Wine Enthusiast’s Top 10 Wine Destinations of 2013

Wine Enthusiast’s Top 10 Wine Destinations of 2013

Another attempt at writing again after a long hiatus, you all know how that goes. Check out this post from CNN with some stunning visuals (my fav is Rioja, Spain).

All that being said, these trips are all rather expensive for my travel budget. Look out for an upcoming post about my mini Virginia Wine country vacation; I did one of those Groupon Getaways for 2 days on the cheap and had some great wine experiences.

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Returning to the Origins of California Wine: Marietta Cellars

“In short, our wines sell because of what’s in the bottle” – from the back of the bottle on any Old Vine Red from  Marietta.

The wine world can be a very overwhelming place. Between keeping up with point scores from a variety of magazines and which years yielded the best grapes from each region, one can easily become lost in a whole load of crap that has no bearing on the most important aspect of enjoying wine; whether or not one likes to drink it.

I was introduced to this family owned operation at a dinner a few years back, trying their Old Vine Red, Lot Number 47. I was surprised to find that there were no specific percentages of which grape varietals were used (the bottles states that the blend is “predominantly comprised of Zinfandel,” a very traditional California grape that produces bold and exciting wine) and no vintage. I then recieved the spiel on this rather inexpensive ($11-$14) and unassuming bottle, learning that Marietta Cellars will just blend their harvest of grapes together, under the care of the father who started the winery and his 4 sons,and out comes a fantastic wine for the price.

I have been drinking Old Vine Red since Lot Number 47 (they just released Lot 54 in February 2011) and you can always find a bottle in my collection. Each release is a bit different in terms of specific flavors, for example, I found 51 and 52 a lot spicier and less full bodied than the 53 sitting next to me. That being said, every release that I have tried has been very smooth and has gone well with almost any meal that one can imagine, specifically pasta dishes with tomato based sauces and flavorful meats. Old Vine Red has never disappointed me and my guests are always suprised that it is so great and inexpensive but they haven’t heard of it.

Cheers to you, Chris Bilbro. Not only do you have bro in your name, but you consistently produce a fantastic and affordable wine. You can read more about the beliefs and principles that govern the operation of Marietta Cellars here.

Vino Volo: An Airport Bar Remix

Before departing on my current trip to LA, I found myself in Dulles International Airport with an hour and a half to kill before my flight. As I stepped off the escalator and and began my quest for a drank establishment in Terminal B, I found everything I ever wanted in an airport bar.

 

An oasis of wine and sophistication

The Vino Volo wine room was an oasis of sophisticated beauty, the perfect escape if you felt a little violated during new airport security procedures (I found the whole process rather unexciting, but I digress). The bar area was clean and the staff was friendly, helpful, and informed; all of which make a huge difference in any wine tasting experience. I decided to take one of the wine “flights,” a tasting experience with three different wines centered around a similar theme. Based on my destination, I chose the California Reds ($10 for three tasting sized portions) and enjoyed each of them thoroughly.

Vino Volo Wine Flight

There was also a “tapas” style menu with a variety of gourmet style foods to pair with your wine selections. Being on my current Mediterranean kick inspired by my parent’s recent trip to Spain, I went for the Olives ($4) and Artisan cured meats ($7 small plate) and I was pleasantly surprised by both.

Vino Volo in Dulles was quite the wine experience and I would highly recommend everyone to stop by on their next journey, provided the D.C. traffic leaves you with any time for some light fare before your journey. For novice and experienced wine drinkers, this is a great place to get your buzz on before takeoff.

Wines You Might Like

Just added a new page, “Wines You Might Like“, to provide an easy way to bring my wine recommendations to the masses. Every wine that goes on that list I would gladly purchase and enjoy again. I would normally add wine reviews as new posts in my last blog, but I’m going to keep the descriptions short, sweet, and in one spot in an effort to keep this blog looking clean and easy to enjoy.