Saturday, October 29, 2011

Wine Review: J Brut Rose` Russian River Valley

Okay, you have to talk about the bottle; it is all glammed up and just sexy! With the artfully black painted "J" and no label, the wine looked like the wine version of the "Little Black Dress." I poured it in a clear, but faceted stem from the Mikasa Parklane suite, that I rescued from my Hurricane Katrina damaged home in New Orleans, and decided to reminisce while sampling this wine; if those flutes could talk!
The color is a beautiful shade of pink, almost like a beautiful slice of watermelon. The bubbles are tiny and ongoing. The aromas are of strawberries, citrus and a hint of apple and brioche. The palate has cherry flavors along with strawberry, citrus and lemon zest on the finish. I really loved this wine; I am a sucker for Brut Rose` champagne or sparkling wine. I cheated and paired it with Grape Chicken Salad that I purchased from my local Kroger's food store. I added a pinch of cayenne pepper to my chicken salad; I like a touch of heat added to my food. I put a bit of salad on a cracker, and found that this was a great pairing , especially when the grape popped in my mouth.
So, you don't have to be a gourmet cook to experience a great pairing, just find a great deli!  I'd also pair this sparkling wine with salmon, chicken, Purple Haze goat cheese or Truffle Tremor goat cheese by Cypress Grove Chevre. This wine is also great to sip alone. Note:  This wine was a sample provided by J Vineyards & Winery. SRP $28.00

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Filled Wine Glasses & The Tables They Rest On

Cobblestone & Vine

I have a passion for interior design, wine and food. I think all pleasurable experiences in life begin with the eye, and end in the soul. Simple things and foods along with elegant things and foods can all find balance, in the home and body. So, I am always on a quest to feed both the aesthetic and culinary aspects of my life, and hopefully my readers lives.  Here are a few glasses and tables and a few wine suggestions that I love, and maybe you will too!

Telescoping table by Grandin Road
Grandin Road

This glass found on Horchow's website is a bit pricey, but I think it would look great on top of this drum table filled with a glass of Bogle Chardonnay or J Pinot Gris.

Maybe have a little sparkling water in this goblet and sit it on the table below. I just love the look!
Crate and Barrel goblet
Grandin Road table

This flute would look great on this breakfast table filled with a mimosa.
I had to throw in a chair. Don't we need to sit down and relax with a glass of wine sitting on a wonderful table?

Chair & Stemware by Horchow

Boy, this flute filled with J Sparkling Wine, while sitting in the above chair would be sheer luxury!

Wine Review: Rodney Strong 2009 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

This wine is a dark garnet color. The aromas are of dark ripe fruit like blackberry and plums along with hints of dusty cocoa. The mouth feel is soft and lush. This wine has soft supple tannins, making for a great wine to sip alone or pair with food. The palate's flavors mirrored the nose. I always am amazed how well this wine tastes each vintage. It has yet to disappoint me! I would pair this wine with Fall appetizers, gourmet burgers, maybe a burger stuffed with Castello blue cheese. I'd also pair this wine with a steak or aged cheddar cheese. Note: This wine was a sample provided by Rodney Strong Vineyards SRP $25.00

Lorrie's Super Bruschetta

1 head of roasted garlic (recipe will follow)

(1) 8 oz package of cream cheese

½ cup of sharp cheddar cheese

1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

¼ teaspoon of Creole seasoning

2 tablespoons of melted I can't believe it's not butter

¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil

20 diagonally sliced pieces of French bread

(1) 12 oz jar of roasted red peppers

½ lb. of thinly sliced beef pastrami

(1) 8 oz. block of Fontina cheese

dried chives for garnish

To roast garlic: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the top off the head of garlic, just enough to see the garlic toes exposed. Put in a square of aluminum foil. Put olive oil on top and add about a teaspoon of water on the bottom of the foil, close up and bake for an hour. After the garlic has cooled, squeeze the roasted garlic toes in a small bowl. This can be done ahead of time to save in prep time.

In addition, the cream cheese mixture can be made ahead as well.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix melted margarine and olive oil together in a cup. Brush the bread with the olive oil mixture and bake for about 5-7 minutes.

