Dinner Wines

To begin our evening we had the 2009 Blenheim Chardonnay. While dinner was being created we enjoyed this chardonnay with crackers and white cheese. On the nose we noted pear, melon, and citrus. It was very crisp. In the mouth we noted pear, citrus, and a hint of minerality. It complimented our cheese and crackers quite well.

For dinner we had the 2008 Malbec from Corcoran Vineyards. I always enjoy this one. We had it with pasta and red meat sauce. We must say we ran this one through the Soiree to help decant it immediately. On the nose we noted dark cherry, and spice. In the mouth we noted similar jammy characteristics with a spicy edge. It proved to be the perfect pairing with our meal. We understand DrinkWhatULike had the same wine for dinner this evening.

Dinner Party and Virginia Wines

This past weekend I invited friends over for dinner. On occasions when I am serving several courses, I tend to “cull the herd” on my wine racks, and I like to present wines produced from all over the world. However, since it is Virginia Wine Month I opted to serve only Virginia wines with each of my courses. These are wines that we’ve reviewed as favorites in the past, so I’ll just provide the menu with wine pairings here:

First Course: Appetizers
Soft and hard goat cheeses with baguette slices; grapes and almonds
Wine Pairing: Ingleside Vineyards 2009 Pinot Grigio

Second Course: Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup
Wine Pairing: Gray Ghost Vineyards 2008 Reserve Chardonnay

Third Course: Grilled Louisiana Andouille served over Mixed Greens tossed with Balsamic Vinaigrette and topped with crumbled Feta Cheese
Wine Pairing: Linden Vineyards 2007 Claret

Entree: Garlic and Herb Crusted Beef Tenderloin served with Potatoes au Gratin and roasted Green Beans and Carrots
Wine Pairing: King Family Vineyards 2006 Meritage; Chrysalis Vineyards 2006 Special Reserve Red

Dessert: Pumpkin Bundt Cake
Dessert Wine: Gray Ghost Vineyards 2009 Adieu

This was quite a rich, hearty menu! And how did my guests react to Virginia wines? The most priceless reaction came from Don who had only experienced Virginia wines at a festival that he attended two years ago. He did not have a favorable opinion of the festival wines that he sampled and forgot all about Virginia wines ever since. However, Don was blown away by the quality of wines that I poured during the evening, and he has now concluded that Virginia does indeed produce some outstanding wines. This reaction is what we enjoy most about promoting Virginia wines. We see ourselves as educators, and the best lesson plans are those that involve wine drinkers who actually get to taste Virginia wines. Hands-on is the best learning experience! Of course, we then write about it all in our own cyber-textbook.

Planning a dinner party? Consider serving Virginia wines. Visit the wineries mentioned in this post and mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.

Taste Live Event

Last night we participated in the TasteLive event showcasing wines from the Monticello Wine Trail. There were bloggers and wine writers as well as winery representatives all on the TasteLive system. We tasted the wines and tweeted our thoughts and impressions of the wines. Below you’ll see the wines we tasted and the tweets associated with each wine. Read the tweets from the bottom up since they appear oldest to newest in the timeline.

The 2007 SP Rose from Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard

The 2009 Viognier from Keswick Vineyards

The 2009 Chardonnay Reserve from Jefferson Vineyards

The 2009 Gewurztraminer from Afton Mountain Vineyards

The 2009 Seven Oaks Merlot from Blenheim Vineyards

The 2008 Wooloomooloo from Mountfair Vineyards

Besides a few glitches on the website (losing some of our tweets, having to refresh the browser to have the next hashtag added to our tweets, and the clunky layout) we had a great time and enjoyed all the wines. We really enjoyed sharing our impressions with others from across the country. It was great how so many people were finding the same characteristics in the wines. We hope this experience exposed many people to Virginia wine. It has always been our goal to promote Virginia wine. We would recommend any and all of these wonderful Virginia wines.

A big THANKS to Virginia Wine and Dezel for putting this event together!

