Kinkead’s Serves Virginia Wines

Acclaimed seafood restaurant and meeting place for the politically connected, Kinkead’s, always includes some Virginia wines on the wine list.  We dined there this past weekend, and we were excited to see that a current feature pour was the 2006 Chardonnay Reserve from First Colony Winery.  Our friend and favorite bartender, Jeff, gave us a sample, and we were pleased by its pear and apple characteristics.  It finished with toasted almonds and honey.  It’s always a thrill for us to see Virginia wines on area wine lists, and we suggest that readers seek out Virginia wines when they dine out.  Plan a visit to Kinkead’s for an elegant night out, and ask for a glass or bottle of the 2006 Chardonnay Reserve from First Colony Winery with your meal.  Mention that Virginia Wine Time made the recommendation!

Eat Lasagna, Drink Naked

So it’s that time of year to enjoy lasagna and drink wine at Naked Mountain Vineyard and Winery.  Last weekend, we brought along my sister Cindy, brother-in-law Travis and my nephew Ellis.  Travis is a fellow wine lover and foodie; needless to say, he was game for lasagna and wine.

Of course, we all had to figure out which wine to pair with our lasagna, and that required tasting wines. We were certain that we wanted a red wine, but why not try the white wines, too?  Paul’s favorite of the white wines was the Sauvignon Blanc, and it definitely conjured images of springtime flowers and warmer temperatures.  Citrus flavors and a crisp finish highlighted this pour.  Travis and I favored the full-bodied Black label Chardonnay with its apple and pear notes.  I appreciated its toasted nut finish. 

Now on to the red wines, and a potential pairing with lasagna was on our minds.  Our choice was the 2005 Scarlet Oak Red.  This is a Rhone-style blend with Syrah, Mourvedre, and Tannat, and it presented a denser core with aromas and flavors of dark fruit and black pepper.  I also detected some tobacco on the nose.  The Tannat provided a nice backbone, too, and the Scarlet Oak Red finished long.  We all concluded that the Scarlet Oak Red had what it took to meet the weight and spice of the sausage lasagna.

With our tasting done, we settled down for a wonderful meal but made certain to claim a table near the glass doors that allowed us to view snow-capped mountains.  A nearby bird feeder was quite busy with all sorts of birds including cardinals and tanagers.  I must also mention that my sister Cindy is not a wine drinker but was very patient with us as we completed the arduous task of wine tasting.  She and my teen-aged nephew did keep track of the many varieties of birds that frequented the bird feeder, and they even braved the cold outdoors to appreciate the lovely winter landscape while we completed our task to select the perfect wine.  Eventually, we all dined on lasagna and garlic bread, and the wine drinkers acknowledged that the 2005 Scarlet Oak Red was the perfect partner with the meal.

Take advantage of the winter lasagna menu at Naked  Mountain Vineyard and  Winery; of course, enjoy lasagna with a bottle of Naked Mountain Wine.  Be sure to mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.

Cabernet and Chocolates

On Sunday we went to Gray Ghost for their annual Cabernet and Chocolates event. Warren’s sister, her husband, and their son were visiting from New Orleans. After a regular tasting we headed back to the tank room to enjoy some reds with lots of chocolate. It was a great way to spend Valentines Day. Here are a few pictures for the event.


It’s snowing like crazy outside! But we’re warm and safe inside. Snowpocalypse 2010 is a great time to enjoy some wine and food. We were going to attend the Virginia Wine Showcase this weekend but fear the snow will keep us from attending.

To begin the snow event we started with the Barboursville Brut. We thought that would be a great beginning. We noted that it had long lasting bubbles. It had apple on the nose with a vibrant acidity. We thought it would be perfect for mimosas…which we’ll make in the morning.

For dinner we had some grilled chicken seasoned with lemon pepper and long grain and wild rice. Of course we were thinking of a white wine, and already chilled in the fridge was the 2008 Pollak Vineyards Viognier. It proved to be a perfect match. The viognier had a floral nose, and peach characteristics. It paired well with the seasoned grilled chicken. The Pollak Viognier is one of my favorites.

