Virginia Wine Time

We Enjoy Virginia Wine

Month: October 2013

Halloween Party

vwm25smallOur final celebration for Virginia Wine Month was a Halloween Party for many of our friends. Warren cooked lots of different food items and I made cupcakes for dessert. Of course the wines for the evening were strictly Virginia wines. We selected several whites and several reds. The list of the wines that were included were:

 

 
Whites
2012 Delaplane Cellars Petit Manseng
2011 Gray Ghost Reserve Chardonnay
2012 Chrysalis Viognier
2012 Tarara Charval
2011 Linden Seyval
2012 Pollak Rose
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Reds
2011 Lost Creek Cabernet Franc
2009 Granite Heights End of the Road
2009 Afton Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve
2008 Chester Gap Petit Verdot
2009 Delaplane Tannat
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The wines were very well received. We judged how well they were liked by how empty the bottle was at the end of the evening. The 2011 Gray Ghost Reserve Chardonnay and the 2011 Linden Seyval were empty at the end of the night. Of the reds the Granite Heights End of the Road and the Delaplane Tannat were both empty as well. We can assume then they were the most enjoyed wines or they appealed to the palates of our guests more than the other wines. Either way, all the wines were enjoyed and everyone had a wonderful time. We are already looking forward to the party next year and showcasing more Virginia wine. If you visit any of these wineries be sure to tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!
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Virginia Wine at Whole Foods

vwm25smallOn Friday night we went to the Whole Foods Market Tysons for their weekly Fab Five Fridays. The wine pairings for the evening were all Virginia wines. We thought this would be another great way to celebrate Virginia Wine Month. We posted about it Twitter and Facebook and were pleased to see some of our readers turn out to taste some Virginia wine. Neche Harris from the Marketing Team asked us to be on hand to answer questions about Virginia wine while tasters went from station to station. We were happy to promote Virginia wine!

The first course was arugula salad with Idiazabal cheese, apples, and caramelized walnuts. It was paired with the Barboursville Pinot Grigio. This is one of our favorites and we thought it paired nicely with the salad.

The second course was a spicy Italian sandwich with fresh mozzarella. It was paired with the Horton Norton Red Blend. I am not a huge fan of Norton but Warren thought the fruity notes helped calm the spicy nature of the sandwich.
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The third course was Alfredo and penne pasta. It was paired with the Horton Viognier. This was my favorite pairing. I really enjoyed the penne pasta and thought the viognier was a good pairing with the cheesy Alfredo sauce.
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The fourth course was spaghetti bolognese. It was paired with the Crosskeys Petit Verdot. Petit Verdot is one of my favorite grapes. I have several different Virginia Petit Verdots on my rack. Besides the spaghetti being delicious, the wine was very nice as well. This petit verdot had just the right tannin structure to balance the bolognese sauce.
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The fifth and final course was a pumpkin roll with cream cheese. It was paired with the Pearmund Riesling. The sweetness of the wine paired nicely with the spice and cream cheese of the pumpkin roll.
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While tasting the different courses we were able to chat with many people about Virginia wines. It was great to chat about Virginia wine and info people about wineries, wines, and destinations available in Virginia. We had lengthy conversations with Kerry and Danielle and Tom and Anna.
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Whole Foods Market doesn’t always showcase Virginia but Friday night Pearmund Cellars was pouring several of their wines and Albemarle Ciderworks was tasting several of their ciders. We were so pleased to see and hear such great things about Virginia Wine (and cider). We’ve attended many of the Fab 5 Fridays in the past but no more. Starting Thursday October 31st (Halloween) Fab 5 is moving to Thursdays. So be sure to check out the Fab 5 on Thursday now and when you do, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!

