Posts Tagged wine

Good times call for a good…

Wine!  There was a celebratory dinner out last night and then there was some wine later.  I hate spending what I can get an entire bottle for on one glass in a restaurant sometimes so I opted for the decadent dessert there and wine at home.  I discovered this wine at a Greek restaurant here when we first moved to Ohio.  It’s a very nice California red blend and became a staple in our home but in recent years it has become harder and harder to find.  The original (well, original for me) label had a scene reminiscent of the one from The Creature from the Black Lagoon; monster holding screaming woman.  What’s not to love about a wine with a label like that?

When I noticed the wine becoming harder to find I stocked up on a couple of bottles.  No wine today – coffee!



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Still Life: Prelude to an anniversary

It’s our anniversary and DH is taking time off from work (which means my time here may be spotty) so that we can both exhale and celebrate by doing whatever we want to.  A lot of that might be catching up on some sleep – we are one wild and crazy couple!  Still experimenting with still life photography and the lesson I learned from this shot is that glass and reflections can make you want to scream.  This was my first attempt at photographing these objects against a black background using a light box.

Practice, practice, practice but perhaps later 😉

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End of year bits and pieces – Wine Time

My naivete about wines goes back many years but I will say I have gotten better.  When I was living in Missouri I only knew about certain wines based upon what a server at a restaurant would recommend (sometimes that being the expensive stuff not the good stuff) and when I would visit state wineries and sample their wares.  One winery that will always remain dear to my heart is the St. James Winery in St. James, Missouri.  Why? Because the last years of my fathers life were spent at the veterans home in St. James, Missouri… just on the other side of the highway.

Every time I would go visit him (an almost two hour drive from where I was living) I would drive right past the winery so of course I just had to stop and taste and bring home a bottle or two or three.  They made some great grape juice which the then kids would inhale; I had to take to hiding bottles from them to make it last until the next visit to Grandpa.  I started out enjoying their sweet reds and then moved slowly up to the semi-sweets and then dry.

Wine shock happened when I moved to Ohio and discovered that not only did they not carry my then favorite wines but that because of certain laws I couldn’t even order it.  Woe was me.  I have since learned so much more about wine and have developed new tastes but whenever we would drive to Missouri I would stop and pick up a few bottles of my old faves and bring them home.  Since we fly more than drive that has pretty much come to an end.  I love to visit the wine section at the local stores when I am home for a visit and smile at the St. James bottles.  Shopkeepers probably think my cork is a bit loose but I don’t care.  I’ve experienced wine shock in reverse now; some of what I enjoy in Ohio I cannot find in Missouri.  How interesting.

On this most recent visit home I saw this display and was sorely tempted to try it but I didn’t have anyone to share it with (not to mention I don’t really like sweet wine anymore) so I just smiled remembering my visits to my father and walked away.  Lately, I’ve found that one or two of the wines from St. James are available locally but they are the too sweet for me varieties but whenever I pass them on the shelves as I go scouting for my favorite Cabernet, I pause and say hello.



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It’s National Drink Wine Day!

The purpose of National Drink Wine Day is to spread the love and health benefits of wine.  Wine has played an important role in history, religion and relationships.  We embrace the positive benefits of wine such as new friends, reduced risk of heart disease and the enhancement of food and life.

Works for me!  In honor of the day, I’d like to share with you these six bottles from my collection.  I am far from being a wine expert but I do know a little more about wine than that’s red, that’s white, and that one is bubbly.  Wines can range from very dry to very sweet; light to bold.  I like mine a bit in the middle.  When I first started drinking wine and didn’t know anything other than color, I was fond of the semi-sweet varieties but my palate has since changed and currently I am in a major Cabernet phase…but I wouldn’t turn down a Pinot Noir or a Syrah if offered.  And please don’t ask me if a wine has hints of cherry, chocolate, oak or whatever.  Wait!  I can tell if there are hints of oak but that’s about as refined as my palate gets.

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While some wine manufacturers import their grapes from other regions or countries, my favorite winery that I visited often when I was still living in Missouri was the St. James Winery where they grew their own grapes and made great wine and grape juice too!  The Country Red shown here is one of those semi-sweet wines I first became enamored with.  During my semi-sweet wine phase all I drank was this and Rieslings.  The cherry wine came from the Hermanhof Winery  also in Missouri.  It had the most beautiful patio where you could sit and enjoy your wine and small plate while taking in the views of the hilly countryside.  I purchased this wine some years ago and never got around to opening it; I do hope it is still good.

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I’ve only visited a couple of wineries here in Ohio – so far – and have attended some wine festivals to experience what Ohio wineries have to offer.  I hope one day to tour the wine country in California and France but I would not turn down the chance, should it occur, to visit and taste a good wine from any country.  Mentioning tasting, that is my favorite thing to do at wineries, have the samples or a flight or two.  The names some manufacturers give their wines today can be quite charming and even humorous as shown by these bottles from Ohio.  Lady in Red, a Cabernet Sauvignon, is made from Australian grapes and comes from the Good Vibes Winery in Westerville, Ohio.  The Call me a Cab Cabernet uses California grapes and is made in Powell, Ohio at the Powell Village Winery.  Both wineries offer excellent wines and delicious snack plates in cozy settings that invite you to relax and enjoy your wine and company.

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The Big Red Monster is a red blend from California that I have enjoyed many times since first discovering it at a local restaurant three years ago.  It is sneaking up on the Duc de Monflory,  a French Merlot-Cabernet wine I purchased when I was in Martinique about 10 years ago; I forgot where I had packed it away after a move and I fear this may be another one where I question its drinkability.

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Whatever your tastes may be in wine raise a glass today.  Cheers! Salud! Here here! Sante!  Please feel free to add your toast (be nice and keep it G rated) in the comments.



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Wordless Wednesday – Ho! Ho! Ho!

F2.5 – 1/160 – 50mm Sigma A – Canon 5D III



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Wordless Wednesday – Sangria

F3.2 – 1/80 – ISO3200 – 100mm – Canon 5D


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Crabtini anyone?

Sometimes you have an appetizer and sometimes you have a salad….and then there is this.  A Crabtini, the best of both of those worlds.  When I read the menu and saw this listed with the other appetizers I assumed that it would just be some bits of crab in a martini glass, you know like some of those jumbo shrimp cocktail concoctions.  But is was something better!  If you are a fan of crab meat then you will not be disappointed with this lovely.

Colossal (seriously)  lump crab meat chunks tossed in their house vinaigrette served with their classic Creole remoulade sauce in a chilled martini glass (yes, I took this description directly from their webpage).   This was no wimpy just a few bits of whatever appetizer, there was plenty of crab meat and enough salad greens to make it a full serving.  If I had known it was going to be this nice of a serving I wouldn’t have ordered that side salad – good as it was too.  But this crabtini was just too tasty.  I mean tasty to the point that I only gave DH one wimpy bite and normally we share much better than that.  That first bite and it was mine all mine.

I could’ve made a meal out of a couple of those things even though we were at a steak house – along with a glass of wine, of course.  Fear not!  DH had his awesomely flavorful hunk of beef (everything tastes better on a sizzling plate with butter) and I had lamb chops;  we were much nicer about sharing some with our entrees.  I love new food discoveries.

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse



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