My husband and I like to entertain. We love to grill out and feed our friends; along with that also comes providing our guests with choices on what to drink. I love sharing some of my favorite wines with my friends and seeing what they think about them. The only real downside to providing the wine, aside from cost, is that I almost need to keep a list somewhere of who “likes” what kind of wine. Susie likes sweet wines, Joe only likes red, Martha is more picky, and if James is coming don’t put out the good stuff because it will be GONE before I get a glass for myself. Haha. In managing all of this it got me thinking why is there always such a debate between white and red, add to that the variations there in like sweet, dry, oaky, fruity, rose, etc and I start to feel like there is no way we can please everyone!
I, for one, haven’t met a grape I can say I “do not like” – I like to think that speaks to my more open mindedness and less to the fact that I am a bit of a wine-o. I admit, I do have a propensity towards Reds…give me a nice, smooth, well-oaked Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc any day of the year, but at the same time I also appreciate a glass of white when the time is right. Virginia Viognier and Cabernet Franc are known as the two signature varieties that are produced in the state. Our relatively hot and humid climate is very kind to these grapes and Virginia wines are gaining in popularity due, in part to the quality of these varieties. So no matter if you claim to be a Red or a White fan I suggest trying each of these varieties when you come across them.
One of my favorite wineries to visit that offers something for everyone here in Southwest Virginia, including Viognier, is AmRhein’s Wine Cellars. This winery is located atop Bent Mountain about a 20 minute ride from Roanoke on the way to Floyd. The setting is beautiful and they offer a covered open air patio area in which to sit and enjoy a bottle with friends after your tasting. My husband and I loved their Viognier so much we served it at our wedding as one of the White selections. Another thing I appreciate about AmRhein’s as well as some other local wineries like Chateau Morissette and Fincastle Winery is that you can find their wines at local Kroger stores in the area. This is good for my taste buds but bad for my wallet!
I am sure the Red vs. White, Sweet vs. Dry battle will rage on in my circle of friends and within the wine community overall forever. I urge folks to try wines from “the other side” when the opportunity presents itself. You never know when you may happen upon a new favorite. More experienced wine drinkers realize that there is a right time for each variety and do not pigeonhole them selves into one specific category. If you can do this you will be able to fully enjoy all the wonderful wines Virginia, and the world, has to offer.
I would like to see how many of you are on which side of the fence… please take a moment and answer my poll below. Happy experimenting!!!