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

Levo Mint – A Sexy California Red

Monday, February 13 was one of those days that got a late start, so it fooled me. I had some emails to answer before my 10:30am staff meeting, but all seemed quiet…until it wasn’t. Halfway through the staff meeting, my email started to blow up. From there, I spent much of my day running from congressional office to congressional office, meeting with staff on a vote that was announced for that week. I enjoy the busy days, but this one shifted from busy to chaotic, which isn’t quite as fun. The benefit of having email on my phone, though, is that once things moved back from chaotic to busy, I was able to make it to my spin class before heading home to open a bottle of wine and pack for my work trip to Nashville.

2013 Levo Mint – At $36, this red wine from California is an incredibly sexy wine that is worth every penny. It’s big and bold enough to enjoy on its own, while turning sultry when paired with food. It’s a luscious wine that will call into question your self-restraint, but leave you with no regrets. Rating: 4.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2013 Levo Mint

The 2013 Levo Mint (winery) is a red wine blend from California. On the nose, there were blackberries and cigars mixed with hints of black cherry and vanilla. In the mouth, there were blackberries and black cherries with a cigar box and hints of nutmeg and cinnamon. The wine was medium-to-ful bodied with medium tannins and high acidity.

Is this worth a glass after work? It’s worth more than one!  What are you waiting for? At $36, this is an incredibly sexy wine that is worth every penny. I sipped away at my first glass while packing for my trip. And, while it was delicious, the wine only got better from there. I paired the second glass with Hubby’s slow cooker BBQ pork and grits. There was something about the BBQ that enhanced the depth and smokiness of the wine, making the meal sultry and delicious. I couldn’t get enough. Admittedly, the third glass was just gluttonous, but I was enjoying it too much to have self restraint. All in all, it was a wine worth the indulgence.

November 2016's Wine Bloggers' Conference Scholarship Fund Wine Club shipment | AGlassAfterWork.com

November 2016’s Wine Bloggers’ Conference Scholarship Fund Wine Club shipment

As a side note, the Levo Mint was one of three wines I received as part of “The Wine Bloggers’ Conference Scholarship Fund Wine Club.” This wine club is just $99, and 50% of the profits are donated back to the WBC Scholarship Fund. The scholarship helps wine bloggers attend the annual Wine Bloggers’ Conference, which long-time readers know I think is an invaluable experience for every wine blogger.  The wine club also has a private Facebook group and, since several participants are also wine bloggers there are a number of people blogging about, tweeting about, and holding live tastings of these wines.  So, if you wanted to add a social component to your membership, there are many ways to do that.

So far, I’ve been in love with every wine I’ve received through the club. There are four shipments of three wines from boutique California wineries (we’ve received two shipments/six wines). If you’re looking for an inexpensive, charitable wine club that is going to give you some truly fantastic wines that you probably wouldn’t know about on your own…this is the wine club for you.  Check it out!

Question of the Day: Do you drink wines or belong to wine clubs that donate some of the profits to charity? Do those donations make you more likely to buy the wine or join the club?

Price: $36
Purchased at The Wine Bloggers’ Conference Scholarship Fund Wine Club
Overall: 5 Corks

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

A Storybook Zin for a Not-So-Storybook Day

The first week back at work after vacation is always rough, but last week was particularly so for me. Not only had I spent 10 days out of the office hardly checking email, but also I had already spent more than half of August traveling (some work, some personal) because Congress was on recess for 7 weeks. The pace of work and life had been so much slower, and I was settling into it. But, the start of September also meant the restarting of a frenetic pace. I was averaging 8-10 meetings a day with congressional staff, not counting my internal work meetings and conference calls that started up again now that work is in full swing. Not that any of it’s bad. In fact, despite the chaos, things at work are going really well. However, by the time last Friday hit, I was a combination of wound up tight and exhausted. When I walked in the door, I went straight for a bottle I knew would make me smile and shrug off the stress of the week.

2012 Storybook Mountain Vineyards Zinfandel Estate Reserve – At $68, this wine is not an every day wine, but it is a nice splurge when looking for something a little special.  It’s luscious, inviting, and absolutely lovely…the type of wine you just want to sink into.  Rating 4.5 out of 5 | AGlassAfterWork.com

2012 Storybook Mountain Vineyards Estate Reserve Zinfandel

The 2012 Storybook Mountain Vineyards Zinfandel Estate Reserve (winery) is from Napa Valley, California. The wine was a dark ruby with hints of purple. On the nose, there were blackberries, nutmeg, cinnamon, and hints of cedar. In the mouth, there were blackberries, blueberries, and baking spices mixed with something floral and cedar. The wine had a medium-to-full body, acid, and tannins.

Is this worth a glass after work? It’s worth more than one!  What are you waiting for? At $68 (or $61.20 if you belong to the wine club like I do), this wine is not an every day wine, but it is a nice splurge when looking for something a little special. It’s luscious and inviting, the type of wine you just want to sink into and enjoy.

I sipped on my first glass while sitting in the living room talking with Hubby about our respective days. The second glass was an amazing accompaniment to Hubby’s burgers with applewood smoked cheddar and polenta fries. And, the third glass, well, that was for snuggling up on couch with an afghan and my book, and I couldn’t have had a better wine for that.

I didn’t end up finishing the bottle on Friday night, and I had two glasses left for Saturday night. The wine it didn’t pair well with dinner (my fault, not the wine’s), but on it’s own, it continued to be absolutely lovely…possibly better on night two than on night one. All in all, it was an outstanding choice to enjoy a Friday night while ushering in the next busy season at work.

Question of the Day: Do you do anything special or have any rituals to help get back into “work mode” after vacation?  

Price: $68 (or $61.20 for wine club members)
Purchased at Storybook Mountain Vineyards
Overall: 4.5 Corks