The Eastern Shore Party Continues

My last post detailed the results of the Eastern Shore winery tastings. Our delightful afternoon found us sipping and chatting with winemakers at Bloxom Vineyards, Holly Gorve Vineyards, and Chatham Vineyards. Our meet-up continued after our winery visits, though, and we all stayed at the Green Valley Farm Bed and Breakfast. We all brought bottles of wine to enjoy with a delicious meal prepared by the sipswirlsnark team; we also got to appreciate our comfy accommodations provided for us by our hostess, Chantal Deel.

As dusk set it, we continued to all get better acquainted, and what better way to socialize than with favorite Virginia wines. Before we knew it, the sipsters had the kitchen knives flying away with their preparations for the evening’s meal. Their menu started with their own olive tapenade and a spread made from edamame. As they donned their favorite chef’s hats and took charge in the kitchen, we sipped on glasses of Pollak Vineyard’s Durant White and the 2007 Glen Manor Sauvignon Blanc. We fed the horses that live on the grounds and watched as the stars began to twinkle. It was a classic autumn evening—cool and crisp!

Before long we were dining on grilled flank steak, stir-fried green beans, and sliced eggplant sauteed with parmesan cheese, and favorite red wines were compared at the dinner table. The gold stars for the evening seemed to be the Linden Vineyards’ 2007 Hardscrabble Red and the 2006 Merlot from Lovingston Vineyards. (I seemed to take an extra pour of Chrysalis’ 2005 Norton Locksley Reserve; sometimes it’s okay to be the oddball.) Dinner ended with a decadent chocolate tart, and then it was off to bed.

Chantal made breakfast for us all in the morning, and it was quite a spread that she prepared. Eggs, sausage and biscuits with gravy, bagels, bacon, fruit with yogurt—it seemed endless. There is no doubt that Chantal runs a cozy inn with well-appointed bedrooms, an outdoor fireplace to complement the patio, and gardens that feature brilliant flowers and fragrant herbs. Horses live on the property, and visitors can expect to see deer, geese and turkeys frequenting the grounds.

Be sure to visit wineries on the Eastern Shore and plan to stay at Green Valley Bed and Breakfast. Mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.

Barboursville Sauvignon Blanc

From time to time we pack up a lunch and head to the Bishop’s Garden at the National Cathedral. Today was one of those times. We packed sliced ham and sliced turkey to have with a baguette and goat cheese. We also packed a bottle of the 2009 Barboursville Sauvignon Blanc. We were hoping to see some fall color while enjoying our lunch and wine. Unfortunately we had to enjoy the food and wine without the fall color. It might be too soon but we mostly saw green and a bit of yellow in the trees.

We seem to enjoy every Barboursville wine we open. We enjoyed the 2009 Sauvignon Blanc as well. On the nose we noted citrus, grass, and grapefruit. In the mouth we noted citrus, a hint of minerality, and lemon zest. We noticed some very small bubbles in our glasses. We wonder if this one was topped off with some C02. The Sauvignon Blanc paired well with the sliced meats and baguette.

We are able to get to Barboursville a few times a year and always plan to taste while we’re there. If you bring your glass back, the tasting is free! We always leave with several bottles. If you visit Barboursville, pick a bottle of the 2009 Sauvignon Blanc and tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!

I’m Not a Chambourcin Fan

For dinner last night we had breaded chicken and herbed rice. Warren selected the 2009 Chambourcin from Hume Vineyards to compliment the meal. I may not have noted this yet but I’m not a big fan of Chambourcin. I’ve tasted many Chambourcins and very few make it on my rack. The Hume Chambourcin would fit nicely with the other wines on my rack.

On the nose we jotted down fruity, jammy, dark plum, dark cherry, earth, tobacco, and anise. Jammy can sometimes be a bad thing but in this case it was not the bad kind of jammy. It was pleasant. In the mouth we noted similar characteristics with the addition of currents, spice, and pepper. Even though it is 13.8% alcohol, we noted some heat on the end. The Chambourcin complimented the breaded chicken and herbed rice rather well.

Even though I don’t call myself a Chambourcin fan, I did enjoy this one. We look forward to future vintages of Hume’s Chambourcin. Knowing that I’m not the biggest Chambourcin fan, are there other Virginia Chambourcins you, dear readers, recommend I try?