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Tag: events (page 3 of 4)

Drink Local Wine 2010

This weekend is the Drink Local Wine Conference at Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, Virginia. Most of the events will be happening on Sunday. There will be seminars and an amazing Twitter Taste-off with many Virginia wineries and some from Maryland as well. Warren and I are planning on attending on Sunday and participating in all the activities. We are really looking forward to the Twitter Taste-off. We are also really looking forward to meetings many of the wine bloggers we have come to know by their tweets and their blog posts.

Are you planning on attending the conference on Sunday? Even if we know you are attending, leave a comment letting us know you are attending. We’re interested to find out who all is planning on attending. And if you are attending, plan on looking for us and saying hello! If you haven’t signed up yet, do it now while the price is lower.

We hope to see you there!

Warrenton Wine and Arts Festival

Warrenton Wine and Arts Festival-For the second year in a row the Warrenton Wine and Arts Festival will take place on Saturday April 24 and Sunday April 25 at St. John the Evangelist school in Warrenton Virginia. At the festival you’ll be able to taste wines from about 20 Virginia wineries, hear music from local musicians, see and purchase art from several local artists, and browse the merchandise from several local and regional vendors.

Be sure to check out the website and get your tickets now. We attended the festival last year and really had a great time. We tasted some wines we couldn’t taste unless we visited the wineries. We look forward to attending the festival again this year! If you see us, say hi!

Merlot Vertical Tasting at Breaux

A couple of weeks ago we were invited to attend the Merlot Vertical Tasting at Breaux Vineyards. We accepted and were looking forward to attending the event along with our fellow wine bloggers, Suzie, and Frank. After a glass of the Equation Merlot and an introduction from Jen Breaux, Dave Collins took over and we began a evening of six vintages of wine and three courses of food.

The first two wines we tasted were barrel samples of the 2008 and 2007 vintages. The 2008 spent a year and a half in French oak and the 2007 spent two and a half years in new American oak. I was expecting the 2007 to have some rough tannins but the opposite was the case. I really enjoyed the berry nose, dark fruit palate, smoother tannins and wonderful color. We had these wines with beef tenderloin. The dark fruit of the 2007 complemented the beef very well. While the 2007 made music in my mouth, the 2008 needed some more time. I look forward to seeing how it develops in the future.

With our second course of sauteed tiger shrimp, tasso ham and andouille sausage we had the 2006 and 2005 merlots. Of this couple I appreciated the 2006. This one was smooth, fruity, and went well with the spicy sausage. It was ready to drink now. Contrasting the 2006 was the 2005. To me this one fell flat. It didn’t make me want to drink it. It was a bit earthy for my taste.

Our last paring, the 2004 Merlot and the 2002 Merlot Reserve went with free range chicken braised with capers. The 2004 presented dark fruit, raisins and was smooth. The star of this pairing, however, was the 2002 Merlot Reserve. OMG It was so smooth with tons of dark fruit flavors and a beautiful color. I’m not one to have red wine with chicken but the 2002 Merlot Reserve went perfectly with the chicken. I had no problem finishing this glass. I wouldn’t mind having some more!

As we all finished our last course we started to compare our notes and talk about our favorites. Dave Collins asked for volunteers to talk about each wine after each course. We remembered this notes as we discussed our favorites. If I remember correctly we all came to the consensus that the 2002 Merlot Reserve was the winner of the evening. Even though the 2007 is still in the barrel, this one came in second. My final lineup was 02, 07, 06, 08, 04, 05. After our discussions we moved to the tank room to enjoy a barrel sample of the 2008 Malbec. I’m beginning to enjoy malbecs and this one impressed me. I’m ready for it to be bottled.

Our evening ended with a glass of the Nebbiolo Ice with Jen Breaux on the patio. We chatted about our evening, our favorites, and about wine and social media. We always have such a great time at Breaux. Jen Breaux knows how to make you feel welcome! Thanks Jen! Visit Breaux Vineyards soon and tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!

Events of Note

It’s Spring and the wineries are open for business. There are a couple of events coming up that we’d like to share with you.

Warrenton Wine and Arts Festival-For the second year in a row the Warrenton Wine and Arts Festival will take place on Saturday April 24 and Sunday April 25 at St. John the Evangelist school in Warrenton Virginia. At the festival you’ll be able to taste wines from about 20 Virginia wineries, hear music from local musicians, see and purchase art from several local artists, and browse the merchandise from several local and regional vendors. Be sure to check out the website and get your tickets now. We attended the festival last year and really had a great time. We tasted some wines we couldn’t taste unless we visited the wineries. We look forward to attending the festival again this year! If you see us, say hi!

Virginia Wine Week-Love By The Glass-March 22-28 is Virginia Wine Week. During this week more than 100 participating restaurants and wine shops across the state will be serving Virginia wines by the glass. Look for the Virginia Wine Week decal at the locations participating in this event and stop in and enjoy a glass of Virginia wine! Check out the website to find a list of the places where you’ll be able to enjoy a glass of Virginia wine.

