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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Benefactors Cellars Shiraz 2011

thanks to f Yeah Wine for the picture.

Time for a quick wine review. This time from the 2011 Benefactors Cellars Shiraz from TJs. I have a new philosophy when it comes to sub $10 wines that I like to call the 2 buck chuck factor. Basically it states that if a wine is not clearly better then 2 buck chuck then it automatically gets a thumbs down.  There are tons of wine reviewing websites out there who have a 10point scale or a 5 wine glass scale or some other gauge used to determine how good or bad a wine is. I simply decided to go with a yea or nay which is solely based on how it stacks up to Charles Shaw. I figure it is clearly not better then a bottle of wine that cost a handful of coins how good can it be?

So then, that brings us to the Benefactors Cellars Shiraz 2011. It basically had a nose akin to that of Robitussin and really have no other attributes whatsoever. Gave it another shot the next hoping it may open or somehow turn into Opus 1 but alas it was the same schfilk I drank the night before. Without going into further detail I will say this wine does not trump the Shiraz offering from Charles Shaw this it receives an resounding nay vote. Apparently, Benefactor Cellars had a much better vintage a few years ago that caused a buying frenzy so hopefully future offerings may be better. For the record, I also have a bottle of the Benefactors Cellars Cab that I will review in the near future...hopefully with better results. So for the benefactor cellars shiraz once again.....I give this laurel and a hearty Nay. I would not recommend it with the unexpected cheddar, nor paired with a torta from la chiva torta nor with even the lowest grade of offering from the Meat House in Mission Viejo, I would not drink it on a boat, I would not drink it with a goat.

Until is a picture of a bunch of red headed kids eating ice cream.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Meat House- Goat Cheese Sausage and Kalbi Steak

Was able to finally try out the Meat House in Mission Viejo thanks largely to a Groupon offer. They provided excellent service and I was looking forward to comparing to my favorite butcher shop in OC and maybe on planet earth in the Beef Palace in Huntington Beach.

Anyhow to report, we picked up some kalbi steak tips, some goat cheese sausage, a preseasoned steak which I never cooked, and some basic beef hot dogs for the kids.

As I was perusing the line of sausages the guy behind the counter at the Meat House highly recommended the Goat Cheese Sausage so I took him up on it and glad I did.  The creamyness and slightly tart elements of flavor were a very nice contrasts to the savory spices of the meat. Everyone in attendance raved about it. Would be a wonderful pairing served with a dab of creme cheese on a craker or a toast point. Even by itself though was easily worth the price of admission.

As for the Kalbi, the quality of the meat was easily top notch. The texture and consistency was amazing and once again no doubting the quality and grade of the meat was that of an uber-grade. As for the seasoning, it was not too bad but not the best either. I could see in other parts of the country some would consider it a home run but considering our proximity to Garden Grove and Westminster and some of our local Korean BBQs it lacked that distinct Kalbi flavor that I am used to. Did not detect much garlic nor any sesame oil. A great cut of meat for sure though.  You take this cut of meat but use the marinade at Takamiya Market in Maui and youve got yourself Korean BBQ heaven.

Some other items....found some huge russets that I cut into large steak style fries rolled in olive oil and grilled. This is a great BBQ item as they taste just like french fries, which the kids love, and sprinkled with some garlic salt and some Parmesan make a fantastic side and nice alternative to traditional baked potatoes.

Also finished up with more chicken from the Beef Palace. Its a cant miss BBQ item and I asked whether we wanted to do some BBQ sauce but everyone said no as the quality of the chicken holds up on it's own. I also used some mesquite/apple wood smoke chips that gave a nice coloring.

We had a couple of wines as well in 2 Aussie Shiraz offerings, Red Knot Shiraz and Metricup Road Margaret River Valley from Total Wine. I know people always like to pair Shiraz with BBQ offerings and these two bottles were alright. The Red Knot was better from initial pour but once the Metricup opened up had some nuances and interesting elements that made it worthy. Nice picks....not home runs but once again both had enough going to make the worthy for your next BBQ.