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Holiday Port Pairing Ideas with Horton Vineyards


December 20, 2019 | Ivy Publications

Port wines are known for pairing well with certain cheeses and treats, making them a wonderful addition to any holiday table no matter whether you are serving nibbles at a party or dessert after a holiday feast. Versatile in their pairing options, port’s sweet taste can complement an array of foods. So, we went to Virginia’s port expert, Horton Vineyards to get some pairing suggestions we can all try while entertaining this holiday season! Not only was Horton the first vineyard in Virginia to make commercially available port wine since the end of prohibition with their 1995 vintage, but Horton Vineyards’ Founder Dennis Horton also first brought Portugal’s Touriga Nacional grape (a grape commonly used for port wine blends) to the state. Today, Horton is the only vineyard in Virginia making true Port wine.

We sat in on one of Horton’s pairing classes earlier this month to learn about different port pairings, as well as how the age of a wine can help it pair better with certain foods.

Horton Vineyards’ Port Pairing Suggestions:

  • Gorgonzola mousse (Paired with Horton’s 1997 Vintage Port)
  • Mixed green salad with roasted beats, fennel and balsamic dressing (Paired with Horton’s 2005 Vintage Port)
  • Fila cup topped with sautéed mushrooms and brie (Paired with Horton’s 2009 Vintage Port)
  • Biscotti topped with Apple Cinnamon Boursin Cheese (Paired with Horton’s 2008 Vintage Port)

Ready to try your own port paring? You can enjoy one of Horton Vineyards‘ vintage bottles available at their vineyard and online. In addition, Horton started the next generation’s batch of port wine last year. So, port lovers can look forward to that release in 2024.

No matter how you plan to pair your holiday entertaining and dinners this year, we wish everyone a very happy holiday season, full of great Virginia wine!

Wine & Country celebrates elevated living in the heart of Virginia Wine Country. Wine & Country Life, a semi-annual life & style magazine, and Wine & Country Weddings, an art book celebrating elegant country weddings in the region, are accompanied by the Wine & Country Shop in Ivy, VA—a beautiful lifestyle boutique featuring over 40 Virginian artisans with everything from tailgating essentials and Dubarry attire, to locally made foods and award-winning Monticello AVA wines, as well as craft beverages for your next event. Wine & Country Experiences are now also available and include exclusive tours and hands-on classes with leading professionals in the local farm-to-table and vineyard scenes.

CrossKeys Harvest Dinner


December 12, 2019 | Ivy Publications

Wine-paired harvest dinners are a beloved part of the fall season in Virginia’s tastings country. They not only are a great way for local vineyards and wineries to show off their various vintages and wines but also offer guests the opportunity to better learn about staple wine and food pairings, while also enjoying a farm-to-table meal. Plus, many of these dinners offer guests the exclusive chance to meet and interact with the winemaker. Here is an inside look at one of these celebrations held at CrossKeys Vineyards last month.

On November 1, CrossKeys hosted their annual Harvest Dinner, featuring a five-course, locally sourced dinner. The dinner was held in CrossKeys’ Key Room, where 55 guests were seated at one long table decorated for the season with a maroon runner, pumpkins and fresh greenery.

The meal began with a sweet potato bisque topped with crispy capicola and vanilla crème fraîche and paired with 2018 Fiore. The second course featured cedar-wilted spinach, warm brie dressing, meyer lemon zest and brulée strawberry, alongside a 2017 Chardonnay. The third course followed with bacon-wrapped pork loin, butternut squash mousseline and prosciutto wrapped squash, which was completed with a 2016 Petit Verdot. Next, guests enjoyed pan-roasted trout, cinnamon apple spoonbread and fried brussels paired with a 2017 Pinot Noir. The delicious meal concluded with blood orange bourbon crème brulée paired with a 2016 Tavern. 

During the meal, Winemaker Steve Monson spoke and told guests about the wonderful harvest season CrossKeys had this year. Alongside expressing how the weather was optimal for both harvesting and winemaking, Monson provided industry insight into the various wines the attendees were enjoying throughout the meal.

Guests left the CrossKeys Vineyards‘ harvest dinner full from a delicious farm-to-table feast and excited for the wines that will come from the 2019 grape harvest. If you consider yourself a wine connoisseur or a foodie, we definitely recommend partaking in this seasonal tradition at one of your favorite vineyards next year. You can also see another recent harvest dinner at Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards in our latest issue, Book 9!

