Restaurant Week!

It’s restaurant week here in the DC area. Which is excellent since many of the area’s best restaurants offer a 3 course meal for only $30.07 (or lunch for $20.07 but I tend to think dinner is a better deal since I rarely go out ot lunch and $20 strikes me as a lot for lunch even if it is fabulous). Tonight we have chosen to go to Butterfield 9, a restaurant I haven’t been to before but have heard very good things about. The menu for the evening sounds excellent (one of the dishes even has cheese grits (no, I’m not Southern and I never actually had grits until I moved to the South, but well made cheese grits are such a great homey comfort food), one of my favorite things, as a side dish). Menu. They are also offering a wine pairing with dinner for $19.07. I will look into it to see what the offerings are, there’s a good chance we could get better wines for our money this way than if we ordered one $38ish bottle of wine for the two of us. We shall see, as I will definetly want to know what the pairings are before I leap into that one!

Look for a wine and restaurant review tomorrow! I love checking out new places to see what kind of a wine list they have (not to mention the fact that it means I don’t actually have to cook today, which has made me very happy all day!). We are also heading out to the Melting Pot this week to take advantage of the special there. Look for that wine review this weekend.

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Certainly not Petite

2003 Quivira Petite Sirah. Nothing small about this wine. Big nose, big mouth. I smell blackberry, currants, pepper and vanilla on this one. Dark fruits of many kinds in the mouth, though primarily blackberry. Spicy, some toasted oak in the mouth as well. Tannins at the end would probably mellow a bit more with some age.

Club shipment, $24 minus whatever discount, plus shipping (really, I understand that I don’t save anything with the discount since I have to ship it across the country, but eh, I can’t get these wines locally). 14.2% alcohol by volume and a real cork closure. Quivira only makes this varietal wine in years they deem to be “exceptional.” Otherwise, I gather they blend the grape in their zinfandels. A very good value on this one, and I wish I had another bottle to taste in a year or so to see if the tannins have mellowed out. Though perhaps if I had bothered to decant this for a while, I wouldn’t have noticed them at all. And really, that’s probably what would have happened as I noticed the wine getting smoother as I made my way through my glass (hey, it took me a while, I was distracted by typing up last night’s tasting notes).

A fair match for our dinner of homemade bruschetta (sensing yet that we really like bruschetta?) and porcupines (no silly, not road kill (though that would be interesting, I wonder exactly how one would skin and prepare a porcupine and what it taste like? Chicken probably, everyone always says various meats taste like chicken) but meatballs made with rice and simmered in a beefstock just like my mom used to make). For some reason, I think it would have gone really well with Pasta Bolognese.

Virginia Wine Bill Articles and Info

Sorry to bore those who aren’t interested in this topic, but there are only 45 days in the legislative session, and I would like to help draw as much attention as possible to this issue. Especially since it seems that all anyone cares about in the legislature this term are Virginia Transportation issues.

An article in The Free Lance Star, Making a Case, out of Fredricksburg.

Another article in the Daily Progress out of Charlottesville, Bill Seeks to Aid Small Wineries.

Inside Nova has printed Law Makers See Support for Wine Distribution Bill.

The Roanoke Times published Small Wineries May Get a Break.

The Daily Press out of Hampton Road has Pushing Their Case for a New Solution.

In the Newsleader out of the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia Wineries’ Progress Corked by Unecessarily Stringent Federal Court Ruling.

I also urge you to continue monitoring Allan’s site at the Cellar Blog. In addition to his interview with Saxman, he has now interviewed the owners of two small Virginia vineyards on the effect of the current law on their business.

I also see that Doug on Below the Beltway is offering some thoughts.

Again, here is the link to find your legislator. Call or write now!

Spiced Pear

A bottle of Velt.1 2005 Gruner Veltliner. Cost $13.99 at the Curious Grape on Saturday in our quest for everyday wine, screw-cap closure and 12% alcohol by volume (though their website says 12.5%). My first Austrian wine (I think, though I’ve had people show me I’m wrong before, but I really think this is the first Austrian one).

Nice nose of spiced pear and apple. Crisp and acidic in the mouth, a very light feel. Big granny smith apple in the mouth. I served it with chicken roll-ups, brocolli and white rice, with a cream sauce. Decent match since the sauce is creamy and thick, good acidity and minerals to cut through the flavors. I like it a lot, but Matt, not so much. But I’m a big fan of crisp white wines, he prefers much sweeter whites and wines in general than I do. Some so sweet I can’t even tolerate them. I will convince him my crisp ones are better, someday….

Never had this grape before either. So off I go to my trusty Oxford Companion to Wine to figure out what in the world it is. Apparently, it’s the most widely planted grape and Austria and with time in the bottle an excellent one can taste like a Burgundy. I find it most interesting that the website for the wine proclaims it to be most commonly found at progressive picnics…..(I’m assuming they mean picnics where you progress from one station to the next, kind of like a progressive house party, appetizers at one, main course at the next, etc. Though I have never heard of a progressive picnic before!).