Not that there’s a thing wrong with bellying up to a winery’s tasting counter, but there is everything right with the new trend in seated wine tastings happening in Virginia’s wine country.
Bill Edmands, who owns Vintage Ridge Vineyard with his wife, Vicki, believe their monthly pairing tutorials can help even novice drinkers take command of the wine list.
“Think of wine as a condiment,” suggests Edmands, “because food brings out the true profile of how a wine should taste.”
On the first Saturday and Sunday of every month, Vintage Ridge seats drinkers for a premiere tasting that pairs six of the vineyard’s blends with a small plate of savories. A friendly server, well-versed in vino, led our table through the experience, coming and going between generous pours to allow for toasts, discussion of the wine and a few other untold topics that a day of wine tasting might inspire.
Our group of wine country regulars loved both the pace provided with sit-down sipping and the ease of visiting a vineyard without a picnic basket in tow. In keeping with the unpretentious, rustic charms of the relaxed tasting room, which opens its counter for tastings Friday through Sunday, Vintage Ridge serves up snack platters on a patio overlooking the Blue Ridge mountains for guests who want to open a bottle and stay a while. Though outside food is not allowed at this winery, the owners are quick to share with guests that the cheeses they offer can be easily found at a local grocery store.
“People shouldn’t be intimidated when serving wine,” says Edmands, “because everything we do here people can do at home.”
If home for you is a postcard-worthy countryside on a perfect fall day. Without any signage marking the way, Vintage Ridge is a bit of a hidden gem along the stretch of Delaplane vineyards, but once you pull up a seat there you’ll likely discover that it is well worth the drive.