The Peace and Spirit of the Holidays

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Merry Christmas Eve.   Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones, in whatever you celebrate.   Here is such a charming wine I found around this time last year, poking around various wine shops around town.   The Chaddsford Winery Holiday Spirit bottle sold me on the label alone.   We have a happy Snow Couple enjoying the holidays and having fun.   This is what life is all about, not just during Christmastime, but all twelve months of the year.

This lovely spiced wine is listed on the winery site for $13.99.  I have seen it as low as $9.99.   And it’s worth the purchase. Just for the pure joy of adding to any holiday wine collection, it’s worth it.    And the added bonus, it tastes great, chilled or warmed up.  Now it may sound like a bias because I love this time of year, and you might be right.   If this tasted terribly, it then I may trick myself into thinking it tastes good.   But it’s terrific.   For lack of a better word, it tastes like Christmas.  And that makes me happy.

The cinnamon and cloves are easily detected.   Just as you would find in some of your favorite tea selections.  It makes this a very friendly and relatable choice for so many.

I’ve enjoyed it with various cookies, pastries, and chocolates.   I don’t know if this would click with dinner style meals, but whatever tickles your fancy.   Enjoy yourselves.

I would love to make the hour drive, just to thank the winemakers, for making something so approachable and endearing.   And I will.

I intend to make this blog a celebration of the joy of wine all year round.

Thanks so much and enjoy your holiday.

Best,

Ideen

Williamsburg – Feeling Like Christmas

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I had the great fortune of visiting The Williamsburg Winery in April of this year.   The winery, in addition to the town feels very homey and Christmasy.  The town has a great energy that feels authentic.  It’s a town I would say I wish I was from or grew up nearby.   There is a strong sense of community and togetherness that happens, not just during the holidays, but all year round.  A template of Williamsburg; with its shops, restaurants, and year round festivals is the perfect blueprint for what all wonderful places are like.

Now their wine is wondrous too…

I wish I had taken photos of my visit here.  But the charm level is in full effect.

The two wines I purchased were the 2012 Susan Constant Red, which is a Sangiovese and the 2011 Lord Botetourt Red, which is a 7% Malbec and 93% Petit Verdot. The latter is a new one for me.

I gladly tasted both before purchase.

The Sangiovese is a simple everyday wine.  I drank it rather quickly compared to other Sangiovese’s I’ve had, or other lighter reds in general.   The synopsis reads that cherries and raspberries can be detected.  I tasted some berry or fruit flavors but wouldn’t be able to say that they were those berries for sure.   I did not discover the hints of cloves or tobacco. The suggested pairings were with grilled meats; such as lamb, ham or tuna.       I enjoyed it with a cheese and three cheese white pizza slice respectively.  I thought the duo tasted stupendously.

The Lord Botetourt tastes like all of my favorite wines.   The label reads that there is a nice straw/grass character to the bottle.   This is new to me and I am excited for that.  There mentions some red fruits and a hint of green apple.  I’ll see if I can detect that next time.  This is an incredible wine that deserves to be paired for celebratory occasions.  I drank this back in the late spring so a cold weather experience may give it a different taste.  So I will enjoy soon.   Christmas Eve dinner may sound about right.

I intend to make a return to Williamsburg in the near future.   A place with this much character, deserves a larger recap and plenty of photos.

What is most important, in the end, is to drink what makes you feel good.  If there is a wine and food pairing you want to try, then go for it.   Of course, certain bottles shall be reserved for special occasions.  But that special occasion is whatever you want it to be.  In the spirit of Christmas and the holidays, it’s even more of an incentive to have something that brings you joy.  This is what this time of year is all about.  That’s what this life is all about.   Have something that makes you feel inspired.

Have a great holiday.

Best,

Ideen

DeJon Vineyards – A Gem

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A little over a month ago, I took a long (25 minute) drive to Hydes, MD to DeJon.

I have been here several times and always get a good vibe.    At only 4 1/2 years old they are really bringing some great wines to a flourishing Maryland Wine industry.    This was a farm at one point in which the barn has been converted to a tasting room.  The feel is very authentic.

