Unpacking with Pinot

*** I received this wine as a sample. ***


Selfie at Lil’Bro & Sis’inLaw's Wedding

Selfie at Lil’Bro & Sis’inLaw’s Wedding

After coming home from Dallas and a day-trip to West Virginia for work, I was able to settle into a week of work before heading to my hometown in Upstate New York for my little brother’s wedding (although he’s not really so little any more!).  Lil’Bro was married on a Thursday, July 3rd, so Hubby and I left DC super early that morning to make the 6+ hour drive with enough time to clean-up and get to the ceremony on time.  It was a brutally hot and humid day, and shortly before the wedding was supposed to start, storm clouds started to roll in.  They decided to brave it out, and even as big drops started to fall, the ceremony went on outside as planned.  The rain was more than a drizzle, but not steady either.  It was a beautiful ceremony, and I couldn’t be happier for Lil’Bro and Sis’inLaw.

One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center

The next day, Hubby and I headed into New York City for the rest of July 4th weekend.  We went to Central Park, One World Trade Center, the 9/11 Memorial, and Hubby’s first Broadway (well, off-Broadway) musical.  We walked from Battery Park, through Chinatown, Little Italy, and the High Line, all the way back where we were staying in Hell’s Kitchen.  There was amazing food to fuel all the walking and sightseeing—dinner at Empanada Mama (where Hubby and I split a life-changing fig, caramel, and mozzarella dessert empanada), breakfast at the Carnegie Deli (where I indulged by love of franks and eggs), delicious Italian wine and pasta from Bricola Wine Bar (where I went for yummy Gavi), and one of the best brunches I’ve had at 44 1/2 , which we enjoyed out on the patio (where the cocktails are all music themed, so I couldn’t resist the one named after Lady Gaga while enjoying my deep dish French toast).  And, it all ended with an easy Amtrak ride back to DC on Sunday.

Selfie Walking Around NYC Chinatown

Selfie Walking Around NYC Chinatown

By the time we got home from the long weekend, I was exhausted.  However, as we were leaving for Santa Barbara bright and early on Thursday morning to head to the Wine Bloggers’ Conference, there was no rest for the weary.  Hubby and I unpacked the suitcases.  While he put together a light dinner, I started the laundry and opened a bottle of wine to help unwind.  I wanted something that when I opened it, I wouldn’t have to worry about weather it would be good, but at the same time, I also wanted to try something new.  Since I’ve come to rely on the Francis Ford Coppola Winery making a wine I like, I opened the 2011 Votre Santé Pinot Noir.

2011 Francis Ford Coppola Votre Santé Pinot Noir

2011 Francis Ford Coppola Votre Santé Pinot Noir

The 2011 Votre Santé Pinot Noir  (winery, snooth) is from California and is made with 100% Pinot Noir Grapes.  The wine was a medium ruby.  On the nose, there were red cherries, cloves, and hints of lavender and pomegranate.  In the mouth, there were pomegranates and cherries, mixed with a hint of spice and something woody.  The wine had a medium body, tannins, and acid.

Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely!  If you see this wine in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed.  At an SRP of $14, this wine is affordable, flavorful, and food-friendly.  I was sorry that I didn’t have a marinated grilled chicken and salad to go with the wine, as I think it would have been a nice accompaniment for summery meal, but it ended up being exactly what I was looking for on a Sunday night as Hubby and I tried to unwind while also preparing to hit the ground running on Monday before leaving on our next adventure.

Question of the Day:  I know it’s a few weeks ago, but how did you spend your July 4th weekend?

Francis Ford Coppola Winery cork



Suggested Retail Price: $14
Received as a sample.
Overall: 3.5 Corks

June 2014 Instagram Round-Up

June 2014 Instagram1) Homemade Oreos (recipe from Bakerella)
2) Friday night date night = Pinot Grigio at Wolf Trap
3) My June 2014 Birch Box
4) Lemon Shortbread Cookies (recipe from Lady Behind the Curtain)
5) Friday Night Rosé  Flight at Flight DC Wine Bar:

June 2014 Instagram Part 21) S’Mores Cookies (recipe by Carlsbad Cravings) and a 2012 Liberty School Chardonnay (90% Chardonnay, 5% Marsanne, and 5% Viognier) = 4 corks
2) Dallas = #EyeAtTheJoule, a Sobieski Vodka billboard, the historic marker for the first Neiman-Marcus, and a Sloe Park Swizzle at CBD Provisions
3) Up close and personal with LeAnn Rimes
4) #LazySummerAfternoon

Flight Song After A Long Flight Home

*** I received this wine as a sample. ***

LeAnn Rimes singing Can't Fight the Moonlight in Dallas

LeAnn Rimes singing “Can’t Fight the Moonlight” in Dallas

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of traveling.  Some of it is work-related and some of it is personal, but it there has definitely been a lot.  A couple of weeks ago, I ended up in Dallas for a work conference.  I had to speak on both Friday and Sunday afternoons, plus I made sure to schedule a couple of other meetings on Thursday after I landed, so I ended up being out there for 5 days and over a weekend.  I had a fantastic time, and I was able to attend some interesting conference sessions, enjoy a number of their conference-arranged festivities (like an on-the-field party at AT&T Stadium and an up-close-and-personal LeAnn Rimes concert), and explore the city on my own.  My flight home, though, wasn’t as enjoyable, as my plane was delayed and the gate was changed 4 times, one of which was a terminal change, and I was cranky from having to run all over the airport.

