Monday, August 26, 2013

Wine Review: Mommy's Time Out Rose`Wine Delicious Pink

Mommy's Time Out Delicious Pink is a wine that is great for moms who want a wine with a low alcohol content. The Delicious Pink has a 9.5 % alcohol content. So, you will be relaxed, and not buzzed. Mommy's need a time out , because we are moms,  and our jobs are never done. 

 I also love the name chosen from this wine line from Italy. Moms do need a time out; I know I do! Wine is a great way to relax with friends and just interact with grown ups. We love our children, but we need to have a little "time out" to have some fun.

This wine is a light pink color. The nose is filled with a delicate aroma of ripe strawberries. This wine is very fruit forward, and a wine that would be a great wine for the new wine drinker. The palate has those same berry flavors, primarily strawberries. It is easy to sip, with or without food. There is enough residual sugar to please the ladies who like a little sweetness. It is a wine to keep on hand so you will have something to please all your guests. I just don't feel that I am a good hostess if their is not a wine that everyone can enjoy.

So many women ask me these questions about wine, "Is it dry or have that "taste" meaning tannins when they call me, looking for a wine in a wine shop or grocery store. I ask them what they are looking for? This wine is a wine for the ladies who like a fruity wine that looks pretty, taste fruity, and won't have them buzzed!

I would pair this wine with chicken and pork skewers with a sweet glaze.
Also fresh goat cheese on a French baguette would pair well with this wine, especially Purple Haze goat cheese. Anything with a bit of bacon or prosciutto would work well with this wine. Here is a recipe to try with this wine. Try it and tell me what you think! Note: This wine was a sample provided for review. SRP $9.99!mommys-time-out/c24i2

Sweet Chicken Bacon Wraps

Serves: 12-15 appetizer servings


1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (about 4 breasts)
1 (1 pound) package of sliced bacon
1 cup of firmly packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon of Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Cut chicken into 1 inch cubes. Cut each bacon slice into thirds. Dredge chicken into mixture, then wrap each chicken cube with bacon and secure with a wooden tooth pick. Coat a rack and broiler with nonstick kitchen spray. Place chicken on rack in broiler pan. Bake 350 for 30 to 35 minutes or until bacon is crisp. Note: You can also use a baking pan lined with release foil paper if you don't own a rack. With this method you may need to let the chicken wraps drain on paper towels before putting them on your serving platter.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Wine Review: Silkbush 2012 Viognier, South Africa

Let me first say as an Oenophile, wine writer, wine blogger, I was  surprised by this wine. I must admit, I've never been a fan of Viognier. But this wine has made a me a believer that a great Viognier can be made. I am so used to the over honeyed Viognier's with a bit too much residual sugar for my palate. This South African wine is what I call "a genie in a bottle." In most cases when I review a wine, I have some idea about how the wine will actually taste. This one was a surprise. It was kind of like the television commercial for pork being said to be "the other white meat." I say this because this wine is a style of Viognier that is truly special. It is like the "other white wine." The wine really reminded me of a Sauvignon Blanc, which was a sheer delight for me. I love Sauvignon Blanc's flavor profile and how well it pairs with food.
This wine is a light straw color, with aromas of melon, a bit of honey, and notes of stone fruit like peaches on the nose. The same aromas from the nose were the same fruit and honey flavors found on the palate.The mouth feel was round , which is in keeping with the style of Viognier. The finish had some faint herbal notes and lemon zest. There is just the right amount of acidity to pair well with food.
I love the fact that it has a screw cap. I poured a bit of the wine to sample it alone. Then I put it back in the fridge. I decided based on the flavor profile of this wine that I could pair it with a small bite, having specific flavors in mind. So, I created a bread cup by taking a slice of white bread, and using a biscuit cutter cut out a circle, about 5 inches. I then rolled the circle out pretty thin, but not so thin that it would crack. I brushed California olive oil on both sides and put the three rounds in a 12 count mini muffin pan. You have to ease the bread in the mini muffin pan gently.
I had pre-heated the oven to 350 degrees and baked them until they were a golden brown, or until they looked like they would be brown enough to be a little crispy. After the bread cups were cool. I added about a teaspoon or so of fresh goat cheese, a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes, about 1/2 teaspoon of Smucker's  brand Apricot preserves on top and finished the three small bites with crumbled bacon. I actually tried one with fig preserves and two with Apricot preserves. The Apricot was the best pairing. I think the stone fruit flavors found in the wine, and the acidity worked so well with the fresh goat cheese. And well bacon makes everything taste good!  I did not write this in a recipe format because it is so easy to make. You can also use the ingredients and create a crostini if you don't want to make the bread cups. You can also purchase Athens brand fillo cups, and just bake them off and add the ingredients listed above in the same order.
This wine would also pair well with seafood like crab cakes, shrimp, fish and apricot glazed chicken or pork skewers. I would also pair it with fresh goat cheese or a semi-firm goat cheese called Garrotxa
Note: This wine was a sample provided by Silkbush Mountain Vineyards SRP $16.99
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Monday, July 15, 2013

