We had friends over for dinner this past Saturday, and we decided to pour Virginia wines as aperitifs. After all, it is Virginia Wine month! Guests were greeted with the Governor Fauquier from Philip Carter Winery and Sarah’s Patio White from Chrysalis Vineyards. Both were off-dry wines and produced from the Vidal Blanc grape, a Riesling-like hybrid that grows very well in Virginia. Like Riesling, Vidal Blanc is very fruity and refreshing, so some of the appetizers that I served with these wines were a bit spicy. Some of these dishes were captured by Paul, the cameraman.
Cheeses: Brie topped with hot peach chutney, or for the faint of stomach, plain brie and red grapes.
Nuts: Chili-lime flavored almonds; plain almonds for the wimps. Not sure if olives pair with these wines, but the gourmet olives were stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes and were absolutely delicious!
Meats: Smoked salmon
So what was on tap for the rest of the evening? I did splice in a couple of Napa wines from Clos Pegase winery; one was a Sauvignon Blanc that I sampled at a wine tasting and thought it was unique—tropical fruit flavors (as opposed to cat pee/grapefruit) with a refreshing acidity that seemed a perfect match with an acidic tomato dish. The other was a Cabernet Sauvignon that has been resting on the wine rack for several years, but according to the wine mags, needed to be appreciated now. And indeed it was appreciated! It was quite good with the beef; however, the fruitier Virginia offering was very well-received by my dinner guests. A number of Virginia meritage blends would have paired quite nicely with my beef dish; however, I went with the Gray Ghost option based on my experience at the Gadsby’s Tavern winemaker dinner which featured the Ranger Reserve with a very similar beef dish. Empty wine bottles indicated that the Virginia option was as popular as the California one.
Anyway, here was the menu:
Fresh tomato soup paired with Clos Pegase Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Garlic-herb crusted beef tenderloin with roasted potatoes and squash paired with Clos Pegase Cabernet Sauvignon 2005; Gray Ghost Ranger Reserve 2008
Pumpkin bundt cake served with Gray Ghost Adieu 2006
Community Brand Coffee and Chicory (found only in New Orleans)
Our sipper for the evening was the 2008 Viognier from Corcoran Vineyards. We had it with a soft creamy cheese and baguette. We noted a floral nose with lime and ripe pear in the mouth. It was refreshing on the cool fall evening. It paired well with our Friday evening nibbles. We don’t think Corcoran is making a viognier anymore and it’s just sad because this one is so nice.
For dinner we had turkey cutlets and angel hair pasta. Warren selected the 2009 Breaux Vineyards Viognier. We have loved the Breaux Viogniers in the past and just knew this one would go well with our meal. On the nose we noted honeysuckle and mango. In the mouth we picked up honeysuckle and mango, tropical fruit notes. It had a full mouth feel and a lengthy finish. And yes, it went well with our meal.
On our way home from the Northern Neck weekend, we stopped at Potomac Point Vineyard and Winery. It was almost exactly a year ago that we visited Potomac Point so it was time to catch up and check out what new wines were on the tasting menu.
There are three levels of tastings at Potomac Point. Since it had been a year, we selected the Premium level of tasting so that we could try all the wines. Not surprisingly, we were split on our favorite of the white wines. I preferred the stainless steel 2009 Chardonnay with it’s crisp notes of pear and mango. I thought it would be a perfect sipper on the balcony. Warren preferred the oaked 2009 Reserve Chardonnay. He noted vanilla melon. He thought this would be a nice white to accompany food.
The reds presented the same split decision. Warren preferred the 2008 Heritage. He noted cherry, dark fruit, mocha, and pepper. He thought this one would be perfect for fall meals. I preferred the 2008 Petit Verdot. I noted smoke, plum, cherry, and mocha. As most of you know from reading our blog, I am really enjoying the 2008 reds and petit verdot is my favorite varietal right now. This one lived up to my expectations.
After our tasting we decided to enjoy lunch in the courtyard. They have a full menu of foods and while Warren enjoyed a panini, I filled up on cheeses and bread. We selected the 2010 Abbinato to go with our lunch. We noted cherry, raspberry, and earthy notes. It has an intense purple hue. We enjoyed our time at Potomac Point and hope to return soon. If you find yourself at Potomac Point anytime soon, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!
