Georges Duboeuf’s Wildflowers Wines Pair Well with Thanksgiving

2017 Georges Duboeuf Wildflower Merlot

We received three wines from the Wildflowers line by Georges Duboeuf. These wines are from the Pays d’Oc region in Southern France. The wines, all from 2017, included a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir. Our overall reaction was that these wines would pair well with Thanksgiving dinners. The US suggested retail price for each of the wines was $11.99 for a 750 ml bottle. That is a very reasonable price for French wines. A challenge to serving wines at a traditional Thanksgiving feast is the multiple flavors and textures that grace the dinner table. The wines we tasted were all fruit forward with medium to full bodies and mild tannins. At most, the wines had a faint influence of oak. They would match easily with turkey, stuffing, and the wide array of side dishes.  In 1964, Georges Duboeuf founded Le Vins Georges ...

Make Your Holiday Recipes Special: Add a Little Wine

A recipe that calls for red wine and cherries!

Now that fall cooking is underway, it is a great time to start adding wine to your recipes. Of course, since you are unlikely to use the entire bottle of wine in the recipe, there will undoubtedly be enough wine left to enjoy while creating your masterpiece or to serve with dinner.  Below are seven suggestions for adding wine to your recipes.
  1. When baking a box cake, substitute wine for the water. Terry well remembers when he was in elementary school, his mother taught him this trick.
  2. When cooking meat, start off by marinating the beef, pork or chicken in a little wine. The addition of wine tends to help tenderize the meat making it tender and  and adds hints of robustness. We prefer using red wine for beef dishes and white wine for chicken.
  3. Risotto dishes frequently call for ...

Looking at Halloween Wine-Related Ideas Over the Years!

Happy Halloween!

In celebration of Halloween, check out Wine Trail Traveler blogs written over the years. Enjoy and Happy Halloween! A Yummy Cocktail, Perfect for Halloween October 2017 A colorful cocktail for Halloween. Halloween Cocktail from TABLE 7, Halloween! October 2017 This blog offers a recipe for a Vampire’s Kiss cocktail Adults Can Also Have Fun with Halloween! October 2015 Halloween Photos at Wineries October 2015 Halloween for Wine and Candy Lovers From art to wine pairing to writing haiku for Halloween! Cheers!

The Enjoyable Wine Tasting That Didn’t Happen!

Lugana & Valpolicella winetasting

We live in the mid-Atlantic region, so it takes us 1 1/2 to 2 hours to make a trip into the center of Washington, DC via car and Metro. We don’t mind the trip especially when we are cordially invited to a special wine tasting. This week was the first time we had trekked into the city for a wine tasting and a seminar but there were no wines to taste! You may wonder why a wine tasting event did not have wines available. It was all explained to us. One of our early wine courses emphasized the three entities that influence the wine in your glass. These include the vineyard, the winemaker and government. Government can control the vineyards with laws on whether you can irrigate or not. During winemaking, government may have laws regarding chaptalization. Then there are numerous rules regarding labeling the bottle. ...

A Travel and Wine Destination: South Africa

Sign outside the SA Embassy in Washington, DC

Early in October we visited the Embassy of the Republic of South Africa in Washington, DC for a presentation emphasizing the wonderful experiences of visiting South Africa. Before our visit, we already were aware of the wine industry in the country. We were impressed by the enthusiasm of all the presenters at the embassy event. The word “beautiful” was liberally sprinkled throughout the presentations. 

Symbol of South Africa

We were first welcomed to the event by Ambassador Mahlangu. In addition to his smile, he talked about South Africa as if it was a country he was in love with. Inspiring comments by Ambassador Mahlangu included: that they “always welcome visitors,” there is a “people to people engagement, people should “experience South Africa as a country.”  He also encouraged people that if you have not been there, then you should go ...

October is Virginia Wine Month

October is Virginia Wine Month!

During October 2018, Virginia is celebrating its 30th year Virginia Wine Month. Virginia lays claim to being the oldest state with a Wine Month.  History buffs and wine lovers will want to know that the first Virginia Wine Month was established in 1988 by former Governor Gerald L. Baliles. Governor Bailles signed a CERTIFICATE of RECOGNITION  which stated, “By virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution in the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, there is hereby officially recognized: VIRGINIA WINE MONTH.”  The document made note that Jamestown settlers had been using native American grapes for fermentation and that Jefferson experimented with growing vinifera wine grapes in Virginia soil. To see what difference in the Virginia wine industry has taken place over the years, the document noted that at that time, in 1988, Virginia had more than 40 ...

