50 States. 50 Wineries. #10: Jefferson Vineyards (Virginia)

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Thomas Jefferson was America’s first wino/wine geek/vinophile, so it’s far from surprising that he planted his own vineyard — way back in 1774. Jefferson and Italian Filippo Mazzei planted the vineyard right next to Monticello — and today Jefferson Vineyards resides on the same plot of land. Of course, the vines they use today aren’t from 1774, but they do date to 1981. As 50 in 50 has unfolded, I’ve found the wines a bit disappointing — whether too sweet for the acidity level, boring and lifeless, or just plain faulty. So far, the stars have been the wines from…

Food and Wine Bloggers: What’s Your “Guilty” Pleasure?

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Most of us in the food and wine blogging community qualify as foodies and wine geeks. That means that we make things from scratch instead of just buying it — things like salad dressing, ketchup, marinara or even duck confit. We buy local, organic ingredients when we can instead of mass-produced and shipped-around-the-world junk. We’re members of Slow Food. We’ve joined CSA programs. We seek out free-range, organic meats. We don’t eat at McDonalds. We don’t eat Doritos. We don’t eat Hostess Cupcakes. Or do we? I get accused of being a "food snob" all the time, and I bet…

The Planning of a Pyro Party

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I absolutely love cooking with fire and this weekend, Nena and I are hosting what will probably be our biggest party of the summer. It’s only 13 people, but with all that we have going on these days, it seems pretty big anyway. Now, I don’t plan dinner parties that are anywhere near as ellaborate as the Obsessed One, but I do try to introduce our sometimes culinarily-challenged friends to some new things every time out (while keeping some old standards around as well). So, I do a fair amount of menu planning ahead of time — and one certainly…

WTN: Galluccio Family Wineries 2003 Cru George Allaire Chardonnay

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When Vincent Galluccio took over Gristina Vineyards in 2000, it would have been easy to eliminate the Gristina name completely. But, with an eye towards tradition Jerry Gristina had built upon founding the vineyard in 1984 and reverence for the past, many Galluccio-produced wines still bear the Gristina name and label. For the most part, these are the winery’s everyday wines — some tasty, some not. The most interesting wines in the portfolio are labeled Galluccio, with two further labeled Cru George Allaire — named for Mr. Galluccio’s father in law. Despite fermentation in French oak and 14 months of…

Desperately Seeking Alternative Beverages

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It’s amazing the issues that arise when one’s wife is pregnant. Until we found out about the baby-to-be, we’d typically drink wine with dinner — we are wine lovers after all. I still do so because I’ve got a lot of wine I need to taste for my various writing outlets, but Nena obviously can’t. So, we’ve been looking for alternatives. There’s a lot less out there than you’d think. Soda? Too sugary and fake-sweeteners are no good for pregnant women. Verjus? There are a couple local wineries who produce this unfermented juice from half-ripe grapes. Nena like it on…

WTN: Roanoke Vineyards 2005 Chardonnay

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As I said earlier this week, Roanoke Vineyards is, first and foremost, a red wine winery. Cabernet sauvignon and other Bordeaux varieties rule, but this spring, they released their first white wine — a $17 chardonnay — in response to tasting room demand. 60% barrel fermentation brings freshness while 40% fermentation in barrel brings depth and a softness. Refreshing apple and Asian pear aromas lead to a well balance palate that blends apple and melon flavors with richer, more tropical notes. Nice acidity brings balance to this wine and makes it perfect for summer drinking. This is a style that…

Corks of the Forks: Waters Crest Winery

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This weekend on Hamptons.com my Corks of the Forks column focuses on Waters Crest Winery and winemaker Jim Waters’ 2005 releases. Jim is one of the friendliest, most charming people on Long Island’s East End and his riesling is usually one of my favorites. As you’ll see, the riesling seemed a bit off when I tasted it (two bottles) but it’s possible that it was still a little bottle shocked. I’ll definitely taste it again this fall — probably at Thanksgiving because I like it with Turkey. Read Corks of the Forks for more information.

The LENNDEVOURS Team Prepares for a New Arrival

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Well, dear readers, it appears that the LENNDEVOURS team is going to be expanding — on or around February 1, 2007 to be more specific. That’s right, the Thompsons are expecting and the woman behind the man behind the blog is doing quite well following her 12-week sonogram. Currently the little guy/girl is somewhere between the size of a fig and a lime and growing every single day. Needless to say, we are beyond happy/excited/thrilled. Of course, it has also changed things here in the Thompson household quite a bit already. As Nena nears the end of the first trimester,…