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
HalloweenParty2
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
HalloweenParty3
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!
HalloweenParty4

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.
wholefoods1
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.
wholefoods3
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.
wholefoods5
wholefoods4
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.
wholefoods7
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.
wholefoods6
wholefoods8
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.
TheRitzCarltonTysonsCorner11 
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.
TheRitzCarltonTysonsCorner06
TheRitzCarltonTysonsCorner04
TheRitzCarltonTysonsCorner03
TheRitzCarltonTysonsCorner05
TheRitzCarltonTysonsCorner02 
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. 
TheRitzCarltonTysonsCorner07 
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.
TheRitzCarltonTysonsCorner08
TheRitzCarltonTysonsCorner09
TheRitzCarltonTysonsCorner10 
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.
TheRitzCarltonTysonsCorner01
TheRitzCarltonTysonsCorner12 
(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.

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.
Breaux
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.
Hume
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.

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.
breauxpickupparty2
breauxpickupparty3
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.
breauxpickupparty4
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.
breauxpickupparty5
breauxpickupparty6
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!
breauxpickupparty1

The 38th Annual Virginia Wine Festival

We rarely attend wine festivals, but the Virginia Wine Festival at Great Meadow in The Plains, Virginia is one that we do try to visit. Gorgeous weather and numerous wine, food and art vendors made this year’s festival especially appealing.
winefest1301
Wine festivals in Virginia have a reputation for attracting party crowds who prefer to get a buzz rather than appreciate wine. However, the Virginia Wine Festival seems to generate a different vibe. A number of seminars held at various times of the weekend that include food and wine pairing sessions, wine tasting 101, and a wine judging crash course. One session delved into wine glasses and the differences between the various types of glasses—perfect for wine geeks!
winefest1309
winefest1308
Of course, wine tasting is the ultimate reason to attend the Virginia Wine Festival. Over 40 Virginia wineries, cideries, and meaderies poured their wares at the festival. We did not get to sample all of the wines; after all, we did have to drive home. However, we did try to focus on wineries that we tend not to visit due to distance in addition to some well known favorites. Anyway, some standouts from our tastings included:

Barboursville Vermentino Reserve, Nebbiolo Reserve 2010, and the Octagon 2009
Ingleside 2009 Petit Verdot
Potomac Point Chardonnay 2012, Abbinato 2011 and Norton 2011
Rosemont Pinot Grigio and 2010 Merlot
Trump Sparkling Blanc de Blanc 2008
winefest1302
winefest1303
winefest1304
winefest1305
winefest1311
winefest1306
Food vendors offered a variety of offerings including barbeque, Thai, crab cakes, and Mediterranean. I never turn away from a crab cake, so I enjoyed a crab cake from Sherri and enjoyed it with a glass of the crisp Pinot Grigio from Rosemont Vineyards. Paul sunk his teeth into a burger with another sample of the 2009 Petit Verdot from Ingleside.
winefest1307
winefest1310
Live music filled the air, but we did keep track of the bands that performed during the course of our time at the festival. However, Paul did snap some photos of the live action, and I saw him snap his fingers to the beat of some cool jazz tunes.
winefest1312
winefest1313
We enjoyed our time at the Virginia Wine Festival and intend to visit next year; I did not get attend the session on wine glasses, but will do so in 2014! Make your plans to visit the 39th Annual Virginia Wine Festival in 2014; in the meantime, try to visit some of the wineries that we featured in this post. Mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.
winefest1314

Harvesting Chardonnay

On Saturday we went to Gray Ghost to help harvest the chardonnay. As in past years, we do this every year and always have a great time. Here are some photos from our time harvesting.

We gathered early Saturday morning to harvest the chardonnay.
harvest1
Al used his “Powerpoint” presentation to demonstrate how to harvest.
harvest3
Amy put on a show to display this years harvest T-shirt.
harvest4
Before heading to the vineyard Warren got a chance to talk with Al about the harvest.
harvest2
We then headed to the vineyard and got a closer lesson on harvesting.
harvest5
Here’s Warren harvesting some grapes.
harvest8
After all the lugs were full, Al Jr and helpers collected all the lugs and brought them to the crush pad.
harvest7
Here are some of the grapes we were harvesting.
harvest6
After all the grapes were brought in, we toasted to this year’s harvest.
harvest9