5/30/2009

It’s back! The 2nd Annual Food & Wine Festival at National Harbor

Hello Friends,

It’s back! The 2nd Annual Food & Wine Festival at National Harbor. This fun-filled event takes place June 6th and 7th at the new and exciting upscale waterfront attraction right over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. For my local 'Virginia Wine Lovers' who have not visited, National Harbor boasts top rated hotels, fine dining establishments, luxury shopping, and many other entertaining and relaxing options – not to mention beautiful views of the Potomac.

Some of the Tasty Treats Offered Last Year

I attended the festival last year, and they really did a wonderful job. It was the very first festival at National Harbor and it could not have been better organized. It was a weekend of sensory delight and adventure that offered great local foods from some of the areas top chefs, as well as wines to taste from all over our great globe, including excellent local flavor from Virginia and Maryland. There was also cooking demonstrations, wine seminars, and much more! I had a great time attending a blind tasting and a food and wine pairing seminar last year and some of the cooking demos too. Also, for the beer lovers, there was a beer bar; there was even a few spirit stands for the more adventurous. One area that this festival really shined was the food – unlike some food and wine events I have attended, this festival really delivered on the quality of the foods offered. Everything was so fresh, so yummy, and, so local!

Catch a Wine Seminar or Food Demonstration

Click here for ticket information and additional details. National Harbor is the place to be for foodies and wine lovers alike on June 6th and 7th. Jump in the car or even catch a water taxi from Old Town Alexandria and make your way to National Harbor to eat, drink and be merry – it is going to be fun! After the festival, you can check out the mechanical bull over at the Cadillac Ranch or sing along to some catchy tunes at the dueling piano bar, Bobby McKey's. Or better yet, find a spot and enjoy the beautiful views with a glass of wine.

Enjoy Views of the Potomac

Website and Info: http://www.foodandwinenh.com/

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      Dezel


      Dezel's Virginia Vine Spot © 2006-2009. All rights reserved.

      5/19/2009

      Virginia Wine: A Big Hit in London!

      Hello Friends,

      This past weekend a small group of Virginia wineries attended the London International Wine Fair 2009 to show off some of their best red and white wines. The LIWF is a big deal with high visibility in the wine world and the good news taken from the event was the Virginia wines showed very well. As many of you Virginia wine lovers already know, there are some great white wines that can be found here, as well as some nice, well-balanced, food-friendly red wines - red wines that do not overwhelm, but compliment most food dishes, I might add. Quite frankly, it is good to see a collection of producers get out and introduce their wines to an entirely new market and even better to see that the wines were well received. Guess what some of the locals in the UK will be sipping this summer? (Viognier perhaps)

      Click on the video to watch



      My friend, Peter May, who resides in the UK and is the founder of the Pinotage Club, also attended the event and sent me a short video of Stacey S. of visitloudoun.org detailing her reaction to the show as well as what the event-goers thought about our tasty Virginia wines. Check out the video, raise a toast to Virginia wine, and get out there and sip something local and delicious this week! If it is really good, drop me an email and let me know what it was so Dezel can try it too. As always…Happy Sipping!


      Dezel

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      Happy Sipping Friends - Tell your friends about the blog and thanks for your support and kind emails !


      Dezel


      Dezel's Virginia Vine Spot © 2006-2009. All rights reserved.

      5/17/2009

      Sample Policy


      Sample Policy:

      I welcome samples so if you would like to submit wines or a wine related product for review on my website and other social media outlets, here are a few items to note:

      • If your wine or wine-related product is reviewed it will appear on the website with my honest feedback. I will also post reviews to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Tumblr, Cellar Tracker, Flickr, etc. for maximum reach.
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      Thanks for your time, and as always, Happy Sipping!

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      5/14/2009

      Grab a Bottle! Virginia is for Lovers Celebrates 40th Anniversary

      Hello Friends,

      2009 marks the 40th Anniversary of the popular “Virginia is for Lovers” tourism slogan that many of you Virginia wine lovers have seen on bumper stickers and featured at wine festivals. You may even have picked up the annual Virginia is for Lovers magazine on one of your trips to Virginia wine country. “Virginia is for Lovers” is truly your one stop shop to plan a day, weekend, or extended trip in the beautiful state of Virginia. Everything from lodging, resorts, dining, things to do, shopping, etc., is covered on the web site, as well as the magazine.

      Try the Grayhaven Touriga and many other limited edition wines!

      Virginia is for Lovers 40th Anniversary will be celebrated with a “40 trips in 40 weeks” sweepstakes, travel deals, special events, and many more fun-filled opportunities throughout 2009. Additionally, in honor of the 40th Anniversary of “Virginia is for Lovers”, select Virginia wineries have bottled limited edition anniversary wines to celebrate the occasion. Click here to see the listing of participating wineries. Bottles can be found in the tasting rooms of the participating wineries starting this month. Don’t forget to bookmark the "Virginia is for Lovers" homepage, friends – it is truly an invaluable resource for Virginia wine lovers!

      Happy Sipping!

      Dezel

      Stay tuned friends ...more to come!

      Click Here to vote VA Vine Spot as your favorite wine blog - You can vote 1x per day!

      Happy Sipping Friends - Tell your friends about the blog and thanks for your support and kind emails !


