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Champagne Sylvie Moreau Tasting in Washington DC

One of the vineyards of Champagne Sylvie Moreau. Photo courtesy of Champagne Sylvie Moreau.

A half century ago, the origins of Champagne Sylvie Moreau began when Sylvie Moreau’s parents, Micheline and André Moreau planted grapes in the town of Saint Euphraise et Clairizet. In 1973, André sold the first bottle of champagne under the label of Champagne André Moreau. They continued to craft champagnes until the 1990’s when they decided to retire. It was natural for their daughter Sylvie to take over the champagne house. Today the champagne house is operated by Sylvie Moreau and her husband Olivier, the winemaker. The label was changed to Champagne Sylvie Moreau.

Total vineyard land comprises of three hectares (7.4 acres) in different areas ((Petite

Montagne de Reims, Vallée de l’Ardre and Vallée de la Marne) that showcase Pinot Munier, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Oliver pouring champagne at the APVSA tasting in Washington DC, January 2019.

At the APVSA tasting in Washington DC, I had the opportunity to speak with Olivier. I asked him when he first became aware of his interest in wine. Oliver replied, “When I was ten years old, I use to play in the vineyards. I began to help my father with harvests. I have now worked on 38 harvests.”

When asked what he knows now that he wish he knew when he began crafting champagnes, Oliver responded, “The vineyard is always changing each year. I had to become flexible and mold myself to what the vineyard offered.”

Champagnes

Racines – Brut Tradition was a blend of Pinot Munier, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with reserved wine. The yellow with gold hue colored wine had multiple columns of tiny bubbles forming a mousse around the circumference of the surface. The aroma and taste offered red berry fruits. The taste was delicious with a creamy mouthfeel that yielded to liveliness.  The finish was crispy and fruity.

L’Émeraude is an equal blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The yellow colored champagne had multiple columns of tiny bubbles forming a circumferential mousse. I noticed floral notes along with apple, red berry fruit and freshly baked bread. The mouthfeel was creamy and lively. The fruity finish also had hints of freshly baked bread.

Carré Or – Brut Réserve is a blend of Pinot Munier, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with reserved wine. The wine was cellared between 7 and 10 years. It is like the first wine tasted but with longer aging. Multiple columns of tiny bubbles formed a central mousse on the surface of this yellow colored champagne. Red berry fruits and freshly baked bread were predominant along with a creamy and lively mouthfeel.

Incarnat – Brut Rosé had a salmon with red hue color. Multiple columns of tiny bubbles formed a mousse at both the center and circumference of the surface. Red berry fruits and freshly baked bread were noticed on the aroma and taste. The champagne had a lively mouthfeel and a long aftertaste. This champagne would pair nicely with Valentine’s Day.

Champagne Sylvie Moreau is looking for distributors in the United States. The champagne house sent us a few photos of their vineyard and winery. 

Winter at a Sylvie Moreau vineyard. Photo courtesy of Champagne Sylvie Moreau.

Harvest Photo courtesy of Champagne Sylvie Moreau.

Winemaking Photo courtesy of Champagne Sylvie Moreau.

Cheers,
Terry

Discover the Wines of Mas des Combes

 

Rémi Larroque from Mas des Combes, France

Last week while attending the APVSA wine tasting in Washington, DC, I met Rémi Larroque, owner and winemaker at Mas des Combes. This winery with vineyards is located in the Appellation Gaillac Contrôlee in France’s Sud-Ouest region. Mas des Combes is producing red, white and sparkling wines using traditional grape varieties and ancestral varieties. Currently Mas des Combes is looking for importers and distributors.

Rémi is enthusiastic about the wines he produces at Mas des Combes. Rémi is a member of a family that has many generations of winegrowers, going back 16 generations. During the early 1800s, Jean Perre Larroque settled in Oustry where he produced wine and established a wine cellar. The winemaking and vineyard growing has passed down over the years and today Rémi with his wife, Nathalie, own and operate Mas des Combes.

Prunel’Art wine from Mas des Combes

I tasted two wines produced by Rémi, a Prunel’Art and Mas Combes Gaillac Red 2017.  The Prunel’Art was produced with 100% Prunelart grape variety. It had 15 g/L of sugar and had 12% alcohol. The wine was a red/purple color. The aroma was robust and the taste offered notes of dark fruit. The finish offered fresh fruit notes. The Prunel’Art wine is produced with Prunelart an old type of grape frequently grown in Gaillac.

The Mas Combes Gaillac Red 2017 was produced with Merlot, Fer Servadou, Syrah and Duras grape varieties. It was a translucent red color. The wine, with 12.5% alcohol, was dry with red fruit notes including cherries and red raspberries. This dry wine offered a medium body with mild tannins leading into a long finish. Pairing suggestions included grilled poultry and meats.

An online interview with Mas des Combes provided this intriguing information.

Wine Trail Traveler: What are Rémi’s most enjoyable aspects of Mas des Combes?

Rémi Larroque: I particularly like the harvest time, which ranges from 3 to 5 weeks, in September and October. Each vintage is a discovery.

Wine Trail Traveler: You have 34 hectares of vineyards. What varieties are you growing?

Mas de Combes Red Wine

Rémi Larroque: We favour our own unique ancestral  varieties called Gaillac : Fer Servadou (also known as “Braucol”), Prunelart, Duras, for reds, Mauzac and Len de l’El for the whites. We also use varieties such as Syrah, Merlot, Gamay, Sauvignon blanc, Muscadelle. The Mas des Combes estate is composed of 60% reds and 40% whites.

Wine Trail Traveler: To what do you contribute the success of the winery?

Rémi Larroque:

Know how from several generations
-Our wines are present in several establishments in the Occitanie region and also in all the France.
-The qualitative regularity of the products
-A good price-performance ratio

Wine Trail Traveler: How will the winery change and grow in the next five years?

Rémi Larroque: We have built a new, more modern winery to sell more bottles of wine. Our two children, at this time are still young, will perhaps  take over the estate and we would like to give them the tools to start well. That’s why we are looking for importers, distributors in USA and CANADA

Wine Trail Traveler: I discovered the Prunel’Art wine to be delicious. Do you use the Prunelart grapes only as a straight varietal wine or do you use it in a blend?

Rémi Larroque: Prunel’Art is a varietal wine, 100% Prunelart (grape variety).        It’s an old forgotten grape variety typical from Gaillac. We replanted it 6 years ago.

Wine Trail Traveler: What types of foods do you like to pair with Prunel’Art wine?

Rémi Larroque: This full-flavoured wine, made from the traditional “Prunelart” grape, has delightful aromas of black fruit, plum, with a hint of spice and black olive. Mouthfeel is dense, and the fleshy tannins hold a hint of liquorice and fruit (raspberry, tart cherry, ripe fruit).

Drink with  duck meat, with a plate of cold, mixed meats (raw ham, dry pork sausage).
Aperitive, and also with dark chocolate pie. Should be served freshly (12—13°)

Wine Trail Traveler: What can visitors to Mas des Combes expect when visiting?

Rémi Larroque: Discovery of a hilly landscape, bordered with vineyards and wheat fields, it is called the “little tuscany” dotted with hamlets in white country stones.

They can visit the cellar on request, between June 1st and August 31st. Wine tasting in the sales cellar. Opportunity to walk on the vineyard paths

Wine Trail Traveler: What would you like the public to know about Mas des Combes?

Rémi Larroque: We are a family business since a several generations; we harvest, vinify our wines ourselves. We respect the environment with good grape culture principles to avoid vine diseases; we favour preventive rather than curative treatments. We respect our landscapes, lands and above all, the customer that buys our wines

Address:

Mas Des Combes
Nathalie et Rémi LARROQUE
391 chemin du Mas d’Oustry
81600 GAILLAC

Wine Trail Traveler wishes Rém Larroque much continued success with winegrowing, winemaking and marketing the Mas des Combes wines.

Cheers!
Kathy

Domaine Collet Champagne Tasting in Washington DC

 

Florent Collet pours the Empreinte de Terroir Brut.

Domaine Collet is in the Côte de Sézanne area of Champagne. Prior to the 1960’s a small vineyard was tended and the grapes were used to make wine for the family.  During the 1960s, the family planted more vines and grapes were sold. By 1973, the family decided to make their own champagne through a cooperative. In 2000, sales were brisk and two years later the family decided to control the entire process of producing champagne from the vine to the bottle. Now, the champagne house is under the leadership of three brothers, Vincent, Thomas and Florent. Their father, René founded the current business in 1973 and adds his knowledge and experience to the production.

We tasted several of the champagnes during the APVSA tasting in Washington DC in January of 2019. Florent presented the champagnes and we were able to interview him.

Interview with Florent Collet

Wine Trail Traveler: When did your wine journey begin, for example when did you become interested in wine?

Florent Collet: We are three brothers managing the estate, so I will answer for myself.

My father worked in the vine from 1973, so I always lived near a vineyard. But my first contact with wine was when I lived in Montpellier in 2004 (south of France). I discover PIC SAINT LOUP, a red and tannic wine with body! That was a beautiful wine. After tasting wines, I developed a preference for Vacqueras and Alsace wine, and of course champagne. When I came back to Champagne, I began wine and vine training and joined my father and my two brothers in the family business.

Wine Trail Traveler: What is unique about the terroir where your grapes grow?

Florent Collet: Our terroir is unique because of our chalky subsoils, it brings creamy notes and salinity to our champagne. It also regulates water during excess wet and dry weather. The other terroir factor is the weather. Champagne grapes grow in the European northern limit. This brings freshness and fineness to the champagne.

Wine Trail Traveler: What varieties of grapes are planted in your vineyards?

Florent Collet: 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot noir

Wine Trail Traveler: How would you describe the difference in your champagnes compared to other champagne producers?

Florent Collet: First, our terroir, it brings citrus flavors as pink pomelos, yellow lemons, also white and yellow fruits as apple, mango, pear, etc. Second, we have 50 “300 liters” barrels and 6 oak tanks, so this brings oakiness and complexity. So the whole gives expressive, complex and rich champagne. 

Wine Trail Traveler: What is the most enjoyable aspect of producing champagne?

Florent Collet: That is the versatility. One day in the wine, the other day in the cellar, the next promoting champagne in the US and the last working in the accounting and finance part. Everyday is a different day.

Champagne Anthime Cuvée Extrême was crafted with 100% Chardonnay.

Champagnes

I tasted three champagnes. The first was the Empreinte de Terroir Brut. This blend of Chardonnay 67% and Pinot Noir 37% was a yellow color. The wine spent about 30 months aging on the lees. The dosage was 7 g/L. There were multiple columns of tiny bubbles forming a mousse in the center and circumference of the surface. The wine offered apple, citrus, red berry fruit and freshly baked bread notes. It had a creamy, lively mouthfeel and a crisp finish. This champagne would make a wonderful aperitif at any time of the day. 

The Empreinte de Terroir Rosé was a blend of 59% Pinot Noir and 41% Chardonnay. The saignée method was used to give this champagne a salmon color. The dosage was 8 g/L which helped bring out some red berry fruits and apple on the aroma and taste. The champagne started with a very creamy mouthfeel that yielded to liveliness. The crispy finish had a bit of mineral.

The Champagne Anthime Cuvée Extrême was crafted with 100% Chardonnay. With only 2 g/L of dosage, this dry champagne was a yellow color. Multiple columns of tiny bubbles formed both a center and circumference mousse. Citrus was dominant with a bit of apple and freshly baked bread. The mouthfeel was creamy and lively. The finish was fruity with the fruit yielding to freshly baked bread. It was suggested to pair this champagne with lemon pie. 

Domaine Collet is on the APVSA tour of North America this January. They would love to pick up distributors especially in the United Sates.

Cheers,
Terry

Winter Wine Event at B&O Railroad Museum

Winter Wine event held in  B&O Railroad Museum’s Roundhouse

The annual Maryland Winter Wine event is scheduled for Friday, January 25. This event is one of the major wine events in Maryland featuring numerous wineries from around the state. The 2019 Winter Wine is likely to host both old established wineries to the newer wineries who have learned much from the older wineries especially  in terms of what grape varieties grow best in Maryland’s unique terroirs.

Winter Wine is held at the B&O Railroad Museum. The event offers two types of wine tastings with sparkling wines being tasted for the first hour. Wine enthusiasts then proceed to the B&O Roundhouse, where they can mingle with other wine lovers, talk with numerous winery owners and winemakers, taste a wide range of wines and also nibble light appetizers.

The Sparkling Reception Pass begins 6pm and at 7pm attendees proceed to the Roundhouse for the wine tasting which ends at 9:30.

Two types of tickets are available for Winter Wine. The first ticket for $85 (purchased in advance) includes the Sparkling Wine Reception and the wine tastings in the Roundhouse. The second ticket is for the wine tasting and light appetizers is $65. Get your tickets online at Eventbrite.

From my experience, Winter Wine event is one Maryland’s wineries most elegant events involving numerous wineries. It’s also a great opportunity get out of the winter doldrums; taste wines and decide which wineries you want to visit soon.

Cheers!
Kathy

Champagne Malard Tasting in Washington, DC

 

Charles Malard pouring champagne. The champagne house is looking for distributors in the United States.

Champagne Malard was founded by Jean-Louis Malard in 1996 in Aÿ, Champagne. Jean-Louis Malard was born in Épernay and spent much of his life in the “world of bubbles.” The champagne house sources it grapes from Premier Cru and Grand Cru Vineyards.

I tasted several of the champagnes during the APVSA tasting in Washington DC in January of 2019. Charles Malard presented the champagnes and we were able to interview him. Charles represents Champagne Malard in the Paris restaurant industry and is helping to bring the brand to the export market. While in the United States, he hope to find distributors.

Interview with Charles Malard

Wine Trail Traveler: Tell us about Champagne Malard.

Charles Malard: Malard champagne was created in 1996 by my father Jean-Louis Malard. Today we create champagne mainly from vineyards in premiers and grands crus. We mainly use Pinot Noir grapes and a bit of Chardonnay to give freshness to our wines and also in the creation of our Champagne Malard EXCELLENCE Blanc de blancs. Our domain is based in the village of AY in the heart of the mountain of Reims known for its Pinot Noirs Grand Cru which is why we mainly use this grape variety.

Wine Trail Traveler: What is unique about the terroir where your grapes grow?

Charles Malard: The terroir of Ay: The orientation of our vineyard faces south, which allows the harvest to limit the humidity on the grapes and the development of diseases (rot – Mushrooms …).

The soil: Our sandy clay soil is perfect for the supply of nutrients of Pinot Noir. This terroir gives fruity characters with all roundness, with acidity provided by the chalk in depth. The vineyards are at least 20 years old and the roots will take their resources in depth to express the character of our terroir.

We seek to develop champagnes fresh, accessible, easy to drink. For us, champagne is a festive product that must provide freshness and great length in the mouth. This is why we do not add sugar and have very low dosages (max 8g /L) to let the wine express itself simply. We also develop a vintage champagne that will be more complex that can be enjoyed while eating.

What is interesting in champagne is to be able to blend different wines from different terroirs in order to find the aromas that suit us the best, and also to add reserve wines that can add complexity to our champagnes. We can also offer a wine from oak barrels to give an evolutionary character (brioche notes) on our cuvées.

Wine Trail Traveler: How would you describe the difference in your champagnes compared to other champagne producers?

Charles Malard: I do not like comparing myself to other houses, each one choosing the character of its champagnes. For me I choose to elaborate fresh champagnes for my classic cuvées, and my goal is to preserve the identity of the terroir where my grapes come from.

Wine Trail Traveler: What is the most enjoyable aspect of producing champagne? 

Charles Malard: I do not try to make champagne with prolonged aging, or winemaking in 100% oak. I do not want to make wines too heavy and difficult to drink. I am looking for simplicity and friendliness.

Champagne Malard’s Les Historiques Cramant

The Champagnes

I started the tasting with Brut Excellence. This champagne is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It had 7 g/L of residual sugar and presented a light yellow color. There were multiple columns of tiny bubbles forming a total surface mousse. The aroma and taste reminded me of apples, citrus and red berries. The mouthfeel was lively. The finish was crisp making this champagne great as an aperitif. 

The next two wines tasted were from the Les Historiques line of champagnes. The cuvées from this line come from vineyards with Grand Cru status. Only Grand Cru grapes from the villages of Ay, Avize, Bouzy, Cramant and Verzenay are vinified. I tasted the champagnes from Cramant and Ay.

The Les Historiques Cramant had 3 g/L of residual sugar. Half of the 100% Chardonnay wine spent time in oak while the other half was in stainless steel. The champagne had multiple columns of tiny bubbles creating a mousse in the center and along the circumference of the surface. The yellow colored champagne offered apple notes and had a lively mouthfeel. There was a hint of mineral and salt on the crispy finish.

The Les Historiques Aÿ was crafted with 100% Pinot Noir. It too was vinified with 50% in French oak barrels and 50% in stainless steel. The champagne had multiple columns of tiny bubbles forming a center and circumference mousse. The wine had a very lively and creamy mouthfeel. I noticed red berry fruits, citrus and freshly baked bread. The crisp finish had a touch of mineral.

Champagne Malard will showcase their champagnes on the APVSA tour of North America during January.

Cheers,
Terry

Champagne Patrice Guay Tasting in Washington DC

Véronique and Patrice Guay are the passion behind Champagne Patrice Guay.

The proprietors of Champagne Patrice Guay (Véronique and Patrice Guay) are the fifth generation involved in champagne production in Champagne. Starting in 1930, Henri Joly and brother-in-law Alfred Godinat began to vinify grapes and craft champagne. Today, the house creates champagnes under the label of “Patrice Guay and “Guay-Quignot.”

The champagne house has about 7 hectares (17 acres) of vines, mostly Pinot Munier. A quarter of their acreage is planted with Chardonnay and a small percentage is planted with Pinot Noir. The champagne house produces 20,000 bottles of champagne and is looking for distributors in the United States.

Interview with Patrice

Wine Trail Traveler: When did your distribution begin?

Patrice: We have started the prospecting for the big export one year ago because our vineyard is developing since my parents stopped their activity . Our son Thomas is studying viticulture and oenology and will join us in three years. Thomas will be the 6th generation to make the vine and perpetuate the family tradition.

Wine Trail Traveler: What is unique about the terroir where your grapes are growing?

Patrice: The village of Festigny is located in the Marne Valley, with its hillsides bringing a typical aroma to champagne by her geological diversity of this subsoil.

– On hillsides with a chalky soil : we planted Chardonnay.

– On one side of the village there is a marly, sandy and limestone soil : Meunier and Pinot Noir.

– On the other side with a marly, clayey, limestone soil : Meunier.

This diversity of subsoils characterizes our terroir.

Wine Trail Traveler: How would you describe the differences in your champagnes compared to other champagne producers?

Patrice: Many champagne houses have cuvées with different terroirs.

Our vineyard comes from exclusively the village of Festigny, this is called a “mono-terroir”. We work our vineyard in reasonable viticulture methods. The champagnes are developed at the property with an aging of four years with little sugar, which represents their authenticity and revolutionize at the tasting.

The Cuvée Rosé

Champagnes

We tasted three champagnes at the APVSA tasting in Washington DC. The Cuvée Tradition was a blend of Pinot Meunier 60%, Chardonnay 20% and reserve wines 20%. This brut champagne had 6 g/L of residual sugar. The yellow colored bubbly had multiple columns of tiny bubbles rising to form a mousse around the circumference. The aroma was reminiscent of apple, pear and mango. These were also noticed on the taste along with a bit of freshly baked bread. The mouthfeel was lively. The champagne had a crisp finish. This champagne typically sells for €16.

The Cuvée Rosé was a blend of Pinot Meunier 50%, Chardonnay 20%, Pinot Noir 15% (vinified in red) and reserve wines 15%. This champagne was a brut with 6 g/L of residual sugar. This salmon colored wine had multiple columns of tiny bubbles forming a mousse in the center and around the edge of the glass. Red berry fruits were noticed on the aroma and taste with a slight trace of freshly baked bread. The very creamy mouthfeel yielded to a liveliness. The finish was crisp. This rosé typically sells for €18.

The Cuvée Prestige was a blend of Pinot Meunier 50%, Chardonnay 30% and reserve wines 20%. Like the other champagnes, this was a brut with 6 g/L of residual sugar. The yellow colored wine had multiple columns of tiny bubbles forming a wide mousse around the circumference of the glass. Apple, pear and citrus were noticed on the aroma and taste. There was a hint of freshly baked bread. The mouthfeel was creamy and lively. The finish was fruity and crisp. This Cuvée Prestige typically sells for €21.

Véronique and Patrice Guay were very welcoming at the APVSA tasting. If you are visiting the Marne Valley, add Champagne Patrice Guay to your itinerary.

Cheers,
Terry

APVSA Wine Tasting Tour Starts Today

APVSA wine tasting

Each year, the APVSA (Association for the Promotion of Wines and Spirits in North America) offers wine tastings throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. These wine tastings are usually geared towards importers with some wine writers included. During the current wine tour, WINE’TER IS COMING, which started today in New York will continue on through 11 more major cities in North America.

In recent years the majority of wineries taking part in the wine tastings are located in France. APVSA seeks to locate small, relatively unknown wineries that are producing quality wines. These wineries are seeking to locate importers in order that their wines can be exported to the United States, Mexico and Canada.

The APVSA provides wine tastings in several large US cities. In 2019 the APVSA is hosting wine tastings in:

  • New York: January 15
  • Washington, DC: January 16
  • Atlanta: January 17
  • Miami: January 18
  • New Orleans: January 21
  • Dallas: January 22
  • Mexico City: January 23
  • Los Angeles: January 24
  • San Francisco: January 25
  • Vancouver: January 28
  • Toronto: January 30
  • Montreal: January 31

Tomorrow’s wine tasting in Washington, DC will include wines from Provence, Champagne, Bordeaux, Sud-Ouest, Rhone Valley, Languedoc, Beaujolais and Ile Maurice.

This is an wonderful opportunity for wine importers and wine writers to taste and learn about the little known quality wines produced in Europe. Winemakers and distributors are interesting to talk with and delighted when you show you are interested in their products. It should be noted that not every winery will have its winemaker at every event; some wineries will be represented by distributors.

More information is available on the APVSA website. 

APVSA, located in Montreal, has been in existence for almost 20 years. Pascal Fernand is the President of APVSA. 

Check out some of the photos we have from earlier APVSA wine tastings in Washington, DC.

Cheers,
Kathy

APVSA

APVSA

APVSA 

Like Chocolate? Try a Wine and Chocolate Pairing!

Virant Family Winery

The Wine and Chocolate Trail in Ohio takes place Saturdays and Fridays, February 8 & 9  and February 15 & 16. Eighteen wineries participating in the the Wine and Chocolate Trail will offer complimentary appetizers and wine samples. At a designated winery participants will receive a wine glass and a box of Malley’s chocolates.

 

The wineries on the Vines & Wines WineTrail joining in this event include:

Benny Vino Urban Winery
Buccia Vineyards
Debonné Vineyards
Deer’s Leap Winery
Emerine Estates
Ferrante Winery & Ristorante
Grand River Cellars Winery & Restaurant
Hundley Cellars

Maple Ridge Vineyard
Old Firehouse Winery
Park Avenue Winery
South River Vineyard
Red Barn Cellars
Red Eagle Distillery
Silver Crest Cellar
The Winery at Spring Hill
Urban Vintner
Virants Family Winery

We have visited several of these Ohio wineries. Check out our online Ohio winery articles and photos.

Want to know more about wine and chocolate pairings? In an email from the Ohio Wine Producers Association, the email mentions a chart that pairs wine with chocolate from the Kendall Jackson website. 

The list includes wines and chocolate pairing suggestions.

Old Fire House winery

Whether you enjoy chocolate and wine everyday or are impatiently waiting for Valentine’s Day, why not experiment with the different types of chocolates and wines available to discover what you like best?

Cheers!
Kathy

Bucci Ristorante in Grosse Pointe Woods

We had a delightful dinner recently at Bucci Ristorante in Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan. We have eaten here on several occasions and always had excellent food. The staff is always cheerful and professional. We brought two wines with us, knowing that different people in our party would order different dinners.

We started with the 2014 J. Daniel Cuvee from Lail Vineyards, Napa Valley. This Cabernet Sauvignon, although young, was very drinkable now. It had an opaque ruby color. The aroma was very fruity and easy to delight in the bouquet from the glass. The taste was reminiscent of blackberry, cassis and licorice. The wine had bold, silky tannins and was full bodied. The fruity finish yielded to spices and licorice.

2014 J. Daniel Cuvee from Lail Vineyards, Napa Valley with appetizers

We enjoyed this wine as an appetizer. We also drank it with our appetizers including grilled bread, calamari and octopus salad. The wine was delicious.

Our second wine was a 2012 Hartwell Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley. On first taste, after pouring in a carafe, the wine was rustic with a hint of tin can. Letting it set for 20 minutes completely changed the wine’s aroma and taste. The 2012 needed some time to open up. It had a ruby to black color. The aroma featured black fruits and licorice. The taste included cassis, blackberries, black cherries and licorice. The wine was full bodied with silky tannins and had a fruity finish.

2012 Hartwell Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

I paired the wine with Zuppa Portuguese, a variety of seafood sautéed in garlic, shallots, bell peppers, touch of pepper flakes deglazed with white wine finished in pomodoro broth and served with crostini. Kathy paired the wine with a delicious, tender cut of beef.

In both cases the wine matched the food even though one entrée was seafood while the other was beef. Our three hour long dinner was delightful. All in our party were wine drinkers and enjoyed the wines as well as the foods and ambiance that Bucci Ristorante offers.

Cheers,
Terry

868 Estate Vineyards Events for MLK Day and Super Bowl Weekend!

868 Estate Vineyards includes Grandale Restaurant

During the cold winter months, sometimes it’s nice to kick back and relax by enjoying a glass of wine at a winery. Now if you are looking for a winter wine event at a winery, one of the wineries to visit in Virginia is 868 Estate Vineyards in Purcellville. Onsite is also the Grandale Restaurant open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Two special events will be celebrated at 868 Estate Vineyards: MLK Day and the Super Bowl.

Outdoor area adjacent to 868 Estate Vineyards tasting room

Those visiting the winery on January  21 , can remember Martin Luther King Day while participating in a Truffle Tasting and also enter a contest to wine a year’s wine tasting. In addition to the wines available, hot grilled paninis will be available. Look for mulled wine. Chocoholics will want to join a chocolate tasting, too!

On Super Bowl Weekend,  February 1 to February 3, 868 Estate winery will have a Super Bowl Elevated Tasting. A number of food items will be paired with wine.  Foods available, and prepared by Chef Author, will include a Cheeseburger Slider, a Mac & Cheese Bacon Ball, a Buffalo Chicken Pita and two sweet bites including Peanut-Chocolate Sausage and a Reese’s Cookie Cake. The 868 Estate website adds, “Each bite is paired with wine and comes with our best guess on who will win the Big Game.” 

If you are planning to visit the winery with more than seven people, the winery asks that you secure a reservation.

We visited 868 Estate Vineyards. Check out our online article to learn more about the winery. Discover 868 Estate Vineyards in beautiful Northern Virginia’s beautiful countryside.

Cheers!
Kathy


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