Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Great Grapes!

This weekend Christianne, Alicia, and I traveled to Reston, Virginia to check out the the Great Grapes Wine, Arts, and Food Festival

I'm always a little skeptical of wine festivals because I've heard horror stories about how crowded they can be and how little you actually get to taste. But, with a half priced Groupon paring the cost down to only $20, I figured no matter what, it would be a fun day. Plus, I've totally been hankering to try some local Virginia wines.

With over 20 Virginia wineries in attendance and over 200 wines featured, there was plenty to swirl, sniff, and sip. Although the festival was pretty light on the food, and very light on the arts, we had a great time meeting sommeliers, hearing their spiels, and tasting their great grapes.

We started at the Chateau Morrisette table where we tasted a few lovely reds and whites. My favorites were the Independence, a blend of Traminette and Riesling, and the Chambourcin. Not only were these wines tasty, but you can feel good about drinking them. For every bottle of the Independence sold, proceeds go to  Service Dogs of Virginia and Saint Francis Service Dogs.

Next we headed over to the Horton Vineyards Table where we spent about a half an hour sipping on their delicious fruit wines. Even checking out a tasty chocolate Cabernet dessert wine. Definitely had to buy a bottle of that.

Next, we visited the Cooper Vineyards table where we tasted their Peitit Verdot and their Electric Harvest Sangria. The wine was delicious, but the Sangria was the definitely the star, giving you quite the kick in the face with flavor.

As the pours became more generous, we decided it was time to get a snack. There were very few food vendors to choose from and we didn't see any of the featured restaurants or chefs the website promised so we settled on some Mediterranean fare from a small stand.

The falafel was crispy, the pita was soft, and the cucumbers and Greek yogurt were creamy and cool. On the way back to the wine, we also spotted some olive oil and balsamic vinegar tastings and a Cabot cheese tasting that helped to satisfy our appetites.

When we were all set with our snacks, we got back on course with Rebec Vineyards.  Though they had some of the prettiest bottles of the day, the wine reviews were mixed. I wasn't a huge fan.

About that time it also started to rain, so we called it a day. On the way out, we stopped at the aroma table and got our sniff on with some lemon/citrus, grass, herbs, and band aids.

On the way out, we picked up our purchases and headed home. I ended up with a bottle of Horton Cellars Viognier, Cranberry Cabernet Franc, and Rojo Xoco - Red Wine with Chocolate Essence. Yum.


  1. this looks like so much fun! such pretty pictures.

  2. Um, so I noticed Alex doesn't make an appearance in this post.

    Just sayin'