Words From the Winos

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October DC/VA/MD Wine Month Events
From our friend at Rock the Roof DC, Michael Perez

October 1st officially kicks off Virginia wine month, and local restaurants, bars, wine shops, and vineyards are rolling out a great selection of events to celebrate, both in Virginia and around DC. Here are some highlights, and be sure to visit our calendar for a full list of upcoming wine events, also available on our brand new mobile app!

The Wines of Southern Spain at Mockingbird Hill – Saturday, October 4

While Sherry dominates Southern Spanish wines, and the Northern wines still get far more recognition, there are wines throughout the South of Spain (including Sherry) that deserve more in depth attention. In this class, you’ll look at the wines of Southern Spain, including Palomino from Jerez, Pedro Ximenez from Montilla and Moscatel of Malaga, with sommelier and bar manager Chantal Tseng. Attendees will get to try a flight of Southern Spanish wines and accompanying snacks from Mockingbird Hill. Click here for more information and tickets.

VA Wine Month Kickoff Party at Creek’s Edge Winery – Sunday, October 5

What better way to celebrate VA wine month than visiting a new, up and coming winery in Loudoun County, Creek's Edge Winery! Join Young Winos of DC on Sunday, Oct 5 from 2-5pm to enjoy VA wine, scenic views, and of course friends! Click here for more information and to RSVP.

Austrian Wines: A Taste of Culture with Winemaker Leo Hillinger at DCanter – Sunday, October 5

In Austria, vines are synonymous with the landscape, culture and daily life. This winemaking region is best known of its grĂ¼ner veltliner, but its southern Burgenland region is quickly emerging as a highly regarded red wine destination. Learn more about this traditionally overlooked, rising star phenomena in the wine world. Meet and interact with winemaker Leo Hillinger in an innovative “live, virtual tasting,” who will share a taste of Austria’s culture as you taste the region’s delicious wines. Click here for more
information and tickets.

LaCappuccina Wine Dinner at Ovvio Osteria – Tuesday, October 7

Enjoy an extravagant 5 course dinner, plus pre-dinner reception of meats and cheeses, with each dish accompanied by the perfect wine. Click here for more information and tickets.

Bodegas Arrayan Wine Tasting Dinner at Taberna del Alabardero – Tuesday, October 7

Executive Chef Javier Romero,in collaboration with Sommelier Gustavo Iniesta wants to invite you to a unique Wine Tasting Dinner, where you are going to discover the marvelous wines from this “new” region in Spain: Mentrida and the good job that Arrayan is doing from the last 15 years! Click here for more information and tickets.

Women Winemakers of Virginia Tasting/Reception at The Curious Grape – Wednesday, October 15

Women winemakers: once a rarity, their numbers are growing, and Virginia boasts an impressive crew. Join us at a private wine tasting event – with culinary offerings! - at the Curious Grape in Arlington as we meet three of these Old Dominion tastemakers.

• Jennifer Shailor from the winery with a 60-mile view, Bluemont Vineyard
• Heather Munden, the new winemaker from powerhouse Breaux Vineyards
• Karen Reed from the local Leesburg favorite, Dry Mill Vineyards

Click here for more information and tickets.

Pinot Noir around the World at Cork & Fork – Thursday, October 16

While Pinot Noir is one of the most versatile wines with styles ranging from light and feminine to a heavier velvet blanket depending on what corner of the world it’s from it’s also one of the toughest to grow. Come explore the 10th most planted grape in the world. Click here for more information and tickets.

Heavy Pour Monday at The Pursuit – Monday, October 20

Tired of restaurants skimping on their pours by the glass? Join Young Winos of DC at The Pursuit, where Heavy Pour Monday will get your week started off right! Click here for more information and to RSVP.

14th Wine for Canines & Felines at Maggiano’s Chevy Chase – Wednesday, October 22

The 14th annual Wines for Canines and Felines event benefitting the Montgomery County Humane Society, this is a chance to showcase some tremendous wines and support a great cause. Featuring 15+ wineries pouring 75+ wines showcasing everything from Amarone to Zinfadel, plus silent auction!