      Dezel


      Dezel's Virginia Vine Spot © 2006-2009. All rights reserved.

      5/05/2009

      Sauvignon Blanc: Blooms in the glass ‘til frost!

      Hello Friends,

      With the seasonal warmth of spring and summer (eventually) on the horizon, many of you will look to lighter and brighter wines to fill your sipping needs. Enter Sauvignon Blanc, a popular French white wine grape variety that typically produces dry, refreshing, lively and fruity wines with little to no oak influence. While I consume Sauvignon Blanc year-around, from mid-spring to late summer my overall consumption of these racy and refreshing wines starts to climb. With the seasonal warmth ahead, whether the day calls for a backyard gathering, picnic, or just to beat the heat, Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect pick – it has an affinity for food to boot!

      Splash on the Sauvignon Blanc this Spring & Summer


      Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most distinctive wines in the world, offering inviting and assertive aromas with mouth-watering acidity and tell-tale characteristics of grapefruit, gooseberry, melon, fresh cut grass, herbs, kiwi fruit, cat pee (typically found in Loire Valley wines), and greenness (a smidgen is desirable). Good Sauvignon Blanc wines dance about the palate with ease, exuding a youthful liveliness of energy and freshness. Another popular draw, to what many consider sunshine in the glass, is price, or better yet, QPR (quality to price ratio). Crisp and lively examples of Sauvignon Blanc wines can be found at great price points, usually fetching anywhere from $9 to $15.

      Sauvignon Blanc Grapes

      Some of the best examples of Sauvignon Blanc can be found in its homeland of France. Try not to be the drinker who strays from a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc because the varietal name is not listed on the bottle; you will be missing out on a glass full of goodness. Sauvignon Blanc thrives as the great white wine of Bordeaux, where it is usually blended with Sémillon and Muscadelle to create dry wines of grace and subtlety with good acidity and fresh fruit flavors. White Bordeaux is sometimes barrel aged and styles can range from crisp and clean to round and lush, so be sure to pay attention to the prose and poetry on the label when selecting a wine. Look or ask for White Bordeaux in a wine shop near you and enjoy; I am sure you will find something to your liking. Two other popular wine-producing areas can be found in France’s Loire Valley, where the popular villages of Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé produce wines made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc. These wines are usually crisp with a good amount of acidity and citrus, gooseberry, grass, and a sometimes flinty and smoky characteristic. A classic aroma reference for some of the Loire Valley wines is “cat pee on a gooseberry bush”. While this sounds harsh, a smidgen of it is totally desirable – trust Dezel on that one and try it for yourself, friends!

      Shellfish and Sauvignon Blanc - Yummy!

      A relative newcomer, New Zealand has emerged as a prime area for Sauvignon Blanc wines, and what they have accomplished in a short time is the envy of just about every new world wine-producing region looking for the global spotlight. With the sought-after Cloudy Bay 1985 vintage, New Zealand burst on to the international wine scene and has since become the face of Sauvignon Blanc to many seekers of the wine. New Zealand makes Sauvignon Blanc in a very distinctive style, almost in your face, over the top, but it is to the liking of many new world palates. Just about every characteristic of the grape variety is heightened, but it works and makes for a brightly-fruited and assertive wine with brisk acidity in the glass, no doubt. The Marlborough region on South Island is the most important region for Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand, and makes the style of Sauvignon Blanc that many producers, California included, are trying to make their wines in today. Simply stated, New Zealand changed the game: they managed to take an established big six noble grape variety that had roots in France and was popular in California and make a style that would influence the rest of the wine world to follow and consumers to adore. Just about everywhere in the world where Sauvignon Blanc is popular you will find New Zealand on the store shelf. Location means a lot in New Zealand, so if you find an example on North Island from Hawke’s Bay, it will likely be slightly fuller and richer with a little less acidity as the region is much warmer and known more for its Chardonnay and red wines (Syrah++). The quality to price ratio ($15 or less) of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc wines is very good and they should be enjoyed in their youth when they are vibrant and fresh.

      Other good places to catch a nice Sauvignon Blanc is California, South Africa, Chile, Washington State, and, oh yeah, right here in our backyard, Virginia. It really was not until I visited Linden Vineyards a few years back that I tasted the potential in Virginia Sauvignon Blanc. That example was an outstanding local flavor! While there is no distinct local style and quality varies, there are some nice examples to be found. I just finished up a Veritas Vineyards Reserve 2008 vintage that is clean, crisp, and tart, and sort of a cross between New World (Chilean-like) and the Loire Valley (hint of cat pee and herbaciousness). A few other local producers to check out for Sauvignon Blanc are Doukénie Winery, Pearmund Cellars, and Naked Mountain Vineyards. Sauvignon Blanc is a refreshing everyday wine at a good price to get to know and enjoy all spring and summer long. It is great on its own and pairs well with a wide range of foods, especially shellfish. If you find something you really like drop me an email and let me know what it is so I can try it out too.

      Happy Sipping!

      Dezel

      Stay tuned friends ...more to come!

      Click Here to vote VA Vine Spot as your favorite wine blog - You can vote 1x per day!

      Happy Sipping Friends - Tell your friends about the blog and thanks for your support and kind emails !


      Dezel


      Dezel's Virginia Vine Spot © 2006-2009. All rights reserved.

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