Remembering a Time in Champagne

Michel Drappier introduces his father André.

Not only is Champagne Day, October 19th, a day to celebrate by having a bottle of champagne from the Champagne region of France, it is a day to remember our travels in Champagne. Kathy and I were in the Aube sub-region of Champagne and we visited Champagne Drappier in Urville. Michel Drappier visited with us, gave a tour of the caves and discussed the champagne process. Later that evening, we had dinner at our hotel and Kathy and I had the honor to sit next to Michel Drappier. 

Quattuor a champagne blend of Chardonnay, Arbane, Petit Meslier and Formenteau (Pinot Gris)

Michel is very much a family man and is the seventh generation to craft champagnes. While at the winery he introduced his father, André, noting that his father is the champagne house’s best customer. During dinner we talked about our daughters. It ...

35th Maryland Wine Festival is this Saturday!

Earlier Maryland Wine Festival photo at Carroll County Farm Museum

The 35th Maryland Wine Festival takes place Saturday, October 13 at the Carroll County Farm Museum, a wonderful location that celebrates history. The Maryland Wine Festival usually takes place in September but due to dire weather forecast predictions was postponed until this coming Saturday.  At this 2018 festival more than 150 Maryland wines will be available for wine enthusiasts. Those people with Explorer Pass tickets will receive a commemorative tasting glass, have access to all the wines from Maryland wineries participating in the event plus additional special wines. The Explorer tickets include access to special seating in a shaded area, bottled water and private restrooms, also participating in a blind tasting competition. While food is not included in the tickets, culinary delights will be available from vendors. The Carroll County Farm Museum is a great family historic site to ...

October is Pennsylvania’s Wine Month!

Naylor Wine Cellars, PA

Did you know that October is Pennsylvania’s Wine Month? Enjoy traveling along Pennsylvania’s countryside roads while touring the state’s many wineries. Wine enthusiasts can discover small, boutique wineries as well as much larger wineries. Pennsylvania wineries are producing a vast array of wines. In addition to many traditional wines produced with vitas vinifera grapes, Pennsylvania wineries are producing wines crafted from hybrid varieties and vitis labrusca grapes as well as a variety of fruits.

Clover Hill Vineyard & Winery, PA

Pennsylvania vineyards include more than two dozen grape varieties. While visiting wineries in Pennsylvania look for vitis vinifera, hybrid and native American varieties. Check the list below for the varieties below growing in Pennsylvania.

Oregon Hill Winery in Pennsylvania

Vitis Vinifera Varieties Albariño
Cabernet Sauvignon
Grüner Veltliner
Pinot Grigio
Lemberger (Blaufränkisch)
Pinot Grigio (Pinot Gris)
Pinot Noir
Syrah     Hybrid ...

Annual Evening of Wine & Art Library Fundraiser

On Saturday, the Snyder County Libraries Evening of Wine and Art Fundraiser will include wine, entertainment and art. This fun wine event will also include a  raffle and a silent auction. The event takes place at Shade Mountain Winery on Saturday, October 6 from 5:30 to 8pm. This fundraiser will benefit the Snyder County Libraries. Tickets are $40 a piece and each ticket holder is entitled to two Shade Mountain Winery drinks and/or Shy Bear Beer. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will also be available.

Shade Mountain vineyards

Music entertainment will be provided by Bret Alexander and Aaron Fink. The guest artist at the fundraiser is Ross Smoker. His focus is on carving birds. Ross competes around the country. Numerous organizations have donated food including: Amato’s Pizza Selinsgrove, Aramark at Susquehanna University, Rose Flood, Giant, National Beef, Planet Fitness, Shade Mountain Winery, Shy Bear Brewing, SUN Tech and Weis Markets. The ...

The Annual NYCWFF is Almost Here!

Discover wine, spirits and food at the NYCWFF in NYC this month!