Grand Opening-Saturday March 27th from 11 to 4 is the Official Grand Opening of Delaplane Cellars. It promises to be a wonderful event. Guests will enjoy live music, food pairings and the release of their 2007 Emerald Lake Reserve Viognier, their 2007 Springlot Reserve red Bordeaux blend and their 2007 Shirland Syrah. We’ve been to Delaplane Cellars before and absolutely loved the wines. If you are free on Saturday, plane to attend the grand opening!

Oh, and one more thing. Frank Morgan from Drink What You Like participated last week in the Colorado/Virginia Wine Smackdown with Jacob Harkins of Coloradowino.com. Check out the articles on both the blogs and find out just how well Virginia did in the competition. Thanks Frank and Jacob!

Back To Breaux

Despite the rain, fog, and chill on Sunday, we went to Breaux Vineyards to pick up my Cellar Club selection. They were having a little pick up party for those who go to the winery to pick up their wines instead of having them shipped. At this party they were serving some spicy gumbo. They were also tasting the Cellar Club selections, the 2009 Water Bent Viognier and the 2007 Meritage.

The 2009 Water Bent Viognier was a wonderful wine filled with fruit on the nose and on the palette. Warren noted pear. We thought this one went really well with the gumbo being served.

The 2007 Meritage showed characteristics of a wine meant for aging. The tannins were tight and you could easily tell that it is a young wine. We suggest you lay this one down for a few more years. It promises to be quite nice in a few years.

I talk about these Cellar Club selections as if you can buy them. You can if you are a Cellar Club member. I’ve been a member for more than a year now and haven’t found one wine I didn’t like. They have all been amazing. The greatest advantage to being a member is the wines they select are created JUST for the club members. How many other wineries do this? I’m not sure but I do know I like having some wines that no others will have. I’m greedy like that.

In this months’ Cellar Club Newsletter there was a coupon for 30% off a case of select wines from the regular tasting. Since Warren and I hadn’t done a regular tasting in awhile, we decided to check out the current selections and consider getting a case of the ones we really liked. We were looking forward to spring and summer and what wines would be appropriate for the seasons.

Our tasting associate Carole, walked us through our tasting, expertly describing each wine. My gold stars went to the 2007 Madeleine’s Chardonnay and the 2002 Merlot Reserve. Warren’s gold stars went to the 2008 Viognier and the 2006 Meritage. Isn’t it interesting that we usually have different selections for our gold stars?

Our next decision was what to include in our case. With the coming seasons in mind, I selected equal amounts of the 2007 Madeleine’s Chardonnay, the 2008 Syrah Rose`, and the 2008 Jennifer’s Jambalaya. We usually take rose` with us to Wolf Trap in the summer and the 2008 Syrah Rose` will be perfect while enjoying a concert.

Before leaving we caught up with Jen Breaux. It was great to see her and the other Breaux staff we’ve come to know and enjoy. Plan a trip to Breaux Vineyards soon and be sure to tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!

Eat Lasagna, Drink Naked

So it’s that time of year to enjoy lasagna and drink wine at Naked Mountain Vineyard and Winery.  Last weekend, we brought along my sister Cindy, brother-in-law Travis and my nephew Ellis.  Travis is a fellow wine lover and foodie; needless to say, he was game for lasagna and wine.

Of course, we all had to figure out which wine to pair with our lasagna, and that required tasting wines. We were certain that we wanted a red wine, but why not try the white wines, too?  Paul’s favorite of the white wines was the Sauvignon Blanc, and it definitely conjured images of springtime flowers and warmer temperatures.  Citrus flavors and a crisp finish highlighted this pour.  Travis and I favored the full-bodied Black label Chardonnay with its apple and pear notes.  I appreciated its toasted nut finish. 

Now on to the red wines, and a potential pairing with lasagna was on our minds.  Our choice was the 2005 Scarlet Oak Red.  This is a Rhone-style blend with Syrah, Mourvedre, and Tannat, and it presented a denser core with aromas and flavors of dark fruit and black pepper.  I also detected some tobacco on the nose.  The Tannat provided a nice backbone, too, and the Scarlet Oak Red finished long.  We all concluded that the Scarlet Oak Red had what it took to meet the weight and spice of the sausage lasagna.

With our tasting done, we settled down for a wonderful meal but made certain to claim a table near the glass doors that allowed us to view snow-capped mountains.  A nearby bird feeder was quite busy with all sorts of birds including cardinals and tanagers.  I must also mention that my sister Cindy is not a wine drinker but was very patient with us as we completed the arduous task of wine tasting.  She and my teen-aged nephew did keep track of the many varieties of birds that frequented the bird feeder, and they even braved the cold outdoors to appreciate the lovely winter landscape while we completed our task to select the perfect wine.  Eventually, we all dined on lasagna and garlic bread, and the wine drinkers acknowledged that the 2005 Scarlet Oak Red was the perfect partner with the meal.

Take advantage of the winter lasagna menu at Naked  Mountain Vineyard and  Winery; of course, enjoy lasagna with a bottle of Naked Mountain Wine.  Be sure to mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.