In a food processor, combine cream cheese, roasted garlic, cheddar cheese, cayenne pepper and Creole seasoning and pulse until blended.

Remove the bread slices from oven and spread a teaspoon of cream cheese mixture on each slice of bread. Then add a piece of roasted red pepper. Then add a small piece of pastrami, then a thin slice of Fontina cheese, and a drop of oil on each slice of bread. Sprinkle with chives. Bake in oven until the cheese is melted. About 5 minutes.
Try this pairing and tell me what you think!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Wine Review: Cline North Coast 2010 Viognier

I must admit that I am not a big fan of Viognier. But this wine had just the right amount of residual sugar that made it quite appealing to me. I like the acidity and how it tapered the sugar level on the palate. This wine is a straw color. The nose is very aromatic, with aromas of peaches, apricots citrus (orange blossoms) and hints of honey. The palate had a full, rich mouth feel, and the same fruit and honeyed flavors were on the palate. There was a bit of acidity that gave this wine balance and a nice finish. This wine would be great with pork, chicken or shrimp with an apricot or peach glaze. I also think it would pair well with the Food Network recipe link below.  Note:  This wine was a sample provided by Cline Cellars SRP $ 12.00


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wine Review: Rodney Strong 2010 Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc

This wine is a light straw color. The nose has aromas of grapefruit, melon, pear and a bit of floral (grassy) notes. The palate mirrors the nose with more fruit, crispness and a bit of minerality. The finish is nice and clean. This wine would pair so well with fresh goat cheese, seafood, and appetizers. It is also great wine to sip alone. Note:  This wine was a sample provided by Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards. SRP $13.50

Product Review: Bonne Maman Strawberry Preserves

I love all things French, and these preserves are made in France. These Strawberry Preserves are made from strawberries, sugar, natural cane sugar, concentrated lemon juice and fruit pectin; this was the ingredients noted on the back of the label.  These preserves have nice size pieces of strawberries and a fresh homemade taste. The taste is not overly sweet, just right. I decided to go a traditional route in a not so traditional way, by making homemade biscuits to pair with these preserves, but served them for dinner. Yep, we like to have breakfast for dinner once a week. So, the saltiness of the bacon, and the hot homemade biscuits with these preserves with your choice of eggs, just made for a lovely breakfast dinner. Note: These strawberry preserves were provided by Andros Foods USA  SRP $5.49.  Note: I saw this product on sale at our local Kroger's at a great price; so check it out and tell me what you think!

Lorrie's Food Processor Heavy Whipping Cream Biscuits

4 tablespoons of cubed salted butter (16 little cubes)
2  cups self - rising flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup and 1 tablespoon of heavy whipping cream
*Additional heavy whipping cream to brush biscuit tops before baking

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put flour, sugar, cubed butter in food processor, pulse a few times then add in heavy whipping cream and pulse until the mixture forms a ball. Sprinle flour on a board or counter and pat or roll out dough about 3/4 of an inch thick. Use a 2 inch biscuit cutter and cut out 8 biscuits. Brush tops with heavy whipping cream, then bake for about 15-16 minutues or until lightly browned.

If you want to add a cocktail, why not add a mimosa to the menu and call it an evening!

Wine Review: Bogle 2010 Chardonnay

Okay, this wine is a "bang for the buck" and party wine. The wine is a straw color. The nose is filled with ripe fruit flavors of pears, apples and lemon zest, along with a bit of spice. The palate has a nice mouth feel, with the same ripe fruit flavors found in the nose, but intensified on the palate, with a finish of just the right amount of vanilla oak. This wine would be a great chardonnay to serve at a party for two reasons, #1 price point, and #2 flavor profile = crowd pleaser. I would pair this wine with seafood, chicken fingers fried in Panko Bread Crumbs, with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce, light cheeses, and appetizers. Appetizers with spinach and artichokes or cream cheese as a base would pair well with this wine. Note:  This wine was a sample provided by Bogle Vineyards  SRP $10.00

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wine Review: Cline Oakley 2009 fiveReds

Okay, this is what I call a "bang for the buck wine."  This wine is a deep garnet color. The nose is filled with dark berried fruit flavors and spice like those found in the five reds that make this smooth red wine blend. The websites description of this composition of the five varietal blend. Vineyard Notes:The 2009 Oakley Five Reds is a silky blend of Merlot (47%), Syrah (13%), Barbera (12%), Alicante Bouchet (10%), Petite Sirah (10%) and the balance are mixed reds. Forty-eight percent of the blend comes from our cool climate Sonoma Coast vineyards, 29% comes from our Oakley, Contra Costa County vineyards, and the remainder comes from vineyards situated in the North Coast AVA.

