Cooking At Home

Okay, I’m still on my quest, inspired by Cousin Carl, to find low priced reds. By the way, Carl what is your idea of low priced reds? Under $20, under $15,  under $10, do I dare decrease the price any further?

Although I’m not as familiar with French wines as I am with North American wines I still have a propensity to learn more in both countries. Come to think of it I can still learn more about wines from the following countries also: Italy, Spain, Portugal, Chile, Argentina, South Africa and yes, Mike, Australia. Are there other wines from around the world we should be looking at? How about Germany, Japan, Greece, New Zealand? More???

Perrin Reserve 2003 Cotes Du Rhone. This French wine blended of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mouvedre, 10% Cinsault provided a peppery and spice aroma yielding a black cherry flavor with a hint of blueberry. A great wine to watch a movie with. I did not try this with food but I’m sure the possibilities are endless. Grilled meats come to mind whether you grill chicken, lamb, beef, turkey, game dishes. Yummy, I’m beginning to think I should have had this with food instead, ah another rating then. Someone try this with food and tell me if it went well or is this a better stand-alone wine.  $12.99, 87 rating.

As I was chopping mushrooms, onions (pearl & white), and draining fresh peas whilst my wife was painting a fresh look in our living area, we decided to open this sparkling wine on a whim. This is why my wife is the handy person and I prefer to cook and taste wine. Why you ask? Well, my wife has always had a level head, of course as long as she doesn’t drink too much wine and when I drink too much wine I can’t paint for beans but I can still cook and taste more wine : ))

Villa Yolanda NV Prosecco. This Italian sparkling wine provides maraschino cherry, ripe pear (most likely a Bartlett) and apricot on the nose and very profound. The palate discovered ripe pear and tropical fruits with a smooth bubbly finish. Have this with anything you like. I find that flavored liqueurs such as strawberry, pear, peach, or black currant pare pear pair well with this wine. Boy, I’m glad I never entered a spelling be, bee (Me thinks I’ve had too much wine..)-  Spelling is worse than rating wine. Don’t you agree? Well, this comes in a convenient 200 ml bottle (part of a three-pack) for $12 and is a great alternative to the more expensive champagne of which I will discuss in future reviews as well as other inexpensive sparkling wines. 89 Rating.

Next on my list of wines is a Laetitia 2005 Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir. Black cherry, spiced clove, and hints of smoked bacon. Raspberry plum flavor with a distinct cherry hard candy finish. This bottle was a gift so I don’t know the price (although I don’t believe it will fall into Cousin Carl’s low priced reds category). However, I do give this a 92 rating – a great Pinot Noir!

We paired this with Perdue’s Italian seasoned perfect portions boneless chicken breasts, a medley of fresh peas, shallots, and pearl onions. Sauteed mushrooms in white wine, sauteed white onions in olive oil, and leftover rice pilaf and broccoli & cheese ravioli rounded out this meal.


Here’s to good wine, good food, and good friends….