Sunday, May 23, 2010

Grove Ridge White Zinfandel

Wine: Grove Ridge White Zinfandel
Store: World Market
Price: $3.99 on clearance

I happened to see this wine marked down while browsing about in World Market. What can I say, you get what you paid for. It's not has a bit of a bold flavor, but nothing too exciting. For $4, though, it's certainly not a bad wine.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

A Taste of New Kent Wine Festival, Round 2

After taking a short break to look around at some vendors (boring), enjoy some overpriced bottled water, and realize that our picnic blanket and chairs were set up in a tick infested clearing, we went back to enjoying some wine.

Vault Field Vineyards- This winery seemed to be a bit smaller than some others there, as they only had a variety of 5 different wines. I did really enjoy 2 of them, though. Their 2008 Conundrum, which is a fruity blend, was quite enjoyable, as was their 2008 Red, a blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and chambourcin. I was a little disappointed with their rose, whoever; it was rather bland and I was hoping for something a little more bite.

Rockbridge Vineyard- I have experienced wines from this vineyard before, and have previously purchased a bottle of their St. Mary's Blanc and Jeremiah's Blush. I enjoyed those once again, but also found that I liked their Riesling Reserve, Tuscarora Red, Cabernet Franc Reserve, and the VD'Or, an excellent dessert wine. I'm a little sad I didn't purchase another bottle of the Jeremiah's Blush.

New Kent Winery- I was thrilled to experience this winery's goods, as they were the host vineyard. I found that I enjoyed the their Chardonnay, and Meritage wines, but I was most excited by their White Merlot. I am not afraid to admit that I love some good old Sutter Home White Merlot, but really how good could it be. I was ecstatic to find a "real" winery with a white merlot, and it did not disappoint. I was really surprised to see that it was a very light, almost clear color, as opposed to the bright pink that I've experienced with Sutter Home. I purchased a bottle of this wine, and am very excited to enjoy it soon.

Davis Valley Winery- This was the last winery we visited, and honestly, I think we were a little done by this point. I did enjoy their Davis Valley Red table wine, as well as their Chardonnay. Their Virginia Breeze Red was nice, but the white version was waaaaaaaaaay too sweet for me. Then they did something a little unconventional-they combined both the white and red together. Many of the tasters with me enjoyed it, but to me it was just a ridiculously sweet wine. 

At this point, we decided it was about time to wrap things up. Of course, we couldn't leave without experiencing the joys of deep fried Oreos. (How deep fried Oreos end up at something like a wine festival, I'll never understand.) We also decided during the festival to invest $5 in a wine glass holder. It may look a little ridiculous, but it was really helpful when trying to keep up with tasting papers, my purse and other such items.
At any rate, we had a fabulous day out at New Kent, and are excited to enjoy some new wines.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Taste of New Kent Wine Festival, Round 1

A friend of ours invited the hubs and I to attend this wine festival with her today. Since the hubs had off work, and I had nothing going on, off we went went.

It started at 11, but in typical lazy Saturday fashion, we showed up about noon. Even with 14 different wineries to sample, we figured we had plenty of time to enjoy all the festival had to offer. We started out working a bit backwards, and several of these wineries I've had the pleasure of experiencing the before. Unfortunately, we had had enough wine well before we hit all 14 wineries-we really only made it about 9-but we certainly had our fair share to drink. Below are some of my thoughts on those wineries:

First Colony Winery- None of us were particularly impressed with this winery. None of the wines were bad, but none super excited us except their Cabernet Franc. That was one I would have gone back for. It was particularly fruity, with a little bit of a coffee after taste. Even the non-red drinkers in the group enjoyed it.

Horton Cellars- There were several wines we really enjoyed here. The whites I particularly enjoyed included Rkatsitell ("Off-Dry Georgian/Russian Variety) and their Black Cat Chardonnay. They had a semi-sweet red called Eclipse that was also quite enjoyable, and their Sweet Concord was the perfect sweet, fruity wine for non-wine drinkers (i.e. my mother-in-law). But their Blanco XOCO (White Chocolate Wine) takes the cake. They also had a red chocolate wine, but the white is so smooth, rich, and chocolatey-we had to bring home a bottle. They had several fruit wines available, and while I enjoyed the pomegranate that I tried, I have trouble enjoying fruit wines with food, so I don't get too excited by them.

