A Mumm Grande Année to Kickoff a Great Year

Hawaii 2017 photo collate

Top: hubby and me on the balcony of our room at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa on the Big Island before heading out to our 10-year anniversary dinner at the Kona Inn Restaurant; bottom left: reading in the pool and drinking a Maui Brewing Company Big Swell IPA at the Westin Maui Resort & Spa; bottom right: me at Pu`uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park.

I know I’m more than a month behind with this, but…HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2017 is a big year in the A Glass After Work household because not only did Hubby and I celebrate our 10-year wedding anniversary in January, but also I will be celebrating my 40th birthday in May. And, we started the festivities right away with 12-day vacation in Hawaii for our anniversary followed by a half marathon and party weekend in New Orleans for Hubby’s birthday. In fact, since the start of the year, we’ve spent almost as much time at home as we have traveling, and I’m off again to Nashville for work next week. So, 2017 is off to a crazy start, which is why I’ve been slow about posting. However, there are a lot of fun things to share! With that, let’s talk wine…

Hubby and I stayed in for New Year’s Eve. With all the upcoming travel, we thought a quiet night in while drinking some good bubbly with a cheese and charcuterie board and tasty hors d’oeuvres was what we needed. In honor of our 10-year wedding anniversary and all the exciting things that 2017 has in store, the 2007 Mumm Napa Grande Année seemed like the right choice.

2007 Mumm Grande Année – At $64, it can be hard to justify the price, but this sparkling wine from California is a special one and worth the splurge. It’s the right balance of flirty and serious, of flavor and bubbles. This bubbly is a beautiful sipper that can be enjoyed on its own over intimate conversation or with a romantic, candlelit dinner. Rating 4.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2007 Mumm Grande Année

The 2007 Mumm Grande Année (winery) is a sparkling wine from Napa Valley, California and is made with 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay grapes. The bubbly had a light golden color with a lot of small, persistent bubbles. On the nose, there were limes, as well as a hint of baked pear and vanilla. In the mouth, there were limes and green apples mixed with hints of raspberries and cream. The sparkler had a light-to-medium body and nice acidity that kept the wine fresh without being overpowering.

Is this worth a glass after work? It’s worth more than one!  What are you waiting for? At $64, it can be hard to justify the price, but this bubbly is a special one and worth the splurge. That said, it’s actually only available to Club Vivant members through the winery, so that will make it harder to get. However, if you have a chance to grab a bottle, you should. It will bring a smile to your lips as you take your first sip, and whoever you’re sharing with will appreciate the flirtatiousness and drinkability of this sparkler.

As for our night with the Grande Année? It was the perfect sparkler for us. Hubby has started to drink a little, so he indulged in a couple of glasses, and what he found particularly pleasing was that this sparkling wine was flavorful without being overpowered by alcohol. We both thought the bubbly was a beautiful sipper on its own, while also being a nice pairing wine. The acidity and bubbles countered the fattiness from the homemade Mexican chicken and cheese dip, while complimenting the flavors of the Cherry Glen Silver goat and Truffle Gouda cow cheeses. Overall, we couldn’t have asked for a better start to 2017.

Here is hoping this is a “Grande Année” for you all…cheers!

Question of the Day: How is 2017 starting for you? Have you enjoyed any particularly delicious wines, beers, or cocktails?

Price: $64
Purchased at Mumm Napa website
Overall: 4.5 Corks

5 American Sparkling & Rosé Wines for July 4

5 American Sparkling and Rosé Wines for July 4 – July 4 cookouts are mean lots of good food, friends, and alcohol, but finding a sparkling or rose wine that fits a BBQ atmosphere can be difficult. These 5 wines are perfect options, and they’re all under $25. Cheers! | AGlassAfterWork.com

5 American Sparkling and Rosé Wines for July 4 – July 4 cookouts are mean lots of good food, friends, and alcohol, but finding a sparkling or rose wine that fits a BBQ atmosphere can be difficult. These 5 wines are perfect options, and they’re all under $25. Cheers! | AGlassAfterWork.com

I can’t believe there is only a week to go until July 4th, but that means it’s time to make final wine preparations.  As long time readers know, I will often open sparkling wine for myself on Independence Day because bubbly and fireworks just go together.  And, as I’ve definitely become more of a rosé drinker over the last few years, I can’t deny that I’ve started to associate summer with drinking pink wine.  So, to kick off my week of Fourth of July wine recommendations, here are some sparkling and rosé wines from the United States that you should consider.  All of them are under $25 and delicious!

