Thursday, December 29, 2016

Joseph Drouhin Pinot Noir 2013, Bourgogne, France - $13


     
This Joseph Drouhin Pinot Noir 2013 is light and dry with little acid and a black tea finish. I would totally buy this again! I purchased it at Costco for $13 a bottle.


Chateau d'Arsac Margaux 2010, Bordeaux, France - $25


     
This Chateau d'Arsac Margaux 2010 is so yummy! Dark chocolate all the way with a smooth finish and nice tannins. I purchased this wine at Costco for $25 per bottle, and it went great with the Barefoot Contessa's Parker Beef Stew!


Lioco Chardonnay 2014, Sonoma County, CA


     

This Lioco Chardonnay 2014 is lovely! Made naturally and aged in stainless barrels, it is the type of Chardonnay I really enjoy. Our friends FP and LB brought it over to share. We had it with our pre-dinner nibbles, which included Picholine olives, cornichons, olive oil potato chips, aged Vermont raw milk white cheddar, Sopressata salami, and multigrain crackers. Yum!


Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot 2013, Napa Valley, CA


     

This Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot 2013 is a lovely, fruity, smooth wine that went great with our Maple-Roasted Carrot Salad Parker Beef Stew tonight! FP and LB brought it over to share - what a wonderful selection!


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Hopdoddy Burger Bar on Anderson Lane - Restaurant Review #2


My last review of this restaurant wasn't stellar. My turkey burger was way too salty, and the truffle fries were so salty they were in edible until I brushed off the truffle topping. 



However, this time I got the Buffalo Bill (bison, apple-smoked bacon, red leaf lettuce, white onion, beefsteak tomato - $10) and I loved it! I also love that Hopdoddy is willing to do a lettuce wrap instead of a bun, and omit all of the cheeses and sauces to make this a dairy-free option for me. Excellent all the way around, cooked perfectly (just slightly pink like I like it) and the small order of Kennebec Fries ($2.75) was perfect for two people.

Really enjoyed it and will probably come back for this particular burger again!


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Benton Lane Estate Grown Pinot Noir 2013, Willamette Valley, OR


     
I received this bottle of Benton Lane Estate Grown Pinot Noir as a Christmas gift. It is bright and fruity with a nice acidity and a dry finish. Nice!


Homemade Turkey Soup - Recipe


I love Thanksgiving and Christmas because we always have turkey, and one of my favorite things afterwards is making turkey soup - yum!




Ingredients

Stock:
  • Carcass from cooked 10- to 12-lb turkey
  • 3 quarts (12 cups) filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon organic sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried organic thyme
  • 1 dried organic bay leaf
Soup:
  • 1/2 cup uncooked organice pearl barley
  • 3 medium organic carrots, scrubbed and sliced (1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 large organic onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 3 medium stalks organic celery, sliced (1 cup)
  • 3 cups cooked turkey, torn into bite-sized pieces

Instructions

Stock:
  • Break up turkey carcass to fit 6-quart Dutch oven. 
  • Add water, salt, pepper, thyme and bay leaf. Heat to boiling over high heat; reduce heat to low. 
  • Cover and simmer for 1-1/2 hours. 
  • Skim off any residue that rises to the surface. 
  • Remove bones, meat and bay leaf from broth; cool. 
  • When cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones and cut into bite-size pieces; set aside. 
  • Discard bones and bay leaf. 
  • Skim fat from broth; discard. 
Soup:
  • Add turkey meat cut from bones to broth; stir in barley. 
  • Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Cover; simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in carrots, onion, celery and 3 cups cooked turkey. 
  • Simmer uncovered 20 to 25 minutes longer, stirring occasionally, until vegetables and barley are tender. 
Enjoy!


Monday, December 26, 2016

Henri Bourgeois Petit Bourgeois Rosé de Pinot Noir 2015, Loire, France - $14


  
I purchased this Henri Bourgeois Petit Bourgeois Rosé de Pinot Noir 2015 from Central Market for $14 a bottle. It is delightful! Beautiful color, dry, light, food friendly. I like the low 12.5% alcohol content. Another winner I would love to purchase again!


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Fay Golden Rectangle Red Wine, Napa Valley, CA - $125


     

This Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Fay Golden Rectangle Red Wine from Napa Valley is a Wine Club Exclusive and is comprised of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon and 32% Petit Verdot. While this wine is non-vintage, it was bottled in August 2014, according to the label.

This wine is chocolatey and dry with medium tannins. Lovely, and I am definitely in love!


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Albert Bichot Pinot Noir 2013, Bourgogne, France - $11


     

I purchased this Albert Bichot Pinot Noir 2013 at Costco for $11 a bottle. It's an extremely light Pinot Noir, even in color - almost like a Gamay. It's also dry and slightly acidic with a very mild cocoa finish. It's also very food-friendly and drinkable. I would purchase it again.


Sunday, December 18, 2016

Vivanco Crianza 2010, Rioja, Spain - $13


     

I first bought this wine because I love the Joan Miró art on the label and the unique shape of the bottle, which the winery says is inspired by an 18th-century original. It was $13 a bottle at Costco.

It tastes tart and dark chocolatey with a dry finish and medium tannins. I like it!


Friday, December 16, 2016

Domaine Nicolas Rossignol Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2012, France - ~$30


     

This lovely French Burgundy from Nicolas Rossignol is wonderful! It was a gift from JL and BK. It is light and dry and very slightly acidic. I really like it! I want to purchase it again so I looked it up online. It seems to retail for around $30.


