Sunday, June 3, 2007

Mount Vernon Wine Festival (Virginia)

Mount Vernon, the former home of President George Washington, occupies a gorgeously green space overlooking the Potomac River. While visitors flock to this historic site 365 days a year, one weekend each spring, hundreds of people descend upon the estate for the Mount Vernon Wine Festival, which showcases local Virginia wineries amidst the backdrop of the Mount Vernon mansion, the Potomac River, and the music of local jazz bands.

Although I attended the last day of the festival on a Sunday night, the wine tasting tent was still teeming with people when I arrived. It was a struggle to push my way to the front of each table for a small sip of wine. I stuck mostly to reds - Cabernet Sauvignons and Merlots were quite popular - and tried a couple whites - Viogniers and Riesling mixes - but the one wine which stood out to me the most was Sarah's Patio Red from Chrysalis Vineyards in Middleburg, VA. This wine, made from the local Norton grape, is a fruity and sweet chilled red that is very drinkable and perfect for summer grilling.

I bought two bottles, one to take home and one chilled and opened immediately for sharing with friends while we sat on the lawn with baguettes and hummus from Firehook Bakery, listened to jazz, and watched the sun go down. Could there be any better way to close out a weekend?

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