Saturday, April 28, 2012

Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat

Okay, this beer is probably one of the most unique beers I've ever tasted.  If you are from RI or close enough you may have first tried this beer at The Mews in Wakefield RI.  If not then hopefully someone near by has it on tap. You can find it at most package stores but it is some what of a new brew and not everyone carries it.  Here is my  take on it.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy yellow orange with a small head. 
Smell:  A wonderful smelling beer, fruity, smells of citrus, wheat and a hint of blueberry.
Taste: Amazing fruity flavor, orange really pops...but the best way to really describe this beer is it tastes almost identical to fruity pebbles cereal.  Yes you read that right.  If you don't believe me then you have got to go pick some up and give it a try.
Feel: Smooth, lightly carbonated.
Overall:  Loved this beer.  I am a big fan of fruit beers such as Magic Hat #9 or other beers like this one that are not over bearing with fruit flavor.  I could drink this beer over and over, its so refreshing and at 4.2% alc vol.
Grade: A

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hi neighbor have a 'Gansette Summer Ale

On the way home from work this past Friday I got a call from Meg and she couldn't wait for me to pick up a 6 pack of beer.  I wanted to have something crisp and refreshing so I gambled and went with Narragansett Summer Ale.  Here is my take on it.
Appearance:  Golden yellow in color and it pours a nice creamy head about 1" that disappears fairly quick. 
Smell:  Nice aromas of hops, sweet, grassy, and CITRUS!
Taste:  Bready, malty, cereal flavors with a refreshing hop citrus flavor.  So good.
Feel: This brew is light bodied, with light carbonation, not to sweet and not to bitter, and in my opinion has great drinkability.  At 4.2% alc volume I could drink these all day, they are almost thirst quenching.  I can see myself drinking this beer all summer, at a BBQ, the beach, late night campfire.
Overall:  This beer is a great addition to my summer brew rotation.  I would definitely recommend you give this  brew a shot at least once. Another cool thing about this beer is its made about 20 minutes from my house.
Grade: B+

The Towers of Narragansett in 1885 - Check out the its History here.  You can see the towers on the 16oz tallboy above.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Fetzer 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

I owe this  wonderful posting and review to my mom who took on the burden of trying some new wine ;)  for us all. She was tasked with finding something new for under 10 dollars and she came across this great wine that not only tastes good the winery is also very environmentally conscious. Their vineyards produce wine using 100% renewable energy sources!  Its nice to see that their are vineyards out there that are doing their part to make good wine and also a better planet.   Here is her review!

Appearance: Deep red-purple in color.
Smell: Aromas of blackberry, cherry,vanilla, and oak 
Taste: This wine has a surprising amount of layers to it, upfront you get the obvious oak flavor but as it unfolds you get the hints of fruit, blackberry, cherry, and hints of mocha.
Feel:  Medium bodied wine with medium to firm tannin's.
Overall:  Loved this wine and for the price of 6 bucks you can't go wrong.  Probably one of the best wines I have had for under 10 dollars.  I would highly recommend this wine for any night you feel like hanging home, relaxing, and enjoying a glass of wine.  
Grade: A

For more information on Fetzer Vineyard's philosphy and sustainability operations check this out. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

I love the holidays especially when you get together with family and amazing food is served.  This Easter was pretty low key however my step mom and dad always go all out when it comes to Sunday dinners.  On the menu was filet mignon (my favorite), caramelized carrots, roasted broccoli and cauliflower and to top it off we had sea scallops smothered in shallots and butter.  My dad had also picked up a bottle of Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi.  Here is what I thought.

Appearance:  It has a nice deep rich purple to red color with great clarity and good leg.
Smell:  Oakey, fruity, predominantly notes of cherry jumped out at me.
Taste:  Oakey at first, but hints of mostly cherry and blackberry.
Feel:  Medium bodied wine with a velvety feel.
Overall:  For $11.99 you can't beat this wine, not to mention its a MAGNUM!  It went very well with the Filet, may have been a little overpowering for the scallops but I guess you can't get to picky for the price.  This wine would be great to have on hand for small unexpected get together's.  In my opinion it does well compared to Robert Mondavi's Private Selection :)

Sea Scallops

The Main Course

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Magic Hat Pistil Dandelion Ale Chilled Soup

Summer is in the air! I cannot wait to fire up the grill and have my first cook out...fill up the propane tank stat! So tonight is day two and I am trying to contain myself from drinking all of the flavors from the variety pack...its almost painful.  Today I decided on trying Pistil, here goes.

