Our Friday sips consisted of the 2009 Pinot Gris from Pollak Vineyards and the 2009 Syrah from Blenheim Vineyards.
We had the 2009 Pinot Gris with bread and cheese. I’m a big fan of the stainless whites and this one doesn’t disappoint. I. Noticed the flowery nose and lit color. In the mouth I noticed the crisp mouth feel, grapefruit flavors, and nice acidity. I thought it paired nicely with our before dinner nibbles.
We had the 2009 Syrah with pasta and red sauce. We weren’t sure of the pairing but it went very well with our meal. We noted a floral nose with bright red fruit and spice on the tongue. It’s a smooth, lighter bodied red. We tasted this back in February and enjoyed it then.
We will be back on the wine trail this weekend so stay tuned for updates from the road. And if you visit Pollak or Blenheim tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!
Our Friday evening began with the 2008 Seyval from Linden Vineyards. We realized that we still had this older 2008 gem from Linden on the wine rack. The rack life for seyval blanc may not be too long, and we should have popped this open a while ago. However, it still retains characteristic citrusy elements and made for a nice partner with soft goat cheese and baguette.
For dinner we selected the 2009 Chardonnay from Annefield Vineyards. When Michael Shaps is your winemaker, quality wines are the result. We enjoyed this one with parmesan encrusted tilapia and pasta. We noted elements of pear, apple, and honey. We also detected a mineral edge and some vanilla. We thought it paired nicely with our meal.
Our Saturday sips included two white wines. We started the evening with the 2008 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay from Delaplane Cellars. I thought it was a food wine while Warren was easily able to sip it while enjoying some cheese and crackers. Our dinner wine was the 2008 Viognier from Pollak Vineyards.
We had the 2008 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay from Delaplane Cellars with some manchego cheese and crackers. I noted oaky pear on the nose while Warren jotted down pear and honey. In the mouth I thought this was a classic oaken chardonnay with buttery notes and a creamy mouth feel. Warren noted a honey texture, bit-o-honey (like the candy) and a toasty finish. We both thought though, that it went really well with the cheese and crackers. I thought it might even go better with some white fish or crab cakes. Warren agreed.
For dinner we had parmesan encrusted tilapia with black rice (by the way this was the first time I had black rice and it was pretty good…bland, but pretty good). Warren selected the 2008 Viognier from Pollak Vineyards. I was upset because this was my last bottle. I have loved all the vintages of the viognier from Pollak. I need to visit them again to get some of the 2010. Back to the wine…on the nose we noted apricot, stone fruit. In the mouth we noted minerality, stone fruit, Warren’s “bit-O-honey,” and a fruity finish. As it warmed up I definitely got honey as Warren noted. I love this wine and thought it went beautifully with our tilapia. If you find yourself enjoying a tasting at Pollak Vineyards or Delaplane Cellars, please tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!
We started our evening with the 2009 Chardonnay from King Family. We paired it with some parrano cheese and a baguette. On the nose we noted pear and a twist a lemon. In the mouth we noted pear, a hint of granny smith apple, creme brulee, and a weightier mouth feel with a lengthier finish. We also noticed the clear straw color. It went well with our nibbles.
For dinner Warren selected the 2007 Petit Verdot from Gadino Cellars. I had a steak and Warren had herb crusted lamb chops. We also had roasted vegetables and pearl pasta. On the nose we got concentrated fruit, anise, and a streak of minerality. In the mouth we noted similar characteristics as well as a black pepper, longer finish with a vanilla ending. As with most 07 red vintages from Virginia decant first. And that’s exactly what we did. We thoroughly enjoyed it and Warren used the word “lovely” more than once.
What Virginia wines are you enjoying this weekend?
Our evening sipper was the 2009 Pinot Gris from Pollak Vineyards. On the nose we noted peach. In the mouth we also noted peach but noticed a nice creamy mouth feel. Warren noted some apple as well. We paired this with white cheeses and crackers. It was a perfect sipper before dinner.
For dinner we had the 2008 Viognier from Jefferson Vineyards. On the nose we noted light mineral or stone. In the mouth we found honeysuckle, peach, and white pepper. This one also had a nice creamy mouth feel. We paired this one with grilled chicken a simple white wine sauce and rice. The viognier paired well with our meal.
On Saturday we went to the Gray Ghost Holiday Open house. They hold this event annually and we try not to miss it. Each year they have a different holiday glass design. This year its train. Turns out, Al Kellert also made a train out of corks for the yearly cork contest.You have to guess how many corks it took to create the train. Warren and I guess every year but never win. We aren’t the best at guesstimation. At this time of the year the tank room is decorated for the holidays showing all the previous creations for the cork contest.
During the event we enjoyed some wonderful foods and all the delicious wines offered at Gray Ghost. I noticed the Victorian Red had changed slightly since the last time I tasted it. This time it had some big cranberry notes on the nose and in the mouth. It was a surprising change that I thoroughly enjoyed. Warren decided his favorite of the day was the Reserve Chardonnay. He has always been a big fan of the Reserve Chardonnay.
Here are some pictures from the Holiday Open House at Gray Ghost:
Happy Thanksgiving! Today Warren made the thanksgiving meal for me, my mom, and his parents. Everything was delicious of course and we had a wonderful time visiting with everyone. Normally we would post about what wines to serve for Thanksgiving. This time however, we’re posting after the fact and posting about the wines we did have for Thanksgiving. It was mostly a Gray Ghost Thanksgiving this year.
We began with a butternut squash soup and had the 2009 Gewurztraminer from Gray Ghost. After the soup Warren served a harvest salad with the 2008 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay from Fox Meadow. The main course consisted of turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cornbread dressing, cranberry sauces (both kinds), green beans, and cornbread. We had the 2009 Cabernet Franc from Gray Ghost. For desert we had Warren’s mother’s pecan pie and the 2009 Adieu from Gray Ghost. All the wines paired perfectly with the meal. What Virginia wines did you have for Thanksgiving?
Which one would you have with this meal? Turkey cutlets, rice, and sweet potatoes.
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.