Posted by: Amelia | July 6, 2007

A Taste of Virginia

Vacation is a beautiful thing. The office was kind enough to let the interns take two days off this week in addition to the 4th, so yesterday was only Day 2 of a five day weekend for me. My housemate is transitionally unemployed, so we took the opportunity of our joint lack of work to do what most DC residents like to do with long weekends: leave town.

We decided to go wine tasting in Northern Virginia. Armed with a vineyard listing and map from, we headed out on I-66 amidst early afternoon rainshowers. The city mice were amazed at how quickly the suburbs turned into rural farmland as we approached the foothills of the Appalachians. The hot, sticky air of the city turned into cool, soft, misty air that was tangibly more oxygenated thanks to the copious greenery.

We stopped first at Naked Mountain Vineyard, mostly because we liked the name. We also liked the Riesling! After tasting all of their wines, we needed to wait a bit to be road-ready, so we purchased a box of crackers and a mini-wheel of brie and resigned ourselves to yuppieness. Our second stop was Oasis Winery, and our last stop was Rappahannock Cellars. Particularly at Rappahannock, the wines were universally good. Maybe it was a matter of low expectations, since we hadn’t heard raves about Virginia wines before, but we were quite impressed with the quality. I don’t usually like Chardonnay at all, but Rappahannock had a bright, flinty, steel-aged one that I liked so much I got a bottle.

The tastes were generous for their $3-4 dollar cover charge, so we sat in the car for a long while, listening to motown and eating cheese. We felt a slight pang of sheepishness at the hedonistic excess of it all, but I figure those of us in the do-good business need to indulge every once in a while. Besides, it was just a taste.


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