This wine is easy to drink, balanced and full of juicy dark fruit flavors and spice. Try pairing this with a burger off the grill, a Mexican inspired meal, foods with a tomato based sauce, or to sip alone with aged cheddar or Cahill Porter cheese. Note:  This wine was a sample provided by Cline Cellars SRP $11.00

Note: I don't have how may appetizers this makes because I just fried them, until I got "full". This was my lunch!

Lorrie's Wonton Tacos


1 package of wonton wrappers
1 lb. of lean ground chuck
1 packet of Taco Seasoning mix (I used Old El Paso)
(1) 8oz package of nacho & taco grated cheese (cheddar, Monterrey jack blended with spices. Kroger's Brand)
I egg, plus I tablespoon of water whisked together
Canola oil to fry ( about 1 and 1/2 inches high in a cast iron skillet)
Sour cream
Taco sauce


Cook ground meat by following the directions on the back of the taco seasoning package. Lay out wonton wrappers, put a little less than 1/2 tablespoon of cheese and ground meat mixture in the middle of each wrapper. Note: make sure not to over fill, you will not be able to close and seal them correctly. Brush the wrappers lightly around the edges with the egg mixture and seal tightly. Heat oil until when you flick a few drops of water and there is a pop; do not over heat oil! Fry until they are a light golden brown color. Drain on a platter with paper towels. I served them on an appetizer plate with a dollop of sour cream and some taco sauce.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Wine Review: J 2009 Russian River Valley Chardonnay

This wine has a lovely golden hue. The aromas are of citrus, peaches, and hints of spice. The palate has those same fruit forward flavors with an almost honeyed note integrated with a bit of toasty oak. The wine is balanced with a great mouth feel, and just a joy to sip. The finish is nice and the wine has enough acidity and structure to make it a wine that would pair well with food.  What I enjoyed was the right amount of oak, just a hint.  I would pair this wine with shrimp, fish, crab cakes, lobster and orange glazed chicken. This wine would pair well with light cheeses and appetizers. Note: This wine was a sample provided by J Vineyards & Winery  SRP $28.00

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wine Review: Cline 2010 Marsanne Roussanne

The wine is a straw color. This wine is a blend of Marsanne (71%) and Roussanne (29%). This is a very aromatic and lush wine. The nose has aromas of tropical fruit, peaches, apricots, and citrus. The palate mirrors the nose with an addition of a hint of honey and lavender (the floral essence). This wine has a lush mouthfeel and is great to sip alone or be paired with seafood, roat chicken that has been sprinkled with Herbes de Provence due to the lavender notes in the wine. I would also pair this with a pork loin rubbed in herbs like rosemary and thyme and bruschetta topped with apricot jam, fresh goat cheese and proscuitto. Note:  This wine was a sample provided by Cline Cellars SRP $20.00

Wine Review: Jacuzzi Family Vineyards 2008 Estate Merlot Carneros

I want to first say that Merlot was my first red wine love. This wine reminds me why I fell in love with Merlot. This wine has a deep garnet color. The nose is filled with aromas of dark cherries, cocoa dust and a hint of green olives. The palate mirrors the nose with those juicy cherry flavors and notes of green olive, with a sweet kiss of chocolate, all well integrated to make this a fine Merlot. The tannins are supple, but gives the wine just the right amount of structure. I paired this wine with a meat sauce, spaghetti and cheese casserole, and green salad with Roma tomatoes. I would also pair this wine with a grilled steak, burger, Cahill Porter Cheese or an aged cheddar. Note: This wine was a sample provided by Jacuzzi Family Vineyards SRP $16.99