A Virginia Wine Tasting at Oxon Hill – Saturday, October 25

Enjoy a relaxing day trip with a wine tasting!!! Each $95 Ticket Includes:
• A Chauffered Limo Ride to Barrel Oak Winery in Delaplane, VA
• Admission into the winery with Tasting
• Mimosas, Bellinis, and Hor' dourves
• Live Spoken Word by Eddye K Allen

Chilean Wine Class at Screwtop – Saturday, October 25

Wicked Wino Tours "Surf & Turf" Edition at The Loft – Sunday, October 26

Wine Tasting: "Le Tour de France" at Sofitel – Wednesday, October 29

Grape American Roadtrip at Green Pig Bistro
Written by: Ali Lieberman of DCanted

Generous tasting pours of six unique wines for $22 is a great deal. When they are poured by a spirited sommelier who has been to most, if not all of the wineries and are served along with fried pimento cheese in a “head-to-tail” bistro in Clarendon, I’d say it’s a steal.

Young Winos of DC’s latest event on June 14 and 17 featured a “Grape American Roadtrip” with Vino 50 at the Green Pig Bistro in Arlington. Lead by Andrew Stover, founder of Vino 50, we sampled six all-American wines from regions that aren’t exactly known for their vineyards including Maui and Arizona.

First up was the Tedeschi Vineyards “Hula O Maui” Sparkling Pineapple Brut. Yes, Brut. This sparkling wine is made from sustainably grown Maui Gold pineapples and produced in the traditional Champagne method.  The inevitably sweet fruit is transformed into a crisp wine with bubbles that add some necessary texture. It’s a bit much for some, but pairs great with seafood, sushi and of course, ham.

The second wine poured was the 2010 Chateau Grand Traverse Pinot Grigio from Old Mission Penninsula, Michigan. This region is on the same parallel as Bordeaux, but I wouldn’t necessarily say that means much after tasting the wine. It’s produced by a small, family-owned vineyard (almost always a plus in my book) and is the oldest commercial winery in northern Michigan. The Pinot Grigio was smooth with not much acidity, but had nice grassy aromas with a hint of stone fruit.

We literally could not keep our hands off of the 2010 Brooklyn Oenology “Social Club” Chardonnay which is made in a host winery in Long Island and features artwork from Brooklyn artists on their peel-off labels. Unfortunately the label was more memorable than the wine.

On to the reds. Yamhill County in Willamette Valley, Oregon where Amity Vineyards is located is arguably among the best Pinot Noir sites in the world. Their 2008 “Eco” Organic Sulfite Free Pinot Noir was juicy with bright red fruit notes and a bracing acidity. Andrew explained that all wines naturally produce sulfites that act as a preservative, but none are added to this wine.

It’s not every day you drink a wine produced by a rock star, let alone drink a wine from Arizona. The Arizona Stronghold Vineyards was co-founded by Maynard Keenan, the lead singer of Tool. The region is somewhat similar to Mendoza, Argentina with drastic temperature fluctuations. The 2009 Arizona Stronghold “Dala” Cabernet Sauvignon tasted a little green, but should likely develop with age showing herbal and black cherry notes.

The 2006 Okanogan “Bench Rock” Red Blend from Okanogan Valley, Washington seemed to be the crowd favorite.  Non-typical of a cool-climate region, this Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah blend was tasting fantastic with dark, ripe fruit and some spicy, tobacco aromas. It had a nice, elegant finish, which I can’t say this wino had after the wonderful tasting.