Spice Review: Victoria Taylor's Kansas City Steak Rub

Let me say that this rub helped produce steaks with a delicious crust on the outside that I have never achieved with a marinade. The rub is a blend of spices and herbs including garlic, black peppercorns, paprika, mustard seeds, brown sugar, dry molasses and sea salt. It also contains soy and wheat.

I cooked two rib eye steaks, that were tenderized with my meat tenderizing tool. Then I rubbed each side with a bit of California olive oil. Next, I sprinkled the rub (generously) on each side of the steaks and gave them a good rub. I let the steaks sit on the counter, on a cutting board for about 30 minutes to take the chill off to insure great results in the cooking process, and for the meat to take in the great flavors of the rub. I heated my cast iron skillet which had about a tablespoon or so of California olive oil in it and got it hot. Make sure the oil is not to the point of smoking hot. I then placed the steaks in the hot skillet and let them sear until they were really dark brown, then turned them over and seared the other side. I also added a bit of Liquid Smoke since I cooked them inside; if I had cooked them on the outdoor grill, I would have omitted the liquid smoke. Fresh herbs add a great flavor to meat, so I added a few sage leaves to the skillet. You can omit the sage; I just like sage or rosemary with beef. The cooking time depends on how well you like your steaks done; so use your personal method of determining how you like your steaks cooked.

 But I have to say, the brown sugar made the best crust on my steaks and the spices and herbs provided the perfect balance of flavor. No need to add any salt at all, the rub is all you need. This rub really exceeded my expectations. I think it is because I have always marinated my steaks. But this time I said to myself, "Lorrie, give the rub a try." Well talking to yourself can be a good thing in this case, because I enjoyed every last bite! The only thing missing was a glass of red wine. But to be honest the steak was so good, I was okay having it without my beloved glass of red wine. I can't believe I said that, but it is the truth. We had a loaded stuffed baked potato with our steak, and I had a small salad. Yes, we were satisfied and stuffed!

This rub would work well on pork and also on small cubes of chicken on skewers. I must admit, finding a new product that enhances the foods we eat everyday is like finding a "treasure" for a foodie like me. I am always on a quest to find the "best of the best" to share with my readers. Note: This spice was a sample provided by Victoria Gourmet  SRP 3.4 ounce tin $5.99  SRP 6.6 ounce jar is $9.50

Wine Recommendation: I would pair the steaks with this rub with a great Cabernet Sauvignon or red blend with nice dark fruit flavors in the wines flavor profile.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Wine Review: Cline Cellars 2012 Mourvedre` Rose`

You always know what time of the year it is when Rose` wines are being poured, and wine writers and bloggers are writing about them. Rose` is one of the wines we drink to welcome summer. I just love rose` wines during the warmer months of the year, and the great foods that pair well with them. This offering by Cline Cellars is no exception. It is a fun wine that will not break the budget.

 The wine is a beautiful pink hue, and the nose has aromas of red fruit and floral notes. The palate has flavors of cherries, a hint of watermelon, and a bit of red plum. There is also floral notes that mingle with the fresh red fruit flavors, along with a hint of spice on the finish. The red fruit shines in this wine, making it easy to sip glass after glass.