We expect we’ll be enjoying several Virginia wines during this snow event. We’ll keep you updated on the snow and the wines we enjoy.

Loudoun County Round Up

This post is devoted to the tastings we’ve done at other Loudoun County wineries in the past couple of weeks.  With the barrage of snow hitting the area, it’s been hard to get out on the wine trails; however, we do keep material in reserve for just such occasions. 

Fabbioli Cellars—Always a treat to taste the latest pours here and to chat with winemaker, Doug Fabbioli.  As usual, the lineup here is impressive, and tasters cannot go wrong with any of the selections on Doug’s tasting menu.  Winter sippers who are tired of heavy reds but not quite ready for white wines may want to try the 2008 Rosa Luna, a dry rose made from Sangiovese grapes.  Bright strawberry and melon flavors make for a fruity and versatile pour.  The 2008 Chambourcin is a raspberry delight in the glass; I’m picky about Chambourcin, but a bottle of this one ended coming home with me.  Doug is devoted to Cabernet Franc, and both the 2008 Cabernet Franc and the 2008 Cabernet Franc Reserve are gems.  The Reserve is aged longer in both French and American oak barrels, and the result is a bigger-bodied wine with extracted fruit characteristics and a lengthier finish.  Be sure to try the pear wine—we tasted this one out of the barrel last year and made a prediction that it was destined to be a crowd pleaser.  We were not disappointed.  Blended with a bit of brandy, the Aperitif Pear Wine needs only a cozy fireplace and a special someone.

Tarara Winery—We had not been to Tarara Winery in quite a while, and the current pours are the handiwork of winemaker Jordan Harris.  We decided to participate in the premium tasting; it was 20 bucks a piece but worth the experience.  This tasting is conducted in a private tasting room that provides a spectacular mountain view, and participating palate are seated around an ample yet elegant dining table.  We were served a plate of snacks that would complement the pours, and we concluded that the premium pours were all quite solid.  Of the whites, my own favorite was the 2008 Viognier with its peachy nose and floral aromas.  Aged in French oak, this Viognier is a fuller-bodied white wine that should be a hit with shellfish; I make an herb-crusted turkey breast that would partner quite well with this one.  Of the red wines, it was hard to beat the Long Bomb Edition 2.  Violets and tobacco on the nose noted here with dark fruit in the mouth and nice tanning make this a natural partner with anything that moos.  Serve now if you wish, but decant first.  The Long Bomb Edition 2 is enclosed with a screw cap, so it can age for a while; however,  drink within the next 10 years.  The value pour of the event had to be the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon.  At 20 bucks a pop, I thought it was worth every penny given its quality—plum and blackberry notes with spice and tobacco on the nose, here was yet another partner for a steak dinner beside a roaring fire.

Corcoran Vineyards—We always look forward to seeing Lori in the tasting room and to sampling her latest pours.  I’ve always been a fan of her Chardonnay, and I was not disappointed with the apple-inflected 2008 Chardonnay that was aged in both stainless steel tanks and oak barrels.  Paul preferred the more floral 2008 Viognier.  “Dry” and “tropical” were his descriptors, and he noted that fish fillets would be a nice pairing with this one. We moved on to the red wines, and we both enjoyed the rich 2008 Malbec. I suspect that this one may have a cult following since very few Virginia wineries produce Malbec as a single variety much less at this quality. The 2008 offering from Corcoran Vineyards is quite good and packed with dark cherry and plum flavors with some mocha at the end.  We noted a lengthier finish, too.  Since it’s wintertime (duh), serve now with roasted meats; however, save for later to pour with grilled steaks when the weather warms up. For a more complex and truly age-worthy wine, though, try the 2007 Meritage.


So when the snow lets up and you need to get out of the house, visit these outstanding Loudoun County wineries.  We promise to get back on the trail once Frosty the Snowman melts for good.  In the meantime, put these wineries on your “to visit” list; mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.