James River Cellars

Let me digress for a moment from writing and do a post on a winery we (re)visited recently down around the Richmond area.  On the way down to North Carolina, we stopped by James River Cellars to catch up on their wines since it had been about, oh, a year or so since we’d last visited.

James River Cellars

James River Cellars

We did a full tasting of the 14 wines they currently have available, including five whites (2 Chardonnays, Gewürztraminer, Vidal Blanc, and Chardonel), three dryish reds (Rad Red, Merlot, and Petit Verdot), and several wines in the sweeter range.

Shady side patio, great for sipping wine!

The tasting ended with a small taste of FrappéVino, which is kind of like a frappucino but with wine instead of coffee or even like kind of a wine sorbet. The folks at James River had made it with their Rad Red, an 85/15 blend of Cab Franc and Merlot. It tasted so nice, especially on such a very hot day, that we bought a package of the mix and an extra bottle of Rad Red to blend it with and ended up enjoying it as a patio drink at the beach.

A nice cold glass of FrappéVino!

This raises something that, to me, is worth keeping in mind about wine and wine tasting, namely that wines and our experiences with them can range from serious to fun. There are serious wines I really love: silky-smooth Chardonnays, elegant Rieslings (the king of wines!), Bordeaux or Bordeaux-style blends (see page 119 of my book for the difference between these!) that are so good, they almost make my toes curl. But it’s also good to have some fun with wines, and FrappéVino certainly does that.

Chillin’ out in front of the winery

Wine appreciation is a journey, not a destination, to paraphrase my yoga teacher, and the great thing about wine, especially Virginia wines, is that you can always find a wine that will meet you where you are on that trip.  Enjoy!


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