The NYCWFF, a large festival in New York City, is almost here. This all-encompassing event begins October 11 and runs through October 14. One of the most important points of the NewYork City Wine & Food Festival is that the festival benefits two charities: No Kid Hungry and the Food Bank For New York City. Ticket information is available online. Back in June I provided information about the NYCWFF including reasons why to volunteer. While many events have been sold out, there are still tickets available for numerous fun events. Also package tickets are available.  As of this writing, Sunday, September 30, tickets are available for: Date: Thursday, October 11
  • Benoit 10th Anniversary Dinner with Alain Ducasse and Laetitia Rouabah
  • Supper is Served
  • Chelsea Night Market
  • Tacos & Tequila presented by Tequila Cazadores
Date: Friday, October 12
  • ...

WineFest in Pennsylvania’s North East is this Weekend

South Shore Wine Company

The first time we traveled in Pennsylvania’s North East region (in the northwestern part of the state along Lake Erie) it was early Fall when grapes were ripe and just hanging, awaiting the harvest. At the time large trucks filled with luscious, ripe grapes rolled along the roads leaving behind whiffs of grape aromas. Needless to say the grapes were not all wine grapes but many were of the Concord and Niagara varieties for commercial juice. We drove along the roads with our windows down enjoying the aromas. While in North East we also discovered several wineries also producing traditional wines. All of these reminisces were brought back by the announcement of the 2018 Wine Country Harvest Festival. This year the Winefest is this weekend from September 28 to September 30. The festival takes place at two parks, Gibson Park and Gravel Pit Park. Events and ...

Winemaking and Wine Tasting at Tin Lizzie Wineworks

A couple of weeks ago we stopped by Tin Lizzie Wineworks, a teaching winery, in Clarksville, Maryland. This is an unusual winery where wine enthusiasts and wine lovers can produce their own wines under the guidance of Dave Zuchero, owner and winemaker.  Yesterday we received an email from Dave announcing an “Exclusive Vertical Cabernet Tasting”  that is scheduled for October 3. If you are interested in crafting your own wine, you may want to attend this event. The wine tasting is limited to only 20 people. If you want to attend, contact Dave Zuchero at The email from Tin Lizzie announced that for a very limited time, there is time for anyone to sign up to make wine this fall. Spaces are still available to craft quarter and half barrels of wine. As of yesterday, interested people can choose to participate in any of the ...

Gersing Cellars Shell Viognier

Gersing Cellars Shell Viognier

Late yesterday afternoon, after a day of preparing our gardens for fall, we decided to enjoy a glass of white wine on our recently renovated deck overlooking our small landscaped backyard. The Gersing Cellars Shell Viognjer 2017 was a perfect match for the backyard experience.  The Viognier was a light yellow color. The aroma offered notes of floral and tropical fruit. The mouthfeel was velvety. The taste offered notes of citrus, pineapple and mango with a little rose petal and a bit of minerality. The finish had a long fruit taste. The grapes for this Viognier were sourced from the Yakima Valley. The back label of the wine bottle explains the musical Shell name. Shell definition, “An open, two-note chord structure played on the piano by the left hand in accompanying oneself or another soloist. This wine-floral, citrusy, and mineral-driven – sings with the clear, ...

28th Annual Virginia Wine & Garlic Festival!

Burnley Vineyards will attend the Annual Virginia Wine & Garlic Festival in October.

Like wine? Like garlic? Then the 28th Annual Virginia Wine & Garlic Festival is a festival you want to be sure to attend. On October 13th and 14th Rebec Vineyards in Amherst, Virginia will be the location of  the Annual Virginia Wine & Garlic Festival. Eleven Virginia wineries are participating in the festival. Look for wines from Rebec Vineyards, Peaks of Otter Winery, Lazy Days, Rockbridge Vineyard, Hill Top Berry Farm & Winery, Burnley Vineyards, Mountain Cove Vineyards, The Homeplace Vineyard, Virginia Mountain Vineyards, Cobbler Mountain Cider and AmRhein’s Wine Cellars. Check out Wine Trail Traveler if you you want to know more about what it’s like to visit some of these wineries. This fun event includes entertainment and garlic-themed cuisine. Food options available include:
  • Asian inspired cuisine
  • Crab cakes
  • Greek & Italian-based cuisine
  • Smoked BBQ ...

