I’ve been a bad Wino

It’s not so much that I forgot to report on the Key West Wine Fest at Breaux Vineyards that we went to on July 21, it’s that we got incredibly busy as soon as we got back from it. And I simply never got around to reporting on the lovely day we spent at Breaux! We headed out to VA Wine Country to celebrate (slightly early since I was going to be away on business) my birthday! There’s nothing more I like to do to celebrate events than use them as an excuse to go wine tasting! And it just so happened that Breaux was having a Festival the day we could go!

This was their second annual fest and it was fabulous! I believe the fee at the door was $15 to get in, but you could have purchased your ticket earlier for less money. Your ticket got you a wine tasting, lei, mardi gras beads, take home glass, entertainment and a raffle ticket. At the fest they had food vendors and craft stands in addition to the Jimmy Buffet cover band that was fabulous for the warm weather we were having. Matt tried the Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya from the Jambalaya shack and said it was very tasty. I opted for some brie and crackers from the winery as cheese and crackers is one of my favorites with wine.

Breaux had ten wines available for tasting under a huge tent that day, including the 2006 Jolie Blend that was just released that day!

2006 Jolie Blond $13-Grapefruit, lemon, citrus, light and dry, great really cold. We took home 3 bottles.

2006 Viognier $22– Peach, honey, tropical, smooth and light. A little pricey.

2005 Madeline’s Chardonnay $18– Honeysuckle, pear, very aromatic, nutty. We took home a bottle which I drank for WBW!

2003 Barrel Select Chardonnay $20– Oak, charcoal (very odd), buttery, smooth, but lots of butter.

2006 Syrah Rose $22– Pretty salmon color, strawberries, not too sweet. I really like this one, but thought it was too pricey.

2006 Chere Marie $13– Dessert-likie, orange, tangerines, pears, sweet. We took home 2 bottles.

Sweet Evangeline $11-Oranges, tropical, too sweet for me.

2002 Lafayette $18– Raspberries, cherries, black pepper, very light red, solid red effort for VA.

2002 Meritage $29– Smoky meat, oak, spicy, raspberries.

2002 Cabernet Sauvignon $24– Cherries, raspberries, oak, light.

Overall, we had a fantastic day and I wouldn’t hesitate to head back out for another fun day in the sun next summer!


Drinking locally

We’ve been buying and drinking quite a few locally produced wines this summer. I love to visit the vineyards in the beautiful weather and I have some extra wine dollars as I needed to stop my clubs for the summer due to the heat, so what better way to spend them than on local wines?

I picked up this bottle of 2006 Breaux Vineyards Jolie Blond when we went to Breaux for their Key West Wine Fest, which I’ve been extremely negligent in writing up. You can hop on over to DC Gastronome where I noticed Leah had put up a very timely review of the event! I believe the wine cost around $16, was newly released that day, is 12.6% alcohol by volume and had a real cork closure. The wine is actually a Seyval Blanc, a grape I am not altogether familiar with, though I understand it is a French hybrid grape.

On the nose I found peach, lemon, and just a slight hint of oak. I would describe the nose as crisp. I didn’t notice any oak in the mouth at all. I got citrus flavors, mostly orange and lemon. Overall the wine was crisp and light and quite dry. We drank this on its own late on a hot Virginia night when no amount of AC would cool our house down. It was really refreshing and a great end to the evening.

Getting Naked with Lenn!

This month’s WBW is hosted by none other than the founder of WBW, Lenn of Lenndevours fame. As the theme for this month, we were tasked to find a “naked,” meaning unoaked, bottle of Chardonnay.

Not a hard theme for me to go along with. I much prefer the unoaked (or very lightly oaked) style of Chardonnay myself. If I really wanted to chew on a tree I’d head out to my backyard. For quite a while I was actually an “anything but Chardonnay” wine drinker as all I’d been exposed to were overoaked monsters. Then I discovered the absolute joy of Chardonnay done in a lightly oaked or unoaked style. Though to be honest, I will still avoid the Chardonnay at most weddings and parties as I live in perpetual fear of getting a mouthful of buttered oak from those!

So the wine. For this month’s WBW, I headed to the roots of my current home and went for a Virginia Chardonnay. I tend to be of the opinion that Virginia does whites a lot better than it does its reds and my pick for this month was no exception to the success I’ve had with VA white wines.

I chose a bottle of Breaux Vineyards 2005 Madeleine’s Chardonnay. It clocked in at 13.2% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and cost us $16.90. You can find it online through the vineyard for the same price. We picked this bottle up on our recent visit to Breaux’s Key West Wine Festival, a post I hope to write up shortly.

The wine was steel fermented and I can find no mention that it spent any time at all in oak, unlike the bottle I drank last night that I was really excited about only to find that after the steel fermenting it spent several months in oak. So I’ll save that one for another post.

Madeleine’s Chardonnay showed aromas of honey, lemon, tropical fruit, and pears on the nose. The aroma was light and pleasant. In the mouth the wine was smooth with a touch of creaminess and had a round finish. The predominant flavor in the mouth was pear with just a touch of the honey from the nose. Straightforward in the mouth and easy to drink, with a slight lingering sweetness.

We drank the wine with ham and cheese omelets and it fared okay with the meal. I think it would do well on it’s own or with a fruit and cheese appetizer. I was supposed to serve it with grilled pork chops and rice pilaf, but the pork chops were still frozen solid when I got home. I’m glad I didn’t though, because I think the delicate flavors would have been overpowered by that meal.

Overall, a good value for the money and a wine I would certainly get again.

Thanks very much to Lenn for hosting this month’s WBW! I’ll certainly be looking forward to the round-up in hopes of discovering lots of great naked wine for the remainder of our hot summer in DC!

PS-Happy Anniversary to WBW and many congrats to Lenn on his successful continuation of this monthly event!