Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cheap Wine of the Week Roundup

Yes, it's been a while since I've posted. Yes, it's been waaaaay too long since I've posted on Cheap Wine of the Week Wednesday. Today is an attempt to rectify that situation. We've had some really good cheap wines of the week over the last month or so and I'm just going to throw them all at you here at once... that is, if I can remember what they all tasted like now...

The first one is actually a rose. And I think it's the first rose I've mentioned on this blog. So, it must be good, and you should pay attention. This is the 2009 Domaine du Vieux Chene,Vin de Pays de Vaucluse, Cuvee Friande.  It's a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah. I found it for $13 at a wine shop in the west loop. It was nice and dry, for a rose, and it was perfect for the still-warm summer night when we drank it. It's got some good raspberry notes and it's very smooth drinking. If you will give a rose a chance, I suggest this one.

Next up is the Chateau Roc de Levraut Bordeaux blend. It's a blend of 50% Cabernet, 40% Merlot and 10% Cab Franc. I found it for $11.99 at our local wine shop. A very nice blend. I thought I'd like it looking at the varietals, and I was right. Smooth, fruit forward but with a little bit of tannin and a little bit of oak, enough to make it nice and chewy. We had it with a deep dish pizza, and it was rather perfect.

This one is the Este 6 Grapes Wine (47% Monastrell, 23% Tempranillo, 12% Syrah, 6% Garnacha, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 6% Merlot). It's a southeastern Spanish meritage. It was deep red, looking way more expensive in the glass than its $10.99 price would have suggested. And the flavor was certainly there as well. Dark cherry, some great spice, a little smoky. I've never had a Monastrell before, but I'm certainly going to keep my eye out now.

This was another find from our local little wine shop. They've got a great selection of cheap, good wines. The 2008 friends red, a blend of Zinfandel, Merlot, and Sangiovese from Sonoma, was only $9.99. I'm a sucker for Sangiovese in any form, so I had to try it. And besides, it has an emoticon on the label. It has 14.5% alcohol, but it didn't taste like it at all. Another pizza night wine, this had some great spice, without being overpowering, and some great fruit that slipped down your throat easily. Our wine shop says it's their best selling cheap wine, and I can see why.

For the last one, I just had to show off a little not-so-cheap wine we had. Admittedly, for the price, not a incredible, amazing, astounding wine. But for a I-just-started-grad-school-so-let's-celebrate night, this was a lot of fun to drink. The 2008 Brochelle Vineyards Petite Sirah, bottle number 150 out of 180 produced. Brochelle is much more well known for their Zinfandels, but a wine shop here, Lush, had some Petite they were offering as the last available in the country. I dearly love Petite Sirah, and had to try it for our celebration. Rich, smooth, flavorful, jammy. I was a fan. Again, not perfect, but quite good. And quite fun to feel exclusive and VIP while drinking it.

And there you have it, the last month in wine for us (well, the good ones, at least). Keep an eye out for these gems on a wine shelf near you and break one open with some good friends.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Recipe of the Moment - Turkey Burgers With Lemon-Honey Mustard

Oh poor blog, I've been neglecting you. Someday I promise to figure out how to manage my time so that I can fit in school plus posting, but that day has not happened over the last two weeks. Maybe this recipe will make up for that.

We had the pleasure of having Brad's sister in town with us for five days last week, and we took her out to some delicious places to eat. However, we also stayed in and had some delicious homemade food. The main dinner that I made was based off this turkey burger recipe. Brad and Michi felt like turkey burgers, and while I felt that that idea was much too boring for our one homemade meal, I was convinced that turkey burgers were, in fact, delicious and very worth making. They were right, I was wrong.

These were wonderful, adding to a yummy string of turkey burgers I've showcased here. And here. And here. And here. What can I say? I love turkey burgers. This recipe intrigued me because of the Meyer Lemon Honey Mustard Bobby Flay gave it, and while I didn't use Meyer lemons, it was still really good. With some chevre and tomatoes and sprouts and that mustard on top of this burger, how could it not be good? But his burgers themselves left something to be desired. So I added some fresh thyme and some 21 seasoning salute from Trader Joes and some bread crumbs, and it was truly awesome.

I suggest you make these soon to enjoy on a nice crisp almost fall night!

Yummy mustard, which goes well with some yummy beer

Look at that pile of chevre... so good...


Turkey Burgers with Lemon-Honey Mustard

1/4 c Dijon mustard
1 T honey
1 t lemon zest
1 T orange juice
1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/4 lb ground turkey (85/15)
4 springs fresh thyme
1 T 21 seasoning salute (or other multi-spice blend)
1/4 c seasoned bread crumbs
8 slices chevre, 1/2 inch thick
Tomato, sliced
Wheat buns

1. Whisk together the mustard, honey, zest, OJ, lemon juice, and salt and pepper, to taste, in a small bowl
2. Cover and put in fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight to allow flavors to meld
3. In a medium bowl, hand mix the turkey meat, thyme, seasoning, bread crumbs, and salt and pepper till well blended
4. Heat a little olive oil in a pan over medium high heat
5. Form patties of about a quarter pound and put in pan to sear
6. Cook for about 15 minutes, alternating sides every 3 or 4 minutes to give a good crust on the outside of the patties
7. Place two slices of chevre on each patty and cover the pan to heat through (it won't really melt, but it'll get nice a warm)
8. Lightly toast your buns and spread mayo on the bottom half and the lemon-honey mustard on the top half
9. Place the patty, the tomato and the sprouts on the bottom bun and smash together so it's somewhat able to be eaten in one bite :)