Well Dined

26May/150

NoVA Wineries

We didn't have any plans for the holiday weekend, but we heard that our favorite local winery (Fabbioli Cellars) was having a 10% case discount, so we decided to do a little wine trip.

Well Dined | Fabbioli Cellars

We started with Fabbioli, and got a tasting.  Apparently it's been 4.5 years since we last went out there, crazy.  We normally just order online or through Whole Foods.  In that time, their tasting price has gone up from $5 to $15, and the pours are much smaller.  But they now include a small bite of food with each wine, encouraging you to sip, eat, and then sip again to taste the difference.  I loved that.  And the bites were delicious, too!  So I'd say it all works out for the better.  The tastings are still run in small groups, so that you get personalized attention, and our girl was very friendly and knowledgeable.

Well Dined | Fabbioli Cellars

The first wine was Una Pera - a sweet white made with Asian pears (they actually place the bottle around a young pear and let it grow inside the bottle, it's pretty cool).  This was paired with a pea puff topped with honeyed goat cheese and a sweet potato crisp.

Next was Something White (a joke from people asking the owner when he was going to start making "something white") - a Viogner and Vidal Blanc blend, paired with mascarpone and sea salt caramel on a cracker.

The first red was a light Sangiovese, that is good for hot weather and as a table wine - pared with grilled asparagus and garlic cheddar, wrapped in prosciutto.

Next was a dry Zinfandel (our least favorite), paired with a roasted beet crisp and salted ginger thyme butter.

The Tre Sorelle was also dry - Jasper liked it, I didn't.  It was paired with goat cheese, rosemary, and smoked sundried tomato on a saltine.

The first of the dessert wines was the Raspberry Merlot, made with raspberries grown on property.  I'm fond of this sweet table wine, Jasper is not.  It pairs beautifully with chocolate, and the bite they provided us was, in fact, a dark chocolate truffle.

Last was Jasper's favorite (he orders it by the case, and has been known to drink a whole bottle in one evening) - Rosa Nera, a black raspberry port.  They served it with a lemon honey truffle - I wouldn't have thought to go with such a bright lemon flavor, but it really worked.

I love the small bite tasting idea, it makes me really want to host a tasting at my house and do something similar.

We brought some salami and cheese with us, to have a picnic lunch before moving on to the next winery.  We got a late start, and spent so long at Fabbioli, that we only got to visit one other place before heading home.

That place was Sunset Hills Vineyard, which Jasper chose because it had won some awards.  It was hopping when we arrived - people camped out everywhere, picnicking, listening to live music, playing frisbee.  The grounds are large and beautiful, so it's a great place to hang out, plus they had a BBQ truck!  There was a wedding going on in the main building, too.

The tastings were in a barn-like structure with some big fans that I appreciated greatly in the heat, making it shaded and breezy.  They were $10 and featured 6 wines.  Unfortunately, we weren't a fan of any of them.  There was one white that I liked (Sunset White - tasted like a sweet Gewurztraminer) and one red that both of us liked (the Cabernet Franc blend), but not enough to warrant buying anything or returning to the winery.

They had these big frozen slushee machines making "wineritas" with Chardonnay and margarita mix.  So I tried one of those and it was actually pretty good.  We also got some ribs at the BBQ truck and they had good flavor, but weren't very tender.  So I think this would be a fun spot to have some wineritas with girlfriends and listen to live music, but it's not really worth it for the wine alone.

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