On Saturday evening, along with friends, we visited Tarara Winery to enjoy their 2006 Sounds of Summer Concert Series. The series began July 1st and runs through September 30th, every Saturday evening from 6pm to 9:30pm. The fee for adults is $10, kids are free and you are welcome to bring picnic baskets, blankets, and chairs. All that is asked is that you purchase Tarara’s award winning wines. The entry fee covers a wine tasting of up to 5 wines of your choice, which also includes the Reserve wines. Please check their web site for more information, and to see which artists are performing.
Virginia’s flagship wine, Cabernet Franc
We attended all but 2 of the concerts last year and had a wonderful time, and this time was no different. The concerts are held off beautiful Shadow Lake, named after the winery’s dog. If you arrive early there are several park benches and tables available. If you prefer to not pack a picnic basket, great tasting food is available for purchase.
After everyone completed their wine tasting, we unpacked the picnic basket and talked about which wines would go best with our food. There were some sweet palates at our table and some not so sweet palates so we decided to go with a trio that would please everyone’s taste buds.
Pete at the outdoor wine tasting bar
Our first selection was the 2004 Wild River Red. This is one of their best sellers and is a sweet and fruity wine made from blackberries, a good amount of Chambourcin, some Merlot, a little white wine, and a splash of Cabernet Franc. It is a very delightful sipping wine that is very refreshing and works overtime on a warm summer day.
Lined up next to the Wild River Red was one of my personal selections, the 2004 Cabernet Franc. Red fruit flavors on the palate with supple tannins, benefiting from oak aging, makes this a nice approachable wine that pairs well with food, and does well on its own as well.
Last but not least is the 2003 Reserve Merlot. Everyone at the table enjoyed this Merlot, and everyone picked up on different flavors in the wine, which is always fun. Some picked up on hints of chocolate, others vanilla and spice, but everyone agreed on the dark fruit flavors. Aged in 100% American Oak this flavorful wine could pair well with red meats, or do just as well on its own.
Dezel, Tasha, Karen and Pete (Niki taking pic)
Phase II Jamming off Shadow Lake
In closing, everyone enjoyed their time spent at Tarara, conversing, listening to Phase II (awesome jazz band) and enjoying good food. I encourage all readers to visit Tarara’s web site and plan a visit; it’s truly an enjoyable way to spend a Saturday evening and I assure you, there will be more Sounds of summer posts from me; we really enjoy the wines, music and people there.