D.C. Food and Wine Festival: Wine Makes Everything Better

Last weekend I attended both days of this year’s Food and Wine Festival in Downtown D.C. I missed last years Festival, but had attended one two years ago that was held at the new Convention Center. I was sad to find out this year that the Festival is not what it used to be. First, it was held at a smaller venue (The Reagan Building). This led to not only less room for the vendors — and less vendors — but less room for the attendees. On Saturday in particular wine lovers were packed in like sardines doing their best to enjoy themselves while barely able to move. By the time you fought your way to a table to get a tasting you would have been just as happy to get some water as another Napa cabernet. If it is back at the Reagan building next year, I will only go on Sunday. The second day was a bit less crowded, which made it a much more enjoyable experience.

All criticism aside, wine makes everything better. While the focus of the Festival was clearly California, there were quality wines from other regions of the United States as well as a few standouts from a less-than-stellar international selection. Given the environment and the severely limited hours (okay, I am really done whining now), there was no way to take complete tasting notes to share with you. What I was able to do, is write down the names of the standouts. I will list them by region along with any notes that I can remember. Links are provided to the winery sites to learn more on topics such as distribution.

Before reciting the comprehensive list, however, a few wines and regions are worthy of special recognition:

1. Best Syrah and Petite Syrah in Show: Lodi, California:
Michael-David Vineyards 2004 Sixth Sense Syrah.
Peltier Station Winery 2005 Petite Syrah, $18 per bottle.

2. Best Rieslings in Show: Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars, Finger Lakes, New York (is anyone surprised?):
2006 Dry Riesling, $17.99 per bottle.
2006 Semi-Dry Riesling, $15.99 per bottle.

3. Best Viognier in Show: Horton Vineyards (Congrats, Virginia, you did it!):
2006 Viognier, $20 per bottle.

4. Best Dessert Wine in Show: It’s a tie!
Rockbridge Vineyard 2005 V d’Or (Vidal Blanc), Virginia, $20 per bottle.
Standing Stone Vineyards 2005 Vidal Ice (Vidal Blanc), Finger Lakes, New York, $24.99 per bottle.

5. Best Up-and-Coming Winery of the Show: Joseph Carr Wine, Napa Valley, California:
Portfolio includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay. The Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc are the strongest of the three, but all are high quality. Mr. Carr is personable and knowledgeable about his craft.

Now as promised, the comprehensive list of Honorable Mentions:

United States
–California–
Abundance Vineyards
2004 Abundantly Rich Red (Zinfandel, Carignane), $14 per bottle.
Acacia Vineyard 2005 Pinot Noir, $28 per bottle.
Alexander Valley Vineyards 2005 ‘Sin Zin’ Zinfandel, $20 per bottle.
Andretti Winery 2004 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, $38 per bottle.
B & E Vineyard 2003 Merlot, $20 per bottle.
Calistoga Cellars 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, $30 per bottle.
Dynamite Vineyards 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, $17.25 per bottle.
JanKris Winery 2004 Picaro (Merlot, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon), $17 per bottle. Honorable Mention: JanKris Winery 2004 Riatta (Sangiovese, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon), $17 per bottle.
Louis M. Martini 2004 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Opolo Vineyards 2005 Late Harvest Zinfandel, $34 per bottle.
–Virginia–
Barboursville Vineyards
2005 Rose, $14.99 per bottle.
Horton Vineyards Lot 06 Eclipse Red, $10.00 per bottle.
Rockbridge Vineyards 2006 Riesling, $14.00 per bottle (pure apple).

Australia
Alice White
2006 Lexia (Muscat).
Houghton Wines 2005 Semillon/Sauvigno Blanc.
McWilliam’s Wines 2004 Hanwood Estate Shiraz.
Yarraman Estate
2004 Barn Buster Semillon-Verdelho, $9.99 per bottle.

Austria
Hofkellerei des Fursten Von Liechtenstein
2006 Clos Domaine Riesling.

France
Mouton Cadet
2004 (Bordeaux).

Italy (Sadly, I did not make it through most of the Italian tables.)
Voga Quattro (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Pinot Noir).

Moldova
Greystone 2005 Pinot Grigio
Greystone 2005 Traminer

New Zealand
New Haven 2006 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
, $9.99 per bottle.
Whitehaven Wine Company 2005 Sauvignon Blanc, $12.45 per bottle.
Whitehaven Wine Company 2005 Pinot Noir, $17.38 per bottle.

South Africa
Sebeka 2006 Shiraz/Pinotage
, $7.99 per bottle.

—–

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Published in: on March 18, 2007 at 8:25 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I tried the Red Lexia as you recommend and it was pretty good. My wife loved it, but I prefer a little heavier wine. Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. […] D.C. Food and Wine Festival: Wine Makes Everything Better « Wine with Dinner Wine with Dinner A Review of Wines and D.C. Area Restaurants D.C. Food and Wine Festival: Wine Makes Everything Better Last weekend I attended both days of this year’s Food and Wine Festival in Downtown D.C. I missed last years Festival, but had att […]

  3. […] D.C. Food and Wine Festival: Wine Makes Everything Better « Wine with Dinner Wine with Dinner A Review of Wines and D.C. Area Restaurants D.C. Food and Wine Festival: Wine Makes Everything Better Last weekend I attended both days of this year’s Food and Wine Festival in Downtown D.C. I missed last years Festival, but had att […]

  4. […] third wine is one that I had tasted before and thoroughly enjoyed, Standing Stone’s 2005 Vidal Ice, 1/2, $24.99 per bottle.  The Vidal […]


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