This wine would pair well with chicken salad, fried chicken, Cypress Grove Purple Haze Goat Cheese on a thin slice of French baguette or on a cracker, ham, a grilled pork chop with a sweet glaze, prosciutto, and grilled salmon. This wine is perfect to sip alone, and it is sure to be a crowd pleaser at your next summer party.  Note: This wine was a sample provided by Cline Cellars SRP $12.00

Cypress Grove Purple Haze Goat Cheese
Here is a video on Cypress Grove goat cheeses.
This cheese has herbs that give this fresh goat cheese a Provencal flavor that would pair well with this Rose` wine.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Wine Review: 2012 J Vineyards Pinot Gris

J 2012 Pinot Gris

This wine is a pale straw color. The nose is aromatic, with aromas of apricot, citrus, and some tropical fruit notes. The palate has the same beautiful fruit flavors which were noted in the nose, along with a bit of honeysuckle and lime on the palate. I also noted some lemon zest on the finish, which enhanced the minerality of this wine. There is a nice amount of acidity which makes this wine great to pair with food. This wine is crisp, yet the mouth feel has a roundness, which was quite a feat to me in terms of wine making. Usually you only note a wine being crisp or rounded on the palate.  The finish is nice, and it makes you want another glass. So you get the best of both worlds in a glass. I think Pinot Gris will be the "pork of wine" , pork being  "the other white meat."  As you can see, even a television commercial for pork, can help a wine writer do her thing. I am always thinking as Chef Anne Burrell says on the Food Network. I mentioned cooking, because when reviewing wine, you have to match the flavor profile of the wine, with foods that you know would pair well with the wine. Wine and food are like a couple to me; they just go together, and hopefully they will marry. So you can see I am all about wine and food pairings! Meaning Pinot Gris will be "the other white wine." And I say this in a good way. I think wine drinkers, especially new wine drinkers will have another white to add to their go to wines for spring and summer. I say this because wine appreciation is a journey; you learn more and more as you taste different varietals of wine. So you know what you like or dislike in a wine. Many will find this wine is a "keeper!"

This wine would pair so well with seafood like shrimp, crab, especially a crab cake, grilled chicken skewers or pork skewers with a sweet orange glaze, and a host of light appetizers. I also think this wine would pair with grilled pineapple as an easy and simple dessert for summer. This wine was a sample provide by J Vineyards & Winery SRP $14.00

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Look at Paul Cheneau: Spanish Bubbly With A French Twist

Lady of Spain
I have to admit these wonderful Spanish sparkling wines known as cava by Paul Cheneau were a great surprise. The last name of the cava, "Cheneau" was a hint of what style of wine was inside the bottle. I just never realized how a Spanish sparkling wine could be made like a french style sparkling wine at this price point. I have to admit that is is "genius", and "scandalous" (in a good way) at the same time. This Spanish Sparkling wine is called the Lady of Spain. The wine is a light gold color. The nose is filled with hints of bread, with notes of fresh fruit. Apples and a bit of pear along with tiny bubbles that tickle your nose. I was so surprised how tight the bubbles were and how long they lasted. That is why this cava reminds you a lot of a nice sparkling wine from France, those tiny, tight ongoing bubbles. The palate had those same fruit flavors on the palate along with a bit of lemon on the finish. This added some acidity to this wine and rounded out the fruit flavors to make a sparkling wine that everyone could enjoy. Also, this is a wine that can be enjoyed alone or paired with a meal. This wine would pair well with fresh goat cheese on a thin slice of french bread, light appetizers, grilled chicken, anything with ham or prosciutto on it, and seafood. I think it would be delightful with a crab cake due to the natural sweetness of crab meat. This wine, and the following wines were samples provided by Pasternak Wine Imports  for my review. SRP $13.99

This Brut cava was also a delight. The wine is a pale straw color. The bubbles are tight and ongoing. The nose has notes of apple and french bread. The palate has flavors of apple and lemon. This cava is dry, but not too dry. It has that right balance that makes it be a great wine to sip alone or a great wine to pair with food. This cava is a hands down winner as an alternative to sparkling wine or champagne. This cava pairs well with fresh goat cheese, light appetizers, seafood, and roast chicken. SRP $13.99
As noted on the labels, the Paul Cheneau wines are made in the French Method. This cava has a beautiful, festive, pink salmon color. The bubbles are tight and ongoing. The nose has aromas of strawberries, rose petals and toast. The palate has the same flavors as noted in the nose; a combination of red fruit, rose petals (which adds an herbal note) on the mid palate, along with toast or bread notes. This wine would pair well with Purple Haze fresh goat cheese, salmon, poultry, and even fried chicken for a southern style pairing, SRP $13.99

