Tag Archive for pepper

JC Van Staden La Tau Zinfandel 2013

JC Van Staden La Tau Zinfandel 2013
Lodi, CA

JCVanStaden_Zin

Didn’t know a wine could have an identity crisis? This zin smells wild like a syrah with spice and a lot of bacon. But it tastes like a merlot, all sweet raspberry and gentle spice. Your friend who’s afraid of heavy reds will love it, so use it to pull a fast one on them.

My Score: rating_chicken11

My 50/100 Quini Profile:

JC Van Staden Quini

FYI, this is a NakedWines.com bottle, from the All-American Highest-Rated Case. You can get it here. Or you can always make use of a $100 off first-time costumer voucher for NakedWines.com by clicking on this link instead.

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Edna Valley Vineyard 2011 Merlot

Edna Valley Vineyard 2011 Merlot
Central Coast, CA

Edna_Valley

This merlot’s nose has plastic overtones, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying its raspberry and pepper notes. It’s thin to medium bodied and meatier than expected on drinking. Think nicely seasoned duck with a spicy raspberry and stewed tomato sauce. That pepper will tickle your nose! I also taste elements of a mirepoix: celery, carrot, dried herbs. Obviously, I’m thinking about dinner now. The raspberry is the thinnest part of the wine; the other notes liven it up. At the end of the glass, dry leather makes an appearance.

You can sink your teeth into this wine. It’s fun to drink but not necessarily worth repeating.

rating_chicken11
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Bijou

Bijou_01

My husband and I celebrated the sale of our North Carolina home with a prix fixe meal at this modern, French-inflected New American restaurant on Hayward’s downtown stretch. Using an Amazon Local deal, we dined on three courses each for only $40 including a glass of champagne. It was the second time I’d been to Bijou, and I love their bold design scheme of golds and greens with a luxurious dividing screen between lounge and dining room.

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It might seem contrary to the ambience, but both Sunday nights I’ve been have been popular ones for watching football in the lounge. I’ve enjoyed that contrast of upscale dining with regular old sports-fan enthusiasm. On our previous trip, I also enjoyed the creative cocktail list and a delicious cream of cauliflower soup. For this dinner, the best course ended up being my first one, a puff pastry served with lobster, carrots, and peas in a Pernod sauce.

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The puff pastry was almost overbrowned, which is the perfect time to serve it in my opinion. The delicate sauce showed off the succulent lobster bites, and the peas and carrots hearkened back to a traditional pot pie.

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