Sunday, January 23, 2011

Weekend Wine Tasting

I spent the MLK holiday wine tasting in Northern Virginia with Pam, Kasia, and Lupe. We toured the Potomac wine tasting trail, located near Leesburg, VA, about an hour outside of DC. The first stop on the tour was at Tarara Winery. This winery was the largest and most impressive vineyard we visited. Tarara was beautiful with a large tasting room and beautiful patio overlooking the vineyard and and a large pond. At Tarara after tasting several wines, we decided on a bottle of Cabernet Franc blend and sipped it in the tasting room by the fireplace with rosemary crackers and smoked gouda.
Next on the Potomac Trail, was the Lost Creek Winery. The Tuscany styled tasting room was open with a large fireplace, and we were the only guests. Our host rushed us through the tasting, mostly because she said she was hungry and her lunch was waiting. None of the reds here really impressed me, so I bought a bottle of sweet white. I don't usually drink white, so it was great to have the opportunity to taste something I wouldn't normally drink. I ended up buying a bottle of Vidal Blanc/Chardonnay with hints of apple. While this probably was my least favorite winery of the day, I am interested in returning for their wine making process tour.

The last stop was the Hidden Brook Winery, which is located just down the road from Lost Creek. Hidden Brook's tasting room was a cozy log cabin. Our host at Hidden Brook, Deborah, was very knowledgeable of the wine as well as the local wine economy. She really made our experience special by offering her personal and professional opinion of the wine as well as recommending other local wineries and restaurants. Hidden Brook offered a great selection of delicious rose and dessert wine. I bought a bottle of Rose and was really excited about it but...the bottle ended up breaking on the way home :( so we'll have to go back and get another!

Before we left Leesburg, we decided to grab some lunch. We stopped at a local pizza place, which Deborah recommended to us, called Fire Works. Fire Works is opening another location in my neighborhood, so this was a great opportunity to get a sneak peak. The pizzeria offered many of the local wines we had just tasted, as well as a great beer selection. I shared the "French Connection" pizza with Lupe. It had prosciutto, chicken, brie, apples, roasted onions, diced tomatoes, and was finished with a Dijon cream drizzle. I was hesitant about the brie, but it was delicious!

Overall, it was a great day and I cannot wait for the weather to warm up so I can go back and really enjoy the beautiful vineyards. All three of the wineries we visited are a perfect place for an afternoon with good friends, a picnic basket, and of course a bottle of wine!

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