This cava is a light straw color. The nose is filled with candied apples and toast. The bubbles are tight and ongoing. I want to note that I had this wine stored in the fridge for a few days sealed with a stopper made for sparkling wine. The bubbles were still there after a couple of days; I loved that about this cava. The palate had those same candied apple and toast flavors. This is a cava that would be great to serve to people who like a sweeter wine. I also think this makes a great dessert wine. I would pair this with with an apple gallette. SRP $13.99
In closing, I really feel that these Spanish sparklers made with a French twist are what I call "bang for the buck" wines. Don't wait for a special occasion to enjoy them. Celebrate life everyday!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Wine and Song and White Oak Vineyards & Winery 2009 Syrah

As a wine writer/blogger, you find inspiration from so many places. I usually find inspiration from the things that I am passionate about. So today wine and music is my inspiration. I was blessed enough to be a part of a +White Oak Vineyards &Winery tasting at +The Grapevine Wines & Spirits wine shop in my neighborhood in West Little Rock, AR. I want to thank +Christopher Engleby and his staff for making time for +Dave Jefferson and I the opportunity to share + White Oak wines with the staff and customers.

I am a single mama of a 16 year old son with Autism, Evan. So, my life always is surrounded by Autism. I shared this with you because I am sure that some of you may have a special needs child or children, and you can appreciate what I'm talking about. So for the first time in a long time, I had an opportunity to do something I loved; my brain was stimulated, and I was in heaven! I felt like that female African American Oenophile and wine writer that I am, enjoying free time. Usually I'm just Evan's mama ( I mean that in a good way, but you get where I'm coming from), but I was so elated that some of the customers thought I was a wine representative. I felt a smile in my soul,while I talked to them about the wines, and suggested food pairings.

I happened to come across the singer + Joss Stone. Her CD + Soul Sessions Vol. 2 and + White Oak wines inspired me to write this post. I loved the CD; Evan was so quiet, happy and rocking to all the songs. This CD was a Godsend for the both of us. Music can touch a place deep down inside of us, and music and wine is my little slice of heaven. The Syrah, had a vibe that just paired so well with this CD. I know it may seem odd for a wine to pair with music. But this wine has a soulfulness like the songs on this CD. The color is deep garnet, in the  color spectrum of reds, and we all know red symbolizes love, and sex appeal. Yes, wines can be sexy, especially paired with sexy music, great food and great company.

The tasting was held on February 1, 2013. I think that we will see more + White Oak wines at + The Grapevine Wines & Spirits.  The wines were well received by the staff and the customers. + Dave Jefferson did some education with the staff on the appellations where the red and white wines come from, and the wine making process at the winery. I played the role of a "wine writer partner in crime"; I mean crime in a good way. We worked well together, and I think we both had a great time.

Afterwards I was so happy, I came home and had some of the wines, and put this CD on, and well, I had a ball. Hence the inspiration to do this post. I'll be posting reviews of all the wines I sampled, but today I wanted to write about the +White Oak 2009 Syrah.


This wine has a deep garnet color. The nose is filled with aromas of dark fruit, cocoa, a hint of toast. The palate has those same flavors found in the nose, blackberry was a prominent fruit flavor,cocoa, along with a slight herbal note.The wine has a nice finish, and a bit of acidity that makes it beg for beef; the fattiness just softens the acidity, and then you have a great wine and food pairing. The wine has smooth tannins that gives this Syrah some backbone. I would pair this with a burger stuffed with a pat of sage compound butter or some BBQ baby back ribs with a sweet and smoky sauce glazed over them. I love Syrah and sage together; the herbal note in this wine makes sage a perfect herb to use when preparing a meal with this wine. This wine would also pair well with Drunken Goat Cheese or a Sharp Cheddar Cheese. Note: This wine was a sample provided by + White Oak Vineyards &Winery SRP $26.00

 Joss Stone

Okay, why this song posted on a wine blog posting. Early on in this love song + The Love We Had (Stays on my mind), there are these words in a lyric, "ain't no wine I've been drinking, for once my mind is clear." Those words made me think; when I drink wine, my mind is so free to focus on how I'm feeling (good feelings.) I am a true romantic, and this is the month of Valentine's Day. So, get it red wine and love songs, just seem the exact thing to think about! I think that you all should try my wine, food, and music pairing with someone you love or someone you are falling in love with. So, open up a bottle of +White Oak 2009 Syrah, and grab a bite to eat and listen to this song; I know you will see where I'm coming from. (smile)