My enjoyment of wine started while studying abroad in Seville, Spain. Mild table wine flowed nightly, the gentle Temperanillos worked their way into my palate creating a lasting impression and continuous source of enjoyment. Upon my return to the states it took awhile for me to warm up to the American wines, but a year and change in California helped speed that process. Soon after I found myself in Europe once again, this time east of the former Iron curtain in Moldova where house wine is just that: a homemade staple. In some cases Moldovan house wine is very much like the wine elsewhere, but in others it is very unique as it is never older than the year it was made in. Every fall the grapes are harvested, hand crushed through a turn crank, then after fermenting in open air for about a week the wine is pressed, barreled and drank throughout the year.  Perhaps it is Moldova that inspired my tasting expedition as it is tradition for each family to grow their own variety of grapes and use their own tradition and technique for crushing and barreling their wine. Now, here I am in Washington, DC steps from the White House yet just across the river in Virginia is the East Coast's best kept secret: wine country. Virginia's growing industry is #5 in the nation after California, Washington, Oregon & New York. Each winery boasts a unique experience and I'm making it a point to get outside the Beltway to visit as many of those as I can and share the wines enjoyed, service and ambiance. If you can't join one of my adventures I hope you enjoy reading about them!  


Wine shared with friends is always better than wine drank alone. If you see me out on the Virginia wine trails I'll most likely be accompanied by these good people: 

Hailing from Wisconsin and having spent a year in Italy plus two years in Moldova, Dan's European experiences fostered his enjoyment of a full bodied red.  Rarely will you find him taking home a bottle of white from a tasting.  His favorites include a peppery Cabernet Franc or a smooth Sangiovese.   

Debbie is a New Yorker through and through. She enjoys sipping a variety of wines across the board from a steel aged Pinot Gris to an oak aged Cabernet Sauvignon.  Like her home town she likes her wines to be full of flavor, but not too sweet, she will shy away from those dessert wines. 

Lori, like Dan, spent time in Italy where she developed her palate and enjoyed the European wine culture. As a native Californian she surprisingly didn't start her American wine adventure until moving to DC and visiting Virginia wineries. She prefers sipping off-dry whites, dessert wines and some reds like Chambourcin. 

Megan "The Nose" loves a quality Chardonnay and other crisp clean whites. She's also known to find a wine at almost every vineyard that she "could smell forever!"  While whites are her favorites, she enjoys a full bodied red from time to time as well.

*The photographs and opinions on this blog belong to yours truly, unless otherwise noted.