You Can’t Spell Wedding Without W-I-N-E

A little while ago one of my best friends from college asked me to be in his wedding. I was honored to accept, at which point he asked a favor. While not a wine guy, my friend knew that he needed wine for the wedding. He asked me to help him and his lovely fiance pick out a red and a white that would not break the bank.

My first thought was to tour some local wineries here in Virginia, but my friend will be getting hitched a bit further south.  So, we decided to seek a source convenient to all involved.  After some discussion, we hopped in the car and headed to Total Wine & More in Alexandria.  After a thorough search and some tough decisions, we left with 3 whites and 2 reds.  We picked up a third red later while getting some cheese for our impromptu wine tasting at the Mecca of all things cheesy in Alexandria, Cheesetique.  A night of wining and cheesing ensued and, after thorough evaluations of the competitors, the winners were:

Oak GroveOak Grove 2007 Viognier Reserve 

Don RamonDon Ramon 2006 Granache/Tempranillo (Campo de Borja, Spain)

These wines are great for a large party where tastes will vary and they will keep smiles on your guests’ faces without obliterating your bank account.

Published in: on May 14, 2009 at 9:38 pm  Comments (3)  

Low-level Wine Consumption Might Increase Men’s Life Expectancy


Published in: on May 9, 2009 at 3:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

Gabriele Rausse 2005 Nebbiolo Reserve

A few years ago my wife and I were wine tasting in the Charlottesville, Virginia area and happened upon a small craft fair. At that fair, a man named Gabriele Rausse, who owns and operates a small winery, was tasting some of his European-style wines. Mr. Rausse told us that his is a labor of love, and that his winery does not have regular public tasting hours, but that he tastes his wines at local fairs, festivals, and at Charlottesville’s City Market.  His wines were approachable, straight forward, and enjoyable.  I could not resist purchasing a couple of bottles.


Late last year, we went back to Charlottesville and stopped at great roadside sandwich shop and produce stand called Greenwood Gourmet Grocery.  I could not resist picking up a bottle of his 2005 Nebbiolo Reserve, which I opened tonight to enjoy with some pot roast and Capitals/Penguins Game 3 (Go Caps!).  The wine displays the grape’s typical brick orange/tawny color.  Weighing in at 13.4% alcohol, it was ready to drink upon opening, with notes of cherries and prunes with a hint of violets on the nose and a slightly gamy quality on the palate.  The tannins are subtle and smooth making for a pleasant wine that is best with food.  I doubt it’s the best wine that Mr. Rausse produced in 2005, but it is a nice reminder that this small producer has some quality wines worth sampling.

3 Stars

Published in: on May 6, 2009 at 9:28 pm  Comments (1)