Wines I drank – Local Edition.

DSCN1853Have you heard of  “3”?  It’s the collaboration between the winemakers at Veritas Vineyards (Emily Pelton), Grace Estates (Jake Busching) and King Family Vineyards (Matthieu Finot).  The 2012 release is a white, a blend of Viognier, Chardonnay and Petit Manseng.

DSCN1854Viognier is the primary grape in this wine, giving it tropical fruit & flowery notes, a hint of a buttery smoothness from the Chardonnay and the Petit Manseng balancing the wine out.  This wine is produced in limited quantities (45 cases), so it was a lovely treat my friend Megan shared with me.

I’m not at all sure where this wine is available outside of the wineries involved.   At $33.33, this wine is priced outside of my usual price point,  but a splurge every now & again is nice.  This would be one of those bottles worth the splurge.

DSCN1855I had brought my own bottle of local wine to sample as well – a bottle of Knight’s Gambit Rosé.  Full disclosure – while this wine is relatively new to the shelves around town, I have been drinking this wine for a few years now thanks to knowing the owner of the winery, Paul Summers.  I interviewed Paul for a piece I wrote about Virginia Wineworks for my former  “In the Kitchen” column (I think maybe the September or October 2011 “Beneath the Cork”).  I’ve known Philip Stafford & Michael Shaps of Virginia Wineworks for a few years through various connections that are the way of life here in Charlottesville.  I have the utmost respect for Michael as a wine maker and while I like Virginia Winework’s wines, I never miss an opportunity to applaud their custom crush work and the helping hand it is giving so many small Virginia wineries, like Knight’s Gambit.

Needless to say, I was excited to see Knight’s Gambit on the shelves at the Hydraulic Road Kroger and as it was on special for $12.99, I snapped up a bottle.  It’s a dry rose, with some creaminess to it.  It was likened to strawberry shortcake as we sipped on it.  Then again, that might have been the spread of strawberry jam, strawberry pickles, bread & cheeses we nibbled on influencing our palates.   It is, after all, strawberry season.

Wines I Drank – The Front Yard Edition.

With spring and warmer weather comes our family doing more outside.   Including happy hour every day we can.  Is there really anything nicer than sitting outside on a beautiful day and just soaking it in?  We think not.

It seems we have plenty of friends and neighbors who agree.  From the first official outdoor happy hour of the season until we close it up for the fall, we have a steady stream of drop-ins.  Why yes, it has been much commented that in some ways, we live similarly to how we did in college, only we now have a mortgage, a child and are a bit more responsible.

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She just thinks that this is how people live.  Jam session in the front yard and all. Continue reading

It’s good to have wine friends.

My friend Bonnie‘s husband Ted is a bit of a wine guy.  When not busy being a neurologist, he does podcasts and was a founding partner of a wine importing and distribution business.  I love going over to their house for drinks because there is always good wine and even better, Ted likes to pull out new things for me to try.  Like the bottle of Georgian wine he sent over for my birthday a few years ago. Continue reading

In which I begin to tackle French wine. And discover a lovely new local one.

The problem with people knowing I occasionally write about food and wine is that they think I know quite a bit on the subject.  To be honest, I really only know about the food and wine I either like or have worked with.  Which up until now, has not been French wine. If I’m going to be fully honest here,  I am slightly intimidated by French wines – the appellations (a defined regional area), the Crus (still trying to grasp that one) the pronunciations (I butcher anything longer than a 2 cent word in my native tongue, my pronunciation of French is abysmal despite 3 years of French), the fact that French wines are among some of the most respected and most expensive wines in the world – I have at best, a rudimentary knowledge of French wines.  I know just a little bit about  Bourdeaux and Burgundies, that only French winemakers in a particular region produce true Champagne and that Cotes-du-Rhone and Chateneauf-du-Pape are regions for wine in France, but beyond that, I don’t know much about French wines. Continue reading