Gruet Blanc de Noirs – This $13 bottle of sparkling wine from New Mexico is dry with beautiful, persistent bubbles. The bubbly tastes of berries, baked pears with hints of toast, cream, and vanilla. It’s delicious on its own or mixed with your favorite fruit juice for a champagne cocktail. Rating 4 out 5. Cheers! | AGlassAfterWork.com

Gruet Blanc de Noirs

The Gruet Blanc de Noirs is full of berry and baked pear flavors mixed with a hint of toast, cream, and vanilla.  The sparkler has nice acidity, which would make it a good pairing with both potato salad and hot dogs.  Plus, the price is perfect for buying multiple bottles without breaking the bank. I gave this wine 4 corks and purchased it for $13.

Mumm Napa Brut Rosé - At $24, this rose sparkling wine is light bodied, full of flavor, and easy to drink. It also comes in large formats, so it’s a perfect option for a summer cookout, New Year’s Eve party, or big family brunch. Rating: 4.5 Corks out 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

Mumm Napa Brut Rosé

The Mumm Napa Brut Rosé tastes of cherries, strawberries, plums, and hints of whipped cream and yeast.  It has a light body and is very easy to drink (maybe a little too easy).  This bubbly also comes in large formats, so if you know that 750ml isn’t going to be enough, you can purchase a 3 liter or 6 liter bottle.  I gave this wine 4 corks and purchased the 750ml bottle for $19.20 (as a wine club member.  Regular price is $24).

Barefoot Perfectly Pink Spritzer- At $7, this sweet, rosé wine spritzer is easy to drink and very refreshing. One serving is also only 180 calories, but still is full of flavor. It would be great to enjoy at a cookout or during an summer evening with girlfriends. Rating: 3.5 Corks out 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

Barefoot Perfectly Pink Spritzer

The Barefoot Perfectly Pink Spritzer surprised me…I admit it.  It’s all about ripe strawberries and raspberries mixed with juicy pineapple and hints of pink grapefruit.  It’s light-bodied, sweet, easy to drink, and very refreshing.  The acidity and spritz keeps the sweetness in check.  The key to this wine, though, is keeping it cold, so don’t be afraid to add an ice cube or two.  I definitely didn’t enjoy it as much as it warmed up.  I gave this wine 3.5 corks, and while I received it as a sample, the SRP is $7.

Storybook Mountain Zin Gris- At $25, this dry rosé wine from California is everything a pink wine should be. It’s a nice mixture of cranberries, limes, and thyme; it’s food-friendly; and it’s easy to drink. It would be the perfect wine for any picnic or cookout. Rating: 4.5 Corks out 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

Storybook Mountain Zin Gris

The Storybook Mountain Zin Gris is my “house rosé.”  I haven’t done a separate review of it in a while, so I clearly need to, particularly as I drink it at home regularly.  It’s a nice mixture of cranberries, limes, and thyme, which creates something a little different in a rosé.  This wine is dry and is as enjoyable with food as without it.  I gave this wine 4.5 corks and purchased it for $22.50 (as a wine club member.  Regular price is $25).

2015 Mark Ryan Winery "The Vincent" Rosé - At $15, this dry rosé wine from Washington State is affordable, food-friendly, and very drinkable. Whether it’s a small gathering, a big cookout, or a romantic dinner, this wine would fit the mood without costing a fortune. Rating: 4.5 Corks out 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2015 Mark Ryan Winery “The Vincent” Rosé

The Mark Ryan Winery “The Vincent” Rosé is a perfect picnic or cookout wine.  There were fresh strawberries mixed with rose petals and lemon zest.  It’s a lighter bodied wine that still packs a powerful flavor punch without being overwhelming.  I only discovered this wine in May, but I suspect it will join the Storybook Mountain Zin Gris as a A Glass After Work house wine.  I gave this wine 4.5 corks and purchased it for $15.

Question of the Day:  Do you have your plans all set for the upcoming Canada Day or July 4th holiday weekend?  

Snowzilla Day 2 (Part 2) – Sparkling Pinot & Snow

Mumm Sparkling Pinot Noir – At $35, this sparkling red wine from California is food-friendly and easy to drink. It’s worth considering the next time you have a dinner party, are hosting a holiday meal, or are looking to curl up on the couch with a delicious bottle of something different. Rating 4.5 out 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

Mumm Sparkling Pinot Noir

**Here is my blog post about Snowzilla Day 1 , Snowzilla Day 2 (Part 1), Snowzilla Day 3and Snowzilla Day 4**

Something about snowy weather makes me want to drink red wine, but since Snowzilla was such a unique occasion in DC, I also really wanted to drink something special and unique. That’s why, on the second day of Snowzilla, I decided to open Mumm’s Sparkling Pinot Noir.