Wine and Dine at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner

For anyone looking for a unique food and wine experience, look no further than The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner.  We spent this past weekend participating in a cooking class hosed by executive chef Matthew Morrison, chatted about wine with heralded sommelier Vincent Feraud, and then had dinner paired with Virginia wines in the elegant yet unpretentious Entyse Wine Bar & Lounge. We felt very spoiled and pampered, and our only regret was that we could not stay longer.
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Our day at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner began with a cooking class given by chef Matthew Morrison.  The class was actually part of the Fall Epicurean Series, a weekly series of cooking demonstrations held at the hotel each week in October.  The particular session was called Thanksgiving 101; Morrison and his talented culinary team guided participants through lessons on how to create a delicious Thanksgiving meal.  The menu included brined turkey (including a unique tip on how to bake the bird in separate pieces), apple raisin stuffing with seasonal herbs, cranberry orange chutney (say good-bye to the gelled canned stuff), and a lush black pepper panna cotta for dessert.  Mixologist Narath crafted signature cocktails to pair with each course.  For starters, a crisp French 75 made with Champagne and a splash of gin and lemon made for a lemony aperitif.  With the main meal, a French Martini was served and featured Chambord, pineapple juice, grand marnier, and vanilla vodka.  Sommelier Vincent Feraud offered a wine alternative and poured a divine Stolpman Syrah 2009.  Finally a decadent pumpkin spice martini made with pumpkin spice liquer and Godiva chocolate syrup was finished with a dollop of whipped cream, and this was served with the panna cotta.  Rich textures, chocolate highlights, and fall spices played delightfully well with each other.  The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner has many Fall/Winter events lined up. Check out the events calendar and find one that interests you.
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We walked away from the cooking class with tips to make our Thanksgiving meal even more memorable.  We were also quite satisfied from Chef Morrison’s sample servings from the demonstration.  However, we knew that more culinary treats were on the way, and we decided to rest for a bit in The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner Club Room which offers guests a panoramic view of the Tysons area including the emerging fall colors from trees that are just now putting on quite a colorful show.  Shima, the Club’s concierge, warmly greeted us and offered to pour for us a glass of wine, and offerings included the Barboursville Pinot Grigio.  How could we resist?  Lovely views of the Virginia landscape were appreciated from the Club Room while enjoying a glass of Virginia wine from Barboursville to continue our celebration of Virginia Wine Month. 
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We finished our evening at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner with dinner at Entyse Wine Bar & Lounge.  Here we were greeted by sommelier Vincent Feraud who poured for us the Trump 2008 Blanc de Blanc.  Vincent Feraud was the sommelier that helped to conduct the Judgment of Paris held in 2009; this contest featured a showdown between the best Virginia wines and wines from France, Chile and Austria.  The outcome? Virginia wines either bested or equaled their foreign competitors.  Vincent was more than willing to chat with us about Virginia wines, wines from around the world, and yes, custom motorcycles.  If readers ever see us pull up at a winery on motorcycles, it was Vincent Feraud who influenced us!  Anyway, we ordered dinner with a promise from Vincent that he would return with a Virginia wine to pair with our meal.  Paul ordered roasted chicken with mashed potatoes; I could not resist the filet mignon with rosemary potatoes.  And the wine?  Vincent poured for us the 2009 Cabernet Merlot from Lovingston Vineyards.  It was a “wow” experience.  Our meal was perfectly prepared, and the Virginia wine selection proved to be the perfect match.  I must add that our waiter, Simon, was very attentive and personable.  After we finished our meal, we lingered for a while to finish our wine; as we did so, the Christopher Linman Jazz Ensemble entertained lounge guests with classics from such greats as Miles Davis and Duke Ellington.
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Needless to say, our appetites were more than satisfied.  We retired to our room where chocolate squares rested atop pulled down sheets.  We had no trouble falling asleep!  After a breakfast of French toast and fresh coffee, we took one final glance at the elegant lobby with its bouquet of fresh flowers and glittering chandeliers.  We enjoyed our stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner.  Great food, wonderful wines, and superb amenities await guests who will be pampered by a dedicated team that offers excellent service.  We plan to visit The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner again, and we recommend that readers do so too.  Please mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.
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(A very special thank you to Chef Matthew and his talented culinary team, and Narath, Vincent, Shima, and Simon for making our stay super fantastic!)
 
We were invited to participate in The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner: Stay, Play and Write Campaign. All opinions are our own.

Try Some South African Wines

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Celebrating Virginia Wine Month in the Monticello Area

vwm25smallWe took advantage of the long weekend to visit with Paul’s family and to sample wines in the Monticello area. Here is a summary of our favorite pours:

Barboursville Vineyards: We are pleased to report that the tasting set up has changed since our last visit, and an additional tasting station has been added to ease the bottleneck that occurred during hectic times. Our tasting experience was much more enjoyable, and we hope that the management continues to explore efficient ways handle the growing crowds that visit the winery. Paul favored the crisp Pinot Grigio 2012; I preferred the more complex Chardonnay Reserve 2012—no surprises here, right. However, we did appreciate the Viognier Reserve that is aging quite nicely. Of the red wines, it was tough to beat the Nebbiolo Reserve 2010 with its smoky notes and aromas of violet, tobacco and black currants. Paul thought that the Cabernet Franc Reserve 2011 did just that and notes its nose of cedar, blackberries, and cherries. We agreed to disagree.
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Jefferson Vineyards: This is our first visit here since winemaker Chris Ritzcovan has taken the helm. We enjoyed several wines here poured by one of our favorite tasting associates, Allison. Paul is not a Riesling fan, but he did enjoy the Johannisberg Riesling 2011 with its stone fruit aromas and subtle hay note. I preferred the 2011 Chardonnay Reserve 2011 and its weightier mouth feel. We reached another split decision on the red wines. Paul was most enthusiastic about the earthy Petit Verdot 2012 and its smoky nose and elements of dark berries, coffee, and dried herbs. My own favorite was the complex Meritage 2010. A whiff of violet led aromas of dark fruit, tobacco and anise. Components include Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
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Keswick Vineyards: We always enjoy Stephen Benard’s wines and look forward to sampling his latest releases. We both appreciated the 2012 Viognier that was fermented in a combination of tank and French oak. Peach and tropical fruit notes with a bit of vanilla at the end made for a luscious wine; it had a nice length too. I was a bigger fan of the 2012 Chardonnay that I characterized as a classic Burgundy style wine. Lovely pear flavors accented by hints of oak and a long-lasting finish make for a food-friendly yet elegant wine. The 2012 Consensus is created by wine club members and is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Norton. We found this one to be an accessible wine with smoky notes and elements of tobacco, mixed berries, and black pepper. Stephan also treated us to several of the Signature line of wines available to club members. We really enjoyed the chardonnay and viognier. We also got to sample a few of the 2013s in the barrels. They will be quite nice! Stephan and I also posed for a silly picture that Paul posted on Twitter. We always have fun chatting about wine and catching up with Stephan. Thank you, Stephan!
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Trump Winery: Hard to beat the Sparkling Blanc de Blanc with its nose of apples, pears, and toast. Paul enjoyed the crisp Chardonnay 2012 that was fermented 90% in stainless steel tank and 10% in French oak barrels. These leaner Chardonnays tend to be his style and are certainly easy to sip on their own. Fans of the simply red will be pleased to know that the 2008 vintage is still available and tasting quite nicely.
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More on our visit to the Monticello area next time. Until then, plan your own visit to these wineries and mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.

Hay-Adams and Virginia Wine Month

vwm25smallTHE HAY-ADAMS PRESENTS A FALL WINE DINNER WITH BARBOURSVILLE VINEYARD

The historic hotel will host a Wine Dinner with one of Virginia’s premier vineyards

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Hay-Adams, one of the world’s leading luxury hotels, is pleased to announce that on Thursday, October 24, 2013 it will host a Five-Course Wine Dinner in partnership with Barboursville Vineyard. The Hay-Adams Chef Jaime Montes de Oca, Jr. will pair signature Lafayette Restaurant dishes with Barboursville’s featured wines presented by Barboursville Winemaker Luca Paschina.

Montes de Oca’s creations for this special evening include First Course: Marinated Salsify, Pickled Mousseron Mushroom, Warm Baby Pullet Egg paired with Vermentino 2012, Barboursville’s newest varietal from the original 2012 award-winning vintage; Second Course: Wild Rock Fish, Smoked Potato Mousse, Watercress, Caviar paired with Viognier 2012, a generous concentration of subtropical aromas; Third Course: Crispy Sweetbreads, Kabocha Squash, Brown Butter Cider Sauce paired with Cabernet Franc 2011, a light-bodied, fully aromatic varietal; Fourth Course: Vaudavan Spiced Lamb Chop, Roasted Cauliflower, Almond, Dry Cranberries, Natural Jus paired with Octagon 2009, a complex, subtly spiced red blend; and Dessert: Poached Pear, Sweet Gorgonzola Ice Cream, Candied Walnuts paired with Malvaxia Passito 2007.

The collaboration of Montes de Oca and Paschina will provide both a delicious and entertaining evening. Born and raised in New York City, Montes de Oca is a 1990 graduate of The Art Institute in New York and has held posts at many highly regarded establishments as well as worked with celebrated chefs, such as Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Laurent Manrique and George Mendes. Piedmont-born, third-generation winemaker Paschina has earned many accolades while at the helm of Barboursville since 1990, including 2002 Wine Person of the Year. His creation and the hallmark of Barboursville is its most honored red wine, Octagon, which is among the wines served at this dinner.

