Friday, August 22, 2014

Toasting the king of inexpensive wines, oversized cantaloupes

This 1.5 liter bottle of 2012 California Cabernet Sauvignon from Costco Wholesale costs the equivalent of about $4 a bottle, but its smoothness and complexity set it apart from other inexpensive red wines.

Editor's note: Today, I discuss Kirkland Signature California Cabernet Sauvignon and peeled Christopher Ranch garlic, both from Costco Wholesale, and compare cantaloupes from ShopRite and the Teaneck Farmers' Market.


"Black currant with broad, red fruit notes that linger on the palate and are surrounded by hints of spice and sweet smoke with a graceful finish of cherry and mocha."

I'll take your word for it, Costco Wholesale.

But I'd describe your Kirkland Signature 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon as one of the smoothest, most delicious red wines I have ever tasted.

And I've tasted a lot of cheap, red wine from around the world -- routinely ordering introductory cases from wine clubs that usually cost $5 to $7 a bottle, including shipping.

I buy your Cabernet in a 1.5 liter bottle for $7.99 -- or the equivalent of less than $4 a bottle -- at the Costco in Wayne.

This week, I opened a bottle I bought in March to eat with spicy fried fish and was bowled over again by the smoothness and complex, mouth-filling flavors. 

I'll drink to you, Costco.

I used a few fistfuls of peeled Christopher Ranch Monviso Garlic from California, a refrigerated product from Costco Wholesale, for this dish of store-bought bok choy (79 cents a pound at the Englewood H Mart) and string beans from our garden with sherry, salt, black pepper and other seasoning. I blanched the vegetables first in boiling water and sauteed the chopped garlic in extra-virgin olive oil.

Facing a garlic deadline

I'm using a lot of garlic in my cooking, especially in view of the "BEST BY" date of Sept. 6 on my latest 3-pound bag of peeled Christopher Ranch Monviso Garlic from Costco Wholesale.

On Thursday night, I chopped up a few fistfuls of garlic and sauteed them with extra-virgin olive oil for a side dish of bok choy and string beans.

This week, I also used lots of garlic in mashed sweet potatoes.

About 10 days ago, I threw three or four handfuls of whole peeled cloves into an electric cooker with organic chicken stock, brown rice, a trio of lentils and diced tomatoes, and the garlic cooked beautifully.

Now, I am again having a problem re-closing the bag of garlic I have in the refrigerator, and I'm using a rubber band to keep air out.

Some of the garlic in a previous bag got moldy before the "BEST BY" date.

A simple salad of red-leaf and romaine lettuces with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I bought the two large heads of lettuce for $1.99 each on Thursday at the Teaneck Farmers' Market.

The cantaloupe I bought for $4 at the Teaneck Farmers' Market, right, next to two others from ShopRite in Paramus, where they were 99 cents each on Tuesday.

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