Sunday, April 25, 2010

It's Getting Hot In Here! AKA The Twitter Taste-Off

After a full morning of seminars and exciting discussions at the 2010 Drink Local Wine Conference, it was time for the moment we'd all been waiting for.....The Twitter Taste-Off!!! People were standing around outside the room, a few had glasses in hand waiting to rush the tasting room like it was Wal-Mart on Black Friday! We got the hand signal that the tasting was open, and we were off. Over 20 wineries from Virginia and Maryland were on hand to pour a white and a red for us to tweet about to our hearts content. Our mission, if we chose to accept it, was taste, tweet and vote. The voting categories were Best Red, Best White, Media Favorite, and Overall Best Wine.

Some were old favorites that were tasted again and some were brand new wines or vintages we'd heard about but have never tasted. I was most excited to taste Chrysalis Vineyard's Albarino. I didn't even know they were growing that grape in VA until Jenny McCloud mentioned it in the 'Thomas Jefferson' seminar. It was everything that people said it was and more, very creamy in my glass with notes of citrus and peach. I was also very fond of the Lovingston Petit Manseng having not been too familiar with Petit Manseng. I now have added 3 to my list as I enjoyed the 2 from Horton Vineyards and Pearmund Cellars that were served at the dinner on Saturday night. A notable red was the Kluge Estate New World Red, it had that dark fruit and toasty oak flavor that I like. I also enjoyed the 2006 Barboursville Vineyards Octagon, 2007 Corocran Vineyards Meritage, and 2007 Williamsburg Winery Adagio. I wish I had more notes to add on them but at this point, I was burning up!! My poor sweaty fingers were not doing too well with the keyboard on my Droid at this point. Wondered if it was the red wine or the room...but upon hearing everyone else commenting and sweating, it was the room. Apparently the air conditioner had checked out of the resort. I stepped outside to taste the wines of my current home state of MD.

Definitely the surprise of the afternoon was the wines of Maryland. A surprise to everyone else though. Living in MD and having attended and volunteered at many MD wine festivals, I already knew the state was working with some decent vineyards. The 2007 Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyards Comus and the Serpent Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc generated a great deal of chatter on Twitter. But none could compare to the talk surrounding Black Ankle Vineyards Leaf Stone Syrah! It blew people's minds! It blew my mind too when I first had it. Had they brought the Rolling Hills or the multi-award winning Crumbling Rock, I think people might have passed out!!

A couple of the comments on twitter under the MD wine hashtag #dlw10md were:
Nice Elk Run Vineyards Chardonnay w/ a soft footprint of toastiness. Glad to get a chance to try so many #mdwine

Cygnus Wine Cellars Blanc de Blanc NV is from MD - color is pale yellow, light and crisp sparkling

Serpent Ridge Vintner's Cabernet 2007 - blend of Cabernet Sauvignon & Cabernet Franc , beautiful deep red/purple color, dark fruit

2007 Comus Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard ruby plum, blackberries aroma and taste mild tannins fruity finish

@blackanklevine Bedlam White Blend floral, fruity, moderate acidity ~ my type of summer time sipping sensation

The winners of the day were the 2008 Chrysalis AlbariƱo for the Best White Wine, the 2002 Breaux Vineyards Reserve Merlot for the Best Red Wine and Media Favorite, and the Michael Shaps Viognier for Crowd Favorite. A fantastic event in which Virginia wines were shown the respect that tthey rightly deserve.

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