Snowzilla Day 4 – A Goodbye to Snow with a Snow Roller

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

Magic Hat Brewing Company Snow Roller – This seasonal brown ale from Vermont is only available in the winter, but it’s a great option for the IPA lover looking to explore new beer horizons Ratings 3.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

Magic Hat Brewing Company Snow Roller – This seasonal brown ale from Vermont is only available in the winter, but it’s a great option for the IPA lover looking to explore new beer horizons Ratings 3.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

IMagic Hat Brewing Company Bottle Top promise…this is my last post about Snowzilla. I know it was months ago. I know everyone is over snow and instead thinking about spring, cookouts, and rose. But, I’m clearly behind on blogging, and I tasted so many good things over those few days I didn’t want to miss sharing. So, here it is…my final day of Snowzilla.

By the time Day 4 rolled around, the weather was doing more to clear away the snow than the city. There are many things I love about DC, but the ability to handle snowy weather is not one of them. Hubby and I spent our last day home acting more like it was a staycation day rather than a snow day. And, after several days of wine, I felt like enjoying a beer instead. So, I opted for Magic Hat Brewing Company’s aptly named Snow Roller.

Magic Hat Brewing Company Snow Roller Hoppy Brown Ale

Magic Hat Brewing Company Snow Roller Hoppy Brown Ale

The Snow Roller (brewery) is a brown ale from Vermont. The beer had a clear medium amber color with about an inch of foamy tan head. On the nose, there were mild smells of caramel, cereal, and something bitter. In the mouth, caramel and biscuits mixed with hints of citrus and something earthy. The beer had a medium body with a slight bite of bitterness on the finish.

Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely!  If you see this beer in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed. It was an interesting mix of a brown ale and IPA. So, if you’re an IPA lover looking to expand your beer horizons, you should definitely grab a bottle. Overall, this beer was makes for a nice winter seasonal option and it was perfect for a snowy day.

Question of the Day:  What’s the weather been like you?  How has it impacted your drinking choices?

Purchased at Harris Teeter
Overall: 3.5 Corks

Snowzilla Day 3 – Morning Sun & a South African Chenin Blanc

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

Snowzilla Day 3 - A view of people walking in the middle of the street from the balcony

People walking in the middle of the street

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

By Day 3 of Snowzilla, most of the snow had stopped. We woke up in the morning to 2 feet of snow, which required some final shoveling, particularly when it came to digging out the car. However, for the most part, that Sunday was about enjoying being snowed in without snow falling and walking around the neighborhood. Hubby and I had a leftovers from the two big meals he made at the beginning of the storm, not to mention cheese and prosciutto left. Instead of going for another red, though, the warmer weather and sunshine called for a white wine to go with the historic snowfall we were digging out from.

Hubby in yellow digging out the car from 2 ft of snow

Hubby in yellow digging out the car from under 2 ft of snow

The 2014 De Morgenzon Reserve Chenin Blanc (snooth, winery) is from Stellenbosch, South Africa and is made with 100% Chenin Blanc grapes. The wine was a medium lemon yello color. On the nose, there were white flowers and peaches mixed with a hint of honey, pear, and ginger. In the mouth there were pears, flowers, peaches, and apricots with hints of honest and ginger. This wine is medium-to-full bodied, with nice acidity and a long finish.

2014 De Morgenzon Reserve Chenin Blanc – At $35, this white wine from South Africa is a dry, but luscious wine that is incredibly food friendly and easy to sip. The flavors are all flowers and peaches with hints of ginger, and it’s long finish lingers in the mouth bringing a smile to the face. Ratings 4.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2014 De Morgenzon Reserve Chenin Blanc

Is this worth a glass after work? It’s worth more than one!  What are you waiting for? At an SRP of $35, this wine is probably a little price for an everyday wine, but this is a wine to grab for a nice Friday or Saturday night dinner or to open at the start of a night with friends. It’s incredibly food-friendly and easy to sip.

The snow stopped, but 2ft piled up against our back door, which turned our back patio into a "snowbox."

The snow stopped, but 2ft piled up against our back door, which turned our back patio into a “snowbox.”