Mumm Sparkling Pinot Noir (winery) is a sparking red wine made in Napa Valley, California with 100% Pinot Noir grapes. The wine had a deep ruby red color with flecks of purple and a nice purple fizz top when it was poured. On the noise, there were plums and cherries mixed with a hint of cinnamon. In the mouth, there were plums and cherries mixed with cloves and cinnamon, a hint of creaminess, and some chocolate dust. The wine had small persistent bubbles, medium tannins, and good acidity.

Snowzilla Day 2 - Me walking into the front yard in the evening to discover we had 22 inches of snow

Snowzilla Day 2 – Me walking into the front yard in the evening to discover we had 22 inches of snow

Is this worth a glass after work? It’s worth more than one!  What are you waiting for? At $35, this wine is both delicious and an interesting conversation piece, so it’s worth the extra effort of going to the winery’s website to buy it (that’s the only place it can be purchased). Most people haven’t tasted a red sparkling wine, and if they have, it was most likely a sparkling Shiraz from Australia or a Lambrusco from Italy. This is not like either, although it’s more comparable to a Lambrusco.  The Mumm Sparkling Pinot is balanced with deep flavor and a hint of sweetness, while also being crisp and refreshing.

Snowzilla cheese, charcuterie, and Crunchmaster crackers

Snowzilla cheese, charcuterie, and Crunchmaster crackers

I enjoyed this wine throughout the day. I opened it to go with an after-shoveling snack of cheese, charcuterie, and Crunchmaster gluten-free crackers. The wine tasted like it was made to go with the prosciutto. Both the bubbles and the acidity helped cut through the fattiness of the meat, while the flavors of the wine complimented the flavors of the prosciutto. Not to mention that I couldn’t have asked for a better cheese to eat with the wine than the truffle gouda because the earthiness of the cheese brought out the deeper flavors of the wine.

Hubby's slow cooker chili and Mumm Sparkling Pinot Noir

Hubby’s slow cooker chili and Mumm Sparkling Pinot Noir

For dinner, I drank the wine with Hubby’s crockpot chili. Admittedly, the sparkler was a touch better with charcuterie and cheese earlier in the day, but it held up nicely with the heaviness of chili, especially because the touch of sweetness from the wine balanced out the little bit of spiciness from the chili.

All in all, the Mumm Sparkling Pinot Noir was the perfect bottle to enjoy through the day, whether it was with food or in front of the fire knitting. It was an easy sipper that offered something a little different. And, while I enjoyed it during a winter snowstorm, because it’s so food-friendly and easy to drink, this wine is also worth considering the next time you are having a dinner party or hosting a holiday meal.

Question of the Day: What are your thoughts on red sparkling wine?

Price: $35
Purchased at Mumm Napa
Overall: 4.5 Corks

A Beautiful Mumm Pinot Noir

2013 Mumm Napa Pinot Noir Devaux Ranch – At $35, this California red wine is a little pricey, but it offers the type of something special that brings a smile to your face every time you take a sip. It’s perfect for company, for Thanksgiving dinner or the rotisserie chicken you bought on the way home, or while sitting on the porch chatting with your spouse during a nice spring evening. Cheers! Ratings 4.5 out 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2013 Mumm Napa Pinot Noir Devaux Ranch – At $35, this California red wine is a little pricey, but it offers the type of something special that brings a smile to your face every time you take a sip. It’s perfect for company, for Thanksgiving dinner or the rotisserie chicken you bought on the way home, or while sitting on the porch chatting with your spouse during a nice spring evening. Cheers! Ratings 4.5 out 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

I love my job. Don’t get me wrong…if I won enough money in the lottery to be able to retire immediately, I would. But, if I have to go to work every day, I’m thankful that I go to a place where I like my boss, get along with my coworkers, and enjoy doing the everyday things I need to do. That said, going back to work after a long vacation is difficult. The sound of the alarm clock makes me cringe. My shower and get-ready routine takes longer than usual. And, the commute in, no matter how much I normally love the 30-minute walk, drags on because it’s out of necessity and not one for pleasure. Sure, the first day also is the chance to relive the vacation fun while catching up with colleagues, but the rest of the week is just a reminder that I’m not on vacation anymore. Therefore, after 16 days vacation, that first week back to work in January was rough, so I decided to indulge halfway through the week and open a nice bottle of wine.

