Virginia Wine For The Holidays

Yes, it is the holiday season, and readers may have noticed that we have not been on the wines trails. Holiday fun and mayhem have left little time for weekend treks to the wineries; however, rest assured that we have been enjoying Virginia wines whenever possible.

We always enjoy holiday movies at this time of year, and a recent holiday film night featured two favorites, The Bishops Wife and Christmas in Connecticut. What wines to enjoy with these seasonal classics? With a nice chunk of manchego cheese on the chopping block, we poured the 2008 Claret from Linden. It offered notes of dark fruit and dried herbs with similar flavors. Medium bodied, it finished with a splash of vanilla. Easy to drink, it was perfect with the gaminess of the manchego cheese. By the time we sipped through this one, Dudley the Angel turned the sour Agnes Hamilton into an angel herself, and Santa brought Elizabeth Lane a handsome soldier who used the old Magoo to charm the ladies.

Virginia wines are always on the menu when we have friends over for dinner, and this past weekend we poured the 2009 Rose from Linden. (Yes, Linden again, but who can blame us?) Crisp with grapefruit notes and flavors of strawberry and citrus, it proved to be a versatile pour that paired well with a salad of marinated roasted beets, orange slices and chives.

And imagine our pleasant surprise when our friends, Dorothy and Laura, brought us a bottle of wine to enjoy with dinner. Their wine of choice? The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon from Barboursville Vineyards. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and he regularly delivers Virginia wines to good boys and girls. (Well, good friends sometimes are the Santas, and they have the good taste to give Virginia wines as gifts!)

We hope that readers are enjoying this holiday season, and we know that favorite Virginia wines are being poured. It is not too late to visit these Virginia wineries before Christmas, but time is running out. If you do plan to make a visit, mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.

Holiday Open House

On Sunday 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 a penguin. They also have a yearly cork contest. Al makes some holiday item out of corks and you need to guess how many corks it took to make the item. This year Al made a holiday mail box for letters to Santa. Warren and I guess every year but never win. We aren’t the best at guessing. 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 favored the Merlot this year and Warren decided his favorite of the day was the new 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:

Holiday Pours

So with the Thanksgiving week behind us and another holiday season ahead of us, its time to think about wines to serve with seasonal menus. My parents were town last week to celebrate Thanksgiving; of course, we ate lots of food! What wines did I serve? Here is a list of my favorite wines from the week along with the meals that I served:

Mid-week supper: Beef stew paired with Barboursville 2007 Barbera Reserve


Appetizer: Cranberry cheese with baguette paired with 2011 Georges Duboeuf Beujolais Nouveau

Harvest Salad paired with 2010 Carrick Pinot Gris

Turkey with andouille cornbread dressing; cranberry relish, mashed potatoes, candied yams paired with 2007 Merry Edwards Pinot Noir

Mom’s Pecan Pie paired with Gray Ghost Adieu 2007

Tree Trimming Sunday:
Deli tray: Virginia ham, spicy Genoa salami, peppered prosciutto, cranberry cheese, mixed nuts
Wine: 2009 The Hague Cabernet Franc

Dessert: Martha’s Pumpkin Bread served with Community brand Coffee and Chicory (found only in New Orleans)

So what wines did you serve on Turkey Day? Please share!

Fourth of July Wines

I know the 4th of July was a few days ago but I thought we’d share what we enjoyed on our nations’s birthday. The 4th of July this year (as in many years) was hot and humid. We were looking for a cool sipper to enjoy before dinner and a wine to go with our burgers for dinner.

We selected the 2010 Hildersham Sauvignon Blanc from Aspen Dale Winery for our pre-dinner sipper. It had a light straw color with a floral nose with citrus notes and a hint of grass. On the tongue we noted large citrus flavors, minerality, crisp acidity and some stone fruit. We paired this with manchego cheese, crackers, and strawberries. It accompanied our food selections nicely.

For dinner, we decided on the Red Table Wine from Blenheim Vineyards. This is a blend of 66% Merlot, 16% Malbec, 14% Syrah, 4% Cabernet Franc and aged in stainless steel. On the nose we noted berry fruit and hint of violets. In the mouth we picked up more berry fruit and very smooth tannins. This light bodied red sipper went perfectly with our burgers. We did not want a big heavy red with our burgers and this was the right choice. What did you enjoy on the fourth? If you visit Aspen Dale or Blenheim anytime soon, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!

Tree Trimming Wines

While decorating Warren’s tree last night with his parents, we decided to have to some nibbles and wine. Warren selected the 2009 Cabernet Franc from Gray Ghost and the 2009 Chardonnay from Chrysalis.

From the 2009 Cabernet Franc from Gray Ghost we noted a light garnet color, bramble berry and cherry on the nose, cherry and spice in the mouth, and a nice smooth finish. The 2009 Chardonnay from Chrysalis presented pear, apple and some cedar on the nose, was light and crisp with apple flavors in the mouth, and some creaminess at the end. Both paired well with light fair of cold cuts, white cheeses, baguette and crackers. The wines and nibbles were a great way to start the holiday season and made trimming Warren’s tree even more fun.