The Tlo Wines GSM Is Not To Be Missed

2012 Tlo Wines Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre (GSM) – At $30, this red wine blend from California is worth a weekend splurge. The tannins cling to the mouth, and the flavors lingered in the finish. It’s a wine that will wrap you up like it was a blanket and provided pure, tasting pleasure. 4.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.comHubby leaves his first day of chemo with a pump that infuses his medicine 24/7, which means Days 2, 3, 4 and 5 of his chemo cycle are mostly spent at home. For three of those days, we head to the infusion center for an hour or so every afternoon so they can give Hubby fluids, nausea medicine, and refill the pump with the next round of medicine. We both took off from work that first week of treatment because we didn’t know what to expect. That meant we spent much of Day 2 reading and trying to settle into our new normal. Once we returned home from the infusion center, the evening was relatively quiet. We had chicken and rice soup for dinner, and then cuddled on the couch for the evening while binge watching House of Cards. And of course, I opened a bottle of red wine, and since I had done so well the night before with the wine from The Wine Bloggers’ Conference Scholarship Fund Wine Club, I decided to jump right into another bottle.

2012 Tlo Wines GSM back label

The 2012 Tlo Wines Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre (GSM) (winery) was from the Arroyo Grande Valley in California and was made with 37% Grenache, 34% Syrah, and 29% Mourvèdre grapes. The wine was dark purple. On the nose, there were blackberries and strawberries mixed with hints of plums, vanilla, black pepper, and the tiniest bit of smoke. In the mouth, there were blackberries, plums, with hints of vanilla, chocolate, and smoke. The wine had a medium-to-full body, tannins, and acid.

Tlo Wines owner and winemaker, Andy Zaninovich bottled his first wines 9 years ago, although the wines were for private use at the time. In 2011, Tlo Wines became a bonded winery. Today, the micro-winery produces about 700 cases annually, and the wines generally range from $30-$50 a bottle.   It’s possibly the smallest commercial winery that I’ve ever tasted wine from, and I’m so glad I did!

2012 Tlo Wines Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre (GSM) – At $30, this red wine blend from California is worth a weekend splurge. The tannins cling to the mouth, and the flavors lingered in the finish. It’s a wine that will wrap you up like it was a blanket and provided pure, tasting pleasure. 4.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.comIs the 2012 Tlo Wines GSM worth a glass after work? It’s worth more than one!  What are you waiting for? At the wine club price of $30, this wine is worth a weekend splurge. Admittedly, it was a bit heavy of a wine for the chicken and rice soup, but that was my fault in choosing the pairing, not the wine’s fault. After dinner, I continued to drink the wine on its own, and just loved it. The tannins from the wine clung to my mouth, as the flavors lingered in the finish. It was a wine that just wrapped me up like it was a blanket and provided pure, tasting pleasure.

Just as a note, as this blog post goes live, the winery has the GSM on sale for $17, which is a fantastic QPR, particularly if this is your first order with Tlo Wines and you’re able to take advantage of the free shipping when you order more than 4 bottles. So, if you think this is a wine you want to try, now is the time!

Question of the Day: Do you like red wines with big, grippy tannins, the type of wines that cling to your mouth?

 

Purchased at The Wine Bloggers’ Conference Scholarship Fund Wine Club
Overall: 4.5 Corks

KickAss Britchen Red is Definitely KickAss

KickAss Britchen Red – At $32, this is red wine blend from Paso Robles California is appropriately named. This wine is perfect for a cookout, sitting around a fire pit talking with friends, or curled up with a good book. Rating: 4.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.comI received KickAss Britchen Red as part of the The Wine Bloggers’ Conference Scholarship Fund Wine Club, which is why I decided to open it after my disappointing experience with the Peraj Petita. I’ve belonged to the wine club for just under a year, and while I’ve only blogged about the Levo Mint so far, I’ve opened most of the wines I’ve received and loved them all. So, I had faith this wine was going to be the red I was looking for.

