There is a McDonald’s in the same parking lot as my office. I am always starving when I leave work and have the same argument with myself over and over again. Playing like a broken record in the soundtrack of my own personal hell, the internal conflict goes something like this, “Let’s stop at McDonald’s. I know it’s overpriced and poisonous but can’t we do it just this once? Please…..”
Immediately countered by my condescending Jiminy Cricket, “So you want to be fat and sick? You’re trying to get diabetes? No, absolutely not, we have food at home. Besides, if you want to waste money on something unhealthy, spend it on wine.”
I’m not a slob after all, I have standards when it comes to choosing a poison.
Some of you may wonder why I couldn’t be kinder and gentler to myself and splurge on both?
Can’t a hardworking gal have a Royale With Cheese and tasty glass of Chardonnay?
Mixing wine with McDonald’s is like dropping Mentos into a bottle of Diet Coke.
Xavier and I sat on the couch watching Wine For The Confused with John Cleese and sipping our ice cold glasses of Chardonnay.
It didn’t taste the way I expected. A little harsh, a little tart, a little not like the description on the product label.
Then John Cleese said that wine is often served too cold and I remembered the label on the Chardonnay from Linganore Winery. It read “serve at 55-60 degrees”.
I decided to let my glass sit for awhile, you know, for science.
As it turns out, Chardonnay is not Bud Light and ice cold is not it’s ideal state.
I wouldn’t have thought that it should make any difference but as the wine warmed an incredible transformation began to take place.
A wine that I initially didn’t care for suddenly became full of delicious flavor.
I’ve read the official tasting notes including the description of what this wine is supposed to taste like. Maybe some people can actually pick out all of those things, caramel and caterpillar legs, but for me the dominant flavors were apple, butter, and oak.
The apple was quite prominent and it reminded me of a fancy, wine-esque, apple cider that I tried recently when I attended a party at Blue Bee Cider in Richmond, VA. It is called Charred Ordinary, an obvious play on the word Chardonnay, and it was hands down the best apple cider I’ve ever had. Blue Bee makes a cider that almost tastes like Chardonnay and Cupcake Vineyards makes a Chardonnay that almost tastes like cider. I would love to do a side by side comparison some day.
My thoughts: I enjoyed the 2014 Chardonnay from Cupcake Vineyards, especially after allowing it to warm up a bit. For best results serve at just slightly cooler than room temperature. Additionally, during the 2nd glass watch the Top Gear episode featuring the Reliant Robin.
At 13.5% alcohol, everything is funnier is wine.
When customers think that the fax machine sends actual pieces of paper through the phone lines.
Sunday is indeed the Sabbath and a day for seeking refuge from the general public. During the winter months, Tarara Winery is the perfect gateway for disappearing into the world at large.
Located either on the set of The Walking Dead or on the way to grandmother’s house,
Tarara Winery is a sprawling estate nestled deep in the woods of Leesburg, VA. It’s got a bad case of the creepy trees, sparking a discussion in the car regarding the high probably of the woods being inhabited by witches. Xavier says no but I say he just can’t see them.
In the summer, this place would no doubt have the vibe of a lavish country club, complete with lots of high-roller wine-drinkers, but in the winter we felt compelled to ask the receptionist if they were open as it seemed like we were the only ones there.
In other words, it was perfect!
At the bar, we sampled six different wines. As usual, my imagination got the best of me and I insisted on trying the one called Magic Dragons from the Boneyard Collection. Unfortunately, I found the name preferable to the wine.
To be clear, I’m not saying the Magic Dragons was bad, it just wasn’t as good as the #SocialSecret White 2012. Now, that – my friends, was the bomb diggity ding dang. If you’re going to spend $30 on a bottle of white wine, get this one!
Fruity, but still smooth and definitely dry, this is a Chardonnay-esque white wine that I highly recommend drinking while sitting in a big chair by the fire because, at 12.5% alcohol, you won’t feel like getting up anytime soon.
With regard to socializing, the secret is, that after the first glass, your guests will feel like Alice In Wonderland. While they may hear voices, walk funny, and smile at imaginary cats, they will most certainly tell their friends that you have thrown the best.party.ever.
Who doesn’t want to throw the best party ever?
I wanted to talk about the #SocialSecret because I have already reviewed a red wine from Tarara in a previous post. That being said, it is absolutely worth mentioning that the Tranquility 2014 is outstanding and will probably make your clothes fall off. No joke, if there is a such a thing as a wine erection this wine would cause it and, at $45 a bottle, it is money well spent.
The Tranquility is very, very good.
Let’s walk around the grounds and sober up a bit before getting back in the car.
I was looking for grape vines but found these fruit tree orchards instead.
The shot of the day is this abandoned house that we passed on the way back to civilization.
I got snagged in a barbed wire fence to get the photo below. I have no idea what this structure used to be. Let’s call it Mystery Of The Day.
Xavier and I drove out for a visit this past Sunday. We wanted to taste the dry wine list; specifically looking for a Chardonnay and a Cabernet-esque dry red.
I wanted to like the one called White Raven because the name is cool, and I expected to like the Chardonnay Reserve 2015 because it’s expensive. Neither of these things came to pass.
Apparently cool names and high prices do not necessarily mean better. As far as I’m concerned they hit us with their best shot right out of the gate. The Chardonnay 2014 is everything they claim it to be. It has zero percent residual sugar and is quite literally smooth like butta’, which makes it deliciously dangerous becauseit is also 11.5% alcohol.
We bought a bottle and, at check out, they asked if we would like for them to open it for us so we could enjoy it there. I said, “Only if we can stay the night.”
Pro tip: If you put a straw in the bottle, you can claim to have had “only one drink.”
I specialize in making nice places look like run down abandoned buildings but Linganore Winecellars is, in fact, quite lovely.
Lucky for me, the weather was cold and there were not many people milling around outside but, inside on a Sunday afternoon, the scene is warm and bustling with thirsty wine connoisseurs.
As previously mentioned, I was looking for a Chardonnay and a dry red. We didn’t buy a red but the one I liked the most was the Chambourcin. It’s very dry, with zero percent residual sugar, super smooth, pleasantly oaky, and likely the topic of a separate blog post. 🙂