For reservations for The Hay-Adams and Barboursville Vineyard Wine Dinner at The Hay-Adams Lafayette Restaurant on Thursday, October 24 at 6:30 p.m., please call Mina Aiken at 202.220.4825 by October 17. Cost is $160 per person inclusive of tax and gratuity. Limited seating.

Media Contact: Sherry Moeller, MoKi Media, sherry.moeller@mokimedia.com, 301-807-0910.

About The Hay-Adams

Located at Sixteenth and H Streets at Lafayette Park across from the White House, The Hay-Adams is Washington’s finest luxury hotel and one of the most historic and celebrated properties in the world. The Hotel offers 145 rooms and suites, many with White House views. It has won numerous awards for its impeccable service and is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, an exclusive group of discriminating luxury hotels worldwide. For more information, visit www.hayadams.com and follow The Hay-Adams on Facebook, www.facebook.com/TheHayAdams and Twitter, @HayAdamsHotel.

About Barboursville Vineyard

Founded in 1976 by Gianni Zonin, patriarch of a seventh-generation Italian wine family, Barboursville Vineyard is known for its estate-grown fruit and minimal intervention cellar. The 900-acre Barboursville estate is nestled along the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains outside Charlottesville, Virginia with its historic 1814 Barbour mansion designed by Thomas Jefferson. www.barboursvillewine.com

Celebrating Virginia Wine Month

vwm25smallHow Are You Celebrating Virginia Wine Month?

October is Virginia Wine Month, and we are doing it right by enjoying Virginia wine with dinner, at restaurants, and at Virginia wineries. Here is how we kicked off Virginia Wine month:

Dinner at Al Dente in Washington DC: Pappardelle pasta with wild boar ragout braised in red wine paired with Breaux’s Nebbiolo 2007.
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Harvest Salad as a first course at a dinner party: Crisp seasonal apples, chopped fennel, and slivered almonds tossed with a lemon vinaigrette then topped with crumbled blue cheese was served with Linden’s Riesling Vidal 2011

Steaks on Friday: We reserve Fridays as our red meat day. Filet Mignon topped with sautéed mushrooms was paired with Gray Ghost Vineyards’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2010.

Pumpkin Cake: My favorite seasonal dessert. Fall spices serve as supporting roles in this pumpkin-based delight. We enjoyed this with Naked Mountain’s Old Vine Riesling 2012 produced from the oldest Riesling vines on the property.
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Need other suggestions to celebrate Virginia Wine Month? Hume Vineyards will release its 2012 Viognier; characteristic floral notes are accompanied by stone fruit elements and a white pepper undertone. This one should be perfect with poultry topped with a cream sauce. Planning to invite friends over for a hearty beef stew? We were impressed with the 2011 Petit Verdot with its whiff of violet as well as its brambleberry and dark fruit notes; it’s a bit chewy too!

So this is how we kicked off Virginia Wine Month. How are you celebrating Virginia Wine Month? We would like to know, so feel free to share with us. Visit the Virginia wineries mentioned in this post and mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.

Two New Wineries

vwm25smallIt seems like a new winery opens in Loudoun County every week. I know that’s not true but there are a lot of new wineries in Loudoun County. On Sunday after our trip to Breaux Vineyards, we decided to check out a few of the new wineries in the area. Just up the road from Breaux Vineyards two new wineries recently opened. Cardamon Family Vineyards and Maggie Malick Wine Caves are those two wineries.

