August & September 2018 Gary Vee Wine Club Unboxing

Hi wine friends, and Happy #WineWednesday! Quick reminder that October 10 at midnight is the last day to enter my giveaway of 4 PureWine’s The Wave histamine and sulfite filter and aerator (you can enter here).

Today, I’m sharing my August and September 2018 Gary Vee Wine Club shipments, and tasting the 2017 Seinfried Wines Sauvignon Blanc that came in the August box. Cheers!

The #GaryVeeWineClub is a monthly shipment of wine for only $55 a month. Depending on the month, you receive 1, 2, 3, or 4 bottles.

Wine mentioned in the video:
🍷2017 Seifried Estate Winery Sauvignon Blanc — $17
🍷2014 Westerly Wines Chardonnay — $20
🍷2014 Tradition Wines Napa Red — $30
🍷2012 Baccinetti Saporoia Brunello Di Montalcino — $30
🍷2016 Mairena Malbec — $16
🍷2014 Martinelli Red Barn Ridge — $30

Products mentioned in the video:

Question of the Day:  Are you a member of the Gary Vee Wine Club? Have you had a chance to taste any of the wines from the August or September shipments? What did you think?

Sunday Baking: Nutella Cookies & “Encuentro” Malbec are a Match

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

2011 Rutini "Encuentro" Malbec & Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies – At $19 a bottle, this red wine from Mendoza, Argentina is one to consider cellaring for a little, as it has enough structure to hold on for another year or two before reaching prime drinking time. That said, if you’re looking to drink it now, pair it with a steak, some BBQ beef ribs, or these deliciously moist and chocolatey Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies. Ratings 3 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2011 Rutini “Encuentro” Malbec & Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies – At $19 a bottle, this red wine from Mendoza, Argentina is one to consider cellaring for a little, as it has enough structure to hold on for another year or two before reaching prime drinking time. That said, if you’re looking to drink it now, pair it with a steak, some BBQ beef ribs, or these deliciously moist and chocolatey Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies. Ratings 3 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

I’ve fallen behind on the Sunday Baking Pairing posts because I was waiting to use a new blog plug-in that will hopefully making both posting and reading the recipes easier. While I’m not completely done customizing it, I’m unveiling it tonight. So, let me know if you like the change.

2011 Rutini Encuentro MalbecWith that, I think I left off with the first full weekend in June, which was the first in a month where Hubby and I didn’t have do some major yard repairs and replanting to do. Sure, there was upkeep on our small space, but it wasn’t a full weekend project. Honestly, I don’t know how those of you with large yards do it! With the work around the house and numerous work conference calls interrupting me that weekend, I decided to keep the cookies simple with Sally’s Bake Blog Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I admit it…I have a Nutella addiction, which is why I never keep it in the house, but these cookies were the perfect excuse to indulge. Plus, the recipe was easy enough that my cookies would taste fancy without requiring a lot of extra time effort.

The 2011 Rutini “Encuentro” Malbec (winery, snooth) was from Mendoza, Argentina and made with 100% Malbec grapes. The wine was a deep, inky ruby with hints of purple. On the nose, there were dark cherries, blackberries, and hints of violets and cinnamon. In the mouth, there were dark cherries and blackberries mixed with hints of violets, vanilla, and chocolate dust. The wine had a medium body and tannins with high acidity.

2011 Rutini Encuentro Malbec corkIs 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 $19, this wine is a little abrasive, but will probably age nicely if you’re able to buy it and let is sit for a couple of years. If you’re looking to drink it now, grab food that t is big and flavorful like a steak or some BBQ beef ribs.

You could also bake these cookies. Overall, they were deliciously moist and chocolatey, and the big flavor from the cookies helped cut down on the wine’s bite, making for a pairing that went together very nicely.

Question of the Day:  Do you regularly drink Argentinian Malbec or is it a wine that is less likely to end up in your glass?  If you drink it often, do you have a favorite?

