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Still drinking Rose....

October 31, 2007
I'm tasting Roses for Thanksgiving this year! Last year at Thanksgiving I made printed wine menus and asked our guests to select from a few bottles for each course. No one seemed terribly interested in it, so this year I will just be setting up the wine myself and I am 99% convinced I am going with a Croze Rose from WineQ but I am still testing other because, well, I love Rose and this gives me a great excuse!

This bottle was a 2006 Chateau Grande Cassagne Rose from
Costieres de Nimes. I picked it up at UnWined in Alexandria, it cost me about $10, and clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume.

On the nose there were strawberries and limes. The citrus was very present in the aroma with sweeter berries making up the rest of the nose. In the mouth the wine tasted like raspberry jolly ranchers and liquid strawberry Jello with a nice lime hint that gave it a great acidic backbone.

Definitely a good value and one I'd look out for to drink for next summer!

Another Quickie

October 30, 2007
Just a short review today, for a not too complicated wine. The wine was a 2002 Loudon Valley Vineyard Red Table Wine. We picked this bottle up at the vineyard for $9, it had a real cork closure, and clocked in at 12% alcohol by volume.

The wine was sweet with spices, cloves, cinnamon, and cherries on the nose. In the mouth the wine was sweet with raspberries and currants. It was very sweet. I think it needed to be very chilled, which is not something I usually say about red wines, but this was very sweet. I served it with linguine, homemade sauce, and parmasean cheese. Not a good match, the wine was too sweet for the food.

I like Mosiacs

October 29, 2007
And I definitely like Mosaic Chardonnay. We picked this bottle of 2004 Mosaic Chardonnay up at the winery on our first trip to Sonoma. It somehow got lost in the shuffle of multiple moves and reorgs, and thus escaped me until now. I believe the bottle cost us $16 and had a real cork closure. Matt tossed the bottle before I could record the acv.

On the nose I found pineapple, lemon, slight oak and butter, and spiced vanilla. In the mouth the wine was surprisingly crisp with citrus, white grapefruit, tart apple, and a butter note. Overall the wine was tangy and refreshing.

I don't think I tasted at Mosaic as I was our designated driver for our trip (and I believe we had already been to 6 vineyards by this stop so I didn't think even spitting was a good cal at this point), so I let Matt pick the wines from this stop...sometimes a dangerous proposition since he likes really sweet wines a lot and I do not. But he definitely gets an A for effort with this bottle given the price point! I think the other place where I left the decision totally up to him was Mauritson and there we ended up taking home over a case of wine and joining the club, also an excellent decision!

I served the wine with parmasean baked tilapia and fruit salad. Definitely a good match for the fish, the flavors paired nicely with the flaky white fish and tangy parmasean.

Bonus Blogging!

October 26, 2007
Usually on Fridays you just get my weekend round-up, but my reviews are piling up on me and I need to get them posted without overloading the blog with content. So since the round-up is short this week I thought I'd post a review too.

The wine was a Marimar 2004 Torres Family Vineyards Don Miguel Vineyards Pinot Noir. Whew, now that's a mouthful of a name for a wine. Unfiltered and hailing from the Russian River Valley, the wine clocked in at 14% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure and cost us (gasp!) $39 from a club shipment.

On the nose I found smokey leather, cherries, and raspberries. I described the aroma as fresh, strong fruit in my notes with an earthy hint and a medicinal note. In the mouth I found sour red cherries and raspberries. The wine was tart and tannic.

Overall, this a bottle that could certainly lay down for much more time before you drink it. If I had any more, I'd sock it away for at least 3-4 years, it should develop nicely. Alas, $39 for a bottle of wine plus shipping is way out of my everyday wine budget these days, so we won't be seeing another one of these. I also had to cancel my membership in this club as the prices kept rising and while I felt some of the wine were worth it, others were not, and I don't like the 50% or so success rate on wines that all cost over $30.

Weekend Round-Up

Short this week, only two local stores that I am aware of are hosting tastings.

Arrowine, Arlington VA:

Tonight, 5:30-7:30, Spanish Selections from The Henry Group.

Tomorrow, two tastings. 1-4, all wines from October's Spain special will be on the tasting bar and The Country Vintner will be pouring a selection of Italian wines.

Out of Site Wines, Vienna, VA:

Tonight: 5-8, dueling Chardonnay from Tolosa Vineyard in CA. Taste the oaked and unoaked versions.

Tomorrow: 1-4, 4 under $20 value wines from CA, WA, France and Spain.

My Nose Grew

October 25, 2007
Though I suppose my post about Rose was about the last Rose of summer, I never said I wasn't going to drink them in the fall.....not to mention it might as well still be summer here with the weather!

The bottle was a 2005 Domaine d'Eole from Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence. (Did I read that bottle right Marcus since you are our resident label expert?) I picked this up at The Winery in Old Town Alexandria for $11, it clocked in at 12.5% alcohol by volume and had a fakie cork. The wine is a blend of grenache, counoise, syrah, and mourvedre grapes.

On the nose I found cream soda, strawberry, and peach with a question mark since it kept appearing and disappearing. In the mouth there were strawberries, spice, dry roses, and lime. It was light with a slightly sour note and a dry Rose overall. Not a bad wine, but I preferred the Touraine Rose I picked up at The Winery for $9 a few weeks ago.

Just a Quickie

October 24, 2007
And no photo either, I think I managed to delete the photo from my camera before uploading it.

The wine was a 2004 Loudon Valley Vineyards Vinifera White. We picked this bottle up at the vineyard this summer while meandering around Virginia Wine Country. It cost us $11.70 and Matt tossed the bottle before I could record the alcohol content. I know the wine has won several golds and silvers at various VA wine shows and we enjoyed a bottle the day we took residence on Loudon Valley's porch as well!

The nose of the wine was sweet with honey and apricot and a slight pine tree note. In the mouth, also sweet with honey, but with a nice tangy element to keep the sweetness in check. Mostly flavors of apricots and something slightly tropical. Definitely a wine and cheese wine or one to be sipped on its own!

Fresh and Fruity

October 23, 2007
The wine of the night was a 2001 Yoakim Bridge Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley. The bottle cost us $33 at the vineyard, clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, and had a real cork closure. We visited Yoakim Bridge on our last trip to CA and it was one of our favorite stops. The owners were so friendly, they offered us meatballs to eat and even sent a personal email thanking us for visiting and purchasing wine when we got home.

The first thing I notice about the wine were the fresh berries jumping out of the glass from afar! It smelled delicious with raspberries, blackberries, and vanilla cream on the nose with hints of chocolate and pepper. The nose was very fruit foward.

The fruit follows through in the mouth and is very fresh on the palate. There were raspberries and other red fruit. The mouthfeel was lighter than I expected.

Overall, this was a really delicious bottle of wine and I am happy we have another bottle of it hanging around. I served the wine with steak and raspberry jam wine reduction over 4 cheese risotto with fresh green beans. An excellent match and a pair I'd make again with this wine.

Under the Sea

October 22, 2007
*Disclaimer: I received this bottle from WineQ because I am a Beta Club member. It can be purchased from WineQ for $14.99.

The wine was a bottle of 2006 Coral Mustang Rose. It's a Tempranillo Rose (another new one for me, never had a Rose made from Tempranillo grapes) and hails from Vista Creek Vineyards in Pasa Robles (another wine region I would love to visit in the near future). The wine clocked in at 12.5% alcohol by volume.

The color of this wine was just beautiful, though I'm not sure that Matt's photography does it justice in this photo....I'll put another one of his "artistic" efforts at the end of this post....

On the nose I found creamy vanilla and raspberries. The nose was reserved overall. In the mouth the wine showed flavors of raspberries and lime, and raspberry cream, like a raspberry cream soda. Overall the wine was dry but creamy, with tart fruit and crisp and refreshing on the finish.

Thanks to WineQ for the opportunity to try this wine. It's another Rose in a great price range that I could easily see drinking all summer on the porch and would certainly be in the running for a Thanksgiving Rose for me. (Anyone else absolutely shocked that Thanksgiving is going to be here in just a month???)

Weekend Round-Up

October 19, 2007
Go to Arrowine in Arlington tonight from 5:30-7:30 to taste selections from Roanoake Valley Wine Company, or tomorrow from 1-4 for a double header with Oregon Pinot Noirs from Roanoake Valley Wine Company and selections from Potomac Selections.

Tonight at Out of Site Wines in Vienna you will find "Affordable Burgundy and Bordeaux" from 5-8. If you head over to Out of Site tomorrow wines from Sancerre, Bordeaux, and the Northern Rhone will be poured.

At Church Street Cellars in Vienna on Saturday from 5-8 Republic National Distributing will be pouring a lovely selection of Italian wines.

Two tastings at the Curious Grape this weekend as well! Tonight, highly rated wines from Autralia, New Zealand and South Africa will be poured from 6-8. Tomorrow, all-new 2005 Bordeaux from 1-4.

Hanging around the Domaine

October 18, 2007
*Disclaimer: I received this wine in a sample pack from Domaine547 for my review.

Domine 547 that is.

The wine was a 2003 Vinas del Cenit Tempranillo, Castilla y Leon, Spain. Specifically from Vino de la Tierra de Zamora. The bottle had a real cork closure and is available from Domaine 547 for $19.99. Matt tossed the bottle before I could record the alcohol content, sorry folks. It's actually made from 100% Tempranillo grapes, which might be a first for me, many have something else blended in!

On the nose the wine was smoky with blackberries and black currants being the predominant fruits that showed through. The blackberry was big and jumped out of the glass. I also found spices, espresso, and bitter chocolate. The nose was very complex and once again Matt tried to steal the wine away from me! In the mouth the wine was silky. Blackberries, black cherries, anise, dark chocolate, and coffee came through in the flavor of the wine.

The smokiness of the wine was very unique. It was apparent in both the mouth and nose and added a very intriguing element to the the wine. Although the wine is drinking beautifully now, I think it could still have some time in the cellar and be even better. At such a low price from Domaine 547, this is an excellent bargain, especially since I see it selling elsewhere around the internet for anywhere from $30-$50!!

For the second time in recent memory I felt like I should be wearing a smoking jacket while drinking this wine, making deals in a back room. It was dark with lots of depth. And it just so happened that I was actually wearing the sweater that I refer to as my smoking jacket the night we drank this bottle! So I made Matt take a picture of me for you, the only thing missing is my computer which he made me put down for the picture.

Alliteration Anyone?

October 17, 2007
I crack myself up sometimes (and yes, I laugh at myself frequently...hey, at least I'm amusing someone....). But really, the was the first thought I had at the producer name "Frank Family." The wine of the evening was a 2005 Frank Family Chardonnay. This bottle was a gift from my dear friend Lindsay who very kindly sent me some wine for my birthday and tells me that this is her favorite Chardonnay ever.

The wine had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.4% alcohol by volume, and and had a really cool bottle with the picture printed right on the bottle....I'm not sure my photography skills can do it justice. The bottle hails from Calistoga, CA.

On the nose I found vanilla spice, apples, toffee and oak. The aroma was nice and intriguing and I had to keep my nose in there for a while before I finally realized it was toffee I was smelling (toffee a.) isn't something I smell anywhere very often and b.) isn't something I've found in wine before). In the mouth I found slightly buttery apples, pears, and minerals.

Overall the wine was smooth and creamy. It made for some very easy drinking. I preferred it on it's own as opposed to with the dinner I prepared. I made a very creamy dish I call chicken roll-ups, and I think the cream needed a more acidic wine to cut through it. The wine got a thumbs up from both Matt and I on it's own after dinner.

Thanks Linds! :)

Touring Tuesday #5

October 16, 2007
Our final stop on our summer tour of Northern Virginia wineries found us at Village Winery. Village Winery is a fairly new addition to Virginia Wine country, being founded in 2005. They offer very small production wines that are all made without the help of any machinery. The tasting room is housed in a small part of a larger barn structure, as they are currently restoring the old, larger barn.

The tasting room is simple and fairly unadorned, with a small tasting bar at one end. My brother in law and sister in law were on our trip to Village and it was here they found their favorite wine of the trip. Some of the photos are courtesy of my sister in law!

Apple Wine: $12. Apple cider, crisp, sweet but not cloying. Matt, his brother, and our sister in law's favorite wine at Village. We took home two bottles, they took home one.

Viognier: $17. Peach, topical fruit, and odd sour/sweet note.

Cabernet Franc Rose: $15. Not sweet at all, very different, a bit medicinal. NMS.

Merlot: $17. Chocolate, raspberry, leather, light, nice body. A very good red effort. My favorite of the day, we took home one bottle.

Merlot Cabernet Franc Blend: $18. This wine also has Petite Verdot mixed in. Raspberry, blackberry, spicy, fairly light bodied. A good VA red.

Cabernet Franc: $17. All I got on this one was barnyard. It was recently bottled, I think it had bottle shock.

Elderberry Wine: $15. Sweet aroma, dark berries, very rich.

We met this camera-shy goat and his friend who didn't want to be in my picture on the way out! (And yes, I am the shorty of the family. Also, my brother in law felt that you all needed to see me in action, hence the picture of me taking notes!)

All in all, a very nice stop in a beautiful setting in Virginia. The scenery is one of my favorite parts about visiting VA wine country, especially on a beautiful summer day!

WBW #39 Silver Burgundy

October 15, 2007
Brooklynguy, aka Neil, is our host for this upcoming WBW! And, in keeping with his specialty, the theme is Silver Burgundy. By Silver Burgundy he is referring to the Côte Chalonnaise or the Mâconnais.

Neil has lots of information posted that will be extremely helpful as I search for a bottle as Burgundy is not a region I am at all familiar with. You can find all the details here. Send the link for your write-up to Neil by November 14 or your write-up if you don't have a blog and would like to participate! I look forward to trying something new again this month!

Also, be sure to head on over to Catavino for the round-up of WBW #38 Portuguese Table Wines. Ryan and Gabriella made an excellent map depicting all the regions from which we drank wine this month!

Hope to see everyone over at Brooklynguy's Wine and Food Blog next month!

Not a good photo, but a good wine!

Apparently I need to take the camera away from Matt. I occasionally ask him to take a picture of the wine for me because he is opening it and pouring it and I am curled on the couch and too lazy to move. This is latest result, see my birthday post for what was supposed to be a picture of the cake.....

The wine was 2006 Doukenie Sauvignon Blanc that we picked up on our visit to Doukenie this summer. It cost us $16.20, had a real cork closure and clocked in at 12.5% alcohol by volume. The wine was finished in neutral barrels.

Overall, the wine was light and crisp. It showed grass and tropical fruit on the nose. In the mouth the wine was very tropical, with pears and a crisp finish. This was my favorite from our visit to Doukenie. I normally don't care for a Sauvignon Blanc that has seen oak, but I do really like this bottle. I think it's the first Sauvignon Blanc I've seen from a VA winery and I'm fairly impressed!

FAQ Answers

October 14, 2007
I've been receiving more email than is usual around here, and many of the emails are asking similar questions, so I thought I'd finally sit down and address them in a more formal manner.

1.) Do you get paid to write about various websites/companies/etc?

No, I do not receive a dime for writing this blog, it's done in my free time for fun, my own education, and the amusement and education of those who happen upon my little world.

2.) What is your policy on receiving wine samples?

I am happy to accept samples. Please email me so we can discuss details. I advise you that reviews will be objective and I will disclose to my readers that I received the bottle as a sample from whomever sent it.

3.) Can I write a post for your blog about an item I am trying to sell?

The simple answer is no. I am happy to review said item if you wish to send it to me, but I will not post your review of your own item.

4.) Will you advertise xyz for me?

No. At this time I do not wish to have advertisements on my blog.

5.) Why don't you rate wines?

I prefer to let my descriptions do the talking and I hope that if you read a few of my reviews you will soon be able to see what language I use to describe my enthusiasm for a particular wine.

6.) Where can I buy a bottle of 2005 Voulet (with an oomlat on the "u") Antichi Giochi Piemontesi, Casorzo?

I purchased this bottle at the Curious Grape in Shirlington, VA. They do not ship outside of VA. I also noticed lately that UnWined in Alexandria, VA has bottles by the same producer, though I did not see the identical bottle, it suggests that they might be able to procure it for you if you would like.

7.) Where do you get your wine?

I purchase 95% of my wine. The other 5% is samples and gifts from my friends. I buy my wine at a variety of local wine shops, through WineQ and through a multitude of winery clubs that I belong to. I try my best to inform you of where I got a specific bottle.

8.) Have you ever had bottle xyz?

Generally, if you haven't seen a review of it here, the answer is probably no since there is so much wine out there. If you want to see me review a particular bottle (keeping in mind that I am generally not willing to spend more then $20 on a bottle from a producer with whom I am not familiar), please suggest it and I will do my best to hunt it down.

9.) What does NMS mean?

It stands for "not my style."

I hope that helps, and please let me know if there is anything else you are dying to know about the blog or me.

Weekend Round-Up

October 12, 2007
At UnWined in Alexandria (home of my WBW Portuguese wine!) you will find a special event NEXT Sunday, October 21 from 3-5. Stop in to taste the wines of Cantine Grotta de Sole.

Tonight at Out of Site Wines in Vienna you will find a tasting of 2004 Possums Shiraz from 5-8 pm. Now who doesn't want a wine with the same name a snarling rodent with large teeth? It's from Australia, so maybe Edward has heard of it?

Tomorrow at Out of Site, stop by for a tasting of selections from a new distributor, Nice Legs. The company features boutique wineries of the Pacific Northwest and will be pouring 4 selections two of which are from Walla Walla! Catie would be proud.

Tonight at Arrowine in Arlington from 5:30-7:30, sip a selection of wines poured by Bill Mckenney of Michael Downey Selections. I've got nothing creative to say about this.

Tomorrow at Arrowine, 2 tastings from 1-4! You will find all of the selections from October's grapes of Spain being poured. Albarino, Verdejo, Monastrell, oh my! Around a dozen selections! Ryan and Gabriella over at Catavino will scold you if you don't go. You will also find Dionysos pouring a selection of their wines.

Finally, a big event in Reston this weekend. Festa Vino 2007. Food, wine, entertainment, crafts. Looks like many VA wineries are participating as well as importers of Italian wine. Around 50 wines will be poured. $25 at the door gets you the tasting and your take home glass.

Back in the Q

October 11, 2007
After a LONG summer hiatus (and really, I probably should have held off given that the weather has still been in the 90s here) I am finally receiving wines from WineQ again! I am very very excited to be trying new wines that I have seen advertised all summer on WineQ and excited simply to have something different to drink!

I put this bottle of 2006 Croze Sauvignon Blanc at top billing in my Q pretty much as soon as it was announced on the site. I had tried the Croze Rose back in July from my last WineQ shipment and really enjoyed it. I'm actually considering it as a Thanksgiving wine! So it was a no-brainer to add the Sauvignon Blanc.

The wine cost $17.99 (free shipping!), was 13.0% alcohol by volume, and had a real cork closure. It hails from the Monte Lago Vineyards in Lake County.

On the nose I found grapefruit, a sweet tropical fruit note, and pineapple. A very enticing aroma and it made me want to jump right in...especially given our weather....seriously, 90+ in October?? In the mouth the wine was light and crisp. The fruits were tropical, with pineapple, citrus, and peach showing through.

We drank this on its own but I would definitely pair it with my crab legs when I get another bottle. I'm glad to be back on my Q with such a success in my first bottle of the shipping season!

WBW #38 Portuguese Table Wine

October 10, 2007
Ryan and Gabriella of Catavino set us to task as the hosts of WBW #38 this month to drink a Portuguese table wine. We were to avoid Port for sure, and if we could, choose a wine that was not a Vinho Verde or from the Duoro region of Portugal. To me that is a mighty assignment, as I was soon to discover while I traipsed all over my corner of VA in desperate search of something different! I *believe* I've only ever consumed one wine, to my knowledge, from Portugal, and that was a Vinho Verde, with which I was very much underwhelmed. So it was with that in mind that I looked high and low, feeling a bit like Goldilocks as I said "No, that's Vinho Verde. No that's from Duoro." Until, finally, on Monday I got to say, "Yes! That one is just right!"

My find was made at UnWined, oddly enough where I also found my first (and only) Vinho Verde. The bottle I chose, out of the 3 they had that weren't Port, Vinho Verde, or from Duoro, was a 2002 Qunita da Mimosa Red Wine. I don't think you can get much more "Table Wine" like than a "Red Wine." It hails from the Fernando Po Zone of the Palmela DOC. The wine is made of Castelao grapes, known locally as the Periquita grape. The wine cost me $16.99, had a real cork closure and clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume. I chose it for a couple reasons, one is very superficial, in that it had a purple label and my favorite color is purple, and the other being that it was the last lonely bottle of its kind hanging out on the shelf and I felt bad for it. I have never claimed to be logical in my wine selections!

On the nose I found tart cherries and a bit of alcohol with a slight medicinal note at first. That blew off fairly quickly to reveal a wine with a lot going on in the aroma. I got sour cherries, red fruit, currants, and pie spices. I will be thankful that Matt went upstairs to read and left me with the bottle or I think the rest of the bottle would have been gone before I tore my nose away from the glass! In the mouth, lots of flavors burst through. I found tart tart cherries (and yes, I mean really tart), red berries, blackberries, and a slight sour note. Overall the wine was a bit tannic, but that faded as my glass set out. The fruit in my glass was very pronounced and fresh. I definitely recommend this bottle.

Thanks to Ryan and Gabriella for hosting and for getting me, once again, to try something completely different!

Touring Tuesday #4

October 9, 2007
Our next stop in VA wine country found us at Corcoran Vineyards, formerly Waterford Vineyards (another big company that came after a little winery in VA for the name they were using...ya know, in case they ever wanted to expand into the wine business.....). Moving on though, Corcoran was a delightful place to visit. This was one of our stops when we went tasting with my brother in law and sister in law.

Unfortunately, the ceiling was a bit low in the tasting room, as it seems to be in a very old home, low ceilings are common around these parts. My brother in law and husband barely fit in and both had to duck to get in and out the door. Our tasting host was very welcoming and knew a lot about the wines she was pouring, and also a lot about beer festivals! Corcoran was pouring 4 wines the day we visited.
2005 Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay: $18. Pear, apple, sweet tropical fruit, crisp overall, yum! My favorite of the day, we took home a bottle.

2005 Cabernet Franc: $18. Raspberry, cherry, leather, tannic.

2005 Meritage: $24. A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc. Barnyard funk, raspberry, cherry, tannic.

2006 Seyval Blanc: $12. 4% residual sugar. Orange blossons, citrus, sweet, with a crisp finish, nice mouthfeel. Matt's favorite, we took home a bottle.

A quick stop along a very windy road, but worth the trouble to find. Friendly people, gorgeous setting and tasty wine. Who could ask for more?

Instead of Negromara

October 8, 2007
I returned to The Winery in Old Town Alexandria to scoop up a few more bottles of the excellent Negromara that we drank for WBW: Go Native. Sadly, none were left. We actually got to meet the owner of the store this time, and were lamenting that she was out of it and only had 3 bottles of the Touraine Rose we loved as well, as we had planned to buy a case! She suggested a different rose (more on that later) and this bottle of 2005 Faunus Cesanese del Piglio.

The bottle cost $12.99, was 13.5% alcohol by volume, and had a real cork closure. It's a red blend of 80% Cesanese, 10% Barbera, and 10% Montepulciano.

On the nose the wine was spicy with black pepper, cedar, and black currants showing through. In the mouth again, the wine was spicy, with black cherry, black currants, and a very smoky note. The cherry flavor was incredibly fresh.

Overall, I felt as if I should be wearing a smoking jacket and lighting up a cigar while drinking this wine, but that would detract from the wine. It had a lot of depth of flavor for the price point. Another successful recommendation from The Winery. I think this place will become my go to wine shop, so far I've been very impressed with all the selections I've purchased.

I served the wine with an eye of the round roast, purple mashed potatoes, and green beans. A good match for the dinner, I like how the meat went with the smokiness of the wine.

Dear UPS

October 6, 2007
Riddle me this: If I am not home for you to deliver to during business hours and your pick-up center is not open on Saturdays, how in the world am I supposed to get my package from you?

Additionally, you yet again left a notice on my door claiming that it was your second attempt to deliver to my house. Really? Because I would think that I would have noticed the large piece of sticky paper that you affix to my front door if you had in fact attempted to deliver to my house before yesterday.

Since this is your second transgression of the exact same manner, not to mention some other hoops you put me through when I had a front desk in my apartment building whose sole purpose was pretty much to sign for packages for residents, yet you still on occasion would refuse to leave my package, I will now be inquiring to see if my wine clubs will ship through your competitor, FedEx. At least their center is open on Saturdays so I have some chance of rescuing my stuff.

I believe that you purposefully do this to me on long weekends, as the last time this happened it was also a long weekend, when my wine is going to have to sit in your warehouse for an extra three days, rotting because you clearly do not cater to people who god forbid, don't get home before 7pm from work. I'll see you on Tuesday, when I will have to leave work early to retrieve my wine.

Regards, a very unsatisfied customer,

Weekend Round-Up

October 5, 2007
Head on over to UnWined in Alexandria tonight from 6-8 to taste lesser known reds and whites from the Northern Rhone Valley poured by JAO Imports. As a special treat, chocolates from a local chocolatier will be offered.

Tonight at Arrowine in Arlington from 5:30-7:30 you will find Elite Wines pouring a selection of Spanish wines.

Saturday at Arrowine from 1-4 there will be two tastings. One will be of value Spanish wines poured by Aurelio Cabestrero and the other is Italian wines from Grappoli Imports.

On the tasting bar at Out of Site Wines in Vienna from 5-8 tonight you can stop by to taste a 2006 Crios Rose from Argentina and a 2000 Domaine des Sources Syrah from from France.

Saturday at Out of Site you will again find JAO Imports (popular guys this week) from 1-4 pouring 4 wines dubbed "Elegant for Autumn Entertaining. You'll taste a Vouvray Brut, a White Burgundy, a Pinot Noir and a Rosso.

Crab Legs and Sauvignon Blanc

October 4, 2007
The bottle was a "Beyond" 2006 Sauvignon Blanc, by a winery named Buitenverwachting. Hailing from South Africa, the wine cost me $12.99 at the Winery, had a real cork, and clocked in at 12.5% alcohol by volume.

On the nose the wine smelled creamy. I found aromas of lemon, lime, and grapefruit. In the mouth, the aromas of the nose followed through, with the wine also seeming a bit floral. It was crisp, but it felt heavier in the mouth than I am used to for a Sauvignon Blanc. Overall, I liked the display of citrus in the wine.

I served it with snow crab leg clusters with drawn butter and fresh lemon. I tend to love to pair this meal with a Sauvignon Blanc and this was no exception!

Corcoran Vineyards Chardonnay

October 3, 2007
We picked this bottle of wine up at Corcoran Vineyards (formerly Waterford Vineyards) in VA when we took my brother in law and sister in law wine tasting last month. The wine is a 2005 Waterford Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay (as it was bottled before the name change was necessitated by a large corporation knocking on the door) and cost us $18. It had a plastic cork and clocked in at a mere 12% alcohol, very good for a weeknight wine!

The wine was fermented mostly in stainless tanks, and I believe put in neutral oak for a short period to finish it.

On the nose I found lemon, slight oak, green apple, and pear. In the mouth, the wine was smooth, with none of the oak flavor. I got flavors of lemon, lime, and green apple. The wine had a very nice finish and a creamy mouthfeel. Another good white offering from a VA winery.

I have to say that in my now over 4 years tasting in VA, the wines have come a very long way, and I am now routinely impressed by the various vineyards we visit. Hopefully we will have a chance to get to different parts of VA wine country this fall!

Touring Tuesday #3

October 2, 2007
Traveling along our route in VA Wine Country for our anniversary celebration, we found ourselves at Loudon Valley Vineyards. We have subsequently returned to Loudon, as we very much enjoyed our first afternoon there.

Walking up to the tasting room, I was reminded of many of the old cabins I used to see in VT/NH when Matt and I lived up that way. It looked homey and inviting. Inside, the tasting bar was not large, but on our first visit we had no trouble getting a spot to taste. Even if you need to wait, there is plenty of seating inside and outside, if it's a beautiful day like when we visited.

Loudon Valley was our final stop for the day, and spent a good 4 hours tasting, walking the grounds and relaxing on the porch. The winery offers several options for eating, including a fruit, bread, and cheese platter that we took advantage of. It was fabulous, for $10 we got a beautiful plate with grapes, sliced apples, pineapple and strawberries, 3 kinds of cheese, and a full French baguette. We also picked up a bottle of chilled Vinifera White to drink with our late lunch and enjoy on the porch overlooking the vineyards.

The winery was pouring an amazing 13 wines to taste for the day:

2005 Chardonnay: $18. Lemon, pineapple, apple, light wine, slightly sweet at the end.

2004 Vinifera White: $13. Honey, apricot, sweet wine, good very cold. Matt really liked this, we bought 3 bottles.

2006 Classic White: $11. Spice on nose, peach, sweet and light in the mouth.

2006 Rose: $11. Spice, slightly sweet, red berries, slight smell of butter. We bought a bottle for the porch on our second visit.

2002 Cabernet Franc: $15. Spicy, tannic, currants, light and well balanced in the mouth.

2003 Merlot: $18. Berries, rum (I know, that's odd), tingly in the mouth, tannic.

1999 Merlot: $21. Smells denser than the 2003. Berries, cherries, plums, well done, smoother than the 2003.

2002 Dynasty: $15. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot blend. Raspberries, leather, spice.

2002 Sangiovese: $15. Smoke, barnyard, very light, berries.

2003 Pinot Noir: $15. Cherries, slight leather, light and fruity, well done. We took home one bottle.

2002 Red Wine: $10. Blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese. Sweet, fun, very different. We took home two bottles.

2005 Pomme: $9. Dessert wine made of Granny Smith apples. Too sweet for me.

2005 Chambourcin: $13. Very sweet, but not cloying. Blackberries.

All in all an excellent day, we had a blast hanging out here. Everyone was so nice and helpful, I hope we can return for Sunday Soup, hosted periodically throughout the winter!

Bratwurst and Chardonnay?

October 1, 2007
Yes, I served bratwurst with Roshambo 2004 Imago Chardonnay. Not an elegant match to say the least, what can I say? I'm not always going for the perfect pair!

The wine came in a club shipment, cost us $15.20, had a real cork closure, and clocked in at 13.9% alcohol by volume.

On the nose I found lemon, minerals, wet stone, and pineapple. The nose was crisp and clean. In the mouth, lemons, pineapples, sweet orange. Overall the wine was crisp in the mouth with a nice finish. In typically me style in my tasting notes, I wrote "me likey" as my final note What can I say? Eloquent I am not always.

Very good value wine for the price on this one. (Another non-oaked Chardonnay, seems to be the theme these last few months!)