2013 Mumm Napa Pinot Noir Devaux Ranch – At $35, this California red wine is a little pricey, but it offers the type of something special that brings a smile to your face every time you take a sip. It’s perfect for company, for Thanksgiving dinner or the rotisserie chicken you bought on the way home, or while sitting on the porch chatting with your spouse during a nice spring evening. Cheers! Ratings 4.5 out 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2013 Mumm Napa Pinot Noir Devaux Ranch

The 2013 Mumm Napa Pinot Noir Devaux Ranch (winery) was from Carneros, California and was made with 100% Pinot Noir grapes. The wine had a deep ruby color. On the nose, there were red cherries and blackberries, mixed with hints of cloves. In the mouth, there were cherries and blackberries mixed with cloves and nutmeg. The wine was medium bodied with medium tannins and acidity.

Is this worth a glass after work? It’s worth more than one!  What are you waiting for? At $35 for the non-wine club price and $28 for the wine club price, this wine is a little pricey, but it’s worth the cost if you’re looking for something a little extra. Every time I took a sip, I couldn’t help but smile because it tasted so good, and that was exactly what I needed on that first Wednesday of January.

Mumm uses most of their Pinot Noir grapes to make delicious sparkling wine, but I’m thankful they put some grapes aside to make limited quantities of still red wine because the Pinot Noir Devaux Ranch is the result. It’s a wine that would be perfect for company, would pair well with Thanksgiving dinner or the rotisserie chicken you bought on the way home, or would be enjoyable while sitting on the porch chatting with your spouse during a nice spring evening.

Question of the Day: Do you have a special drink or routine to help you ease into that first week of work after vacation?

Price: $35 for non-wine club members, $28 for Club Vivant members
Purchased at Mumm Napa’s website
Overall: 4.5 Corks

New Year’s Eve with Mumm

Hubby & me at the Ponte Vecchio in Florence; Me and Andrea from Of Vines & Velos at Bridlewood Estate Winery; and Hubby and me in front of our new home.

Hubby & me at the Ponte Vecchio in Florence; Me and Andrea from Of Vines & Velos at Bridlewood Estate Winery; and Hubby and me in front of our new home.

I admit it…I was sorry to see 2014 end.  It was a wonderful year for Hubby and me.  We started it off by celebrating the New Year and our 7th wedding anniversary in Rome and Florence, Italy.  In March, I was finally fully recovered from the major hip surgery I had in 2013, so I ran my first post-surgery half marathon on the one-year anniversary.  I attended the 2014 Wine Bloggers’ Conference in Santa Barbara, where I caught up with old wine friends and made some fantastic new ones (both of which you will be hearing more about over the coming weeks).  Hubby accepted a new job in August and is finally enjoying some job stability.  And, while we were in Vegas running our second half marathon of the year, Hubby and I found out that the offer we put on a new house was accepted.  So, we ended 2014 by leaving Virginia and moving into our new house in the District of Columbia…all right before the holidays.

Sadly, Hubby had the flu on New Year’s Eve 2015, so our plan to go out with friends was thwarted.  Instead, we curled up on the couch and watched a new-for-us series, “Ray Donovan,” and “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.”  And, of course, I opened a bottle of bubbly.

Mumm sparkling wine is a regular favorite in my house.  In fact, I enjoy it enough to split a wine club membership with a couple of the Wine Ladies.  So, I couldn’t resist open a bottle of their wine for New Year’s this year.

010 Mumm Blanc de Blancs

2010 Mumm Blanc de Blancs

The 2010 Mumm Napa Blanc de Blancs (winery) is made in Napa Valley, California with a blend of 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Gris grapes.  It has a light-to-medium golden color with a lot of small, persistent bubbles.  On the nose, there are limes and apples.  In the mouth, there are limes, apples, and a hint of apricots and buttered biscuit.  The sparkler is light bodied with high acidity.

Is this worth a glass after work? It’s worth more than one!  What are you waiting for? At $42 a bottle (or $33.60 if you’re a Mumm Club Vivant member), this bubbly is more of a nice dinner wine than one to open every day.  That said, if you’re looking for a romantic evening with oysters or having company and want a welcome bubbly to start the evening or pair a sparkler with salad, the Mumm Blanc de Blancs is very food friendly and would make the perfect pairing.  It is also worth considering if you’re looking for something to curl up with in front of a fire for a special evening at home, as the bubbly is beautiful on its own.  For me, while Hubby and I didn’t end up spending New Year’s as we planned, the Mumm helped cap off a fantastic 2014.

Question of the Day: What did you drink this New Year’s Eve?

Price: $42 a bottle (or $33.60 for Mumm Club Vivant members)
Purchased at Mumm Napa website
Overall: 4 Corks