Appearance: Bright yellow slightly hazy with a little sediment (its an unfiltered brew)
Smell: grassy, from the dandelion, and notes of lemon citrus!
Taste: Very very refreshing, citrus lemony, grassy
Feel:  Smooth, low to medium carbonation!
Overall:  Loved this, probably my new favorite summer beer!  Unbelievably refreshing, I could drink this over and over again.
Rating:  A


• 4 cucumbers
• 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
• 1 cup sour cream
• 1 (12-ounce bottle) Magic Hat Pistil
• 1 large bunch fresh mint
• 1 small bunch fresh chives
• salt
• sugar
• ground black pepper

• 4 cucumbers, peeled and seeded and cut into chunks
• 1 cup plain yogurt, preferably Greek-style
• 1 cup sour cream
• 1 cup Magic Hat Pistil
• 1/2 packed cup fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish if desired
• 2 tablespoons chopped chives, plus more for garnish if desired
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

• Place all ingredients in a food processor and puree.
• Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours.
• Taste and add more salt, sugar or pepper if needed.
• Serve, garnished with chopped mint and/or chives, if desired.

 About 6 (6-ounce) servings

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Christmas In Summer! Magic Hat's Elder Betty

I don't know about you but whenever the seasons change I get super excited about all the seasonal beer that is just around the corner!!  I must say I am a huge fan the SUMMER seasonal variety packs.  Let's be honest there is not much better than an ice COLD beer in your hand on a HOT summer day especially if your on the beach or at a cookout with some friends and family.

So today I splurged a bit and went for the good stuff... a case of Magic Hats summer variety pack! (not to mention it includes two beers on my beer quest list)  For this review I couldn't help myself but to try the Elder Betty, so here goes.

Appearance:  Golden orange but with a touch of haziness to it.
Smell:  Distinctive berry aroma with a solid wheat and grain background
Taste:  This one caught me off guard, upfront a grainy, grassy flavor but then as it settles the second flavor hits you in the face and it was very berry flavor with a hint of good.
Feel:  Smooth, not what I expected from a summer brew because it wasn't super crisp but then again I kinda liked that because overly carbonated beers are not my favorite.
Overall:  This weiss style beer has a nice fruity finish, not over powering in flavor, something I can definitely see myself drinking over and over on a hot day.  Nice change up if you a partial to the many lemon and lime flavored summer brews out there.
Rating:  A-

Monday, April 2, 2012

Mark West - 2010 Pinot Noir Paring

Let me start off by thanking my step-mom for making such an amazing dinner to go along with this wine.  On the way home I got a phone call from her asking if I wanted her to drop off a dish of roasted duck with a apple and prune stuffing! Lets be honest who would say NO to that! So I dropped by the package store to pick up a Pinot Noir and I ran into a friend who recommended a 2010 Mark West Pinot Noir as a good, fairly inexpensive bottle.  Here is my review and the recipe for the amazing roasted duck dish :)

Appearance: The color reminded me of a bing cherry that is about 90% ripe
Smell:   Light on the oakey side with a fruity aroma with hits of berry's and cherry's really coming through
Taste:  Sweet, fruity, low acidity, oakey with blackberry and cherry being the main flavors and a little bit of spice towards the finish, 
Feel:  A light to medium bodied wine, but definitely more towards the lighter side and silky smooth.
Overall:  I must say this wine was perfect for this dish, it paired amazing with the apple and prune stuffing.  It was like a gourmet thanksgiving had the juicy roasted duck, stuffing and an amazing gravy to smother it all in. 


  • 1 (5-pound) duck
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 cup pitted prunes, halved
  • 3 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and cut in wedges
  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 pint dried rye bread cubes, crusts off
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fruity red wine, such as Pinot Noir
  • 2 cups chicken stock


Duck is a notoriously fatty bird. To diminish the fat and produce a crispy skin, begin by trimming the excess fat from the body. Rinse the duck thoroughly, inside and out, and pat dry with paper towels. Season the bird inside and out with a generous amount of salt and pepper.
To prepare the stuffing: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, celery seed, prunes, apples, and 4 sage leaves; season with salt and pepper; saute for 10 minutes until soft. Add the bread cubes and toss the mixture together to combine. Put the stuffing in a large mixing bowl and moisten it with a squeeze of lemon and the heavy cream; give it another toss and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the stuffing into the duck cavity. Rip off a foot long piece of aluminum foil and lay it on an insert rack fitted in a roasting pan, let a bit of the foil hang off the end. Lay the duck, breast-side up, on the foil; tuck the wing tips back under the duck, and fold the excess foil over the end of the duck with the stuffing. The foil will protect the stuffing from burning and falling into the delicious duck fat.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Roast the duck for 21/2 to 3 hours, rotating the pan every 20 minutes or so. It may seem like a bother, but it's the best way to ensure an even crispy skin. The legs will wiggle easily when the bird is done and an instant-read thermometer will register about 180 degrees F when inserted into the thigh.
Take the insert rack out of the pan and set the duck on a cutting board to let it rest before carving. Now you have a whole lot of duck fat in the bottom of the roasting pan. Pour out all but a couple of tablespoons of the duck fat into a container and reserve.
For the gravy: Place the roasting pan, with the couple of tablespoons of duck fat, on the stove over 2 burners set on medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour and stir to make a paste. Crank the heat up to high and add the wine, cook and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan, until the liquid is reduced slightly. Add the chicken stock and remaining 4 sage leaves, season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes until the gravy has thickened slightly.