Chateau-Morrisette- This has quickly become one of my favorite wineries, and my initial attraction was based on the dog on the label. I enjoyed their reds, but I am a big fan of their Liberty blend, which I have previously written about. Their semi-dry wines were great-I enjoyed both The Black Dog and the Vidal Blanc, and I liked both of their semi-sweet wines (Our Dog Blue and Blushing Dog). What's best about this winery (for me) is that several of their wines are available in our local grocery stores, so I don't have to wait to see them at a festival to enjoy them. This winery is one that I would love to have the opportunity to tour...maybe someone this summer we'll make the 3-4 hour trek out there.

James River Cellars- I also encountered this winery back in September, and even purchased a bottle of their Chardonnel. Apparently, though, that was the only wine of theirs that particularly appealed to me. Nothing of their 9 wines today excited me. It made me kind of sad.

Cooper Vineyards- This was the last vineyard that we visited during round 1. First of all, I loved all the staff members I spoke to. Very warm, friendly, and knowledgeable. They also informed us ways the vineyard is attempting to become more eco-friendly, which is super cool in my book. Their mascot is a dog named Lucy, and next weekend is a fundraiser for the SPCA called Lucy's weekend. Free music, tastings, a paw print wine glass, and four legged friends are welcome! I wish that the hubs was free-it would be an awesome day trip. I enjoyed a lot of their wines, particularly their Reserve Norton 2008 (red), Rhapsody (sweet white), and Sweet Louisa (another sweet red, mother-in-law favorite). Their Noche is a wonderful red chocolate wine. While I enjoyed the White Chocolate from Horton, I definitely preferred Cooper's Noche to Horton's Red Chocolate wine. Finally, I was quite tempted to purchase their Sangria pack, which consisted of three different wines, which you then mix with frozen orange and limeade concentrates. It was phenomenal.

That's where we ended round 1 of our tastings. With about 10 wines per winery, we were certainly starting to feel it.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Oreana Red Table Wine

Wine:"?" AKA Oreana Red Table Wine
Store: Trader Joe's
Price: don't remember...oops

"A soft, satiny, sexy wine, with voluptuous black cherry and blackberry fruit,
plus layers of chocolate and spices suggestive of cinnamon, mint and more.
Powerful and complex, yet open and accessible."

This label reminds me of the old sixties band Question Mark and the Mysterians, which is part of what drew me to this wine. I was not impressed with this wine at all. I think it's the strong blackberry falvors that turns me off. The fruit flavors stand out, and the chocolate flavors are also more subtle and an after taste. It's all very strong. I'm willing to try this wine chilled...I may find it more enjoyable that way.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Powder Room Redo!

So it looks like I've turned into a once-a-week poster. In my defense, things have been super busy around here. This coming week is going to be on the calmer side, but after that, life is particularly crazy. Sunday mornings seem to one of the few times of peace and quiet I have without wanting to pass out and fall asleep.

We finally found our digital camera, which means I have share my latest decorating project with you! Yay!
It's only about 3 weeks late.

So this was my powder room 4 years ago when we moved it. It was great. Already painted, updated fixtures...all I had to do was pick an accent color and I was good to go.

But then time passed...and as much as I loved the green, it was showing wear and tear and in desperate need of a new coat of paint. Since the previous owners had done the last paint job, I had no idea what it was. the question became do I try to match the paint as well as possible, or do I just go for something different. I debated over and over again, until I came across this.

A Lemon Lavender Candle from Yankee Candle. It smelled divine, and the picture on it look so fresh. That was it for me. I was going to have a yellow bathroom with lavender accents. After about a month of paint chips taped to the wall, (and asking everyone's opinion who came by), I settled on Glidden's Lemon Ice. Throw in some lavender hand towels I found at a local discount store, a monogram towel from Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and some black and white prints from Ikea, and you have my new favorite room in the house.Oh, and of course there are some strategically placed Lemon Lavender votives.  I am absolutely in love with how it turned out.