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies
Print Recipe
A variation on traditional chocolate chip cookies, adding Nutella adds moistness and a rich, chocolate flavor.
Servings
5 dozen
Servings
5 dozen
Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies
Print Recipe
A variation on traditional chocolate chip cookies, adding Nutella adds moistness and a rich, chocolate flavor.
Servings
5 dozen
Servings
5 dozen
Ingredients
Servings: dozen
Instructions
  1. In large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt.
  2. In mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute).
  3. Add the light brown and granulated sugar, and beat until pale and fluffy (30 seconds to 1 minute).
  4. Add in egg, egg yolk, and vanilla, and mix until combined.
  5. Add 1/2 cup of Nutella, and beat until combined. (To prevent overspreading, make sure you stir the oils in the Nutella REALLY well. You want to make sure you mix them with the very think Nutella at the bottom of the jar)
  6. On low speed, add dry ingredients and mix until just blended (about 30 seconds to 1 minute).
  7. Add 2 cups of chocolate chips and mix on low until evenly distributed (5-10 seconds).
  8. Add remaining Nutella and beat for 5-10 seconds, creating streaks through the cookie dough without fully incorporating it into the dough. The dough will likely be a little crumbly, which is fine, but it will get extremely crumbly if you mix the Nutella in too much.
  9. Preheat oven to 350F.
  10. Line cookie sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
  11. Take a rounded tablespoon of dough and roll between the palms of your hands to create 1-inch balls. The warmth of your hands will help the dough come together.
  12. (Optional: Chill cookie dough for 30 minutes before baking to help prevent spreading).
  13. Bake for 10 minutes or until slightly brown along the edges.
  14. Let cookies set on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. After transferring them press a few of the remain 1/2 cup of chocolate chips into the top of the warm cookies

 

Suggested Retail Price: $19
Received as a sample.
Overall: 3 Corks

Sunday Baking: Malbec & “My Chocolate Chip Cookies”

2008 Achaval-Ferrer Finca Mirador Malbec with Rose Levy Beranbaum's "My Chocolate Chip Cookies"

2008 Achaval-Ferrer Finca Mirador Malbec with Rose Levy Beranbaum’s “My Chocolate Chip Cookies”

I love to bake, but for a long time didn’t indulge because I didn’t have the right equipment.  My mother in law bought be a Kitchen Aid stand mixer last Christmas, so for the last year, I’ve been baking cookies almost every week for my coworkers and my brother.  I decided this was better than baking weekly cookies for Hubby and me because neither of us needed to go through that many cookies.  Plus, I love to share the latest baking experiment with others.  Sure, between vacations and work travel, there have been a few missed weeks in there, but it’s been pretty consistent.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that somewhere along the way, I started posting the pictures under the hashtag #SundayBaking.  However, the cookies never really intersected with the purpose of A Glass After work, so I kept it all on Instagram.  And, then the pairing happened…

I don’t know why it took me so long to open a bottle of wine or beer while baking, but it wasn’t until October when I was drinking Terrapin Beer Company’s Pumpkinfest while making Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies that it hit me.  Since then, most of my cookie baking has been combined with a glass of wine or a bottle of beer, and I’ve decided it’s time to share those awith you through a new weekly post…Sunday Baking.

My Chocolate Chip Cookies and The Baking Bible by Rose Lvy BeranI’m on a quest to make the perfect chocolate chip cookie dough, so I decided to start from scratch with a traditional chocolate chip cookie.  My friend (and amazing photographer), Kami, gave me Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Baking Bible for the holidays this year, so that seemed like a good place to start.  The cookies were really good, but not perfect, so I’ll continue to tweak the recipe and share as I do.  However, they paired beautifully with the Malbec I opened.

The 2008 Achaval-Ferrer Finca Mirador Malbec (winery, snooth) is from Mendoza, Argentina and is made with 100% Malbec grapes.  The wine was a deep purple with flecks of ruby, particularly on the rim.  On the nose, there were plums, cherries, and hints of flowers.  In the mouth, there were plums, cherries, and violets mixed with baking spices.  The wine had a full body, medium-to-high tannins, and medium-to-high acidity.

2008 Achaval-Ferrer Finca Mirador Malbec

2008 Achaval-Ferrer Finca Mirador Malbec

Is this worth a glass after work? It’s worth more than one!  What are you waiting for?  At $80 a bottle, this wine is expensive, but worth every penny.  Admittedly, I received it as a birthday present a few years ago, and after some research, decided to wait to open it in hopes that the characteristics would mellow—and they did.  This wine is in prime drinking form and would be perfect with a nice steak dinner.

Admittedly, The Finca Mirador is too expensive to normally open while baking cookies.  However, I threw a little caution to the wind because it seemed like the perfect timing, since it’s the new year and I’m baking in our new house.  The wine was a little something special on a fairly normal day, and it made for a delicious pairing.  Afterwards, I continued to enjoy the wine in front of our fireplace, and there’s nothing quite like a relaxing evening with a fantastic wine and a nice fire.

While the bottle is too expensive for an every day wine and is out of the price range for many people, if you see it in the store, you should grab it.  It’s luscious and smooth, easy to drink, and is the epitome of a big, beautiful wine.

Question of the Day: Do you have a chocolate chip cookie recipe that you love?  Do you every combine drinking and baking?

2008 Achaval Ferrer Malbec cork

Price: $80
Overall: 4.5 Corks

A Night With Aruma

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

I’m not sure why it is, but I’ve been on a Malbec kick recently.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always enjoyed a good Malbec, but it isn’t usually the red wine I usually choose to drink when I’m out.  If I’m looking for a fuller-bodied red, the Cabs and Zins almost always win out…until now. And, as become clear last week, my desire for Malbec isn’t just when I’m at a restaurant.

