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Wine Tasting 101


February 13, 2019 | Ivy Publications

With over 40 local wineries to visit for a tasting, learning to expand your palate has never been so easy—or so pleasurable. Whatever you desire—flowery, fruity, smoky or light—you are sure to find the perfect wine. However, when it comes to wine tastings, the experience should involve more than just your taste buds. We asked Stan Joynes, owner and CEO of local Valley Road Vineyards, to share some tips on how to properly taste wine. Joynes recommends the “5 S’s” of wine tasting—Seeing, Swirling, Sniffing, Sipping and Savoring.

Joynes’ breakdown of the “5 S’s:

  • See the Wine.
    Taste wine in a room that is well-lit, and if you can, hold the wine up to a white background to examine the color and clarity.
    Tip:
    The intensity of the color will hint to how the wine is likely to taste, and, generally, depth of color will signal intensity of flavor.
  • Swirl the Wine.
    Swirling the wine in your glass helps release the hundreds of aroma compounds that wine contains. They are so small that they float on evaporating alcohol into our noses.
    Tip: The easiest way to start swirling is to place your thumb and forefinger at the base of a stemmed wine glass while it’s sitting on a flat surface. Then, while gripping the base, move the glass in small circles. As you become more adept, try swirling without a hard surface under the glass.
  • Sniff the Wine.
    Smell is the principal sense used in wine tasting, so sniffing the wine before the initial sip is essential. The “bouquet” of a wine is the total aromatic experience it produces, and assessing a wine’s bouquet can reveal not only its strengths but also its faults, such as oxidation due to age or cork taint. Experiencing the wine’s bouquet assists you in anticipating the wine’s flavors. 
  • Sip the Wine.
    Thoroughly tasting a wine requires recognizing its full array of taste and mouthfeel attributes which involves the combination of the wine’s textures, flavors, weight and overall “structure.” To get the most out of your tasting, start by holding a sip for a few seconds just inside the front of your mouth. With lips pursed, draw in a breath and let the oxygen pass slowly over the wine. The aromatics will be excited by the body heat inside the mouth and will be transferred to your olfactory receptor site.
    Tip: To get the fullest experience of the wine’s attributes, take a larger sip and let it flow into the whole of your mouth, coating the tongue.
  • Savor the Wine.
    The “finish” refers to the sensation you get from swallowing the wine, and it is defined principally by the length of time the wine taste stays with you after you swallow. The finish sometimes provides a sensation noticeably different from the taste you got on your palate. Items to look for include an alcohol taste, which is not desirable, and tastes that dominate in a way that renders the wine unbalanced. 

Ready to put your wine tasting skills to the test? Check out Valley Road Vineyards’ Blind Tasting Event on February 16!

 

Lead Image: By Skip Rowland

Second Image: By Skip Rowland

Third Image: Courtesy of Valley Road Vineyards

Wine Tasting Notes: By Stan Joynes

 

 

From Ivy Publications, online and print publishers of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, a semi-annual magazine of Life & Style in Jefferson’s Virginia; Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings, an art book celebrating elegant country weddings in Jefferson’s Virginia; CharlottesvilleFamily’s Bloom Magazine, a monthly parenting magazine; CharlottesvilleFamily’s Home Magazine, a quarterly flipped edition with CharlottesvilleFamily’s Bloom Magazine that includes direct mail; the CharlottesvilleFamily Ultimate Go-To Guide and Home Go-To Guide, an annual flip book book with our popular daytrip section, as well as directories of family & home services; and the Charlottesville Welcome Book, a relocation handbook and a guide to local attractions like Monticello, vineyards and the University of Virginia.

Continuing to develop our newest brands, Ivy Publications opened the Charlottesville Wine & Country Shop in Ivy, VA, a beautiful lifestyle boutique featuring over 40 Virginia artisans with everything from tailgating essentials and Dubarry attire to locally made artisan foods, water, wine, beer and cider, and more. Wine & Country Experiences are now also available and include exclusive tours and classes with leading professionals in the local farm-to-table and vineyard scenes.

Three Styles to Complete your Valentine’s Day Look


February 8, 2019 | Ivy Publications

Valentine’s Day is almost here, and that means it is time to find the perfect outfit. While there are always occasions calling for a classic look, some celebrations call for an outfit a little more casual. Here are a few of our favorite looks to rock this holiday, no matter if you are strolling through a vineyard or trying out a chic new restaurant.

Classic: As the name suggests, you cannot go wrong with this romantic look. Break out a chic red number like this Joseph Ribkoff dress for those special plans that might include an intimate candlelit dinner or an evening at the theater.

Fun & Flirty: This look is great for transitioning from daytime to evening plans and is appropriate for an array of Valentine’s Day activities, no matter whether you are enjoying a wine tasting or heading to a new restaurant. Below, these Joseph Ribkoff dresses are both figure-flattering and fun with their bold prints.

Casual & Feminine: Even when your plans call for something a little more casual, you can always keep it feminine and trendy. This look is perfect for a daytime activity like a vineyard tour, catching a matinee or visiting a favorite art gallery. The Joseph Ribkoff jumpsuit and chic jacket are perfect for an afternoon on the town.