Wine & Country celebrates elevated living in the heart of Virginia Wine Country. Wine & Country Life, a semi-annual life & style magazine, and Wine & Country Weddings, an art book celebrating elegant country weddings in the region, are accompanied by the Wine & Country Shop in Ivy, VA—a beautiful lifestyle boutique featuring over 40 Virginian artisans with everything from tailgating essentials and Dubarry attire, to locally made foods and award-winning Monticello AVA wines, as well as craft beverages for your next event. Wine & Country Experiences are now also available and include exclusive tours and hands-on classes with leading professionals in the local farm-to-table and vineyard scenes.

Introducing the Wine and Country Shops New Space!


December 9, 2019 | Ivy Publications

In November, our lifestyle shop, the Charlottesville Wine & Country Shop, moved to a new, larger location in Ivy, just outside of Charlottesville. Approximately 1,500 feet down the road from our previous location, you can now find the boutique at 4282 Ivy Road!

While the Shop’s address has changed, the same quality country attire and artisan essentials remain stocked in the new building alongside new items that can’t be found anywhere else. The Charlottesville Wine & Country Shop now features over 40 Virginian artisans and offers award-winning Monticello AVA wines, craft beverages, local foods, art & décor, home & garden accessories, tailgating essentials and quality apparel from premier brands like Dubarry of Ireland.

To make holiday shopping a little easier, the Shop has debuted extended hours for the entire month of December—Monday–Saturday, from 10 a.m.–6 p.m. No matter if you are looking for charming stocking stuffers or meaningful gifts for the special people in your life, you are sure to find something unique and perfect for any interest at the Charlottesville Wine & Country Shop this season!

You can also find the latest issues of both Wine & Country Life and Wine & Country Weddings at the Shop. Know someone who would love one of the magazines? Ask about our annual subscriptions! Gift certificates for the Charlottesville Wine & Country Shop are also be available for purchase. We hope to see you at the Shop this season!

Wine & Country celebrates elevated living in the heart of Virginia Wine Country. Wine & Country Life, a semi-annual life & style magazine, and Wine & Country Weddings, an art book celebrating elegant country weddings in the region, are accompanied by the Wine & Country Shop in Ivy, VA—a beautiful lifestyle boutique featuring over 40 Virginian artisans with everything from tailgating essentials and Dubarry attire, to locally made foods and award-winning Monticello AVA wines, as well as craft beverages for your next event. Wine & Country Experiences are now also available and include exclusive tours and hands-on classes with leading professionals in the local farm-to-table and vineyard scenes.

The Paramount Reveals NEW Members Lounge by U-Fab


December 5, 2019 | Ivy Publications

Last Monday to a packed room of enthusiastic supporters, The Paramount Theater in Downtown Charlottesville kicked off the holiday season with the reveal of its newly remodeled Members Lounge. The new lounge was greatly enhanced with beautiful lush banquet sofas, chairs and cocktail tables, all created by the talented team at U-Fab Interiors of Charlottesville.

The guests were also treated to an evening of drinks and delightful food provided by Harvest Moon Catering. Board of Directors Chair David Gies welcomed those in attendance and thanked them for their continued support. Below, from left to right, The Paramount’s Director of Marketing Maran Garland, thanked U-Fab designers Kai’li Millner and Wendi Marshall alongside The Paramount’s Executive Director Chris Eure, all of whom were so thrilled with the outcome of the project. “We’re really proud of the space and had so much fun working with The Paramount. The project worked out great,” said Designer and Manager Wendi Jackson.

The Paramount Theater is officially decked out and ready for the holidays! Locals and visitors alike look to The Paramount over the holidays for an array of events, such as the Nutcracker Ballet and other special holiday concerts. As guests admired the holiday décor, Marketing Director Garland pointed out, “Many people don’t realize that many of our beautiful and more intimate upstairs rooms are available for rent. We even have a small dining room that families or businesses can rent out during the holidays that overlooks our famous marquee.” This year, those who want to show their support for the landmark theater can also purchase a tree ornament featuring the famous Paramount marquee, which is available at both the theater and the newly relocated Wine & Country Shop in Ivy!

In a playful moment, U-Fab Designers Kai’li and Wendi wished everyone a Happy Holiday!

Wine & Country celebrates elevated living in the heart of Virginia Wine Country. Wine & Country Life, a semi-annual life & style magazine, and Wine & Country Weddings, an art book celebrating elegant country weddings in the region, are accompanied by the Wine & Country Shop in Ivy, VA—a beautiful lifestyle boutique featuring over 40 Virginian artisans with everything from tailgating essentials and Dubarry attire, to locally made foods and award-winning Monticello AVA wines, as well as craft beverages for your next event. Wine & Country Experiences are now also available and include exclusive tours and hands-on classes with leading professionals in the local farm-to-table and vineyard scenes.