This month is the 25th Anniversary of Virginia Wine Month, which I didn't know about until last week. I also didn't know about DC Wine Week, which kicked off it's 3rd year last night, until I got a special invite to attend some of the events. You see, the co-founders are social media marketing experts, and they scour the web looking for locals who might get excited about their events. And let me tell you, I was excited.
Lisa Byrne and Vanessa French started DC Wine Week as a celebration of all things wine, but especially of local wines and the places that serve them. So it makes sense that they chose Veritas Wine Bar (one of the best wine bars in the city and, I'm told, one of the first) for their opening event.
This was my first time at Veritas, but I would love to go back. The selected wines were all new to me, and all fantastic; and the cheese and charcuterie pairings were outstanding on their own, but also some of the best examples of food and wine pairings I have ever experienced. These guys know what they are doing. Period. Special shout-out to Uri Martinez, who took really good care of us even though the place was packed. They do seem to serve their reds at room temp, whereas I like them around 55 degrees, but it's hard to find anyone who puts a little chill on a red.
Wines and Pairings
1) Sparkling, Rossignol de Moragas, ‘Brut,’ Cava, Penedes, Spain, NV - This was clean, crisp, and dry (everything I love in a sparkling wine) and paired with some fantastically meaty (read: not thin and dry) prosciutto.
2) Sparkling, Cricova, Spumante Original, Brut, Moldova, NV - As much as I liked the first wine, I liked this one even more. Also crisp and dry, it had a lot of floral going on that brought out the more complex flavors (like juniper) in the wild boar salumi it was paired with.
3) Chardonnay, Slo Down Wines, ‘Broken Dreams,’ California, 2012 - Oh my gosh, you guys - this wine. My favorite of the night, possibly my new favorite ever. This is not your standard buttery CA Chardonnay (which is good, because I don't like those) - full bodied and fruity (think tropical), this reminded me more of a dry Riesling. It was paired with a firm sheep's cheese from Spain called P'tit Basque. The guys who make Broken Dreams are hilarious, and the wine is less that $20 a bottle. Seriously, check it out.
4) Viognier, Barboursville, ‘Reserve,’ Virginia, 2012 - VA is famous for Viognier, so of course there had to be one on the list! This particular one was very nice, with a good amount of terroir (aka funk). We really loved the cheese it was paired with - a firm cow's cheese with peppercorns from Oregon called Marco Polo. With the wine, I was picking up notes of citrus and herb in the cheese - super yum!
5) Pinot Noir, Laetitia, Arroyo Grand, California, 2012 - Light bodied and dry with notes of cherry, this was paired with a killer braseola. It didn't set off the allergic reaction I get with some Pinots, so that was definitely a plus for me!
6) Tempranillo, Baron Ladron De Guevara, Rioja, Spain, 2012 - Medium bodied, dry, and jammy and paired with an outstanding duck rillete. Neither of us really likes pates or terrines, and we loved this rillete, so that says a lot.
7) Sparkling, Aecovi, ‘Penelope,’ Jerez, Spain, NV - This was another favorite. Very sweet, a sparkling dessert wine, with honeyed apple notes that reminded me of a Tokai. Paired with a creamy and salty blue cheese.
This event was super fun. I learned a lot, I met some cool people, and I had some really great food and wine. Be sure to go to www.dcwineweek.com and sign up for one of the events!