Byron 2009 Pinot Noir – Santa Maria Valley

We had the good fortune to finally get down to the California Central Coast wine grape growing region this year and spent an awesome day in Los Olivos, tasting through some of the area’s best.  While we were visiting all of the local spots, we asked around with some of the locals as to where were the “must visit” tasting rooms.  Note:  Los Olivos is a quaint little town with what is basically a cross-roads, down each leg of these roads is a multitude of winery tasting rooms (it’s insane how many there are in such a small town).  Anyhow, Byron came up in many of our conversations so we stopped in.  The tasting room staff were great and we took home a few of their offerings.  This one is a great example of the Central Coast Pinot Noirs produced in the area.

image

Tonight’s dinner consisted of some grilled pork loin with a Pinot Noir & Cherry reduction/glaze.  Obviously the wine complimented the dish famously.  A supple Pinot with a great ripe red berry fruit character, would have been great on its own but married to pork and blended with cherries made it all the better.

I would suggest that you stop by the Byron Tasting room next time you’re in town, in the meanwhile, here’s a link to their website: http://www.byronwines.com/

Cheers
Norcalwingman

Advertisements

2007 Twoomey, Napa Valley Merlot

Sideways be damned!

Forget the vitriol spewed by Paul Giamatti’s character in that Central Coast wine adventure of two sorry wine sucking saps.

A wonderful Bordeaux wine is hard to beat and this particular example of such, is a phenomenal example.  If some rich, supple, fruity goodness is what you desire in your red, then look no further than this juicy Merlot!

image

Get a bottle of this wine at the Dry Creek Valley tasting room (formerly Roshambo).

One of the best views of the Dry Creek Valley / Russian River AVA locations.  This tasting room is nearly/or actually on the border line of these two great Sonoma AVAs.

A wonderful staff will serve you some great wines from the Silver Oak Cellars‘ owned Twomey.

Hey! Finally getting around to some samples.

image

 

Apologies to the supplier of the sample for the late review, but hey…  Sometimes you just got to lay down some wine!

That being said, this is a fine wine at a great price.  Unfortunately it seems the ’09 vintage may be unavailable, but it was a good’n.  A great fruit forward Cab, with balanced tannins and length.  All-in-all, I’m going to give this one a solid thumbs up, let’s try the ’10 and see if they have a winning record.

On the up-and-up, this was provided as a sample (at some point in the past), regardless…  it’s good.

Drink up!

Not Bad – Christmas Redux – Prime Rib

Ah nothing says holidays like drinking yourself silly to accommodate tolerance for extended family.  Well that and huge cuts of meat cooked to perfection.  And I’m an equal opportunist so a little of both makes for even happier holidays.

I had a revelation (no not in the biblical sense — you have to be careful what you say this time of year — ) rather a seasoning one for cooking one of the most glorious meals of the season.  I recall that I saw some cooking show that touted the best seasoning for prime rib was a rather simple one, and I’m a sucker for easy.  Four little ingredients to season up that chunk-o-meat.

1. Salt
2. Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
3. Garlic
4. Thyme

Wow, fortunately I have been thinking about cooking this roast beast for many months and started up a nice little herb garden including that little leaved wonder, thyme.

Additionally I am lucky enough to have a great grocer in town, Oliver’s Market, with whom I placed an order for a five-bone prime rib last week.  I awoke this morning with visions of (no not sugar plums) but juicy, succulent, and mouth-watering beef!  I reread the chapter in “Keys to Good Cooking, A Guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes” by Harold McGee on Meat.  A very good book, not a recipe book, but a great reference in best practices on cooking in general.  I highly recommend anyone who enjoys cooking pick this up!  Anyhow, back to the beef…

My roast was delivered home by “the wife” at around 10:45 am and I immediately began the preparation.  The butcher is awesome, the bone is already cut nearly through, but still attached and the roast is already tied.  I have milled about 3 tablespoons of black pepper which I rub over the entirety of the roast.  I have also cut a large bunch of fresh thyme from my herb garden and have separated out the leaves from the stems.  I then rub about 5 tablespoons of kosher salt all over the roast.  Now, the revelation…

Last time I prepared one of these I think I just used some oil and rubbed the thyme leaves on the roast with the oil to afix them to the roast.  This time, I thought, why not make some paste with the thyme and garlic.  So I cut up a cube of butter, placed three large cloves of garlic and the thyme into the mixer and blended them all together until it became a smooth paste.  It was almost like icing a meat cake!

Into the oven which was pre-heated to 525F for a quick searing (NOTE:  I wasn’t really thinking and didn’t have the hood fan blowing so the damn smoke detectors started screaming about 5 minutes after starting).  After searing for about 10 minutes, I turned the beast down to 250 and will cook it 30 minutes per pound (11 x 30 = about 5 hours).  I’ll keep tabs on the internal temperature of the meat and pull it out at about 125 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, which should leave me a great medium-rare roast!

Prime Rib slow roasting

I’ll report back on how well this endeavor turned out and update you on the wine pairing (yet to be determined, but I’m thinking Stags Leap Cab for me) let the uninterested drink the cheap plonk.

Merry Christmas to All, and to all a sharp knife!

NorcalWingman

Another box for Christmas

It’s a nice chilly evening up at the condo we are lucky enough to have access to through “the wife’s” family and we’ve just finished off a great bottle of Michel-Schlumberger “Coteaux Sauvages” and we still need more vino…

20111220-193252.jpg

So it is on to the Seven non-vintage Red wine of Spain. This box of wine is a blend of, you guessed it, seven varietals including 24% Shiraz, 24% Cab, 11% Garnacha, 11% Graciano, 10% Tempranillo, 10% Merlot, and 10% Petit Verdot. If you are after your century club, this may help…

20111220-193016.jpg

Anyhow, this is a red with a baked/cooked fruit character, not too bad and definitely a valid second bottle if you are trying to save the good stuff or have a house full of people who wouldn’t differentiate a great bottle with a handle of Gallo.

Read that last part, good for large family gatherings that tend to happen around this time of year… Get my drift?

Anyhow, I wish you all the best and happiest of holidays! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the NorCalWingman!