2013 Brancott Estate Flight Song Sauvignon Blanc

2013 Brancott Estate Flight Song Sauvignon Blanc

By the time I got back to DC, I was exhausted.  Since I had to head to West Virginia for work the following morning, I ended up skipping my tennis lessons in favor of spending the evening relaxing.  Hubby made dinner, while I opened up a bottle of wine and regaled him with my Adventures in the Big D.

The 2013 Brancott Estate Flight Song Sauvignon Blanc (winery) is from Marlborough, New Zealand and is made with 100% Sauvignon Blanc grapes.  The wine had a light, greenish-yellow color.  On the nose, there were pink grapefruits with a hint of limes and passion fruit.  In the mouth, there were more pink grapefruits, limes, and the slightest hint of minerality and green peppers.  The wine had a light body and lime-like acidity.  It also had 20% fewer calories than the average glass of wine, so plan on 88 calories for a 5oz pour.

Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely!  If you see this wine in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed.  At an SRP of $15, this wine is a great option for a summer cookout.  It’s bright and refreshing, which will help keep you cool in the heat.  Plus, it has fewer calories than other affordable, light-bodied whites, so if you’re planning on drinking more than a glass or two, it’s the perfect option for indulging without packing on the calories or sacrificing taste and quality.  For me, it was exactly what I needed after coming back from a weekend of eat delicious (but heavy) Tex-Mex, Texas BBQ, and Texas chili while drinking Texas beer.

Question of the Day: Do you think you would choose a wine based upon the number of calories in a glass?  Would having a lower calorie wine make a difference in how many glass you will drink?

Brancott Estate Stelvin Cap




Suggested Retail Price: $15
Received as a sample.
Overall: 3.5 Corks

Unveiling the New “A Glass After Work”

Hello, dear readers…and welcome to the new and improved “A Glass After Work!”  In celebration of the blog’s 5-year anniversary, it seemed appropriate to update the look.

As with any big project, it’s taken a few weeks to get everything organized and off the ground, which is why my blogging slowed down.  I owe a VERY special thank you to Hubby who was a tremendous help with the redesign.  He sacrificed several weekends (including one while I was traveling for work) setting up a development site so I wouldn’t break the “live” one as I experimented with changes; helping me think through the new look and find the fonts, backgrounds, and themes I wanted; and finally working out a number of technical bugs that I could never have fixed on my own.  Ultimately, he helped me pull this all together, and we did it just in time for the 2014 Wine Bloggers’ Conference on July 11-13 in Santa Barbara!!

As for the update itself, the look has a cleaner feel for every day reading and will hopefully make it easier to find wines and beers if you’re searching for something in particular.  At the same time, the changes also reflect the fact that I’ve increased my focus on beer without sacrificing my love of wine.

There are some smaller changes still to come, so be on the lookout for those throughout the rest of the summer.  In the meantime, take some time and explore the new site.  I’d love to know what you think.

And with that, it’s back to my regularly scheduled blogging…

A Summery Inspiration White

Normally, when I’m tasting a wine or beer, I not only take tasting notes, but also notes about my day, what Hubby and I were having for dinner,  and just general details abut the drinking experience.  I think I must have been so absorbed in to opening the 2013 HandCraft Inspiration that I forgot to jot down these “extra” thoughts.

2013 HandCraft Inspiration White Wine

2013 HandCraft Inspiration White Wine

The 2013 HandCraft Inspiration White (winery, snooth) is a blend of Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Moscato, and Pinot Grigio grapes from California.  The wine was a light straw yellow.  On the nose, there were honeysuckles, Granny Smith apples, and yellow grapefruits mixed with hints of honeydew melon.  In the mouth, there were honeydew melons and nectarines with hints of flowers and candied lemons.  The wine was light bodied with good acid and a touch of sweetness.

Is this worth a glass after work? Sure…you won’t be drinking anything out of the ordinary, but you’ll have a decent, reliable glass.  At an SRP of $13, this is a good wine for a hot day.  Even though it’s not going to offer anything out of the ordinary, this wine is refreshing, food-friendly, and affordable.  Plus, the HandCraft wines donates some of the proceeds of their wines to Breast Cancer Research through HandCraft Cares, which means not only will you get a good bottle of wine, but also you will be helping a good cause.  So, as the summer weather takes over and you’re looking for a wine to sip while sitting by the pool or enjoying a cookout with friends, this is a wine that will pair nicely with veggie dip and sunshine.

Question of the Day:  Have you started drinking “summer wines” yet or is it not quite hot enough where you are?