It really doesn’t take much to make me happy.
Sure, I occasionally dream of days and nights filled with Parisian fashion models, Veuve Clicquot La Grand Dame Rosé ’95 (exquisite, by the way) and meals at Le Bec-Fin (never been there). But the truth is, I’m pretty content with the basic pleasures in life.
I like to drink cold, cheap, domestic beer out of a can while I do yard work. I like Nathan’s hot dogs and Ore-Ida french fries (Golden Crinkle, of course). I like to sit on my front porch and drink Georges Duboeuf Cuvee Blanc when it’s hot outside.
I’m certainly happy that my tastes have evolved enough that I appreciate a broad range of sensory delights—good food, good wine, etc. However, a simple meal, a big glass of red wine and good company are among my favorite pleasures.
And that is exactly what I enjoyed last night. My dinner companions were E (my girlfriend) and S-May (her son). We had pork tenderloin marinated in Stubb’s Pork Marinade and Parmesan mashed potatoes.
Now, I can dress up pork tenderloin in a number of ways, but the Stubb’s is simply amazing. Easy and good—I like that. Matched up with creamy, warm, mashed potatoes liberally dosed with fresh-grated Parmesan, it was a delicious meal.
Of course, a good meal isn’t complete without a glass of wine. We opened a bottle of my latest bargain favorite, Hardys Nottage Hill Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz 2003.
Cabernet and shiraz complement each other so well. There are several Aussie cab/shiraz blends that make great everyday reds, but the Hardys is particularly good—dark fruit, silky tannins and hints of licorice and pepper.
Not bad for $5.99 at Green’s. I’m sure this is also a bargain in many other wine stores nationwide.
Speaking of cabernet/shiraz blends, there are two French blends that are worth checking out if you’re in the mood for something more substantial:
Mas de Guiot Cabernet-Syrah Vin Du Gard 2003
Mas Carlot Cabernet-Syrah Vin de Pay d’Oc 2003
Both of these wines remind me that there are still truly interesting wines in the under-$15 category.