04 October 2010

2008 Hope Estate "Pink Awareness" Shiraz

A quick post in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There are several charity-themed wines out there these days, and breast cancer is a common theme. Generally the situation is that a winemaker has lost a wife or mother, or perhaps someone at the winery is a survivor herself. I don't know the inspiration with this particular wine, but a portion of the proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Network of Strength.

2008 Hope Estate "Pink Awareness" Shiraz
Hunter Valley, New South Wales
$13, 13.5% abv.

Plums, blackberries, a touch of raspberry tartness on the finish. Good fruit flavor and medium tannins, but ultimately light due to the restrained alcohol. I know it's odd to say 13.5% is light, but for Aussie Shiraz these days this is practically a German Riesling.

Here are some other breast cancer charity wines I've covered--I'm not sure about current vintages, but you may find bottles still rattling around here and there: Big Tattoo Red & Cline Cashmere.

I had some odds and ends in the fridge and wound up with this earthy Irish-style dinner. At least I prepared it in a fresher fashion than boiling it all to hell in the traditional manner of my ancestors.

The lamb shoulder chop is an unappreciated cut. Normal triangular lamb chops are justifiably popular, and the rack of lamb is one of my all-time favorite things to cook. But I tend to save those for when I'm having dinner with friends. A lamb shoulder, on the other hand, is the choice cut for stews and braises, but it's easy enough to find a half pound, $3 shoulder chop that cooks up very nicely in a hot skillet. Add in some roasted new potatoes with sea salt and Brussels sprouts topped with a little pepper vinegar, and you've got a delicious meal that requires zero culinary skill. Sometimes it's nice to break out a dozen pots and pans and have multiple sauces and microgreens and three different kinds of olive oil, but other times you just want a simple yet flavorful dinner.

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