Monday, December 24, 2007

Virginia is for Wine Lovers

Today I, the Sherbs, and a close relation visited some of Virginia's wineries. We went out to Amissville, Virginia (due to fiat by the Sherbs, I am not allowed to say "there's something awry in Amissville" every time we pass through, just as I am not allowed to make variations on "the glory that is Rome" since we saw the HBO series Rome, and how I am not allowed to refer to myself as "McLovin'" for reasons that I assume are obvious), and worked our way through three wineries.

The first was the Gray Ghost Vineyards, the largest winery building of all the ones we went to. They have a fabulous structure to sell wines in and they do not scare off committed Northerners such as the Sherbs by keeping the Confederate guerrilla raider memorabilia to a subtle minimum (they do have an object that purports to be his saddle somewhere on the premises). The wine was tasty, but a little pricier than we'd hoped for - we left with one bottle of a nice table wine.

Next on the list was the Unicorn Winery, a winery started by a Californian and run by a Long Islander that just happens to be in Virginia (you get that vibe on the way in because, well, the unicorn on the logo seems a little fae, which is not the usual feeling one gets for logos from Rappahanock County - see Col. Mosby above). Regardless, the vineyard is a multiple award winner whose wines are served in the fabulously expensive Inn at Little Washington.

At Unicorn, the tasting is of a long list of wines, and they are generous with the free cheese, chocolate, and crackers - we would have bought more of the cheese, but we are dangerous around soft cheeses; we bought some at the Teet for dinner tonight but I am sure we will be sorry because we will eat too much with it. We bought one bottle of a classy table red, and two bottles of a sweet blush they call "Slightly Embarrassed" for a party.

After lunch, we went on to Pearmund Cellars, a winery I like to call "the clutching hand" due to its quasi-martial logo (just put your hand in the same position as the one on the logo, and say "the clutching hand" in your best Ming the Merciless voice, and you'll see the appeal), which was about to close because no one had shown up. Fortunately, the people working there were generous enough to keep it open for a tasting, which was very nice as we were able to chat with the vintner's representative one-on-one. Last time I was at the Clutching Hand, it was a madhouse (it's one of Virginia's most popular wineries) and it wasn't as much fun. We left with two wines based on the viognier grape; one white table wine which, after left open for ten minutes, was fabulous, and one dessert wine which was pretty darned incredible. They also make a sweet wine called "Vin del Sol," where the Clutching Hand logo is made to grasp an entire sun, Galactus-style, but it was too pricy for our wine-buying tour.

Now we have a lot of wine, and we need to have a dinner party to get rid of it.

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