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Where wine is on the table everyday

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Day 83 – Giving Thanks . . .


What a day!  We don’t know about you, but this is one of our favorite holidays . . . what a better opportunity to enjoy family, friends, food and football along with a beautiful warm day!  After a short drive to Stephenville, we enjoyed the afternoon at Cathy and Steve’s place where a big bird had been on the smoker since 8 a.m. and a spiral sliced ham waited for an easy carving.  Add in the mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, yams and all the trimmings, and we truly enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast with family and friends – some had traveled from the West Coast and some from the East coast – it was kind of like a mini reunion.  We ate, drank and were merry – a highly competitive game of Trivial Pursuit rounded out the afternoon.

Tonight’s wine is from one of our favorite wineries following our recent trip to Paso Robles.  Castoro Cellars, home of “Dam Fine Wines”, delivered a little gem earlier this month – a 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon.  This wine is simply delicious.  We love the deep, smoky smell that the wine evokes upon opening.  In fact, this is one of the few wines, that we hate to actually sip the wine – instead preferring to smell it.  The aroma of fruit is also very pronounced . . . black cherry is the most prevalent, but we also picked up hints of raspberries and black berries.  In addition, there is a certain leathery taste as well.  For a $15 bottle of wine, it’s a LOT of wine.

We know that you’re supposed to enjoy Thanksgiving turkey with a Pinot Noir . . . and we did enjoy some of that as well, but decided after eating that we needed something with a little more stamina.  Thus, the Cabernet.  It really drank well – better than expected and it went fast!  Of course, with our crew, the wine disappears quickly and so does the food!  We have been really pleased with ALL of the wines that we’ve received from Castoro Cellars, and have no problem recommending them if you can get your hands on a bottle or two.

As Thanksgiving winds down, we hope your day has been what you wanted it to be.  We have a lot to be thankful for this year – our girls, each other, our family and friends and those around us.  There is sometimes so much to be thankful for that we forget to say, ‘thank you’. Safe travels to those heading home tonight and tomorrow – we will miss you at the shrimp boil!

So as we wrap up tonight . . . try some really good Castoro wines and when you do, please enjoy it responsibly and remember to recycle whenever possible.


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Day 56: A Chili October Night

So, here it is Friday night – the end of a week that was a blur . . . albeit a good blur, but a blur nonetheless.  Seems like the days are just flying by and just yesterday was the end of August – we lost the entire month of September somewhere along the way.  The bad thing about taking vacation in mid October is that you lose days and before you know it – it’s Halloween.  For the record, no regrets about the vacation.

In addition to a bit of chill in the air tonight, there is a bit of excitement – daughter #1 is coming home in a few hours and bringing a special someone with her.  Being 21 has its advantages – one of which is making grown up decisions about who you decide to spend time with and make part of your life – even if they are significantly younger than you.  We are trying to keep an open mind – but as parents, this can be tough situation.  Suppose we don’t approve, will they get along with the family, what is their family history, do they love #1 as much as she has shared she loves them??  So many questions – first impressions mean so much –  time will tell . . . .

Since today was the first real “chilly” day we had we decided we should try a wine from where else but – Chile! We opened a 2009 Lapostolle Casa Cabernet Sauvignon from the Rapel Valley.  Being newbies when it comes to Chilean wines, we decided to do a little research.  According to  the website,, we learned that “the Rapel Valley is located to the south of the capital city, Santiago, and named after the Rapel River which runs through its heart. The region stretches from the Pacific coast in the west to the slopes of the Andes 60 miles to the east, so it is not surprising that its landscapes and climates are varied.  In recent years, other areas in the Chilean wine region have become better known than their parent, the Rapel Valley, as a result of the Chilean wine industry’s drive towards commercially-attractive regionalization.  Wines not covered by either of these names are often labeled simply ‘Valle Central’ – a broad-stroke term referring to the entire 560 miles (1000km) between Santiago and Puerto Montt.”  A graphic in the site indicates that wines prior to commercialization, specifically before June of 2009, were valued in excess of $60 per bottle and post-commercialization the prices have dropped to less than $13 per bottle .  .  . which is the price point for this wine.  This wine was supposedly rated at 86 points by Wine Spectator, but we have to admit, it wasn’t that good.  The nose was musty and earthy while the taste was anything but flavorful.  It was like big leaf tobacco in a glass with no finish.  It disappeared – completely.  We aren’t sure what all the fuss was about, but for the low price (this was another “whale of a deal” wines at Twin), it wasn’t worth the trip down south.  For our money, there are way too many other choices of good wines for low prices that put this wine to shame.  We understand that there are some excellent wines from Chile, Argentina and other parts of South America.  When you look at the land, the mountains, the micro-climates, you can’t help but be impressed with the capabilities of the region.  However, just because it says “Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile” doesn’t mean it’s ready for your palate – or at least our palates!  And, with family coming to town, it’s a good thing we offered ourselves up on this one; otherwise, “someone” might be a little upset!

In this case, the “someone” has four legs, white paws and tip of her tail, weighs less than 20 lbs and is named “Bridget”.  She is currently being “fostered” by #1 – translation to us is – “yes, I’ll be adopting her soon”.  Being dog lovers, we couldn’t be happier – will let you know how things go.  Not too sure how “the girls” are going to like their cousin.  No doubt Pepper will remind this “young’n” that she is in charge therefore deserves to be bowed to and adored.  Andie – well our money says she hides in the upstairs bedroom and wants nothing to do with this young whippersnapper.  Jasmine, well this could be as Arte Johnson would say “very interesting“.  Jasmine is the spoiled baby in the house and more than likely will take none to kindly to a “newbie” who will compete for attention.   Stay tuned for an update  – – –

Until tomorrow, please enjoy your wine responsibly and recycle whenever possible.