Cabernet and Chocolates

On Sunday we went to Gray Ghost for their annual Cabernet and Chocolates event. Warren’s sister, her husband, and their son were visiting from New Orleans. After a regular tasting we headed back to the tank room to enjoy some reds with lots of chocolate. It was a great way to spend Valentines Day. Here are a few pictures for the event.

Snowpocalypse

It’s snowing like crazy outside! But we’re warm and safe inside. Snowpocalypse 2010 is a great time to enjoy some wine and food. We were going to attend the Virginia Wine Showcase this weekend but fear the snow will keep us from attending.

To begin the snow event we started with the Barboursville Brut. We thought that would be a great beginning. We noted that it had long lasting bubbles. It had apple on the nose with a vibrant acidity. We thought it would be perfect for mimosas…which we’ll make in the morning.

For dinner we had some grilled chicken seasoned with lemon pepper and long grain and wild rice. Of course we were thinking of a white wine, and already chilled in the fridge was the 2008 Pollak Vineyards Viognier. It proved to be a perfect match. The viognier had a floral nose, and peach characteristics. It paired well with the seasoned grilled chicken. The Pollak Viognier is one of my favorites.

We expect we’ll be enjoying several Virginia wines during this snow event. We’ll keep you updated on the snow and the wines we enjoy.

Breaux Vineyards’ Cabernet Vertical Tasting

This past Saturday, we attended a vertical tasting of Cabernet Sauvignon at Breaux Vineyards.  Samples from previous and current vintages were paired with appropriate food courses. On hand to present the wines and their profiles was winemaker David Collins.

For those who may not know, a vertical tasting is a tasting of wine of the same variety but from different years.  In this case, Breaux Vineyards presented a vertical tasting of Cabernet Sauvignon that included the 2001, 2002, 2005, and 2006 vintages with barrel samples from the 2007 and 2008 vintages.  However, the event started with guests receiving a sample pour of the 2006 Meritage as they made their way to the tables.  This younger, fruit-forward blend was the perfect way to begin as it prepared palates for the more full-bodied offerings to follow. 

The first wines offered for sample were the barrel samples, the 2008 and 2007.  Both were still very young with the 2008 very tight on the nose; of course, this is to be expected with such a young wine still in its developmental stages. The 2007 barrel sample has signs of potential greatness with its characteristics of dark fruit and cedar. A tannic presence still prevails, but this will smooth with time.  Both wines paired nicely with the braised beef rib served over polenta; this course included a sinful chocolate truffle that I thought took the tannic edge off of both barrel samples while bringing forward the fruit characters.

The second course featured my favorite dish of the evening—pork wellington served over wild rise and a pomegranate crème fraiche.  An interesting twist to the wellington was the inclusion of a layer of mushroom slices between the pork and pastry shell.  This added a layer of earthiness to the flavor profile which perhaps was why this course was partnered with the earthier 2006 and 2005 vintages.  Of these vintages, my preferred the 2006; however, both vintages offered aromas that I described as leather and tobacco with tannins still more pronounced in the mouth.

The third course featured my favorite wines of the evening—the 2002 and 2001 vintages.  In fact, my gold star of the evening was given to the 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon.  Here now was the melding of fruit character and tannins to present a more complex wine with a nice, long finish.  I detected some smokiness on the nose with dark plum, black cherry, and mocha in the mouth.  Nice, silky tannins, too! “Excellent” sums it up!  Oh—the food pairing was just as excellent.  Grilled salmon over saffron rice served aside a chive rosewater-infused oil pecorino-romano.  The 2001 was a close second for me; the fruit profile here was more extracted than the 2002 which no doubt came with the extra year of aging. 
The evening ended with lagniappe, which in New Orleans means “bonus”.  Our bonus pour was the 2009 Cabernet Rose, a tank sample of an upcoming rose offering.  Another “still young” sample, this rose should settle down quite nicely in time for summer. 

So what was the final vote for the vertical tasting?  Did Paul award any gold stars?My final verdict was as follows: *2002, 2001, 2007, 2006, 2005.  Paul’s vote went like this: *2001, 2002, 2007, 2005, 2006.  Neither of us included the 2008 in the mix since it was still too young to judge; we wanted to be fair to the 2008 vintage!

These events are always fund and informative.  For winemakers, it’s an opportunity to showcase wines from several vintages with each vintage the result of varying circumstances not the least of which is the weather.  It was to surprise, for example, that the 2007 barrel sample presented quite nicely; that year was one of the best in Virginia with weather conditions resembling those of Napa in California. 

The evening flew by too quickly.  We caught up with Jennifer Breaux Blosser who heads the hospitality and events team at Breaux Vineyards and Sylvia Miller, one of our favorite tasting associates at Breaux Vineyards.  We also met SuzieLin (one of our Twitter buddies) and Joel Timmins for the Examiner. It was great meeting them and chatting about the vertical tasting.

Be sure to visit Breaux Vineyards, and do inquire about events such as this vertical tasting to learn more about Virginia wines through the years.  Please mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.

Virginia Wine Showcase

Mark your calendar for the next Virginia Wine Showcase at Dulles Expo Center February 6-7. If you order your tickets online by midnight January 1st you’ll get $15 off the normal gate price. Each week after that the discount goes down. Get online and get your tickets now!

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