ThanksgivukkahHubby and I got up bright and early on Thanksgiving morning to run a 5k Turkey Trot in the freezing cold.  We almost bailed because the temperature was in the mid-to-high 20’s, but  “earning” a little overindulgence while helping a local homeless shelter and food bank has become an annual thing for us.  So, we bundled up and headed to the race.  Afterwards, Hubby and I came home, cleaned up, and headed to his mother’s for Turkey Day festivities, but the cold was sticking to me.  While we were at my mother-in-laws, we plenty of time to eat, drink, and kick off the holiday season properly.  I tried to stand near the oven, not only so I could sneak a bite of her delicious cooking when no one was looking, but also so I could absorb its warmth.

Dinner and the company was wonderful, as usually.  We did end up leaving a little early this year, though, as Hubby’s cousins, aunts, and uncles left for a second round of Thanksgiving meals at other places and my in-laws are huge Ravens fans, so they wanted to watch the big 8pm game.  That meant we were home with enough time to lazily continue digesting, celebrate the second night of Chanukkah, and open a bottle of wine that would help me warm up…and that’s when I reached for one of the few bottles of Malbec in my wine fridge.

2010 Aruma Malbec

2010 Aruma Malbec

The 2010 Aruma Malbec (winery) was from Mendoza, Argentina and was made with 100% Malbec grapes.  Aruma means “night” in the language of the Quechua, the native Indian population of the Mendoza region, and the deep purple of this wine fits its name, as it was as dark as night.  On the nose, there were big whiffs of tobacco, blackberries, and violets with hints of something gamey.  In the mouth, there were blackberries, tobacco, and violets with hints of nutmeg and vanilla.  The wine had a medium body and medium tannins.

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 is a wine that will give you a bang for your buck.  It definitely needs time to breathe, as the alcohol was a little overpowering and the wine tasted a little thin when I first poured it.  But, after some time in my glass, the wine mellowed out to have great balance, supple mouthfeel, and beautiful characteristics.  It was a wine that just warmed me up from the inside out, which was exactly what I was looking for.

Question of the Day: What are your thoughts on Malbec?  Do you drink it often or are there other types of wine that you will gravitate towards first?

Suggested Retail Price: $15
Received as a sample.
Overall: 4 Corks

No Magic in Voodoo Moon

For some reason, when it comes time for vacation, many of my normal way of doing things get thrown out the window.  Weekday or not, I’ll enjoy my first drink at breakfast, and I’ll order both an appetizer and dessert with dinner.  Usually, these changes in my habits are some sort of splurge or self-indulgence.  The problem comes when I change my routine and give into the call of the fun wine labels.  It happens on almost every vacation.  It’s how I ended up with the 2008 Tahoe Cabernet Sauvignon while we were in Tahoe and the 2007 Starborough Sauvignon Blanc while we were at the beach (who could resist the starfish label at the beach?).  In both those instances, I lucked out and the wines were decent.  The problem is that unlike beer, where it’s much easier to say “I want a certain style of beer” (an IPA for example), look at the IPA section for a bottle with an intriguing label, and finding a delicious beer, the chances of finding a good wine when only looking at the “fun label” isn’t very good.  Still, I don’t seem to learn my lesson.  I go on vacation and feel the pull of wanting something that looks fun and adventurous, something different from what I would normally drink.  And, end up with this…

2011 Vinaceous Voodoo Moon MalbecThe 2011 Vinaceous Voodoo Moon Malbec (winery) is from the Willyabrup sub-region of Margaret River, Australia.  The wine was an almost incandescent, deep purple.  On the nose, there were blackberries, black cherry cola, tobacco, and earth.  In the mouth, there were tart cherries.  The wine had a light-to medium body and tannins.

Is this worth a glass after work? Eh…if you have a bottle on hand, drink it, but I wouldn’t go searching it out either.   At $20, this wine this wine was a disappointment.  From the nose, it held a lot of promise.  In fact, I thought it was going to be amazing.  Sadly, when I actually tasted it, it was all acid and tartness.  I tried pairing it with the steaks hubby grilled on the dinner, but that didn’t help.  I tried pairing it with some fancy chocolate that I bought, thinking that it might bring out other characteristics in the wine, but it didn’t.  I tried enjoying it on the deck with a view of the ocean and my book, but that didn’t help either. In the end, I ended up switching to another bottle because vacation is way too short to spend it drinking wine that isn’t working for me, even if the label was a lot of fun.

Question of the Day:  How often do you buy wine based on the label?  Do you find yourself making label-based decisions more with beer?

Price: $20
Purchased at Tommy’s Gourmet Market and Wine Emporium
Overall: 2 Corks