The Wines of Winter

winter-wines

Here at Historic Occasions we enjoy a good glass, or bottle of wine. But we must admit that we’re not experts in wine selection. We know a few good things we like.

So, instead, let’s turn to some others for the best recommendations in what to pour this winter. Check out these links:

Best Wines to Drink This Winter
Fortune
When the weather forecast resembles something out of The Day After Tomorrow, generally only two kinds of people are happy: Those who have a ski trip planned and would love two feet of fresh powder, and those who know that “polar vortex” is really just code for “stock up on snacks, shelter in place and open that Zinfandel, stat.”

Wines By Season
The Biltmore
For many of us, the changing seasons come with changing preferences in wine. The crisp whites we crave in summer give way to heartier reds in fall and winter months. As usual, personal preference trumps everything else, but here are some general guidelines for serving wine with the seasons.

7 Best Wines for Waiting Out Winter
Wine Enthusiast
Winter’s here to stay for a few more weeks, but these fresh, bright wines will help us survive our late-season doldrums.

The Best Under-the-Radar Red Wines to Serve This Winter
Travel and Leisure
…many Austrian reds also have quirky, witty labels, demonstrating that they don’t take themselves too seriously. Why not get a laugh from what’s in the bottle before you taste what’s inside? At the holidays, we take any mirth we can get.

8 Delightful White Wines for Winter
VinePair
Yes, white wine is that thing we all sip while sitting on the bow of our yachts, mulling which pair of topsiders or wedge sandals to wear to the cabana dinner. But once summer’s over, and we’ve all put our yachts back into the yacht yard, we don’t necessarily have to say goodbye to white wine. Believe it or not (actually, we’d prefer you believe it), white wine can even have a place in your winter dining. (On the winter yacht, of course.)

Have a favorite winter wine? Share a virtual glass with us in the comments.

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The days of wine and leaves

virginiawine

“Wine … the true old man’s milk and restorative cordial.”

Thomas Jefferson

October is Virginia Wine Month. It’s also a perfect time to get out to view the leaves in all of their fall splendor.

Thomas Jefferson first sought to grow grapes for Virginia wine, but while he cultivated European grapes for thirty years he never really had any success. Read more about Virginia Wine History.

And read more about Jefferson and his love for wine here.

Why not take a trip to some of Virginia’s wineries to get the best of both?

Here are some suggestions for where you can celebrate Virginia Wine Month.

And here’s the fall foliage report for the leaf viewing.

Get out and enjoy.

Pairing Virginia Wines with your Thanksgiving Meal

thanksgivingwines

You have the plan for the turkey, and the stuffing, and grandma’s cranberry relish recipe.  But what about the wine?
Here are some posts that offer suggestions on how to pair Virginia wines with your Thanksgiving dinner.
This post is from 2014 but there are some great suggestions.
Alison says, “There’s no one right wine to pair with Thanksgiving, but some choices are better than others! Whether you prefer red, white or rosé, you’ll want to pick a wine that plays well with others to complement the huge array of flavors found on many Thanksgiving tables. Acidity is also a great feature when selecting a wine for Thanksgiving as it balances out the richness in many traditional holiday dishes.”
“Holiday wine matches aren’t so much about the food that’s on the table, but who is around it.”
“We pop the cork on our American Thanksgiving wine picks.”
“The Thanksgiving table is bursting with flavors: sugary sweet potato casserole, spicy cranberry sauce, smoky sausage stuffing, rich gravy. All these tastes need to be considered in making your choices.”
Again not exclusively Virginian, but Holley Simmons at The Washington Post offers The best beers and wines to pair with your favorite Thanksgiving dishes. “Thanksgiving is a day when no indulgence should be denied, so we present fool-proof wine and beer pairings for four common Thanksgiving dishes.”
The bottom line?  Sure, take the suggestions, but drink what you like.
Cheers!

Barboursville Vineyards Awarded 2013 Governor’s Cup

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Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has awarded the 2013 Virginia Wineries Association’s Governor’s Cup to Barboursville Vineyards’ 2009 Octagon 12th Edition.

A press release included McDonnell’s remarks at the Governor’s Cup awards. McDonnell said “As Virginia’s wine industry grows in standing and collect accolades from around the world, it means more tourism and more jobs here in the Commonwealth. Shining the light on Virginia’s wineries is another way we can promote this homegrown industry that creates jobs for Virginians. I congratulate Luca Paschina, the Zonin family, and the entire Barboursville team for winning this year’s Governor’s Cup for their 2009 Octagon, one of Virginia’s most iconic red wines. Luca’s Octagon wines are personal favorites of mine, and I know this award winning 12th Edition will make the Virginia wine industry proud now and in the years to come. I also commend the winemakers of the other distinguished wines that comprise this year’s Governor’s Cup Case. I am confident that wine aficionados and enthusiasts alike will take notice of Octagon and the other impressive offerings in this case. The advancements in Virginia winemaking are on display in every bottle we have here tonight and the stringent requirements of the Governor’s Cup competition ensure that Virginia wines receiving medals have been through the most demanding evaluation process.”

Read the full press release.

Located in Virginia’s Piedmont region, Barboursville Vineyards is built on the grounds of Barboursville, the home of James Barbour, the 19th Governor of barboursville2the Commonwealth of Virginia. The 870 acre estate is divided between Albemarle and Orange Counties. Based on a design by Thomas Jefferson, the home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Octagon is Barboursville Vineyards’ flagship wine, it is a Bordeaux-style blend, mainly based on Merlot, with parts Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.