19 Thanksgiving Wine Recs for 2018 + Tasting 3 of Them

Hi everyone…and Happy #WineWednesday! Today, I’m sharing 19 different sparkling, white, rosé, and red wine recommendations for your Thanksgiving feast, while tasting 3 of those recommendations with you. The prices range from $10-$100+, so there should be something for everyone to love. Have a wonderful holiday…cheers!

Websites & other videos mention mentioned in video:

Wines mentioned in the video:

🍷2017 El Terrano Verdejo from Whole Foods — $12
🍷2017 Casillero Del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc — $10
🍷2014 Clarksburg Wine Company Chenin Blanc — $18
🍷2017 Matua Pinot Noir Rosé — $13
🍷2015 Vasco Urbano Norm Grenache — $42
🍷Penner Ash Wine Cellars Pinot Noir — $50-$75
🍷Sokol Blosser — $40-$70
🍷Beaujolais Nouveau — $10-15 (my video reviewing 3 different 2018 bottles can be found here)
🍷Domaine des Terres Dorées “L’Ancien” Vieilles Vignes Beaujolais — $18
🍷2017 Meomi Pinot Noir — $20
🍷Storybook Mountain Vineyards Zinfandel
🍷Turley Wine Cellars Zinfandel 
🍷Turley Wine Cellars Juvenile Zinfandel — $38
🍷Cameron Hughes Lot 636 Lodi Zinfandel — $13
🍷Cameron Hughes Lot 630 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel — $15
🍷Kunde Family Winery Zinfandel — $22
🍷Segura Viudas Cava —$9
🍷Gruet Blanc de Noirs — $17
🍷Albinea Canali Lambrusco “FB” Metodo Ancestrale 

Questions of the Day:

  1.  What did you end up drinking for Thanksgiving (since it’s likely that you won’t have a chance to comment until after the holiday)?
  2. Do you have other suggestions that I may have missed?

June and July 2018 Gary Vee Wine Club

Hi everyone! Today, I’m sharing my June and July Gary Vee Wine Club shipments, and tasting the 2014 Esser Cab that came in July’s box. Cheers! The Gary Vee Wine Club is a monthly shipment of wine for only $55 a month. Depending on the month, you receive 1, 2, 3, or 4 bottles. The June 2018 shipment included 1 wine red wine from Italy. The July 2018 shipment included 3 wines from the US – two whites and one red.

The #GaryVeeWineClub is run through Wine Library.  The wines mentioned were:

Questions of the Day: 

  1. Do you use Vivino or another wine app to rate/keep track of your wine thoughts?
  2. What are your summer cookout wine go-tos?

5 American Red Wines for July 4

If you’re in the DC area, the cold, rainy weather probably has you in the mood for red wine, but otherwise, it’s sometimes hard to find a red wine that goes well with the warm summer weather. However, red wine is made for BBQ. Here are a few great red wine ideas that are under $25 and worth about opening today for your cookout. Happy Fourth of July!

One Hope Pinot Noir – At $19 a bottle, this red wine from California not only tastes great, but also helps fund rescue animal adoptions, as half the proceeds go to charity. The wine is juicy with a touch of sweetness and begs to be paired with grilled Portobello mushrooms, goat cheese, and girlfriends. Rating: 3.5 out of 5. | AGlassAfterWork.com

2013 One Hope Pinot Noir

The 2013 One Hope Pinot Noir (website, amazon) is a California wine made by Rob Mondavi, Jr. and half the proceeds of the wine are donated to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to help fund pet adoptions. This wine tastes of sweet, juicy strawberries and Bing cherries mixed with hints of cinnamon. It would be a great wine to pair with grilled stuffed Portobello mushrooms, especially if you’re stuffing them with goat cheese. I gave this wine 3.5 corks and purchased it for $19.

Mark West Black Pinot Noir – At $14, this surprisingly full-bodied red wine from California is not what a typical Pinot Noir. It’s a bit darker and more brooding, without being as in-your-face as a Cabernet. Definitely a wine to think about when looking for an in-between. Rating 3.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2014 Mark West Black Pinot Noir

The 2014 Mark West Black Pinot Noir (winery) is a red wine from California. It’s a surprisingly full-bodied Pinot, with black cherry, tobacco, and mocha characteristics. It’s a nice cookout option because it’s smooth and easy to drink while you’re standing around the grill, but it will also pair particularly well with pulled pork, grilled chops, or burgers. I gave this wine 3.5 corks and received it as a sample, but the suggested retail price is $15.

Barefoot Merlot – At $8 a bottle, this red wine from California has a fantastic quality price ratio. If you are looking for a red wine and know you’ll be drinking more than one glass, this approachable red is a perfect everyday option. Rating: 3.5 out of 5. | AGlassAfterWork.com

Barefoot Merlot

The Barefoot Merlot (website) is a California red wine that is perfect for a party. While not very complicated, this Barefoot wine was surprisingly easy to drink and enjoyable. The wine is medium-bodied and has dark fruit flavors—black plums, blueberries, and blackberries—with just a hint of baking spice. I preferred the wine with just a touch of chill (not actually cold), which also makes it the perfect way to keep cooler while still drinking a red wine during the summer. I gave this wine 4 stars and received it as a sample, but the suggested retail price is $8.

Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon – At $13 a bottle, this red wine from Lodi California is full-bodied with firm tannins and just plain beautiful. It’s a plush wine that is perfect to enjoy with BBQ ribs or on its own while sitting on the patio with friends. Rating: 4 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2012 Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon

The Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon (winery) is a red wine from Lodi, California. It’s a full bodied wine with firm tannins, and lots of black cherry and blackberry flavors that are mixed with hints of cedar and black pepper.  This plush red wine is perfect to enjoy with BBQ ribs or on its own while sitting on the patio with friends. I gave this wine 4 corks and received it as a sample, but the suggested retail price is $13.

2013 Director’s Cut Cabernet Sauvignon – At $24, this red wine from California lingers in the mouth and leaves you wanting more. It has nice fruit flavors mixed with some savory notes that are perfect for enjoying on its own or pairing with beef, lamb, or pasta. Cheers! Ratings 4.5 out 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2013 Francis Ford Coppola Winery Director’s Cut Cabernet Sauvignon

The Director’s Cut Cabernet Sauvignon (winerysnooth) is from California and, as long as you give it a little time to breath before drinking it, the wine is fruity upfront, has some savory notes in the middle, and a finish that lingers, begging for another sip to follow. If you’re breaking out the smoker, this is a wine you should open with it. The full-to-medium body will be able to stand up to the flavor of the food, while also enhancing it. I gave this wine 4.5 corks and received it as a sample, but the suggested retail price is $25.

Question of the Day: At a BBQ or cookout, are you more likely to drink beer, wine, or liquor?

 

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

The Force is Strong with Skywalker’s Sommità

2012 Skywalker Vineyards Sommità – This $42 bottle of red wine from California is a great special occasion wine. It’s luscious and complicated, but still approachable and drinkable. It would be great holiday wine, perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Ratings 4.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2012 Skywalker Vineyards Sommità – This $42 bottle of red wine from California is a great special occasion wine. It’s luscious and complicated, but still approachable and drinkable. It would be great holiday wine, perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Ratings 4.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2012 Skywalker Vineyards Sommita at the bar at Charlie Palmers Steak DCA little more than a month ago, a friend texted me a picture of a Yoda statue saying “You’ll never guess where I am.” It turns out, he was at a conference at the Skywalker Ranch, and while he was there, he did a wine tasting at Skywalker Vineyards. My envy was as green as the old Jedi Master.

Knowing my love of Star Wars and excitement about the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, he brought me a bottle of Pinot Noir. Since Hubby doesn’t drink, though, it seemed most appropriate that my friend and I open it together. So, we headed to Charlie Palmer Steak DC for lunch. They don’t charge a corkage fee for U.S. wines, although the wines can’t be something on their wine list, and they only allow guests to bring two bottles.

2012 Skywalker Vineyards Sommità Pinot Noir

2012 Skywalker Vineyards Sommità Pinot Noir

The 2012 Skywalker Vineyards Sommità (winery, snooth) is made in Marin County, California with 100% Pinot Noir grapes. The wine was a deep ruby with flecks of purple and big, drippy legs. On the nose, there were dark cherries and raspberries mixed with hints of cloves and earth. In the mouth, there were dark cherries, raspberries, and cranberries mixed with cedar, baking spices, and hints of white pepper, earth, and mushrooms. The wine had a medium-to-full body, medium tannins, and medium acidity.

Is this worth a glass after work? It’s worth more than one!  What are you waiting for?  At $42, this wine is not an everyday bottle, but if you’re looking for a special wine that is under $50, this is definitely worth considering. It’s luscious and complicated, but still approachable and drinkable. It’s a wine that can just as easily be paired with food as it can be enjoyed on its own.

Skywalker Vineyards CorkI paired the wine with the hand-cut yellowfin tuna tartare, which is on a bed of avocado and is made with a soy and lime emulsion. It also comes with sesame flat bread. I couldn’t have picked a better pairing, as the dish emphasized the earthiness in the wine, while still allowing everything to taste fresh and without being overpowering.

This wine is definitely drinkable now and would make a nice addition to a Christmas or New Year’s feast. Or, as the wine has some aging potential, so you should feel comfortable buying a bottle or two and holding on to it for a couple of years. Either way, if you’re a Pinot Noir or a Star Wars fan, this is a wine worth finding.

Question of the Day: Have you seen the new Star Wars movie yet? What did you think of it (no spoilers, please!)? And, have you ever had a wine from Skywalker Vineyards?

Me meeting R2D2 at the Disney screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on opening night

Meeting R2D2 at the Disney screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on opening night

Price: $42
Overall: 4.5 Corks