A Weekend Trip to VA Wine Country

Ever thought of staying in West Virginia and exploring Virginia wine country?

Probably not your first thought.

Charles Town is known for the horse races and Hollywood Casino. A few miles from there is a quaint, cozy and historical bed and breakfast, Hillbrook Inn. And a short drive from there is VA wine country.

Built on George Washington's first land purchase, this b&b is also known for it's fine dining experiences featuring 3 and 5 course dinners and 2 course breakfasts. The staff was very welcoming and gave us the grand tour upon arrival. The amenities are high-end and I must say, the bed was most comfortable! Perfect after a day of winery hopping.

Virginia wineries are within a short drive; plan a trip to visit Breaux, Hillsborough, Doukenie, Veramar, Bluemont and many more!


J&G Steakhouse Launches a New Look

J&G Steakhouse, located in the W Hotel, has been a Top 100 Restaurant in DC for many years. Although it's a hotel restaurant, J&G has managed to attract tourists and locals alike. DCers are well-versed in steakhouses as well as hotel restaurants but J&G has gone through an extensive remodel over the summer.

They reopened this week and I was there to see the new look! First off and most importantly, they have launched a wine bar inside called Bar 515. The bar is inside, off the patio and beneath the main steakhouse. Quiet and cozy, this is an ideal location for a first date, catching up with old friends or making new ones. A sleek background behind the bar showcases bright white light and antler accents, very trendy. At the other end of the bar, there is a warm fireplace; the perfect spot to get cozy this Fall.

The patio has also had a renovation. Enjoy a glass of Pinot Noir next to the firepits scattered about. Again, ideal for this Fall season.

J&G also had a martini cart showcasing craft cocktails! How gorgeous is this patio?

The renovation inside the main steakhouse has made it feel more welcoming and modern with a pop of color.
Photo courtesy of luxist.com

Photo courtesy of thewashingtonlobbyist.com
I cannot wait to come back and enjoy more wine on that patio and inside Bar 515!


Maryland Wine: More Than the Fruity Stuff

Maryland wine is where Virginia wine was about a decade ago. Starting to gain traction, some really great producers making great wines and then those that are producing the fruit wines. But hey, evidently those sell too! This shouldn't discount all MD wine, there are some fantastic wineries out there, you just need to know where to look. And Jarrod at Adega Wine Cellars was just the person to ask.

The Young Winos held a tasting event in Silver Spring at Adega Wine Cellars focusing on those great producers in MD. Adega is a casual, cafe-style environment and was a great experience. A large menu featuring burgers, appetizers, flatbreads and pastas were available as well as wines by the glass, by the bottle and also beers. 

Jarrod, the manager, led the tasting of 4 MD wines; 2 whites and 2 reds. The first wine was from Cygnus Wine Cellars in Carroll County. Manchester Hall is a Vidal Blanc, which is a flagship grape in the state. A very balanced, off-dry wine with melon and notes of minerality. This wine has 1.2% residual sugar but still finishes dry. This bottle retails at Adega for $15.99

The 2nd white wine was from Black Ankle Vineyards in Frederick County. The 2012 Bedlam is a blend of pretty much everything they can find. A blend of Chardonnay, Albarino, Muscat, Viognier, Gruner Vetliner and Syrah! Wow! No wonder it's called Bedlam ("craziness"). This complex wine is very tropical, full bodied with a crisp, long finish. I enjoyed this one but it did get some comments from others at the tasting that it was too complex and had a lot going on. With only 131 cases of this wine produced, the retail price is $32.99!

The first red was from Fiore Winery in Hareford County. The Proprietor's Reserve is a Chambourcin, which is a grape that has taken off in MD. This wine is non-vintage but rather a blend of 2 vintages. This helps with the volatility from vintage to vintage. Bright red fruit notes, mostly cherry and only light tannins, this is a great wine to pair with many foods or sip on it's own, as we did after the tasting! 

The last and final wine in the flight was Black Ankle 2011 Rolling Hills red blend. A blend of 76% Merlot and 24% Cab Sauv. Aged in new French oak, this wine is very rich, full bodied and balanced. Again, soft tannins and a lot of red fruit.

This was quite the lineup of MD wines and a great job by Jarrod of Adega! (ps - get the Adega fries: truffle and sweet potato)