67th Annual Niagara Grape & Wine Festival

Legends Winery participates in Niagara Wine Festival

Check out the 67th Annual Niagara Grape & Wine Festival. The Montebello Park Experience The 67th Annual Niagara Grape & Wine Festival  takes place at Montebello Park September 21-23 and 28-30.  The Montebello Park Experience includes 100 wines and 50 hours of music. In addition, food and entertainment is available. Best of all admission is free; although food purchases must be purchased with purchased tokens. Festival tokens may be purchased at the park. Special tickets are available for the Harvest Lounge and the Sommelier Wine Lounge. The Harvest Lounge will have specially chosen VQA wines and a charcuterie bar. The Sommelier Wine Lounge offers ticket holders an al fresco wine café experience where premium VQA wines and chef prepared food bites are available. Montebello Park will be open:
  • Fridays: 5pm til 10:30pm
  • Saturdays: 11am til 10:30pm
  • Sundays: 12Noon til 8pm
In addition to ...

35th Annual Maryland Wine Festival Postponed!

Photo from an earlier Annual Maryland Wine Festival at the Carroll County Farm Museum

One of Maryland’s very well-known wine festivals is the Annual Maryland Wine Festival. Due to the strong possibility of a very rainy and maybe more difficult weather for this weekend according to the festival website, the 35th Annual Maryland Wine Festival has been postponed until October 13.  For those who have already purchased tickets for this weekend’s festival be sure to save them for using on Saturday, October 13, which will only take place on Saturday. The location of the Annual Maryland Wine Festival is the Carroll County Farm Museum which offers a historic farmhouse and numerous farm buildings plus animals. It is a superb museum to visit and is ideal for children, adults and families.  Here are some of things you will miss if you decided not to visit the 35th Annual Maryland ...

35th Annual Maryland Wine Festival Postponed!

Photo from an earlier Annual Maryland Wine Festival at the Carroll County Farm Museum

One of Maryland’s very well-known wine festivals is the Annual Maryland Wine Festival. Due to the strong possibility of a very rainy and maybe more difficult weather for this weekend according to the festival website, the 35th Annual Maryland Wine Festival has been postponed until October 13.  For those who have already purchased tickets for this weekend’s festival be sure to save them for using on Saturday, October 13, which will only take place on Saturday. The location of the Annual Maryland Wine Festival is the Carroll County Farm Museum which offers a historic farmhouse and numerous farm buildings plus animals. It is a superb museum to visit and is ideal for children, adults and families.  Here are some of things you will miss if you decided not to visit the 35th Annual Maryland ...

It’s North Carolina Wine & Grape Month!

Biltmore tasting room

The North Carolina Wine & Grape Month takes place during September. Although North Carolina wines are not frequently in the national or world news, the wineries in North Carolina are definitely worth visiting. September is a lovely month to visit the wineries where visitors can find beautiful vineyards, grape stomping activities and of course sip a variety of wines.

North Carolina vineyards

Did you know that North Carolina has five American Viticultural areas? The AVAs are: Appalachian High Country, Haw River Valley, Swan Creek, Upper Hiwassee Highlands and Yadkin Valley.  The wineries in North Carolina are located from the Mountains to the Coast. The wineries are also divided between the Mountains, Piedmont and Coast. The wineries in the Mountains and Piedmont are growing traditional vitis vinifera grapes as well as hybrids. Visitors to the Coastal area are likely to discover Muscadine (Scuppernong, Vitis rotundifolia) wines and ...

Artisan Cheese & Wine Pairing Event in the Fall!

Ridgewood Winery

The Berks County Wine Trail, located in Pennsylvania’s south eastern region will be a delight for many wine and cheese lovers on September 29 – 30 and October 6 -7. On those two weekends, wineries and local cheese producers are offering the Artisan Cheese & Wine Pairing Event. Tickets are only $15 until September 28. Event tickets are available online. Each ticket includes two cheese and wine pairings available at each participating winery.  The cheeses are provided by regional dairies including: Farm Fromage, Wholesome Dairy Farms, Birchrun Hills Farms, Conebella Farms, Grube’s Dairy, The Smokehaus, and Valley Milkhouse.

Pinnacle Ridge Winery

The members of the Berks County Wine Trail participating in this delightful wine and cheese event include: Stonekeep Meadery
Manatawny Creek Winery
Stone Barn Cellars
Ridgewood Winery
Weathered Vineyards
Setter Ridge Vineyards
Calvaresi Winery
Deerfoot Winery
Stoudt’s Winery
Kog Hill Winery
Long Trout Winery
Pinnacle Ridge ...