I have the privilege of trying 7 wines and a couple really stood out.

The Chardonnay was said to have flavors of apple, vanilla, pear, and a hint of honey.   I could detect the apple and honey but not much else.    This would be better appreciated when the weather gets warmer.

The Vidal Blanc description mentioned hints of grapefruit, I really I could have found that.   I couldn’t even trick my mind into doing so.   I like the idea of many different fruits, spices, and sweet foods (such as honey) being an integral part of wines.

The Sweet Denise with orange and grapefruit was my least favorite.   For some pallet’s this would be perfect.  Maybe again better suited for warmer climates.

The Malbec was tremendous.   I have stated my love for pepper in wine and this could easily be discovered in this bottle.    This was one of the bottles I considered purchasing.

I also liked the Merlot.  It tasted lighter than your usual.  My interest for Merlot’s has gone up recently and I will be giving more positive opinions on the grape in future posts.

Perfect for the holidays, the Festivus, already has the most charming wine name award locked.   I am a huge fan of Chambourcin, but this one is a tad sweeter for my taste buds.   The snyopsis mentions hints of blueberries and cinnamon.   I might have detected some of the latter.

And finally, the Dragonfly, was by far the stand out wine.    I sometimes over react to how good a wine may be.  But if you ever go to a wine tasting or a festival, you may see folks show a genuine reaction on their face or body movement to how incredible something tastes.   Words don’t do this one justice.    I love that, once again, the Cabernet Franc is involved.  It’s a hyrid of the Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc, and Chambourcin.  Absolutely charming.   The fact that you can put these three grapes together and concoct this word of genius, is endearing.     I am seeing that the blackberries are a great complement to these full bodied blends. This is an absolute winner.   And at $25 a bottle, a bargain.

This is the kind of wine that makes me feel good and happy to write about it.  And to talk about it.   It feels good blogging about it.     More to come.

 

Thanks so much.

 

Best,

 

Ideen

 

St. Michaels Winery – Bringing The Emotion

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Life is full of the unexpected and the awesome.   I found myself near the Eastern Shore of Maryland yesterday, and had an inspired idea to find the closest winery near Easton, MD.   Per investigating, I drive 15 minutes to the beautiful, St. Michaels Winery.  What an absolute treat this was.

A big thank you to Elizabeth, who had me sample some delicious wines.  Our conversation was on par with people who just enjoy wine and are big into user friendly descriptions of what is being tasted.

I am not a huge fan of dessert wine, but I am all for trying new things.  So I tried to the Chocolate Zin, and I was the told the flavor would resonate with me for 15 minutes.  It certainly did just that.   My first response was it tasted like Halloween candy.   At $25, it was a bit steep for what I was looking for.  But it’s a good wine for all year round.  A great after dinner wine for the holidays would be apropos.

In addition, I tried the Pinot Gris, which contained hints of apple and pear.  I could detect the apple. It’s more suited for warm weather months.  I found it to be decent, but in the Springtime may appreciate it more.

The “Martha” Chambourcin was not what I expected.   This was Oak aged, but it seemed lighter than Chambourcin’s I’ve had in the past.  Maybe I was looking for something more powerful.

The Island Beauty was fantastic.  It’s a mix of Cab Sav, Cab Franc, and Merlot.   I was told to look for hints of tobacco.  I didn’t taste it.  At $45 this was a tough call. It’s a bottle I would definitely purchase in future.  But I opted to go with the…

“Island Belle” Sangiovese.   It’s a light bodied wine that can be drank any time.  No thrills and can be used for any occasion. At $20, I was thrilled to buy it and take it as a souvenir.  This will definitely be opened in time for Christmas.

I have uploaded photos from my visit yesterday, including one of the original wine press, which you can see  below.

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There is something so authentic and charming about visiting a winery.  Most of the time, I get a good aura from these visits.  Many are family run. So you know there is a lot of joy and feeling emanating.    I look forward to my next impromptu (or not) visit.   Thanks so much.

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Best,

Ideen Barimani