Cardamon Family Vineyards is a family owned and operated micro winery that produces just about 200 cases of wine each year. Owners Chuck and Ana are committed to producing hand crafted wines from the 400 vines planted in their front yard. All of their wines are produced from their fruit or from locally grown fruit. The day we visited they were tasting five of their wines. They are currently conducting their tastings in a small out building. A new tasting room is currently under construction and will be open for tastings in the spring of 2014. We tasted the Vino di Mele, the Macha, the Myshells, the Nicolosanto, and the Batoria. Most of their wines are named after their children. That was a nice touch. Of the wines we tasted we really enjoyed the Vino di Mele. This is 100% apple juice. It was crisp and clean and had distinct golden apple flavors. As the tasting notes state, this would make a great BBQ wine. We were also intrigued with the Rkats (100% Rkatsitelli) wine but unfortunately they weren’t pouring that wine. We’ll have to be sure to return to get a taste of that one. Also they were sold out of their Cuvee Blanc. We’ve had several Rkats wines in the past and were curious to see how this one tasted. All of their wines are paired with salsas. We tasted the Ana’s Apple with the Vino di Mele. You can find the recipe below. If you are looking for more information about Cardamon Family Vineyards, check out their Facebook page. Their website is still under construction and lacks detail.
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Ana’s Apple
1 c Cucumber, Peeled and Seeded and Chopped
1 c Apple, Honeycrisp, Chopped
1 c Apple, Yellow, Chopped
1 c Zucchini, Chopped
1 bu Onions, Green, Chopped
1 ea Chile, Serrano, Seeded and Chopped
¼ c Key Lime Juice, Fresh Squeezed
3 T Honey
1 T Basil, Chiffonade
Salt and Pepper to taste

Maggie Malick Wine Caves is right next door to Cardamon Family Vineyards. Its located on a 215 acre estate with 20 acres of grapes planted. They have been growing grapes for years and selling them to other wineries. They decided to begin producing their own wines under the Maggie Malick Wine Caves label. They grow several white and red varieties including viognier, chardonnay, albarino, petit manning, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, petit verdot, tannat and garnacha tinto. The tastings take place in an actual man-made cave. They dug out the side of a hill and created a concrete and rebar cave. The cave helps maintain temperature and provides a cool place to conduct tastings. We tasted five white wines and six red wines. Of these we preferred the 2011 Albarino with its crisp, dry edge. As the tasting notes state it would pair well with seafood. We also thought it would make a good evening sipper. Warren also seemed to enjoy the 2012 Chardonnay. He noted apple and pear and a creamy mouth feel. He enjoyed it so much that he purchased a bottle to bring home. It will make a nice addition to his wine rack.
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We certainly enjoyed our time at Cardamon Family Vineyards and Maggie Malick Wine Caves. Each winery has a unique quality that makes them wineries to visit. If you are looking for something different, plan to visit either one of these wineries and add them to your list of wineries visited. And when you do, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!

October is Virginia Wine Month!

vwm25smallWe kicked off the celebrations a little early by attending the Club Appreciation and Pick Up Party at Breaux Vineyards on Sunday. Being a club member has it’s benefits. I have elected to pick up my bimonthly shipments at the winery. One of the benefits is being able to attend the Club Appreciation and Pick Up Parties each time the wines are ready. This time the party took place on the lawn right next to the vineyards. The views were beautiful and the weather was perfect.
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The party was a chance to taste several different varieties from vine to glass. At each station they had grapes for us to taste before tasting the finished product in the bottle. At the first station we tasted the 2012 Vidal Blanc and the 2012 Barrel Select Chardonnay. One of our favorite Breaux wine associates, Bruce was pouring the wines. Warren and I were split on our favorite at this station. I preferred the 2012 Vidal Blanc and Warren enjoyed the 2012 Barrel Select Chardonnay. Luckily it was the 2012 Barrel Select Chardonnay in this months shipment. Warren will be able to enjoy more of it at a later date.
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At the next station we tasted the 2009 Merlot and the 2010 Malbec. We couldn’t make up our minds on our favorites at this station. We enjoyed them both! At the final station another one of our favorite Breaux tasting associates, Silvia was pouring the wines. We tasted the 2010 Barrel Select Nebbiolo and the 2007 Cabernet Franc Reserve. WOW…both of these wines were wonderful. However, the Nebbiolo will need some time in the bottle before enjoying it with an amazing meal. The 2007 Cabernet Franc Reserve is ready to enjoy now. The tannins are still pretty tight but this wine would be perfect with a nice filet.
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With our tastings complete we decided to enjoy some Asiago Mac N Cheese from the Roving Italian food truck. It was so good! After lunch I ended up buying a case of white wines to restock my wine rack. During the summer months we enjoyed many of the white wines on my rack so it is looking rather empty. With this in mind, I bought many of the white wines on the tasting menu and some from the cellar club selection. While we were at Breaux we were able to catch up with Jen Breaux Blosser. Its always good to see our friends at Breaux and catch up! Our wine friend Susan joined us in the days events. We had a great time at Breaux as we always do! Have you been to Breaux lately? If not, plan a trip soon and tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!
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