casa del vino

Where wine is on the table everyday

Leave a comment

Day 363: Family Ties . . .

Soul Sister

Today wasn’t just any ordinary day – TODAY, we actually sat around the dinner table and ate dinner as a family of four!  For years, this was an everyday occurrence – these days, it’s a gift we treasure and look forward to whenever possible.  As you know, D#2 has been in town the last several days and heading back to school in the early a.m., so the fact that D#1 came down after school and Jean left a bit early made for a great rendezvous.  AND, the fact that Brian was able to come home at lunch and stoke up the smoker with the ribs he marinated last night – made everyone a happy camper today.  D#2 was in charge of keeping the coals at the prescribed temperature – in a manner of speaking, she was the “coal man” for the day.  No doubt that without her attention to the thermometer, the ribs would have not been ready at a reasonable hour in order for us to enjoy some family time, enjoy a wonderful meal and finish early enough for D#1 to make it back to Austin before she turned into a pumpkin.  Gonna be awhile until we are all together again – like Thanksgiving awhile.

Today is also special for another reason – it’s the day that Jean became the “older” sister and no longer the baby of the family.  Yep, Sister Sara popped out 48 years ago.  Jean can still remember standing outside the hospital with her four siblings waving at the bundle held by her Mom way up on the second floor of the hospital.  Home she came, truth be told all the older girls figured a new toy had arrived and managed over the years to have quite a bit of fun with the little one.  One moment that is forever etched in the memory banks is the time that Margaret (aka Jean’s Mom) was standing at the washer unloading clothes from the box underneath the laundry chute that descended from the first floor to the basement  – – – when lo and behold a pile of bed sheets came tumbling down – only when she heard a screaming baby did Margaret realize that Sara was wrapped in the sheets . . . this is what happens when older siblings entertain themselves with younger ones.  Recollection seems to be that a spanking or grounding followed for the perpetrators.  Oh, all in fun . . . Sara – Happy Birthday!  We love you and wish you’d move back to Texas so we can see you (well, maybe AFTER we come to see you in WA and find all those good wineries we’ve been reading about).

So tonight, we opened up a 2011 Soul Sister from the Save Me, San Francisco Wine Company.  Ok, so just the name of the winery is enough to make you want to try it.  For the record, they also make Chardonnay Calling All Angels and Petite Sirah Drops of Jupiter.  Hmmm, now we really are getting just a little out there . . .  Popping the cork was a breeze, and the light ruby color ‘trickled’ very nicely into the glass.  A little light on the nose, but definitely cherry and strawberry notes.  The palate at first was a little too tart for our liking, but about 20 minutes of air time, and it opened up very nicely.  The finish was light, but again the cherry and strawberry flavors hung around just long enough to get noticed.  Probably not a wine we’d add to “the list”, but certainly was worth a look and “tastesee” (don’t think that is a word, but like it).  Picked this one up at World Market for under $11.

So, again Happy Birthday Sara – we raise our glasses to you tonight!  So glad you were born . . .

Now onto business – we’ve been asked about our final “Top Ten List” – a suggestion has been made that we should extend the Top Ten to the Top Twenty – gotta agree, there are SO many we liked out of 365 . . . so, here’s what we are gonna do . . . on Sunday, (the day after we write about number 365) we will have a list of the Top Twenty and your job is to vote on which ones you think are the Top Ten . . . yes, means you might have to do a little research – rumor has it that Twin is having their Dollar Sale for the next THREE days . . . if you live near one – stock up on some of your favorites from the blog.

So, there you have it – we are winding down (Sorry Doug – aka Marvin . . . you got ratted out by P & L) – but, we do have TWO nights left – we will finish with a bang and not a whimper.  Until we meet again, remember to enjoy responsibly and recycle whenever possible.


Leave a comment

Day 359: Drive for Dough, Putt for Show . . .

Stone CapSo, as you may recall – Jean played golf on Friday and had a wonderful time and a couple of pretty decent shots during the round – her team didn’t win, but had a wonderful time.  Not that she and her sister Sara are the least bit competitive when it comes to the links, but . . . Jean now stands in awe of six year younger sister for her incredible feat today.  You see, Sara in a very gifted athlete – she’s ridden the MS150 numerous times, has been known bowl a 300 game and today accomplished a feat that few people do once, least of all twice in one day.  While on a business trip to Denver, Sara took up her clubs and hit the course and proceeded to shoot a 50 on 18 holes . . . made possible by TWO, yes . . . count ’em TWO Holes In One!  Come on now – that just doesn’t happen.  We’ve checked the record books and can’t find any comparison to this feat.  Upon reading the news on Facebook, we had to know the details – but Sara didn’t answer her phone.  What was her secret?  A new club – some new super charged golf balls – has she been secretly taking something to improve her strength and accuracy (don’t think she knows A-Rod) . . . what could it be?  Perhaps the altitude in Denver makes the difference – we’ve heard that on a humid night a baseball actually travels farther than on a cold night . . maybe it’s something like that or she had the wind at her back (there is a bit of Irish on Jean’s side of the family) . . . Regardless of the who, what, when, where and how – we ARE impressed.  Yep, tonight Sara took home the crown!  Job well done – Jean is super jealous!

To celebrate this feat, we opened a wine from Sara’s neck of the woods – a 2010 Stone Cap Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley. . .as in Washington.  We know we need to make a trek out that way for a visit and will be sure to make this winery a stop on the tour.  The wine comes from Goose Ridge Estate Vineyard which is located on the ridge of Goose Hill, across from Red Mountain in the Columbia Valley where the Yakima River converges with Red Mountain and Horse Heaven Hills. The vineyard has gentle, south-facing slopes and warm temperatures. The Monson Family planted the vineyard in small blocks to produce high quality estate-grown wines. The 1,600 acre vineyard is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Riesling, Viognier, and Pinot Gris.

Upon opening the wine, we loved what was on the nose.  An amazing fragrance of dark fruit and a floral.  On the palate, we were excited to find a full-bodied wine with black cherry, raspberry and currants that combine with toasty oak, chocolate and spice.  According to the wine maker, grilled pepper steak or herb-roasted rack of lamb are favorites with this smooth and powerful wine; however, we opted for a spice mix of kung pao chicken and steamed white rice.  A terrific combination that highlighted the sweeter notes of the wine as well as the deep structure.  It’s yet another example of food and wine working very well together!  At around $8 bucks a bottle, you’ll think you’re enjoying something far more sophisticated, but you’ll love how little the cost is compared to the flavor!  We’ll definitely add this wine to our list of deck wines to be enjoyed on a moment’s notice.

So, back to the golf game.  We are still in shock and awe!  Two holes-in-one. . .on the SAME DAY and the SAME COURSE!  Even the guys on the PGA Tour can’t muster this kind of performance.  Finally got an update – it seems that Sara might have had some assistance from a guy named Don Quixote on the Windmill hole – but other than that . . . she gets full credit for her feat tonight!

Quick reminder – please continue to send in your votes for the Top Ten Bondy Deck Wine list – time is getting short until Day 365!

As always, please remember to enjoy responsibly and recycle whenever possible.