According to the website, DeMorgenzon  means “the morning sun.”  While I didn’t know that when I opened the bottle, it was perfectly named for when I opened it.  The sunny, cloudless morning made for a beautiful winter day, and the Chenin Blanc made for a beautiful wine.  It brought a smile to my face…particularly nice a cold walk, in front of a warm fire, and cuddled up with Hubby.

Question of the Day: Do you tend to spend less on wine that you buy to open during the week than on the wine that you open over the weekend?  What’s your price range for an weekday bottle of wine?   

 

Suggested Retail Price: $35
Received as a sample.
Overall: 4.5 Corks

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

Snowzilla Day 2 (Part 1) – Crunchmasters, Cheese, & Charcuterie

Crunchmaster 7-Grain and Sea Salt Multi-Grain Crackers – If you eat gluten-free or dairy-free, are willing to try something a little different, or are looking for a great palate cleanser when doing a wine tasting, the Crunchmaster crackers are worth trying. | AGlassAfterWork.com

Crunchmaster 7-Grain and Sea Salt Multi-Grain Crackers – If you eat gluten-free or dairy-free, are willing to try something a little different, or are looking for a great palate cleanser when doing a wine tasting, the Crunchmaster crackers are worth trying. | AGlassAfterWork.com

Snowzilla Day 2 -- This was our back patio in the morning under 17 inches of snow.

Snowzilla Day 2 — This was our back patio in the morning under 17 inches of snow.

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

By the time we woke up in the morning on the for Day 2 of Snowzilla, there was a lot of snow on the ground.  We waited until after breakfast before heading out to begin our first round of clearing the sidewalk.  Hubby and I split the duties, although he admittedly had the harder job as he shoveled, while I put salt down when he was done.  By the time we finished, changed into dry clothes, and warmed up a little, it was time for Hubby to put our chili dinner in the crockpot and for me to open a some wine–a Mumm Sparkling Pinot Noir–and put together a snack, but the only thing better than good wine on a snow day is having good food with the wine.

Hubby and I out shoveling the for the first time on Snowzilla Day 2

Hubby and I out shoveling the for the first time on Snowzilla Day 2

As I mentioned in January, I’ve been having some health issues, so the doctor put me on a low FODMAP diet.  While things are a little less strict for me now, in January, I was completely gluten-free.  So, when Crunchmaster reached out about sampling their gluten-free crackers, I jumped at the chance.  I actually tasted Crunchmaster Crackers for the first time with Becca (The Gourmez) at the Wine Bloggers’ Conference in the Finger Lakes.  At the time, they were the perfect palate cleanser after several atrocious beers and a funky snack we ate at another table.

Because I enjoyed them in the Finger Lakes, I wanted to try them with the new lens of having to eat gluten-free.  Crunchmaster has a wide variety of flavored crackers, but I could only eat the 7-Grain Crackers and the Sea Salt Multi-Grain Crackers because I also eliminated onion and garlic from my diet.  If you’re interested in other flavors, Becca reviewed the Roasted Vegetable, White Cheddar, and Roasted Garlic.

Crunchmasters 7 Ancient Grains and Multi Grain Crackers

Crunchmaster 7 Ancient Grains and Sea Salt Multi-Grain Crackers

The 7-Grain Crackers tasted like “healthy” food to me.  I wasn’t surprised to learn they had 24g of whole grain per serving (15 crackers) and were low sodium, gluten and dairy free, and made with 4 different types of seeds–quinoa seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, amaranth seeds. I thought they added variety, in both taste and texture, to the cheese and charcuterie board, as well as a providing a nice compliment to the sparkling red wine, but Hubby was not a fan.

The Sea Salt Multi-Grain Crackers disappeared off the board pretty quickly, so there was little doubt that they were the favorite. They had 22 g of whole grain per serving (16 crackers…I love getting the extra cracker in there!), were dairy and gluten free, and were made with 3 types of seeds—sesame seeds, flax seeds, and quinoa seeds.  They were the right consistency for spreading our Cherry Glen Monocacy Silver (a local, soft ripened goat cheese), as well as had the perfect amount of salt to combine with the truffle gouda cheese that we also were enjoying.

