15 April 2011

Adventures in Wine

My friendship with Nicole began over a glass of wine in front of her outdoor fireplace and since then we have shared many a bottle of wine. Some of the wine I have had the pleasure of drinking with her have been from a place called Chateau Morrisette. She and Charlie have had many adventures there (or at least getting to and from there).

Sunday, I made my maiden voyage to southwest Virginia for a kennel club day at the winery, which is when member of this club are invited to a special tasting and receive discounts on wines. The day started out foggy and crisp as the night before a classic spring storm had moved through Charlotte. By the time we got up the mountain and to the Blue Ridge Parkway, the fog had lifted into a beautiful spring afternoon. Spring is just starting to bud there and there isn't a hint of green on the trees yet. We made it to Morrisette around 2pm which meant the tasting had been going on for at least two hours and the famous brisket in the barrel room had disappeared. Thus, we headed upstairs to sample wine parings with our lunch. Nicole was super prepared with wine glass lanyards and plates that also held wine glasses. They premiered a dry rose which was paired with pasta and I was delightfully surprised how much I liked the not-so blush wine There are now two bottles in my wine rack waiting to be reunited with a pasta and spicy sausage and cherry tomato cream sauce for dinner one night. As we hadn't eaten lunch we made our way around several tables of delicious morsels and sampled each with the recommended wine.
Our second tasting endeavor involved bottles of vintage wine Nicole refers to these as "wines we love to drink, bottles we can't afford". My favorite was the 2003 Merlot--spicy goodness. One day I am going to have to learn how to store cases of wine rather than my standard practice of buy then drink.

The third tasting lead us back down stairs to the barrel room. We went there under the pretence of tasting a Chamboursin but were wowed by the 2010 Chardonnay. I am not a huge Chardonnay fan, but this barrel made me want to immediately change that opinion and my voter registration. We both agreed that this will be a great bottle of wine if it tasted that delicious at six months.

The last tasting was with our new friend, Will. Will is a chemistry grad from William and Mary who got his masters in viticulture at Virgina Tech. He was amazingly knowledgeable and let us ask questions about wine as well as his personal life. I think we were just as nosy and concerned as his choir ladies.

On our way down the mountain, we passed by the infamous caboose cabins, I scared a few cows and we had some time for a classic Nicole and Whitney photo shoot at Mabry Mill. See the pictures below

We looked at Nicole's lot which is at the very end of a very winding road. She's right there just isn't a picture that captures it's beauty. She happened to have a set of neighbors home and we stopped in to say hello as one should do when you are just out and about "vistin'". They were a lovely couple from the Grenadine Islands and they had been to Morrissette the day before. They spend half the year in the Caribbean and the other half in Virginia. We were amazed that they found Floyd County out of all places on our planet. He made the furniture we sat on while we watched the sunset and for some reason that just seemed like the perfect life.

The final stop on our journey was the Pirate Ship in Elkin. Anyone who has traveled on I-77 has seen this inland shipwreck and has at least wondered, "Is the food any good?" The hush puppies were delicious our broiled seafood entree was big enough for too and covered in butter (really can you go wrong with 'covered in butter'?). It was enough for me to fall asleep and arrive back in Plaza-Midwood with a full belly and a half case of wine and another story that lands in the category of Why I love the Randomness of Life.