Thursday, November 4, 2010

Why Virginia Wine Doesn't Suck...

Virginia isn't just for lovers anymore...although the wine may aide in the love department. Quickly, Virginia is establishing itself in our view as something special. The special ingredients other than the majestic views, nice people, and growing cuisine with "think local" inspiration, are the grapes. Clear and simple, the grapes are quickly being brought to the forefront with the restrictions the vintners are using to craft a thoughtful and relevant wine to people who actually like to drink wine.

Let me digress. I am a Carolina boy at heart I guess. But comparing the neighboring states's vineyards should be peanut butter and jelly...both good separately but nice when compared. To be honest, peanut butter and astringent vinegar. God, I hate to say it but Virginia (especially in the Charlottesville region) has such a leg up in restriction and know how...compared to the North Carolinians who tend to predominantly hick it up with scuppernong varietals for the winos ducking out of Baptist church. The Charlottesville and Northern Virginia Region (Okay, Sunset Hill and Hillborough especially) has studied the terroir and adapted the right vines to their soil and extracted the right juice that can actually sort of hang with what the mainstream produces.

Sure, a lot of the wine is still "young" per se. But some of it by Jove is making strides to actually make it's own way in the world. Literally, we just had the Veritas "Cabernet Franc"...berry berry good...god do I love a nice Cab Franc..and that's good for Virginia as it grows really nice in their soil. Now imagine, we had half a bottle...and as the pizza consumed our wine, I yanked out an old favorite Sangiovese from a year old Italian wine dinner. Yawn. Not bad...but we just tasted Barboursville Sangiovese today...I gotta say...Virginia 1, Italy 0. Such an anecdote, and 99 times out of 100, Italy wins...France wins, and so doth California. But like every NCAA tournament, we all love a Cinderella. And when the Cinderella becomes a prominent sweet 16 contender year in and year out....they become old hat...what's the latest rage they say? Welcome to the latest rage, move on over old hat...

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