KickAss Britchen Red – At $32, this is red wine blend from Paso Robles California is appropriately named. This wine is perfect for a cookout, sitting around a fire pit talking with friends, or curled up with a good book. Rating: 4.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

KickAss Britchen Red by AronHill Vineyards

The KickAss Britchen Red (winery) was from Paso Robles, California and was a red blend of 70% Estate Primitivo, 20% Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Zinfandel grapes. The wine had a dark purplish, ruby color. On the nose, there were strawberries mixed with red and black cherries and a hint of nutmeg and smokiness. In the mouth, there were strawberries, cherries, and nutmeg mixed with hints of cedar and smoke. The wine had medium-to-full-body, tannins, and acid.

Is this worth a glass after work? It’s worth more than one!  What are you waiting for? At $32 a bottle, I know this isn’t an everyday wine for most people, but it’s definitely a wine worth splurging on. Interestingly, for all the hints of darker characteristics in the wine, I found it lively and incredibly easy to drink. It’s very food-friendly. Just keep in mind that while it may not taste like it, this wine has a pretty high alcohol content. So, don’t let that catch you off guard, especially as I have no doubt that you won’t want to stop at just one glass.

KickAss Britchen Red – At $32, this is red wine blend from Paso Robles California is appropriately named. This wine is perfect for a cookout, sitting around a fire pit talking with friends, or curled up with a good book. Rating: 4.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.comAs summer draws to a close and you start thinking about Labor Day cookouts, this is a wine that would be perfect to pair with cheeseburgers, smoked ribs, grilled sausages, and your friends. Or, it can be just as enjoyable opening it the way I did — after a disappointing bottle, while looking for a little bit of comfort, on a quiet evening, eating leftover meet lasagna, helping Hubby recover from Day 1 of chemo, and focusing on kicking cancer’s ass.

KickAss Britchen Red has a great label and name, and I have definitely been known to buy wine based on the label alone. How often do you buy wines based on the label or name without knowing anything about the winery?

And for some other blogger thoughts on the wine:

Price: $32
Purchased at The Wine Bloggers’ Conference Scholarship Fund Wine Club
Overall: 4.5 Corks

The Peraj Petita Disappoints

Hubby really only started drinking alcohol during the last year, and while I’ve turned him into a bubbly and white wine lover, he won’t drink red wine because he thinks it tastes like cough medicine. So, since he’s not drinking for 48 hours before, during, or for 48 hours after chemo, I’ve been taking advantage of that time to open up some red wines.

That first Monday of chemo was a tough one because Hubby ended up being allergic to the medicine. Reactions aren’t unexpected, but his was more severe than most, although, thankfully, it was “just” hives and not life threatening. The infusion nurses and his doctor monitored him closely, but they continued giving him the medicine, along with extra Benadryl and steroids, and a saline drip to help flush his system. What was supposed to take about four or five hours took more than eight hours. After he was done with the infusion, they hooked him up to a portable pump that dispenses another one of his chemo medications over a 24-hour period. By the time we left the infusion center, we were both emotionally and physically drained. When we got home, Hubby relaxed as I heated up the leftover lasagna and opened a bottle of wine for myself.

2014 Peraj Petita – At $18, this kosher red wine from Spain was a disappointment. While others give it glowing reviews, the candied strawberry flavors mixed with the savory characteristics just didn’t work for me. Rating: 2.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2014 Peraj Petita

The 2014 Peraj Petita (winery, snooth) was a kosher wine from Monstant, Spain and made with 60% Grenache, 20% Tempranillo, 10% Merlot and 10% Syrah grapes. The wine was a deep, clear ruby color. On the nose, there were raspberries, candied strawberries, and smoked meat. In the mouth, there were raspberries and candied strawberries mixed with leather and hints of cinnamon, and nutmeg. The wine had a medium body, tannins, and acid, along with a little bit of spritz on the tongue.

