking a bad wine or the wine taste "sucks".
Meaning: everyone will enjoy this wine.
And, you will probably be able to pair it with any meal.
Although.... you have to realize, wine is a living, breathing entity.
Grapes grow on vines and are altered by rain and sun.
And the vines mature year after year.
New vines produce younger grapes and the wines need to age - mature.
Soooooooooo even though you found a great wine 1 year,
the next year, the wine might lose its taste and rating.
Be aware of that!
Here's a couple that I found that are delightful and will
not put a fat dent in your wallet.
2010    337 (Three three seven) Cabernet Sauvignon from Lodi, CA.

Unique winery with the wines labeled as numbers.
From Manteca, CA.
Good farm country.
This wine has flavors of dark cherry, spice, mocha, and blackberries.

How about another Lodi, CA wine?
2011 Plungerhead Old Vine Zinfandel

It taste like a gold country wine from the Amador region.
Notes of white pepper, plum, oak, cinnamon, and ripe berries.
This is my 1st zin of the year and fits in well with the cold weather we have been having
in California this winter.
I'm a big fan of cabernet sauvignons, but on a cold winter night a zin " really hits the spot."
Warms the soul.
And finally, till my next blog, here's my last pick of the night:
2007 Marmesa Vineyards Hollister Peak Central Coast, CA.

Lots of flavors here of fruit, flowers and citrus.
And Honey!
A good wine to mix with a bubbly citrus water.
Perfect starter wine before breaking into the reds.

And on that note,
I bid you adieu my friends...
I'll bring you a few more wines again next day.
Stay thirsty my friends,

Steven W.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wines 4 -$30 here's 2 4 now....

Jeez, I think my last blog post was about 2 months before.
Like waking up from a coma or a long relationship.
Typically I write about food and wines or I post a review on a local restaurant and chef.
It has just been sooooooooooooooo busy with the holidays, first Christmas and then New Years.
Family and friends over for dinners and libations.
Include work into that work / life balance and it just seems like there is no time to eat and drink.
And, I was busy working away on collaborating on a new food related app.
So over this time, between making tri-tips, breads, pastas, side dishes, and desserts, I had to find time
to comprise a list of about 25 wines for $30 or -$.
So bear with me, over the next couple of days, I am going to indulge you with a daily dose of delightful inexpensive wines and a couple of prepared dishes  that I conjured up.
Here's one that I tried.
I am not a big petite sirah fan.
You know me by now.
But this little sirah brought me back to the days when I actually enjoyed pinot noirs and petite sirahs.
Like David Bruce, 1 of my all time favorites.
Had to try the 2010 Dancing Coyote Petite Sirah Clarksburg.

Light, delightful, fruity.
Dancing Coyote Vineyards.
Just don't ask me where Acampo, California is located.
I know the Napa wineries but this region is foreign to me.
Maybe I need to watch "Sideways" again and drink some Merlot.
Road Trip!

Here's another catch:
2006 Lapis Luna

From Oligaray Vineyards in Lodi, California.
Yes, Lodi the place that had 1 of the best cabernet sauvignons of 2012.
What a complex petite sirah this 1 is!
1st it is blended between 1/2 French and American oak barrels.
Unique aromas of grape, blackberry and violet.
The oak barrels enhance subtle notes of various spices.

2 good petite sirahs, each under $30.
There's my belated Christmas present for you.
Get ready to be bombarded with an abundance of wines that didn't get posted earlier.
 I have a lot more to come....

Drink my friends,


My blog: