Friday, 31. July 2009
Vint Hill Craft Winery is celebrating its Grand Opening of the Teaching and Tasting Balcony beginning this weekend. Located in Vint Hill, Virginia the winery is located near Warrenton, VA a suburb of the Washington, DC. Wine Trail Traveler visited the winery yesterday to observe the winery in its finished form.
Located in a renovated 1900’s barn, the renovated building offers an overview of the winemaking process from a large second floor balcony. Upon entering the winery on the lower level, visitors will discover white walls enhanced with Williamsburg color. Carpeted stairs lead to the Teaching and Tasting Balcony where in addition to the views of the winemaking area, a tasting counter of metal is enhanced with a stone-decorated base. Small specially designed metal tables are also available.
The winery is now open Fridays thru Sundays from 11am to 6pm. The Grand Opening will be all month. Anyone interested in participating in making a barrel of wine can receive a $500 discount during the Grand Opening. Be sure to ask about it when you visit the winery. Enjoy a visit to a unique winery on the East Coast.
For more information, read this article.
Thursday, 30. July 2009
Located in Geneva, Ohio, Laurello Vineyards announced that they have released the Laurello Cabernet Franc 2007. At the Best of Appellation Wine Competition, this Cabernet Franc won a gold medal. The judges noted plum, spice and lilac aromas. Other notes from the competition judges noted red currants, cherry, vanilla and silky tannins. They also noted that the wine had a chipotle finish.
Laurello Vineyards is much more than a winery. It offers a friendly place to gather with friends, taste wines and eat great foods. The menu includes appetizers, pizza, sandwiches, cheese trays and desserts. For more information read the review by Wine Trail Traveler.
Wednesday, 29. July 2009
Have you heard of the Wine Diaper? It is an interesting concept especially for those who like to carry their wine in their luggage. Does anyone really know what happens to his or her luggage after dropping it off at a check in counter?
The Wine Diaper was designed to protect clothing and other valuables from a potential broken bottle of wine. Red wines are notorious for staining clothes. If you have treasured clothing in your luggage and a bottle of red wine breaks, you may not be able to remove the stains.
According to the manufacturer of the Wine Diaper, if a bottle of wine breaks inside the “diaper,” the padded inside will absorb the wine and the plastic covering will keep it inside. The padding also helps to protect the bottle. The Wine Diaper is also suggested for protecting other breakable bottles containing liquids such as perfume and oil.
Now I have one wine diaper sent to me gratis, but I really don’t want to lose a bottle of red wine to experiment to see if it absorbs a whole bottle of wine. I think the concept is very good and that the wine diaper will relieve many worried about a potentially breakage but for a while when I’m traveling I will probably add a second cover.
My suggestions for the company would be to develop another smaller size. The current size is perfect for a standard size wine bottle. However, perfumes with smaller quantities do not need that size “diaper.” The deep fuchsia color plastic makes it easy to find but perhaps the developer can develop a sophisticated “coat” for the wine diaper. With a decorative “coat” the wine diaper would be appropriate to take a wine to a restaurant.
You can check out the “Wine Diaper” and purchase them online. Current Price: 3 for $15 or 25 for $75. Consider adding a Wine Diaper to a Christmas stocking.
Have you used a Wine Diaper yet? What was your experience?
Tuesday, 28. July 2009
Yesterday I learned that there will be a wonderful event at the Forest Dunes Golf Club in Roscommon, MI on August 8, 2009. The 2nd Annual Art de Vin is from 5pm to 9pm, rain or shine. This is an opportunity to celebrate what Michigan has to offer. Features will include Michigan art, wine, beer and appetizers. Consider attending this event and discover Michigan coffee roasters, distilleries, wineries and breweries. Michigan type appetizers will be available as well as Michigan artists’ works. In addition, there will be a Silent Auction to participate in and at 9pm an After Glow Concert with the Catch & Release Blues Band.
Individual tickets are $15 and are available in advance.
Proceeds will benefit the Art du Jour, an arts program for children and the Higgins Lake/Roscommon Non-Motorized Trailway System. Consider attending this event for a great time, to learn more about what Michigan offers and to benefit these programs. Remember to try some of the Michigan wines. I’m confident you will find many to enjoy.
For more information, visit the Forest Dunes Golf Club website. For more information about Michigan wineries, visit this page.
Have a wonderful day!
Monday, 27. July 2009
With 28 wineries throughout the state, Connecticut has one wine trail that is divided into two sections. In 2009, twenty-six of these wineries are participating in a Passport program. While visiting a minimum of 14 of these wineries, participants receive a stamp in the Passport book. People who return the Passport by November 8, 2009 are eligible for prizes. Fifteen prizes are available with first and second prizes of a 13-night stay for two at Benalmadena Palace in Spain. Fifteen additional prizes are a weekend getaway at the Courtyard by Marriot in Norwich, CT.
Enjoy learning more about Connecticut wines and wineries and participate in the passport program for 2009.
We visited and wrote about several Connecticut wineries recently; reviews are on the Wine Trail Traveler website.
Enjoy visiting CT wineries!
Sunday, 26. July 2009
When we spent two weeks in Tuscany, we enjoyed our visits to wineries. Since we do not speak Italian, we chose to visit Italian wineries whose websites were also in English. Our lodging was at a winery where we had a small kitchen and so chose to cook many of our meals attempting to stay Italian oriented. We also visited a number of restaurants with Italian cuisine. One of the delightful aspects that we appreciated was the opportunity to order the house wine that was served in a carafe or pitcher. These table wines were delicious with the Italian entrees.
This brings up the Italian restaurant we visited last night in New York City. We asked for a carafe of house wine. Unfortunately this restaurant did not have a house wine. We ordered a bottle of red wine from Sicily. Due to the markup of wine by restaurants, it was more than we usually pay for a bottle of wine but the head waiter was so enthusiastic about the wine that we decided to use his advice. When he came back and asked how we liked it, my husband replied, “It is good on the second glass.” It was not like the delicious Italian wines we had while in Italy.
Maybe more Italian restaurants in the US should consider serving carafes of house wine. It does add to the ambiance of the occasion.
Saturday, 25. July 2009
Yesterday I had the opportunity to taste a raspberry flavored beer. Now I’m usually not into beer tastings. However I did have the opportunity to have a bottle of Raspberry Hefeweizen with 4.8% ABV. It is UFO, Harpoon’s Unfiltered Offering. This unfiltered wheat beer offered a raspberry aroma and even more raspberry on the taste. It’s an easy to drink beer. Suggested pairings are cheese, chocolate cake and pork. If you enjoy wine, you may enjoy this beer produced by Harpoon Brewery in Boston, MA.
Have a great weekend!
Friday, 24. July 2009
As much as we encourage people to visit new wineries, if you find a winery you like for the experience and the wine, remember to support that winery by returning for events and wine. Recommend the winery or wine to your friends.
Also visit new wineries when they open or when you travel. There are numerous wineries we would enjoy returning to repeatedly. However, in order for us to continue adding more winery reviews to the Wine Trail Traveler website, return visits become far and few between.
If you visit a winery, that has a wine that you really enjoy, find out if they ship it to your state. Unfortunately for those who live in a minority of states including Maryland, wineries are not allowed to ship directly to the consumer. In this case, check with your local wine store to see if they have the wine or can order it.
When South Coast Winery won the California State Fair Winery of the Year Award this summer, we went to our closest wine store to see if they had South Coast wine available. They did not, but very willingly checked their supplier list to see if they could obtain it for us. Unfortunately this wine was not available from their supplier. This was discouraging since we would have liked to try a bottle of wine from this award winning winery. Perhaps we should try another local wine store to see if it is available. Have a great weekend and visit a winery!
Thursday, 23. July 2009
Last night I purchased a bottle of wine produced in Portugal at Caves Sao Joao. The red wine, Porta dos Cavaleiros Dao 2006, had a very dark purple color with ruby around the rim. It was a blend of (40%) Touriga Nacional, (25%) Alfrocheiro, (25%) Aragones, and 10% Jaen. The result was a full-bodied wine with dark fruit and forest floor nuances. The wine was very fruity and smooth. The finish offered mild tannins with an aftertaste of fruit, earthiness and pepper.
This is a delicious wine and a good value at $11.95. I am looking forward to tasting more wines from this Portuguese winery.
Wednesday, 22. July 2009
Do you watch Hell’s Kitchen with Chef Gordon Ramsay? Do you enjoy wine? If you answer yes to both questions you’ll be happy to know that Gordon Ramsay and Rosemount Estates in Australia are working together. Just visit the Rosemount Estates website and discover several of Ramsay’s recipes with suggested wine pairings. In addition, Ramsay has listed several tips for planning a summer party. He also makes it easy to send invitations using Evite.