Ready to pick out your own Valentine’s Day look? You can shop for these outfits and more at Verdigris on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall. You can also find more style inspiration in the CHO•ho Style section of our magazine, as well as the perfect accessories at the Charlottesville Wine & Country Shop!

 

Lead Image: Photo by Jen Fariello | Clothing by Verdigris

 

 

From Ivy Publications, online and print publishers of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, a semi-annual magazine of Life & Style in Jefferson’s Virginia; Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings, an art book celebrating elegant country weddings in Jefferson’s Virginia; CharlottesvilleFamily’s Bloom Magazine, a monthly parenting magazine; CharlottesvilleFamily’s Home Magazine, a quarterly flipped edition with CharlottesvilleFamily’s Bloom Magazine that includes direct mail; the CharlottesvilleFamily Ultimate Go-To Guide and Home Go-To Guide, an annual flip book book with our popular daytrip section, as well as directories of family & home services; and the Charlottesville Welcome Book, a relocation handbook and a guide to local attractions like Monticello, vineyards and the University of Virginia.

Continuing to develop our newest brands, Ivy Publications opened the Charlottesville Wine & Country Shop in Ivy, VA, a beautiful lifestyle boutique featuring over 40 Virginia artisans with everything from tailgating essentials and Dubarry attire to locally made artisan foods, water, wine, beer and cider, and more. Wine & Country Experiences are now also available and include exclusive tours and classes with leading professionals in the local farm-to-table and vineyard scenes.

Celebrate Love Wine & Country Style


February 6, 2019 | Ivy Publications

Wine almost always comes to mind when we think about Valentine’s Day—whether you are looking for the perfect bottle for toasting with your candle-lit dinner, want to plan a romantic afternoon at a vineyard or perhaps are looking for that special vintage that takes you back to the early days of a relationship. And, what better place to celebrate than in our local wine country, where you can always find the perfect award-winning local wine for any occasion.

In fact, our local vineyards can do much more than just serve as the source for wine. They also make for a lovely location for a romantic outing. Plan a picturesque afternoon at a local vineyard and stroll the vines hand-in-hand. Or, attend one of the many pairing events at a local vineyard and try something new with your beau.

Tip: The vineyard and Blue Ridge Mountain vistas make for an idyllic backdrop for gift giving. Spread out a picnic blanket among the vines (on warmer days) or cozy up by a tasting room fire for an intimate gift exchange. We suggest gifting something locally and/or hand-crafted like the beautiful Ana Cavalheiro ring given at a special Barboursville Vineyards outing below.

If you prefer a more elegant Valentine’s Day, consider attending a local vineyards’ multi-course wine-paired dinner, like the Valentine’s Day Celebration at Barboursville Vineyards, and enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner with exquisite wine pairings. Some area vineyards even offer quaint cottages, inns and bed & breakfasts that overlook the rolling vines, perfect for turning a romantic evening into a mini getaway or staycation. The couple below spent a romantic weekend at Barboursville Vineyards, strolling along the vines, visiting The Ruins and staying at The 1804 Inn (a must-visit historic inn with luxury suites). Looking for an elegant gift fitting for a vineyard affair? Visit local Schwarzschild Keller & George Jewelers for timeless pieces like the stunning layered “Siviglia” necklaces completing the woman’s chic look below.

No matter how you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day, there are many local ways to make it memorable. Here are a few of our top vineyard picks:

Looking for other ways to celebrate? Check out these local ideas:

You can also check the Charlottesville Welcome Book website for a calendar of more exciting local events, as well as find inspiration for a romantic weekend at Barboursville Vineyards in Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, Book Five. To complete your plans, stop by the Charlottesville Wine & Country Shop for local wines, artisan-made jewelry and more perfect gift ideas.

 

 

Image Credits:
Photography: Rachel May Photography 
Venue, Catering & Wine: Barboursville Vineyards
Florals: Tourterelle Floral Design 
Clothing: Verdigris & Brooks Brothers
Jewelry: Ana Cavalheiro Fine Jewelry and Schwarzschild Keller & George Jewelers
Table Setting & Chairs: MS Events
Hair: Brianna B. Adams LLC
Makeup: Gohar Makeup
Female Model: Noelle S., Modelogic
Male Model: Patrick K., Modelogic

 

From Ivy Publications, online and print publishers of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, a semi-annual magazine of Life & Style in Jefferson’s Virginia; Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings, an art book celebrating elegant country weddings in Jefferson’s Virginia; CharlottesvilleFamily’s Bloom Magazine, a monthly parenting magazine; CharlottesvilleFamily’s Home Magazine, a quarterly flipped edition with CharlottesvilleFamily’s Bloom Magazine that includes direct mail; the CharlottesvilleFamily Ultimate Go-To Guide and Home Go-To Guide, an annual flip book book with our popular daytrip section, as well as directories of family & home services; and the Charlottesville Welcome Book, a relocation handbook and a guide to local attractions like Monticello, vineyards and the University of Virginia.

Continuing to develop our newest brands, Ivy Publications opened the Charlottesville Wine & Country Shop in Ivy, VA, a beautiful lifestyle boutique featuring over 40 Virginia artisans with everything from tailgating essentials and Dubarry attire to locally made artisan foods, water, wine, beer and cider, and more. Wine & Country Experiences are now also available and include exclusive tours and classes with leading professionals in the local farm-to-table and vineyard scenes.