Good News for VA?

I think this article today may be good news for VA vineyards. If this new legislation passes, it will once again allow VA vineyards and, other vineyards from anywhere, to self-distribute up to 3000 cases of wine per year in VA. The part for out-of-state vineyards has to do with the Commerce clause and laws affecting interstate commerce that can be and are struck down due to the fact that they are often found to be unconstitutional. Disparate treatment of similarly situated businesses…..etc. I could give you a whole lecture on Con Law, but really, it’s not all that interesting!

My one concern is that one of the sponsoring lawmakers states that the purpose is to allow VA wineries a break until they become large enough to need and afford the services of a wine distributor. I would have to see the proposed legislation to look at the wording, but I wonder what size that would be? And then, what of the new wineries that have developed? Is it until all are big enough or what specifically would be the conditions triggering the end of the ability to self-distribute?

It’s a big step in the right direction for the lawmakers to realize that banning self-distribution is not a great way to help a young industry develop. I’ll continue watching this to see how it develops. Let’s hope it passes without issue. Thanks to Cellar Blog for pointing out the article.


Nothing to do with wine #2

Sorry, I attempt to resist posting non-wine things, but occassionally certain things strike me and I have to share.

Go watch this: Crack Spider on You Tube. It’s hilarious and I really don’t like spiders.

Cooking with Wine

As an actual ingredient and not just as something I sip while cooking. I use wine in certain dishes. Tomato sauce, certain creamy chicken dishes, as a marinade for a roast, fondue, some stews, but not in much else. I’ve been contemplating using it more often lately and am very interested in finding recipes that focus on wine. As such, I’ve been thinking about purchasing the book The Wine Lover Cooks with Wine. Do any of you own this one? Not sure how Matt would feel about another cookbook though, as I did just get the Joy of Cooking, The Glorious Soups and Stews of Italy, a cookbook his family made, one his Uncle’s company made and one from his grandmother’s collection.

Any thoughts on this one? Or, if you’d like to share a favorite recipe with me that inovles wine, I’d love to give it a spin! I’ll even post pictures of the results.

No Wine Last Night, but a Wine Game

I have a bad case of heartburn. And still do this morning. I’m not sure wine would be the best thing for it, so we skipped it with dinner last night. Too bad, since I think a nice big red would have been great with the pulled pork bbq I made. Oh well. Perhaps some tonight with my homemade pizza, we shall see if the heartburn goes away by then.

However, we did play a round of my new wine trivia game. My first impressions are that all the rules are a little confusing. There’s a bit too much going on. You have a deck of mixed fact and wild cards and a deck of question cards and then a pile of coins. You get dealt two cards from the mixed deck and you get a coin or two to start. Then the first player chooses the question level (there are 3 levels on each question card), picks a card from the mixed deck and takes a coin.

You are asked your question and if you are correct, you get one coin for level one, two for level 2, etc. In the same turn, you may also use your coins to buy any of the fact cards that are in your hand and/or may use a wild card if you have one, to challenge another player for his fact card, get 3 extra coins, etc., depending on the wild card.

The object is to be the first player with 7 purchased fact cards. Then you call the end of the game and each player adds up the coins his purchased cards are worth, bonus points for certain groupings of cards and any leftover coins he has. Highest total wins.

Fact cards are in 5 different areas and give you info about a region, a specific wine and food pairing, history, etc. At the bottom of each is a challenge question that a person challenging with a challenge wild card has to answer in order to take the card for their own hand. They were pretty informative and the trivia questions were fun. I think I need to play around and devise my own version of the game though, cause I didn’t really spend a lot of time reading the actual information (thus not really learning anything), and overall we got very few trivia questions right. Though I did know that Champagne should be served at 45 degrees and Matt knew that wine is usually about 85% water.

More on the game after we’ve played a few times. And I’m glad we played without drinking because it was hard enough to keep all the rules straight as is!

Attack of the Killer Crab Legs!

Given the mid-60s temperatures, I am again having trouble believing it is winter. Plus, the store still has fresh caught crab legs and steamers on sale, so seafood feast it was at the Wannabe Wino’s house last night.

With our seafood, what better than a Sauvignon Blanc? We picked this bottle up at the tasting at Arrowine the other night. I remember liking it more at the tasting, not to say that it wasn’t a good wine still. The bottle was Domaine du Carrou 2005 Sancerre Dominique Roger. Cork closure, $18.99 and 13% alcohol by volume.

It wasn’t sweet, but also wasn’t too dry. I got some grass and something else, a little fruity but not something I’ve had before. It’s the 3rd time in recent memory I’ve run into a similar flavor and my reference books are leading me to believe that it might be gooseberries. But I’ve never had a gooseberry, so I don’t know what that tastes like. I think that will be my quest in the next weeks. Find out what gooseberry smells/tastes like. I also noted in the wine a lack of any minerality, which is something I’ve come to expect from sauvignon blancs. Overall a tasty wine, though the price might be a little steep for what I found in this bottle.