Monday, January 25, 2010

Wine Tasting Weekend Part One

I made an RSVP over two months ago for the B&B we went to this past weekend. I probably didn't need to since we were the only guests, but, hey, you never know and I wanted the larger room.
Yes, we returned yesterday from our (seems to be) annual "Getaway and Play Before The Hell That Must Be Paid" (Busy Season) weekend. Last year, we went to Edenton, NC; this year, we headed to Dobson, NC. Ever heard of the TV show "Dobson's Creek"? Yeah, THAT place. Pure coincidence, though as the reason we went is this general area houses well over 50 NC wineries, many of which we've already been acquainted with via the NC Wine Festival.
One of the guidelines for this annual get-away is it must be somewhere that won't take forever to get to as we can usually only stay two nights. It took us about 2 hours and 15 minutes to get to the exit for the B&B (although it was another 20 or so miles away). No matter; as we traversed the back roads towards the B&B, we drove past a winery called RagApple Lassie. Since yours truly had to use the facilities, we stopped.
For whatever reason, I'd always thought RagApple Lassie only had the sweetie wines (must be the "Apple" in the name) so we'd never tried them at the festival. I'm sure glad nature called as we truly enjoyed our wine tasting experience there (and ended up both joining their wine club (free) and buying 13 bottles of wine). We purchased mostly dry wines (Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and a high-end red blend) however, we did decide to buy a white blend called Kaleidescope Gold which can only be described as soft and floral; as well as a semi-sweet white that, when paired with a piece of white chocolate with coconut, tasted exactly like a pina colada (think warm summer days). In addition, we had to buy one bottle of a semi-sweet red that was excellent with bleu cheese (I'm already planning a wine tasting party; nutty bleu cheese rolls plus this wine; yum! Or, even a buffalo chicken wrap with bleu cheese dressing would work since the slight sweetness of the wine would off-set the spiciness quite nicely). Finally, we purchased their dessert wine which tasted like a honeyed orange blossom. Of course, dessert wines are meant to be sipped in SMALL cordial glasses, so, ones exposure to the sweetness is limited and is quite enjoyable in the correct circumstances.

Me outside of RagApple Lassie. Yes, I did buy the cap (below)

After leaving RagApple, we continued on towards the B&B. We found it, and, kept on going as we really wanted to eat a late lunch/early dinner at Harvest Grill at Shelton Vineyards (this restaurant had come highly recommended by my brother and his wife).
We barely made it in time as they stopped serving lunch at 3:00 and we wandered in about 2:40. They seated us in a very pleasant sun room with a fantastic view of (likely just one part of) the vineyard and a comfy fire roaring in a huge fire place near our table (the weather was chilly and overcast; only in the 40s). We were the only people in the entire place, which was fine by us! Mr. B had the Bison meatloaf with a glass of Malbec (the waitress ended up pouring him about a glass and a half because the bottle was almost empty and she didn't want to take an almost empty bottle back to the kitchen). I had cornmeal crusted crab cakes and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Both entrees came loaded with sides; the meatloaf with a healthy portion of egg noodles and spinach and the crab cakes with green beans and corn pudding. Oh, and the dipping sauce for the crab cakes was an interesting combination of tartar sauce and Texas Pete (a spicy sauce usually used on wings). We found the prices very reasonable and would definitely return to this restaurant.
After our lunch, we decided to hold on the tasting at Shelton and go on back to the B&B. However, along the way, we saw a sign for another winery called Stony Knoll Vineyards so decided what the heck and stopped there for a tasting. We were the only people there at first, which makes it nice as it's a lot easier to ask questions and get information when no one is in any sort of hurry. I believe the owner was the pourer, too! We liked his Viognier and a few of the dry reds the best. He then brought out a late harvest dessert wine that literally made my eyes pop when I tasted it; just like chocolate covered cherries. Needless to say, you only need a teeny bit of this (and, yes, I did have to get a bottle!)
As we left to travel on to the B&B, I told Mr. B it hadn't taken us very long at all to break the rule I'd attempted to establish en route from Durham; not to buy any wine until we'd finished tasting everywhere we cared to go to and THEN go back and buy some here, some there, etc. Yeah, right; it just doesn't work that way, folks!
Next up: The Rockford Inn B&B
Mrs. B


Margot said...


Ellen Dagenhart said...

Van Coe, the owner of Stony Knoll, was taught by both my parents, I think. My mom used to go there and paint. Daddy would carry her easel & paints and just sit with her. She had started a Four Season series of the vineyard; one painting is hanging there now. For a time, Van had a sketch by her on the back label of the bottle. Nice folks. Glad you found them.

Mrs. B said...

Ellen, Van was so nice! He was the one who was pouring the wine for us. We very much enjoyed meeting him and his Late Harvest is to die for.
Next time we go (and we'll go back for sure), we'll look for your mom's painting!