Last Saturday we continued our celebration of Virginia Wine Month by enjoying two more Virginia wines. We began the evening with some goat cheese and a baguette. To accompany our nibbles we selected the 2010 Barren Ridge Vidal Blanc. We noted orange blossom, peach, and minerality on the nose. In the mouth we detected similar peachy flavors with a mineral finish. It went very well with our cheese and baguette.
For dinner we had breaded baked chicken, pasta with parmesan cheese, and roasted veggies. The wine we selected was the 2009 Annefield Chardonnay. This elegant wine presented tropical notes and a vanilla finish. Even after the meal we were enjoying this wine. It paired beautifully with our meal and without! What have you been enjoying during Virginia Wine Month?
We of course enjoyed some Virginia wine this weekend. We enjoyed the 2010 Galena Creek White from West Wind Farm as our sipper for the evening. You can see a video about the wine if you scroll down. For dinner Warren made roasted veal chops and wild rice. He also picked out three wines from which to pick our dinner wine. I opted for the 2008 Chester Gap Merlot. I know I’ve mentioned in the past but I’ll say it again. I’m really enjoying the 2008 reds. I wanted to find out if the 2008 Chester Gap Merlot would live up to what I’ve come to enjoy about the 2008 reds.
The wine paired beautifully with our roasted veal chops and wild rice. We noted a biig cherry nose with a hint of blackberry and lots of earthy elements…like a forest floor. We noticed similar fruit characteristics in the mouth with spicy nuances and a lingering dark fruit finish. As I suspected, this 2008 Merlot lived up to my expectations of a 2008 red. The longer it was opened and breathing, the better it got with each sip. If you haven’t tried the 2008 Merlot from Chester Gap, give it a try. And if you visit Chester Gap anytime soon, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!
We survived hurricane Irene last night. We had lots of wind and rain but very little damage and the power never went out! While weathering the storm we decided to enjoy some Pollak Vineyards wines with our nibbles and dinner. We haven’t been to Pollak Vineyards in awhile so we need to see what new wines are on the tasting menu.
To begin our evening we started with the 2009 Durant White from Pollak Vineyards. We selected cheese and crackers to accompany this wine. We noted apple, pear, and citrus on both the nose and in the mouth. It paired well with our cheese and crackers. We wondered if the 2010 is as crisp as this one. This was my last bottle so we’ll have to get some more soon.
For dinner we made a chicken and pasta dish. Since we just had a white wine with our nibbles, we decided we needed something a little bigger but not too big. We selected the 2008 Merlot from Pollak Vineyards. This is a medium bodied wine with lots of fruit characteristics. Since I’m currently enjoying the 2008 reds, this one was just as I expected. We noted lots of dark fruit…plum, dark cherry, blackberry…with a really smooth finish. It was the finish that made it possible to continue to sip this one well after we finished our meal. Yet another reason to get to Pollak Vineyards soon and check out the latest vintages. If you visit Pollak Vineyards anytime soon, tell them VIrginia Wine Time sent you!
We have been preparing for hurricane Irene. Warren bought caned foods, water, and batteries. He’s a veteran hurricane survivor and knows just what to do to prepare for such a storm. As part of our hurricane preparedness, we enjoyed some Virginia wines last night around dinner time.
Our hurricane preparedness sipper was the 2009 Hunt Country Chardonnay from Piedmont Vineyards. We enjoyed this wine with some swiss cheese and crackers while sitting on the balcony trying to enjoy the humid weather. We noticed a whiff of pineapple and pear on the nose and a touch of citrus and a crispness in the mouth. Of course it paired beautifully with our cheese and crackers. It also helped manage the humid temperatures on the balcony.
For dinner we opted to move indoors and enjoy the air conditioning. We were having steaks and roasted potatoes for dinner and we selected the 2007 Petit Verdot Cellar Selection from Breaux Vineyards. This was a perfect wine to prepare for the oncoming hurricane. We noticed characteristics of concentrated dark fruit, lots of dark plum, dark cherry, leather, tobacco, and carmel. Warren even noticed some pepper. We did pour it through the Soiree to help give it some air as we filled our glasses. When we poured the last drops into our glasses, we were wishing we had another bottle! The wine paired wonderfully with our dinner choices.
Are you prepared for the hurricane? Make enjoying some Virginia wine part of your preparing for the storm. If you happen to visit Piedmont Vineyards or Breaux Vineyards in the near future, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!