Hello wine friends!
Last year, we hosted a blind wine tasting featuring "Wines from Around the World." I wrote all about it on the blog so definitely check out this post here. It features all the things you need to plan your own party so if you're looking for tips on how to host a blind wine tasting. As a follow-up I wanted to share my experience hosting a tasting, Virginia Wine Edition.
We sent an invite to all our friends indicating that they should bring any single varietal Virginia Wine. With lots of great options, we were excited to see what they would bring. After much deliberation, I chose a Cabernet Franc from Gabriel Rausse. If you've been following along for a while you know that this is one of my favorite varietals AND wineries! So I was excited to see what other people thought!
Well we started the night with our friends arriving who had brought the most liked bottle of wine from last year, Cabernet Sauvignon from Barboursville. Of course they had to bring it again to see if it could continue to stand its ground being the most popular. Well the next couple of people arrived and what did they bring? The SAME wine! And same with the next couple after that! All in all we ended up with FOUR bottles of Cab Sauv. I was definitely starting to freak out a little because my VA wine stash isn't that big right now as we have been going through them. Luckily a couple of people had brought 2 wines and enough did not bring B'ville so it was all okay!
I decided to trick everyone by placing two of the Barboursville Cab Sauv's in the mix and snuck a couple of my own wines into the mix. About half of the people figured it out, and the others couldn't remember since it was the at the very end, and after lots of wine that they tasted the double!
All in all it ended up being a blast per usual! If you haven't tried doing a blind wine tasting before, I highly recommend it and you don't have to be a wine expert in any respect. My favorite thing is being able to compare the different wines side by side to see what I liked. The biggest surprise ended up being the Petit Manseng from Bluemont Vineyard. I had this leftover from a past visit in which we didn't hit our group minimum so I took home a few extra bottles and had not yet opened them. I would say this wine was one of the favorites! I also LOVED the Barboursville Viognier. This is typically another of my favorite varietals and it did not disappoint. And then of course my Gabriele Rausse Cabernet Franc was my favorite red!
The biggest lesson learned for next time is to maybe assign varietals, or if you are doing the Around the World Edition assign a country, That way you get more variety in the mix which is always a good thing!
If you have any thoughts or questions about this, please comment below! I would love to hear what you think.
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Have a wonderful Holiday Season!
This is such a unique winery as it has a big greenhouse attached to the tasting room. It's a fun place to enjoy relaxing amongst the plants during the winter. However, they also have a nice outdoor area with a beautiful view for the sunnier days when you just want to soak up the sun. Best of both worlds!
5. Barboursville Vineyards
Immediately upon laying eyes on Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyards, I fell in love. I had heard amazing things about Pippin from friends and could not wait to visit. My best friend of 17 years was coming to visit and so I knew it would be a special place to take her.
As you drive up the hill, you can see the beautiful vineyards. Then, as you enter the winery, you walk through a path of hydrangeas. The view of the valley is breathtaking. I felt like I could spend hours here just hanging out. They have a nice area where you can sit outside and eat, however, there can be a long wait to sit out here. There are also hightop tables that are first come first serve and many tables inside. You can also ask any of the staff for a blanket and buy a bottle to sit out on the grass and take in the scenery. At Pippin Hill, you are not able to bring a picnic as they have many food options. They have a reputation for their delicious food, so if you're hungry this is a solid place to go for your food-wine fix.
There are two different wine tastings to choose from, a selections of mainly whites (5 for $10) or mainly reds (4 for $12). This is definitely pricier than other wineries, but so worth it for the views. My personal favorites include the Rosé and the Viognier.
Pro tip: If going on a Saturday, go first thing in the morning when they open. We arrived at 11:10am and there were already a good amount of people there but it was very crowded by 11:45 am. You could also beat the crowds by going on a Friday evening or Sunday instead.