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  • Writer's pictureLoralyn Mears, PhD

Wine Down and Chill: Shhhh It’s a Secret

This article was originally published on May 1, 2020 at

The world is still struggling and all of us behind wine down and chill are still trying to help you through it by doing our part. Most of you are drinking more wine lately with virtual happy hours (VHH) so you’re even more interested in learning about different wines so that you can get down to drinking it! Got it.

We’ll continue to offer affordable suggestions for music, wine, dinner and movies with a different wine down and chill theme each week. You can also follow me on Instagram for wine art and photography @WineDownAndChill. We’re here to help you sit back, wine down and chill. If you missed an article, fret not! You can find every article here.

If you like podcasts, well, wouldn’t you know, I’ve got one of those, too! Join me for Women-in-Tech “Like a BOSS” every week for snappy insights in a quick power-up 10-minute format; find it on Apple, iHeart Radio, Spotify and more.

Theme: Secrets

By now, everyone knows what color everyone else’s natural hair color is – and we’re only weeks away from the extinction of over 80% of blondes in the USA. So, the secret’s out! Time for a little wine down and chill fun.

Listen: Many Secrets Here

There are more songs with “secret” in the title than I recalled. Here’s a playlist. A few of my favorites include “Secret” by Madonna and “Secret World” by Peter Gabriel, which has some eerie significance to the current state of our world, as well as relevance to this week’s wine down and chill theme.

Learn: Tempranillo

Tempranillos tend to be on the pricey side of red wines and we’ve only featured a single Tempranillo in previous wine down and chill columns. This varietal is notoriously finicky and challenging to grow with low yields, but it tends to do quite well in the Rioja region, specifically the Ribera del Duero vineyards of Spain. The grape’s name has its origins in the word, “temprano,” which means early because this grape is one of the first to ripen.

Identifying it in the vineyard is quite easy because of its distinctive spiky, jagged leaves which are a sight to behold in the Autumn as one of the few to turn blazing red with the season.

With respect to volumes, Tempranillo is the fourth most planted grape in the world (who knew?!) and is one of the nine red noble grapes. It’s been around for three millennia and is commonly the source of Port wines. Most often, it is paired with smokey dishes like cured ham and other meats, but it pairs up nicely with wine down and chill roasted veggies and other flavors.

Wine: Secret Vines Tempranillo Roble

Secret Vines Wines hails from Miami, FL and their portfolio includes “The 7 Secrets” of wines which include a red blend, bubbly rosé, rosé, sauvignon blanc, and a few others. For their Secret Vines Tempranillo Roble, the grapes are sourced from Ribera del Duero, fermented and aged six months in oak (hence the term “Roble”) to bring out balanced tannins, smoothing out that notoriously bitter edge that tannins add to wines. Characteristic spiciness of tobacco, dirt and leather come through to even those with an untrained nose!

Its pricing is slightly beyond our $20 standard but the $25-30 range that you’ll source it for is worth spending a little extra on.

Dine: Smokey Veggies

If an outdoor grill is available to you, you’re in luck! If not, hopefully you can make do with an oven broiler or George Foreman style indoor grill for this week’s wine down and chill dish. Smother whichever veggies (zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, carrots, peppers, red onions, garlic, etc.) that you can source in Italian salad dressing. Sprinkle liberally with parmesan. Wrap in heavy-duty tinfoil and put on the grill or in the oven for at least 30 minutes. Serve over a bed of rice mixed with feta cheese or smoked ham (if you can find any). Pour yourself a big glass of today’s wine down and chill Tempranillo and enjoy!

Watch: Locke & Key

Lately, I’ve been offering two viewing suggestions (since everyone seems to have twice the time that we did before). Thankfully, they have already confirmed production (someday) of a Season 2 for Locke & Key, a clever Sci-Fi, drama and horror series. For now, you have ten episodes of Season 1 to get through and, although there is one bloody murder scene, the rest of the show is appropriate for family (tweens and up) viewing. After their father is murdered, they move into his childhood home which holds fascinating secrets and special keys that can unlock incredible things like time travel and exploring other people’s inner thoughts.

If you’re looking for a light-hearted comedy in a one-and-done viewing session versus another series to get through, then watch this RomCom, Can You Keep a Secret? A young woman is on a flight when the plane begins experiencing engine failure. She spills every last secret to the man in the seat beside her, only to later find herself working at his company where he’s in the role of CEO.

It’s the weekend. Time to wine down and chill. Cheers!

Photo by Posawee Suwannaphati from Pexels



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