Maryland and Virginia are rife with wineries.
No joke. Particularly Virginia, where, if you go to the northern part of the state, there are approximately eleventeen million fortytwohundredthousand wineries within a 10 mile radius.
I’m not going to lie—the wines, they are….well, they are. Some are pretty good, some are merely decent. Some should simply remain grapes and left hanging on the vine in a decorative manner.
While I haven’t come across a Maryland or Virginia wine that’s knocked my socks off, that hasn’t stopped me from taste-testing at any vineyard I can get my hands on. A few weeks ago, LivingSocial.com had a great deal—$15 for $30 worth of wine or wine tasting at Corcoran Vineyards. Neither The Swede nor I had ever heard of this place, but we figured what the hell, at the very least we’d get to ride a ferry boat.
So on a gloomy Saturday we hopped that ferry boat and headed into Virginny. We got our money’s worth at Corcoran’s, and the wines were pretty good, if not a bit on the pricier side for a Virginia wine. Under $20? Reasonable. Over $20, like these ones were? Not worth it. The winery had a couple of picnic tables out back, overlooking a large pond and some trees, and we sat and drank our wine and it would have all been very romantical had it not been for the mini-bus driver, waiting for his group of wine-tasting twentysomethings inside, singing along with…the radio? The song in his head? Hard to tell.
We moved on to a different winery, but it turned out The Swede had already been to that one, so before we could even park we were out of the parking lot and on our way down the road, looking at the winery map, The Swede directing me which way to go when. We turned into Breaux Vineyards, a sprawling swathe of land that was triple the size of Corcoran. Its tasting room was packed with day trippers, so we opted to skip the tasting bar, and headed straight to the cash register. I plucked cheese and bread from the shelves, The Swede grabbed a pack of salami, then turned to the man behind the register and said, “What’s your favorite wine here?” The man looked a little startled at the question—obviously we could find out about the wines for ourselves over at the wine tasting bar—but when he realized we were waiting for an honest answer, and had no intention of standing in the throng around the tasting bar, he pulled out a bottle of red and said confidently, “This one.”
“Done,” said The Swede, and we gathered up our wine and foodstuffs and headed outside. He secured a table outside while I dashed to the car to grab the cheeseboard and knife he had so thoughtfully packed, and we happily whiled away an hour or so drinking wine, eating salami and bread, and cutting cheese, talking politics and other such things.
Heh. Wait a sec.
I said cutting cheese.
OMG, not like that, you guys!
We sliced cheese, and then we ate it.
And it was delicious.
The wine was pretty good, too.
Here’s a fun fact for you: In Montgomery County, Maryland, you can take open bottles of wine in your car with you (re: say you order a bottle at a restaurant but don’t finish it) (Wait, what? Why wouldn’t you finish the bottle of wine?) (Whatever.), as long as it’s corked and in a bag. I’m not sure how the rollers in Loudon County, Virginia, feel about this subject, but what they don’t know (wetookhalfthebottleofwinehomewithus) won’t hurt them (Iputthewineinmytrunk).
Is there a better pairing than wine and cheesesalamibread?
I’m not sure I can think of one.
Two vineyards down, umpteenhundred to go.