WINE FOR ALL OF US

REMOVE THE SNOB FACTOR a-animglas.gif IT’S STILL GOOD

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Yes, I enjoy my wine. Red’s especially, but in the right context most good wines are fine. There is an excellent site on the web called VineSugar that gives us entry to the ‘wine scene’ with very little pain. It’s one of the best sites on the web – of any kind.

They also have a page that indexes all the wine blogs so that there is no need to set up tabs in your Firefox browser – nor do you need a news reader – great idea. They are the folks that turned me on to the Gurdies Winery. This little Australian winery has some good to very good wines and a nice service – personalized wine bottles, (good for the ego.)

The premier wine blog is Vinography. It’s current, active, commercial, and full of good news. Try them out for a taste of main stream snobbery. They have an enormous and valuable list of links – it makes me dizzy, (not ditzy!)

a-johs-rack.JPGI also like reading the “BUDGET WINE BABE” blog. She and I are very much the same – too damn practical for our own good. I wish she would write something every day – then, so too, do I wish that I would too. She has a good post about what climate change is going to do to wines and wine growing. It’s happening now and it’s a little frightening. She tries hard to be green – so do I.

I’m fixing a grape crust for the rack of lamb this evening – better trot over to the wine sites to see what might go with it as a change of pace. I like to call the servings “Lamb Lolly-pops.” a-racko.jpgHere’s a picture of the beast from my new camera. It’s getting warm and ready to marinate. I’m getting this software down – but boy am I slow.

It’s cold and crisp outside and the clouds are letting in some sunshine. I’ll have time to pack the lamb. get groceries, fish for a couple of hours and be back in time for dinner – if I hurry.

HERE’S THE BASIC RECIPE

Yield: 2 to 4 Servings
Fresh herb rub: Basil, fresh, chopped 1 tsp. Thyme, fresh or dried, chopped 1/2 tsp. Oregano, fresh or dried, chopped 1/2 tsp. Rosemary, fresh, chopped 1 tsp. Fennel seed, crushed 1 tsp. Salt 1 tsp. Pepper, freshly ground 2 tsp. (I’m going to use about a pound of fresh green grapes ground up in a sieve with the stems and seeds included & about 1/4 cup of dried mustard as well.) Two lamb racks, (7-8 bones per rack.) Olive oil 2 Tbsp. Garlic and Red Wine Sauce: Red wine 1/2 cup, Chicken stock 1/2 cup, Red wine vinegar 1 Tbsp. 12 – 14 garlic cloves, medium, whole, peeled, salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat gas oven to 475°F. In small bowl, combine basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, fennel, salt and pepper – (and the mashed grapes and mustard); generously coat racks all over with rub. In large heavy skillet over high flame, preheat oil; brown racks 3-5 minutes per side. Drain fat from pan, reserving any juices in pan for sauce. Place racks fat side up in a roasting pan; roast on center rack of gas oven 13 to 15 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 130°F to 135°F for medium rare. Transfer racks to warm plate – cover to keep heat; let rest 10 minutes while making sauce. Return skillet to medium-high flame; add wine, chicken stock and garlic; bring to boil, scraping up any browned pieces. Cover pan; reduce flame to very low and cook for 10 minutes. Remove lid, return to boil; reduce sauce until syrupy. Cut racks into individual lolly-pops. Spoon sauce over lamb and serve.

I like carrots and parsnips on the side. Batter-fried yellow Bell Pepper rings are also very good. A heavy Madeira with lightly-salted French Vanilla ice cream & coffee is a good dessert. The wine for tonight is probably going to be a 2001 “Kronos Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon, (unless something else turns up at the local cellar.)

This wine was snob rated at 9.5 by Vinography: “Medium garnet in the glass this wine has a gorgeous nose of cherry, violets, and uncharacteristically (for Napa) the pungent bouquet of mixed herbs that the French refer to as garrigue. In the mouth the wine has excellent balance and an acidity that makes for extremely juicy flavors of bing cherry and notes of plum. The tannic structure is smooth and subdued and carries the red fruit aromas through a substantial finish. Score: 9/9.5.LINK.

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