EveryDay Wine from Elba!

We drink this all the time, don’t you??!!  This was recommended by our waiter at The Golden View–an upscale restaurant overlooking the Arno River and the Ponte Vecchio bridge.  It’s the kind of restaurant all the American study abroad students take their parents because they couldn’t afford it otherwise. So the 24 Euro price tag was pretty EveryDay compared to the rest of the list. And the intense mineral driven white wine paired beautifully with our red shrimp, oysters on the half shell, octopus, etc.  Ansonica is the grape varietal and being grown on the island of Elba gives me something in common with Napolean, perhaps?

Real Men Drink Pink

I knew I had done my job well of bringing new wines into our home, when I found my husband choosing a Rose out of our wine bin without any input from me. He has always been happy with my Rose choices while dining out, but I had yet to see him choose Rose from ten open bottles of cold wine. Victory!!

I will re-iterate.  Rose is super good friendly, goes well with a wide range of foods and usually is priced to Enjoy!

I Josh Cellars Rose 2015.  This beautiful dark salmon pink Rose is blended and bottled by Joseph Carr.    It has more body than most Rose you would find from Provence. Not-so-subtle flavors of strawberry and raspberry.   Alcohol by volume 12.5%.   Joesph Carr started his Josh Cellars line in memory of his Dad, Joseph Carr, called Josh by all his friends. 


A little white wine while the grill heats up. A creamy, peachy white wine from Australia. Pfeiffer Three Chimneys Chardonnay-Marsanne 2012.  This medium to full bodied white is a pleasure to sip before dinner.  Juicy with white peach and honeydew melon.  Acidity keeps it fresh, fresh, fresh!!

So where does that creaminess come from.  When wine is made, yeast is responsible for the converting the sugars in the grape juice into the alcohol that becomes wine.  As this happens, yeast cells die off and fall to the bottom of the vessel.  In this case, the wine makers keep stirring the “pot” to keep the dead yeast cells, or lees, in contact with the juice.  This is known as battonage!  Over time, this imparts a creaminess to the wine giving it more body.  In this Chardonnay-Marsanne, the lees give the wine a creaminess without using any oak.  I am a huge fan of unoaked wines.  

The Pfeiffer Winery is family owned in Rutherglen, Australia.   This estate has been growing grapes for over 100 years in this historic wine area near the Murray River.  They make Gamay, fortified wine and Rose.  Worth a gander!!

What to have with Shrimp Dinner?

Decided to sauté up some shrimp tonight with garlic, ginger and a healthy dose of crushed red pepper.  To satisfy my Paleo side I had some fresh, spiralized, crisply sautéed zucchini.  To make my Italian restaurateur husband happy — pasta. Some roasted peppers, zucchini, baby eggplant and cherry tomatoes completed the meal.  

I think we were in heaven when we sat down to eat.  My husband wanted some white wine.  I knew I didn’t have enough Chateau St. Michelle Dry Riesling to share, so I opened the only other white I could find in the cooler–William Hill Unfiltered Chardonnay 2012. I really like this wine despite its oak regimen.  It reminds me of summer grilling–flavors of grilled peaches and pineapple along with the fresh taste of ripe yellow apples. Don’t forget a dessert of flakey buttery pie crust, because that is all in the bottle, too. All darn good!! 

Looooooong finish.  That yellow Apple just stays with you.  Gotta love it. 

From a pairing standpoint, the Riesling stood up far better to the ginger and crushed red pepper.  For dessert, the William Hill Unfiltered Chardonnay is, all by itself,  a fine finish to the meal.  And my husband did the dishes.  All is good in the world. 

South African Cabernet Sauvignon

  Pulled this out of the wine fridge.  Happy, because it’s a Cab!  Sad, because I have no recollection as to how I acquired it.  Stellakaya Wine of the Stars Cabernet Sauvignon from Stellenbosch in South Africa. 2008.  The wine is named for the bright star Antares in the constellation, Scorpious, and you would only know this if you recognized the scorpian on the label.  

This was a fun surprise.  I had no preconceived notions since I have no idea what I paid for this.  The wine is complex with flavor of rare roast beef, coffee, leather, dark plum, fig and eucalyptus.  Rare roast beef is good.  It’s a savory quality that I enjoy!  My mom always added instant coffee to her gravy for depth of flavor and color.  So all of this is welcomed by me!!

So I’m giving you the wide price range of $25-75.  How’s that??  Google was not my friend when it came to researching this wine!


Still HOT inTexas

Riesling by the pool.  Chateau St. Michelle DRY RIESLING. Columbia Valley 2014.  Oh how I love a racy dry Riesling.  If it was a color, it would’ve Pull-Me-Over-Red except for the fact it’s white.  Bold, Racy, Thrilling White. Flavors of juicy white peach, sweet orange and springtime lemon tree flowers.  KA-POW!!

$12ish. Available at the Big Box stores!!  


  A hastily thought through dinner of roasted lamb with my own mint-almond pesto, roasted vegetables (the baby eggplant was exceptional), and cauliflower rice… Can’t get to potato without a stick blender– so it was rice.  All yumm!

Enjoyed with the Joseph Carr 2014 Paso Robles Cabernet.  Yes.  Enjoyed!  The pairing worked well.  I live in the real world.  I opened the bottle to taste it last night and today it goes well with dinner.  We weren’t going to open another bottle.  Thank goodness I was craving lamb.  My husband was thrilled to come home and find I had cooked!!  

Saturday night makes it alright! Decided to open a bottle for professional tasting purposes. This Joseph Carr 2014 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon had lots of blackberry, bright cherry, dusty cocoa and some some leathery aromas. The flavor brought out more sour cherry and plum. Nice acidity but not enough tannins to bring it into full balance. After the finish there was an unusual aftertaste…or maybe my sinuses?


Followed this up with a bright and lively Sancerre at Bistro Le Cep. Had the unexpected privilege to dine with the Mannke’s. Good food. Good wine. Great stories. Nice night!!