Is this worth a glass after work? At $18, I was disappointed in this wine. All of the reviews on KosherWine.com were positive and one of my go-to kosher wine reviewers, Wine Musings Blog, loved the 2012 vintage, so I tasted the Peraj Petita expecting to love it. But, I didn’t. In fact, I didn’t just not love it, I disliked it. The candied strawberry mixed with the savory characteristics just didn’t do it for me. Oddly, everything I mentioned that Hubby says he hates about red wine is what I was tasting in this one. After drinking about a quarter of my glass, hoping the wine would grow on me, I decided it wasn’t worth it after the day we had. So, I dumped it out, and opened up a KickAss Britchen Red…which was absolutely kick ass.

Question of the Day: Do you dump wine out when you’re not enjoying it?  If so, do you feel guilty? And, do you open another bottle or just give up on wine for the night?

Price: $18
Purchased at KosherWine.com
Overall: 2.5 Corks

I’m Back with News & Gruet

It’s been a long time. I’m sure you’ve wondered if I’ve stopped blogging. I haven’t. The first half of the year just started off with so much work travel that something had to suffer a little, and unfortunately it was the blog. And then, the week after my last work trip, my whole world changed…

A few months ago, Hubby and I were moving furniture in the house, and he pulled a muscle in his neck. He would rest and then go to the gym when it felt better, but it would start bothering him again. After about 6 weeks of this, he made a doctor’s appointment. On Thursday, May 18, I left for work, and he headed to the doctor. A couple of hours later, he called me to say they were sending him to the hospital for CT scans and blood work. I picked him up, so we could go together. After several hours of tests, even though no one could give us an official diagnosis, it was clear he had cancer.

We came home from the hospital and did what anyone would—talked and cried, hugged each other, and cried some more. We also drank two bottles of Gruet Brut Rosé. It’s one of our favorites, and bubbly can make even the worst situation seem a little less dire.**

The following day, Hubby had a biopsy. A week after that first doctor’s appointment we got confirmation of what we already guessed–Hubby has stage II non-Hodkin’s lymphoma. It’s an aggressive cancer, so treatment is intense. He started his first of six 21-day cycles of chemotherapy this week. The first week is 5 days of infusions–some at the hospital and some through a pump he has with him 24/7–so we both head into today’s last session emotional drained, but also with the knowledge that we’re fighting this thing.

Hubby’s cancer is treatable, and we’re incredibly fortunate to live in a city with amazing medical care and to be surrounded by a strong support system. The doctors and nurses at Virginia Hospital Center have been wonderful—explaining everything to us in detail, while also being caring, supportive, and friendly. At work, our supervisors have been very understanding and accommodating. Our family and friends have shown an outpouring of love and generosity. And, everyone has shared a cancer story about a parent, sibling, friend, or other loved one who has had cancer and fought it. We’ve been surprised how many of those stories have been people with lymphoma. Even my Dad shared a story, reminding me of something that I forgot in the confusion of everything…my grandmother had a “terminal” case of lymphoma in 1965, which she fought and then lived 45+ more years, passing away from the complications of old age in her mid-90’s.

It’s amazing to think that three weeks ago Hubby walked into the doctor’s office because we thought he had a pulled muscle in his neck and today he’s finishing his first week of cancer treatment.  If all goes as we hope, Hubby will finish in mid-October and will head into the holiday season healthy.

In the meantime, I promise our battle against cancer won’t take up every blog post, as this is still a wine and beer blog. However, the reality is it’s part of our life now. I keep things focused on me to give Hubby as much privacy as he can expect being married to a blogger, but be prepared for me to be honest about my good, ok, and bad days, since all my glasses after work will be influenced by that now. Life can really change in the blink of an eye.

** I will save my Gruet tasting notes for another post, but as this is a wine blog, I want to acknowledge that I will forever be fan of Gruet for helping us cope with this nightmare. These two bottles were the first of many that have been opened since of others to come. We drank some of rosé, brut, and blanc de noirs, and with every bottle we opened, it was like having a reliable friend with us. We knew without a doubt every bottle we opened would be a delicious and comforting one for us to share together.

Question #1 of the Day: Do you have a positive/encouraging story you’d be willing to share (you can always email me at alleigh@aglassafterwork if you want to keep it private?

Question #2 of the Day: We all know about comfort food, but what is your comfort wine, beer, or cocktail?