Montecillo Rioja Reserva 2010, Spain - $11


     

Hubby likes this wine. I didn't like it very much but need to remember to buy it for him again. I tried one sip of it and it seemed quite rough. I'll have to try an actual glass of it next time.

I purchased it for $11 a bottle at Costco.


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Louis Jadot Pinot Noir 2011, Bourgogne, France - $15


     

This Louis Jadot Pinot Noir is a light and earthy Burgundy with minerality and slight tobacco finish. I purchased it for $15 a bottle at Costco and would definitely buy it again!


Mont Gravet Rosé 2015, South of France - $11


     

I purchased this bottle of Mont Gravet Rosé 2015 for $11 at Central Market during their "Celebrate France" week. It is 100% Cinsault and tastes light, dry, and slightly acidic. I would purchase it again.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Parallèle 45 Côtes du Rhône Rosé Wine 2015 - $16


     

I really enjoyed this bottle of Parallèle 45 Côtes du Rhône Rosé. It is light, bright, dry, and fresh. I would absolutely purchase it again!

I can't remember where I purchased it - Austin Wine Merchant, Whole Foods, Central Market, or Costco.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Marie André Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2013, Burgundy, France - $11


     

I purchased this Marie André Pinot for $11 a bottle at Costco. It is earthy and acidic - fine for most Pinot Noir lovers, but too acidic (sour) for hubby.


Thursday, December 8, 2016

La Vis Simboli Pinot Nero 2014, Trentino, Italy - $15


     

Compared to the last Pinot Nero I reviewed (and compared to most Pinot Noirs), this one is dark, dry, and spicy. However, compared to other heavier red wine varietals, it's still pretty light.

I purchased it for $15 per bottle at Central Market during "Celebrate Italy" week.


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Cantina di Caldaro Pinot Nero 2015, Italy - $18


     

Love this wine! It's yummy and food friendly, light and delicate, dry but not super acidic or "sour," as hubby likes to say.

I purchased it for $18 a bottle at Central Market during "Celebrate Italy" week.


Monday, December 5, 2016

Terre di Gioja Pinot Nero 2014, Trentino, Italy - $16


     

I love Central Market's food and wine celebrations during which they highlight offerings from specific countries. This week, Italy is in the spotlight, and Italian wines at CM are 20% off if you purchase at least 6 bottles. Yippee!

I love Pinot Nero. I've had this particular one at Gusto before. I was so glad to find it at the store! This one is nice, light, and food friendly. I would absolutely purchase it again!


Sunday, December 4, 2016

King Rabbit Malbec 2014, France - $12


      

I purchased this bottle of King Rabbit Malbec at either Whole Foods or Central Market for around $12. It was a tasty wine and only contains 13% alcohol. I would certainly purchase it again.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Bodega Los Aljibes Selectus 2007, Albacete, Spain - $12


     

Bodega Los Aljibes' Selectus 2007 is a red wine blend. I purchased it at Costco for $12 a bottle, and when I went back for more it was sold out!

This Spanish red wine has such a chocolatey finish - wonderful! I really enjoyed it!


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Ola Poke - Restaurant Review




Bright, cheerful, and friendly, Ola Poke is a great casual place to meet up with friends! It's especially great if you love fresh raw fish!



The ordering process is much like a sandwich place such as Thundercloud Subs (for those of you outside of Austin, think Subway). You choose a size (S, M, L), a base (rice or salad), fish (tuna, salmon, yellowtail, albacore, shrimp), two sides (edamame, seaweed salad, crabmeat, cucumber salad, avocado), two add-ins (pineapple, white onion, spring mix, green onion, ginger, masago), toppings (furikake, garlic, sesame seeds), and sauce (house, mayo, spicy, ponzu, wasabi mayo, Korean chili paste) and walk down the line as your server assembles everything. Prices are based on the size - I believe my medium bowl was around $12 or $13.



I ordered brown rice with traditional ahi tuna poke, spicy salmon (they were offering a free scoop that day), crab, and yellowtail. They were out of their house sauce so I chose ponzu sauce instead, along with masago, a sprinkling of green onions, and some furikake and wasabi.

For a girl from Hawaii, the traditional poke tasted very authentic and, most importantly, FRESH! The rest of the fish was also very fresh! I didn't love the texture of the salmon and wouldn't have ordered it, but it tasted fine and I'm sure they were just trying to promote it. The bowl was so flavorful that I didn't use the wasabi at all.



We also ordered the Korean Fried Chicken Wings (6 for $6.99), which were awesome! They also have tons of other cooked dishes if you're not into raw fish - hibachi and bulgogi top the list of hot entrées.

I wish the restaurant didn't use plastic and styrofoam when serving in the restaurant - it's fine for to go orders, but I'd prefer to see them use something washable/reusable when serving in the restaurant. Other than that, I have no complaints. This is a fun, fresh, friendly place, and we really enjoyed our lunch there!


Friday, October 28, 2016

Domaine de Tamary Côtes de Provence Rosé 2015, Provence, France - $15


     

This Domaine de Tamary Côtes de Provence Rosé 2015 is a really nice wine! I purchased it for $15 a bottle at Costco. Light with a dry, slightly bitter finish. Would absolutely purchase it again.


Monday, October 24, 2016

Poggio Stella Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2011, Italy - $15


     

I purchased this Poggio Stella Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2011 from Costco for $15 a bottle. It smells a little hot even though it's only 13.5% alcohol. I really like it on the palate - it's dry with a dark cocoa and tobacco finish, not fruity or sweet. It's also food friendly - went great with the beef stew I made for dinner tonight. Yum!