Snowzilla cheese, charcuterie, and Crunchmasters

Snowzilla cheese, charcuterie, and Crunchmaster crackers

Doing the cracker taste test was a fun and delicious experiment on a snow day that left us house bound in front of a warm fire. Since then, even though I’ve added gluten back into my modified low FODMAP diet, the Sea Salt Multi-Grain have become a staple in the A Glass After Work house.  I occasionally take half a serving and a cheddar cheese stick for the perfect sized afternoon snack.  So, if you eat gluten-free, are willing to try something a little different, or are looking for a great palate cleanser when doing a wine tasting, I recommend giving the Crunchmaster a try.

Question of the Day: Do you eat gluten-free, low FODMAP, or have some other type of special dietary constraints?  If so, do you tend to feel like the foods you have to eat taste as good as the restricted versions of the same food?  If not, do you ever eat the foods that are geared towards some of these specialized diets (like gluten-free or lactose-free items)?

Snowzilla Day 1: A Few Inches and a Bouchaine Cabernet

Snowzilla 2016: Day 1 -- Our backyard as the snow started and then again around 7:30pm, along with our last measure of the night.

Snowzilla 2016: Day 1 — Our backyard as the snow started and then again around 7:30pm, along with our last measure of the night.

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

As Monday January 18 started, so did the rumblings that DC might get a really big snowstorm at the end of the week. In fact, everyone was so focused on Friday’s impending storm that very little attention was paid to the 1-3 inches that were predicted for mid-week. Thankfully, I walk to work, so I wasn’t one of the unfortunate Washingtonians who had more than a 7-hour drive home on icy, untreated roads, but I definitely heard the stories. The debacle of Wednesday started panic about what was in store for the more than 2 feet of snow that was expected later in the week. By the time Friday rolled around, my office decided we could all work from home in the morning and then we would close in the afternoon when the federal government closed.

The snow started around 1:30pm, and by the time we did our last shoveling of the night, there were still only a few inches on the ground. However, like most Washingtonians, we were prepared for Snowzilla. We made sure there was enough “snow day” type food, but also some well-planned out wine options. On that first night, Hubby made homemade tomato sauce with brown rice pasta, and I opened up a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon from one of my wine clubs that I’d been saving.

2012 Bouchaine Landucci Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – At $70, this small production red wine from is a great option for special occasions. It’s easy to drink, very food friendly, and incredibly delicious. Cheers! Ratings 5 out 5 | AGlassAfterWork.comThe 2012 Bouchaine Landucci Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (winery) is from the Combsville area of Napa, California. The wine was a deep purple color. On the nose, there were a lot of dark fruits–black plums, blackberries, and black cherries–mixed with a hint of baking spices. In the mouth, there were black plums and cherries mixed with cinnamon and hints of nutmeg and smoke. The wine was full bodied with good acid and tannins.

Is this worth a glass after work? It’s worth more than one!  What are you waiting for? At $70, there is no doubt that this wine is expensive, but it’s also absolutely delicious. Only 505 cases were produced, so it’s small production, and it’s a wine that is very enjoyable now, but also has enough structure and flavor that it could be cellared for at least another 5 years. Unfortunately, when I went to go buy another couple of bottles to hold onto for a while, it looks like the winery is already sold out.

Spaghetti and sauce for Snowzilla night 1The wine was one I drank leisurely through the first night of the blizzard. It was a nice accompaniment to Hubby’s homemade sauce, and it was the perfect for cuddling up on the couch in front of a fire after our last round of shoveling for the night.

Overall, at this price range, this is a special occasion type of wine. And, if you’re looking for that special bottle, particularly one to go with a hearty meal or vibrant conversation, this is a wine you should consider.

Question of the Day:  Do you live in an area that gets a lot of snow?  Is alcohol something that you stock up on in your snowstorm preparations?  What’s your go-to snow day choice?

Price: $70
Purchased at Bouchaine Vineyards Wine Club
Overall: 5 Corks