About a week ago I tried to treat myself to a steak and bottle of red for one... The steak didn't turn out so well, so I tried it again tonight. It had been a rough day at work, and thus on the way home I lucked into a massive T-Bone that had been marked down to a ridiculously low price. Grabbed some small russet potatoes, and headed home. I'd also set out a five-pack of frozen chicken thighs to thaw in the fridge overnight, but upon getting home decided that the combination of meats and nice weather meant it was time for the First Barbeque of the Year.
I roasted the potatoes in the same manner as I did for the Combinations dinner, with some melted butter and fresh rosemary. I smoked the chicken thighs for about an hour on the cool part of the grill, basting occasionally with some leftover hard cider. The steak was a work of art on its own, and really just needed a little salt and pepper and some careful grilling for about twelve minutes (it weighed in at around 1.5 lbs or .68 kg!).
And the wine? I decided to revisit the charmingly named 2004 The Wishing Tree Shiraz. I tasted this back in August, but didn't much care for it at the time. There's a chance that was an off bottle, or that (because it was a blind tasting) the bottle had been misidentified later. I was much happier this time, as it tasted like a good $15 Shiraz oughta. Two thirds Western Australia and one third South Australia... Dark berries and a little leather on the nose, with bold fruit flavors on the tongue and a peppery finish. The tannins give it a nice little bite but aren't mouth-drying or overpowering. Definitely recommended.
I'll also point out that this is the second wine in a row that I've had from The Australian Premium Wine Collection. There's been some good articles written in the past couple of years about finding an importer you like and following his or her wines. Sometimes this takes a bit of work (such as for Dan Phillips' Grateful Palate). However, John Larchet has been kind enough to include a neck label on each bottle in the collection to help identify it. I've been happy with these two wines, and will be on the lookout for more.