Sunday, December 2, 2007

Oakencroft and Whitehall Vineyards

When the weather outside is frightful, it's a good time to drink Virginia wines. The White Hall Cab Sav 2005 is amazing. After a trip there a couple weeks ago, we picked up that and the Syrah. During wine tasting it is sometimes difficult to distinguish wines, especially a glass in, so purchases sometimes don't live up to how they tasted the first time. The Oakencroft Chambourcin, 100% Chambourcin Grape, is a good wine but was not what we thought once it came home. The Cab Sav is excellent.

A mini-trip on the Monticello Wine Trail, driving WNW from C-ville, brings one to Oakencroft and then White Hall. Oakencroft or Jefferson Vineyards are the closest wineries to town depending on where you live. Oakencroft with around 15 acres of grapes produces a strong selection of wines in contemporily designed bottles. The tasting room lies across from a pond. The narrow drive leads into a beautiful pastoral setting. Below is a view of the tasting room entrance.

White Hall is a little further out in the country, nearer to Shenandoah National Park, and therefore has better mountain views.

So a White Hall bottle of wine on a cold afternoon in December (first Sunday in Advent for the church-goers) went well with some cheese and baguette from market street wine shop and then some egg nog cookies. (2 1/4 cups all purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 1/4 cups white sugar, 3/4 cup salted butter, 1/2 cup egg nog, 1 tsp pure vanilla extract, 2 large egg yolks. 15 minutes at 325 F = yum.) The Egg Nog came from Shenandoah's Pride, at least local in concept. A look at the list of ingredients shows, however, that a gulp contains a fair amount of midwest corn in the form of high fructose corn syrup. I didn't see a brand in Harris Teeter without it. You can't win 'em all.

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