Cheap Wine of the Week Wednesday

Hello again all!

This week's cheap wine(s) of the week comes from the spring wine tasting night we hosted on Friday. We tasted a lineup of eight different wines, and most of them were good, with the two Chards we had being notable exceptions.

Here was the list:

1) 2008 Cortijo Viura
2) 2008 Kilda Unoaked Chardonnay
3) 2007 Tulip Hill Oaked Chardonnay
4) 2008 Montinore Estate Muller-Thurgau
5) 2008 Chalone Pinot Noir
6) 2007 The Paradise Montepulciano D'Abruzzo
7) 2005 Zoom Vaca Mountain Vineyard Zinfandel
8) NV Orfila Tawny Port

Here they are, all bagged and ready to taste.

So my favorite white of the night was the Viura. I've never had this varietal before, and when I went to Lush Wine and Spirits to pick up the bottles for the night, I asked them for an Albarino, which they didn't have. But they suggested this instead, and it was really good. Very light, a little mineral-y, nice a smooth going down. I was a big fan. I'll definitely try this varietal again if I run across it. And this particular one, at $10 even, was a great deal and deserving of Cheap Wine of the Week status.

My favorite red of the night, and my favorite wine overall, was the Zoom Zinfandel. I got to cheat a little bit and try this at Lush when I was buying all the wines, so I knew how good it was going to be beforehand. In fact, I considered not even putting this in the tasting and keeping it for Brad and I, but I decided our friends deserved to taste the goodness too. At $15, it's a little steep for a truly cheap wine, but oh man was it worth every penny. Rich and velvety, smooth as all get out, strong flavors but not overpowering, yummy! And it tasted like Napa, so that was lovely. 

This is how much I liked it:

So there you have it. Oh, and a special shout-out to Orfila's Tawny Port. Though it's not my favorite style of wine in the world, three out of the ten people liked it best at the table. 

Enjoy, friends!

Cheap Wine of the Week Wednesday

This week's wine is a true cheap wine of the week. It's really cheap ($6.99!) and it was quite good. I don't expect all of the body I love in wine to be there in a wine that's this cost-conscious, so I wasn't disappointed that this wine was a little light. But it had a lot of structure and some good fruit. And it's made out of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sangiovese, three of my favorite grapes.

It's the 2007 Columbia Crest Two Vines Vineyard 10 Red Wine (long name, I know). And I found it on sale at Whole Foods last Friday.

We had it with pizza, very unsophisticated, but it went quite nicely. And it's not always easy to pair pizza with wine. Sometimes the cheesy-ness is overwhelming. But this was great. Good find, good buy, good glass of wine.


Schizophrenic Chicago Spring Weather

Here's a little taste of the mood swings in Chicago's weather in spring.

This was the view from our kitchen last Friday

And then this is what we were greeted with on Saturday

And then here's what I found today on a walk around the neighborhood

Oh seasons...

Weekly Recipe Wrap-Up

Here's the food I've managed to cook over the last week or so. I've had this random temp job where I work at the mall handing out giftcards for a promotion they're doing, and it goes from 4:45 - 9:15 every day, so I haven't exactly been keeping up with the cooking lately. But I'm really grateful God's provided the job for me, so if dinner is lacking, so be it.

Anyways... here's a few of the things that we've eaten recently.

A while back, I wanted something that was completely comfort food. Brad was waiting (as he is still) for a letter from grad school, and some other circumstances had just kinda gotten us down. And since there was nothing I could do other than pray, which I know is not nothing, but still... I made chicken pot pie.

Life update

New update to our life... I, Cassia, got into the PhD program in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at IIT, Illinois Institute of Technology! (Yes, a tech school, yes, it has a good psych program... go figure.)

I am so excited!! I get to go to school again! I get to do something I really want to do! I think this was God letting me know that this is something He wants me to do too!

This is a good night. A really good night. We opened a bottle of Girard 2007 Petite Sirah in celebration.

I am a very happy girl.

Cheap Wine of the Week Wednesday

Hello from snowy Utah!

Ski update, really quickly... we're getting a ton of snow and so it's awesome conditions. I skied through deep powder for the first time today, and it's like skiing on pillows. So much fun! Another good thing, I've broken nothing, concussed nothing, sprained nothing, and only jammed a finger so far. Brad and his Dad have been able to ski through a ton of trees and jump off cliffs and such as well. They enjoyed it. Lori and I enjoyed not doing it.

One of the perks of staying at the lodge here is that they have a wine and cheese night on Monday nights. So, naturally, we all went and ate appetizers and cheese for dinner. We also got to sample some wines that they had available for us. Luckily, one of them was pretty good. Also luckily, it's cheap. So... we have this week's winner!

Ski Trip!!

In a wonderfully-timed post-interview trip, we're spending four days in Snowbird, UT skiing and playing a bunch of Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride.

We are here:

Life Update

So just thought I'd put it on the blog so it's official. Yesterday I got a week-long job through a temp agency that starts March 14th. Hopefully by being good at this the agency will recognize that I can be good at other things and start getting me jobs on a more regular basis. I'm really excited to finally have something to do, even if it's a job at a mall where I pass out gift cards.

We Drank No Good Cheap Wine This Week

As previously mentioned, we've really cut back on the amount on alcohol we're drinking, and it really puts a cramp in the Cheap Wine of the Week postings. But I'm going to stick with the alcohol-related theme and share a margarita recipe I've come up with since moving here.

Now, I really like margaritas. They, or variations on their theme, are definitely my favorite type of mixed drink. They don't beat wine out of its top drink spot, since they're super-caloric and super-filling, but I'm still a big fan. However, I've never been able to make one that was that great at home using the basic tequila + lime + triple sec method. And mixes always turn out mix-tasting. So a while ago I was trying to figure out a new mixing method for a drink. Actually I was trying to find a mixed drink that involved cranberry juice and ginger ale, two things we have in constant supply around our apt. And I was hoping for that something to include tequila, since I like the taste of it so much more than other liquors.

Recipe Wrap-Up, finally

It's been a good couple weeks since the last legit recipe wrap-up. We've been all over the place lately and it's meant I haven't been around to cook anything for a while. But when I have managed to get to the stove, I've made it worth our while. Here's a random recap of the last weeks in food for the Carters.

First a winter-y breakfast for myself. Brad's not really an egg person. Or rather, he is, but only at certain times. Whereas I could be an egg person every day if they magically cooked themselves. But when I've got some time/energy in the morning, I like to make yummy egg creations. And this is my favorite as far as flavor and ease. It's eggs, scrambled with milk, garlic salt, pepper, and Herbes de Provence sprinkled in. The great thing about the herbs is that it gives you a ton of flavor, which means I never miss having cheese in them.