clos du bois chardonnay

I had this wine at two completely unrelated events this week, so it’s not as though I didn’t give it a chance. At the first event, I was suspicious. Typical California Chardonnay is not my favorite. But I figured I should at least taste it. As it turns out the typicalness was not its problem. It smelled terrible. It tasted terrible. It’s not that it was overwhelmingly buttery and oaky– it just had a bit of butter in the finish and a touch of oak in the middle. I just didn’t like it at all. I switched to the red (that was very good, although I can’t seem to remember at the moment was it was — possibly because I had four glasses). When I was at a different event later in the week and came across the same way, I thought I’d give it another try. This time, P. wouldn’t even taste it after he smelled my glass.

But I don’t know. Apparently Wine Enthusiast called the 2002 “crowd-pleasing”, so maybe I just have odd taste in wine. I am drinking an Austrian white right now that Kieca might call “awesome”, so I’ll try to write that up soon so it doesn’t seem like I hate everything.

avocado taquitos and cheese enchiladas

Taquitos
I had some avocadoes left over from my latest trip to California and what can you do with four really ripe avocadoes when your boyfriend is too lazy to make his tasty guacamole? I thought I might try to make something like avocado eggrolls from the Cheesecake Factory, only I was thinking taquitos rather than eggrolls, and I wondered how I could make it a bit healthier. They came out very tasty, although I don’t know that they were strictly speaking low-fat.

Filling
4 small avocadoes
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 tbl fresh oregano, chopped
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes (soaked in hot water for 10 minutes, then chopped)
salt and pepper to taste
dash red pepper flakes
dash cumin

I filled 6 corn tortillas and put them in an oiled baking dish. I sprayed some oil over the top so they’d get crispy as they baked. I baked them at 350 for about 20 minutes.

Sauce
1/4 cup cashews
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup parsley
salt and pepper to taste
dash red pepper flakes
dash cumin
2 green onions, chopped
3 tbl honey
dash worcestershire sauce
1 tbl white wine vinegar
1 tbl balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil

I mixed everything up in the food processor and served it on the side.

Cheese enchiladas
I really wanted cheese and onion enchiladas, but I didn’t have any of the ingredients. So, I made it up as I went along.

Sauce
28 oz. tomato sauce
1 tbl minced onion
2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbl cumin
1 tbl chili powder
2 chipotle peppers, chopped
1 tbl adobo sauce
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tbl sugar
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 dried habanero pepper

I adjusted these spices to taste, so I’m not sure exactly what I ended up with. It was spicy though. I simmered it for about 20 minutes.

Filling
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbl olive oil
2 cups fat-free sour cream
4 oz chopped green chiles
2 cups shredded monterey jack
2 tbl fresh oregano, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
dash red pepper flakes

I sauteed the onions and garlic in olive oil and added salt, pepper, and a few spices. Then I added them to the rest of the ingredients and mixed it all together. I covered the bottom of a baking dish with some of the sauce, heated up 1o flour tortillas so soften them, then filled them up and rolled them and put them in the baking dish, seam down. Then, I poured more sauce over everything to cover (I only used about half), and sprinkled shredded cheese over the top. I baked it for around 25 minutes, then sprinkled some chopped tomatoes and chopped green onions over the top.

So cheesy and good.

a tale of two reds

It’s nice to try two wines side by side. I seem to really be able to tell a lot more about a wine when compared to another. I first tried the Barrelstone Syrah (Columbia Valley; WE 86 points) on a flight not too long ago. I thought it was fairly tasty, but I must admit that I was heavily under the influence of anxiety-calming Xanax at the time. I saw it in the store the other day at around $10, and I thought I’d try it again. We also had a bottle of 2002 Sandrone Luciano Barbera D’Alba open (appears to be around $25), a gift from a friend.

When I tasted the Sandrone by itself, I liked it. It had great vanilla undertones and oakiness that wasn’t too woody. But once I tasted it next to the Syrah, I liked it even more. The Syrah was inoffensive, but drinking it next to the Sandrone, I could more easily tell that the flavor didn’t stand up. It had no complexity, wouldn’t age, and was watered down compared to the fuller, layered range of the Sandrone (blackberry, toast).

So, the tale ends thusly: the Barrelstone is drinkable and not at all a bad tasting wine for $10, but if you have both choose from, go with the Sandrone.