I've always enjoyed the products from Bogle, and decided to try out the 2004 Bogle Pinot Noir from the Russian River in California. Runs for around $14.
There's very little nose on this wine, but the taste is fine and full. Some strawberries, plum, a little spice. Tiny bite right on the finish. Medium-strength tannins that disappear rather quickly. It retains that light mouth feel that is so prized in Pinot Noir. It doesn't taste like a Burgundy or a North California/Oregon Pinot Noir, but is good in its own right.
For dinner, I was faced with a bit of a quandary. I really wanted some cheese ravioli, but the girlfriend isn't eating tomatoes right now. And a simple cream sauce would be boring. So I turned to this recipe found on Taste Everything Once: A Pumpkin Cream Sauce for Pasta. Follow the link for the recipe, it's very simple. I don't have any sage, but substituted fresh oregano with good results. (Next year every windowsill in my house is going to have one or more herbs growing on it.) Just one critical note: if using canned pumpkin, make sure you get the pure pumpkin, and not the pumpkin pie filling. Though if you like your sauce sweet, knock yourself out.
It's really tasty, and the pumpkin flavor is very light and mild. The wine may have been a bit strong, but with the good salty ricotta inside the pasta and the little punch from herbs and black pepper, it held up wonderfully. There's something comforting about mashed squash; I don't know if it has to do with baby food or comfort food during the winter. Whether pumpkin or turban or acorn or butternut squash, it's bound to make you feel good. On several dinner party occasions, I've had one of the participants come up to me, see the pile of acorn squash, and get all excited and hug me. I don't think that the squash, one of our Native American delicacies, gets enough respect in the realm of haute cuisine.
Pictured is some of the leftovers, kicked up with some more fresh oregano, some black pepper, and a little grey sea salt. Much better the second day.