Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sunday Funday

Today my family and I did something that I love to do.

Yep, we went to the winery!

One of my favorite things to do is to go wine tasting, and today Beau, Little Man, my parents and my cousin Natalie took a little drive to Saude Creek Vineyards in Lanexa, Virginia. Then we proceeded to taste. Then do a little more in depth tasting. (Hee hee)

Did you know that Virginia boasts some very nice wineries? (Around 210 of them!) My mom claims that Virginia is the third largest wine producing state. I did some very quick fact checking, and I can't find any support for that particular claim*, but I can find support that it is the fifth largest behind California (obviously), Washington, New York, and Oregon. (Who knew New York produced so much wine?) I found this particular document to be interesting. You know, if you like files.

*In no way am I calling my mom a liar. She's not. I just can't find anywhere that proves she's right. She probably is, though. She's my mom.

Anyway, back to our fantastic Sunday.

Saude Creek is a relatively young winery. The grounds are absolutely stunning, and the wine was pretty dang good. We all agreed on the Vidal Blanc for our afternoon bottle after we completed our tasting of seven wines. I'm not typically a huge fan of white wine, but this Vidal Blanc was a smooth off-dry wine. The cheat sheet said it has grapefruit and peach characteristics, but I've never had a very discerning palate. It can identify good, and that seems to work just fine for me.

Isn't that a lovely building? The porch on the right wraps all the way around and there are all kinds of places for guests to picnic with a bottle or two.
Unfortunately, the weather today was not conducive for outdoor picnics, but since the tasting room is roomy and warm that was fine with us.
I'm loving that fireplace. There were rumors that they were going to light a nice fire in it, but it didn't happen while we were there.

That's my family on the left. Our table was pretty busy. Let's just say we don't mess around when it comes to wine tastings.

I packed my trusty picnic basket with cheese, crackers, pretzels, dipping sauce, and fruit. Mom added veggies and dip, and Natalie stopped at a DC wine and cheese shop on her way down and picked up some cheese and crackers. Beau noticed the BBQ table set up in the corner of the tasting room, so he picked up a plate of pulled pork from The Scottish Pig. (Two thumbs up for the hot vinegar based sauce, btw...)

Even though it was chilly out, I stepped outside for a glimpse of the grounds. They are beautiful! I totally want to come curl up in one of these 15 Adirondack chairs when this fire pit is burning.

From the balcony, over the vineyards and trees you can see the Pamunkey River. It's just a glimpse, but it sure is nice. And imagine how beautiful this view is going to be a little later this month when the trees turn. Isn't fall the best?

The vines at the winery are still pretty young, and I imagine they will fill out a little more in the next few years (and are probably much fuller in the spring and summer...). Thin or lush, I love the sight of rows and rows of vines off in the distance.

I mean, more rows means more wine, right?

Speaking of the wine, I want to give a shout-out to my favorite wine of the day, the Cabernet Franc. Now, nine times out of ten, if there is a Cab. Franc on the tasting menu it's going to be among one of my favorites. At Saude Creek, it was my absolute favorite. My inept palate could even pick up on the slight peppery flavor and maybe a little bit of the black cherries (but totally missed the currents and violet nuances...geesh). I like a bold red that assaults the senses--in a good way--and this one was assaulty and nice. There really is no way to make sense of that. Never should assault (or a made-up form of the word) and nice be in the same sentence, and yet I went there. If you're a red drinker hopefully you get what I mean.
Someone does, right?
Or am I just weird?
Generally speaking, dessert wines are not my bag, baby. I pretty much feel like syrupy sweet should be reserved for the dessert itself. With that said, I am a fan of Chambourcin (and whomever wrote that definition). Saude Creek's Chambourcin was quite lovely paired with the provided M&M. I have to admit, it isn't the best Chambourcin I've had, but that might be because I usually sip it with dark chocolate. Perhaps the M&M didn't do the wine the justice that a nice Ghirardelli Dark 60% Cacao square would have done. (Yummy...)
I guess I know what I'm packing in my trusty picnic basket the next time we venture out that way!
By the way, Little Man was a total trooper. He slept for a good portion of the time, and then hung out with us at the table, being loved on from all directions. Not a tear was shed, and not one moment was spent being crabby. I was impressed that the winery is super kid friendly. Apparently in the summer kids are often playing on the vast lawn. How cool and utterly un-stuffy is that?  
So, after a fantastic day at the winery with my fam, we went back to my parents' house for some dinner. Mom capped an already terrific day off with a twelve (out of four) star dinner.
She totally just whipped together a pot of Cioppino.
How spoiled are we?
How'd you spend your Sunday funday? I hope it was as memorable as mine.

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