Thanks to Young Winos of DC and Vino 50 for organizing!
Wine Rioting with Young Winos
Saturday, May 5th

I had the pleasure of attending  Second Glass’ second DC Wine Riot. Bordeaux Wines was amazing enough to offer tickets for some of the Young Winos. Other members were lucky enough to score tickets through Greg’s List giveaway.
I made sure to download the app before arriving. There’s too much drinking and fun to be had to bothered by dealing with some wrinkled paper guide. The staff and volunteers were friendly and very helpful. Water was offered right away. I ran to the Bordeaux Wines booth to chat with the lovely and knowledgeable staff. Attendees at Wine Riot could enter to win a trip to Bordeaux. Who wouldn’t want a free trip to France?
My favorite Bordeaux wine was the 2008 Domaine de La Solitude. It had some nice fruit notes that weren’t overwhelming with a velvety texture. The Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon blend was also very good.
Mouton Noir Wines was another must stop. The founder of the winery actually visited one of the wine shops that I work at the day before as I was doing a free tasting. He sort of remembered me.  His wines are incredibly whimsical and more than stand up to the interesting names. His Love Drunk rose had some lovely strawberry notes, but remained dry.  Mama doesn’t like fruit bombs. When he went to pour the OPP, I almost snorted wine out of my nose. He informed me the last P stood for Pinot Noir. Was that what Naughty by Nature was rapping about?
I made a journey to Loire Valley already knowing that I would love the majority of their wines. I believe my favorite was a Vouvray they had poured. Vouvray is just incredibly refreshing with some mild sweetness. It’s a great way to slow down as you are running around rioting.
A couple of my friends attended Crash Courses that focused on particular wines or regions. They found it a great way to learn more about wine in a non pressure setting.
I have been to other wine events, but this one seemed to be better organized. It also didn’t appear to be over sold. My friends (new and old – I get even more friendly in these situations) were able to drink and discuss wine with the staff at each booth. Some of the groups also put together some amazing backdrops like the Bordeaux area.
I almost forgot to mention my favorite part! I am in love with photo booths! I don’t want this trend to ever end. Hipsters, please don’t make photo booths ironic. I took a few photos in various costume head pieces with friends. It was super awesome time fun.  I have found some of the photos and hope to find the remaining ones soon.
It was a fabulous way to spend a Saturday with some amazing friends and great wine. I also learned something very important. The Washington Monument is like a drunk beacon for me. If I am ever lost after a wine event, you can find me there, eating a crab roll and yelling at tourists.
Brought to you by: Christina. She joined Young Winos of DC after finding out about the group from a friend. She's always enjoyed wine and lively discussion, but lately wine has become more than just a passion. She's currently studying for her Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) and hopes to blend her professional experience with her love of wine. As she's still in between full time positions, she's interested in any leads anyone has to offer in the nonprofit realm. She currently leads tastings at Zola Wine & Kitchen on Wednesdays and Fridays, stop by to see her!

A Day in Loudoun County
Sunday, April 1st

Spring is the perfect season to visit local wineries. The sun is shining, we're breaking out of the winter cold, and everyone just wants to be outside. Sunday, April 1 was just that! A group of 8 jumped in 2 cars and we rode out to Loudoun for the afternoon. Our first stop was at Hillsborough Vineyards.

We lined up in the tasting room and sampled their French-style wines. Ones that stood out to the group were the Garnet (Cab Sauv blend) and the Onyx for those serious red wine drinkers (100% Tannat).

After tasting their line up, we ventured outside with a bottle of the Garnet to share. Taking in the fabulous views, great wine and picnic snacks, we got to know each other better. We had some new members join us on our trip so it was good to get to know them and tell them about our group.

On to Casanel we went! Down a dirt road, this small family owned winery is on very historical property. The tasting room is an original building dating back to the Civil War. The charm of the structures and the family pouring the wine made this tasting very enjoyable. Having the same winemaker as Hillsborough, these wines were French-style as well.

Some of our favorites here included the Batucada (Cab Sauv) and the Don Lorenzo (Pinot Gris/Chardonnay blend). We got a bottle of each to share on the patio with of course more picnic snacks!

Sadly, one of the cars of Winos headed home after this winery but the other car didn't slow down! We then travelled to Doukenie Winery to squeeze in one more stop.  We were welcomed by a big tasting room, a gorgeous pond and neighboring farm. We stepped right up to the tasting table and began to taste their robust wine list.

After deliberating on which bottle to buy, we decided on the Cabernet Franc, one of the best known VA grapes. We sat on the patio overlooking the pond and enjoyed a great ending to a perfect day.

The census was that we will definitely be doing this again! Make sure you join in the fun next time!