I had planned this elaborate Christmas Eve dinner. Really... Elaborate... I have had the past two months at home recovering and those cookbooks were just staring at me, tempting me, and I felt great, why not cook. In addition, I have my first ever NYC X-mas tree, the apartment is bright, sparkly, smells great (I love the smell of a real tree - sorry if it is bad for the environment), and when the strategically placed candles are lit, and the tree lights are on, my living room is down right stunning.
Then I got a cold. And let me say that an immunosurpressed cold knocks you flat out. Christmas Eve dinner was canceled.
Before I got my cold, while attending my office Holiday Dinner, in the "steal a gift" portion of the evening, I received (ok stole - sorry Pam) a goodie bag of Trader Joe's products, including this bottle of wine: TBD Rouge Lodi 2007 it is a blended wine, according to the label: Zinfandel, Petit Sirah, Malbec.
On Christmas Eve, I opened the bottle to use it in a Sausage, onion and Sage pasta sauce. I tasted the wine first. TBD Rouge is a sharp, acidic red. A lot of tannin. This is not a wine I would ever curl up in the candlelight drinking. I wasn't even tempted to finish the glass.
I took a couple of sips and the dumped it in the sauce. It didn't add the depth to the sauce that I was hoping for - it actually added a bitterness that over powered the sage. I would have been better off not using wine at all, but I am still heavily medicated (at least that is my excuse) and I chalked this failure up to experience and was glad that I was only cooking for one that night.
The bottle sat in my fridge until Christmas, when - temptation, nostalgia and the need for a drink got the best of me,and I mulled this wine with brandy, spices, sugar and orange slices. I drank it from a mug while eating Carr's Assorted Crackers for cheese with melted cheddar.
Mulled, it was ok. The brandy added a heaviness that balanced the wine a bit better, and the sugar cut the acidity and mellowed the tannins, but it wasn't spectacular. I drank my mug and poured the rest down the drain.
I am officially back, the transplant is doing very well, I have permission from my Doctor to drink in moderation, so I guess that will be my theme for the ensuing months: ambitious planning and execution with my consumption in moderation.
I have decided to convert my Christmas Eve menu to a New Year's Eve Menu, so look for a very ambitious post next week.