Store Director, Cheesetique Shirlington On Tap: What Virginia wines are available at Cheesetique this fall?
Missy Pankow: We currently have Tarara Boneyard Unrefined Rosé on our wine list, which will be on until we switch to our winter selections. Between our three locations, we also carry Linden Late Harvest Vidal, Thomas Jefferson Viognier, Glen Manor Raephus and Tarara Viognier.
OT: Will you add any new options during Virginia Wine Month?
MP: We’re going to be prominently displaying our Virginia wine selections so that our customers can see some of the great wines our state has to offer. In addition, I have a couple of great wine flights coming up at Shirlington that will showcase Virginia wines.
OT: Are there any Virginia wines you feel are under the radar that Cheesetique highlights?
MP: We always enjoy selling the Boneyard wines from Tarara. It’s their line of wines that are very reasonably priced, with a “no rules, have fun” approach. And the Boneyard Unrefined Rosé is super interesting. It just keeps drawing you in, layer after layer.
OT: What are a few of your favorite Virginia vineyards, and why?
MP: I love Jefferson Vineyards because you get to take in the rich history and beautiful scenery while you’re there. My personal favorite is Linden. I could drink a whole bottle of their riesling Vidal if you gave me a warm baguette and a hunk of chèvre.
OT: As a Virginia boutique, what does Cheesetique do to support the local wine and cheese communities?
MP: We love local, small production wine and cheese! We go to county fairs to judge locally-made cheeses, always carry Virginia cheeses and wines in our shops, and love meeting and forging relationships with the people behind these fabulous products.
Missy’s pick: Jefferson Viognier
Beverage Director, Glen’s Garden Market On Tap: What is your role in selecting Glen’s Virginia wines?
Ezra A. Rosenberg: Our wine selection draws almost entirely from Virginia and New York. We have cultivated a set of what we believe to be the very best value-driven wines from our region, and we have also evolved our selection based on feedback from our neighbors. I have had a chance to visit many of the wineries we source from, and I choose all of the wines we sell in our stores.
OT: What varieties of Virginia wines do you think are the strongest?
EAR: The hands-down strongest Virginia wine varietals are viognier for whites and Norton for reds. Viognier drinks beautifully in aromatic single varietals like those of White Hall Vineyards, and food-friendly blends like Blenheim Vineyards Claim House White. Norton grows well in Virginia because the varietal is indigenous to the Mid-Atlantic, providing a dark, rich red wine.
OT: Any hidden gems in your current Virginia wine selection?
EAR: I particularly love Barboursville’s Nebbiolo Reserve. It can be difficult to find consistently full-bodied single varietals year-to-year from Virginia, but this wine has been fantastic since we began carrying the 2011 vintage. Now we’re on the 2013 vintage.
OT: How many Virginia wines does Glen’s currently carry, and how does that vary by location?
EAR: We currently carry 18 wines from Virginia American Viticultural Areas. This selection will vary with the seasons, just like the food we offer. There are a few distinctions in the wine selections we carry at each location, based entirely on neighbor feedback.
OT: Are you switching up Glen’s options for Virginia Wine Month?
EAR: We add to our wine selection and by-the-glass menu with seasonally appropriate offerings to pair with our chef’s cuisine.
Ezra’s pick: Early Mountain Foothills Red
Glen’s Garden Market: 2001 S St. NW, DC (Dupont) and 1924 8th St. NW, DC (Shaw);www.glensgardenmarket.com
Server, ENO Wine Bar
On Tap: What brought you to ENO?
Fabienne Tassan: Love, food and wine are what bring people together. My goal is to help in making our guests’ evening a success.
OT: How many Virginia wines does ENO currently offer, and what was the process for creating that list?
FT: We always have at least 20 selections from Virginia at ENO, including our beer and cider options. The number changes regularly with vintage and selection availability. Virginia is famous for its red Bordeaux grapes, but we can’t forget the Sangiovese, Nebbiolo or the whites hailing from the region such as viognier, chardonnay and all of the wonderful and decadent dessert wines. We look for the best expression of the grapes with as little processing as possible.
OT: How does ENO select local wines? What vineyards do you work with and like to support?
FT: ENO prides itself on offering hard-to-find wines. We usually like to feature smaller wineries or vintages that may not be as well-known or available. We want to create a unique experience. Some of our local wineries and producers are Paradise Springs, King Family Vineyards, Breaux Vineyards, RdV Vineyards, Barboursville Vineyards, Old Westminster Winery, Potter’s Craft Cider and Jefferson Vineyards.
OT: What is your favorite Virginia wine served at ENO, and why?
FT: I love the wine from RdV, and I never pass on a great viognier from King Family Vineyards or a rosé from Paradise Springs. But my current favorite is Barboursville’s Nebbiolo.
FT: Our chocolatier is Gearhart’s Fine Chocolate from Charlottesville. Our ever-changing selection of cheeses has featured selections from Caramont Farm in Esmont and Meadow Creek Dairy in Galax. Our charcuterie is sourced from two local favorites: Olli Salumeria and Stachowski Brand Charcuterie.
OT: How will ENO celebrate Virginia Wine Month?
FT: ENO will increase its local wine offerings, and feature a specialty wine flight comprised of wines only from the Virginia wine region.
Fabienne’s pick: Barboursville Nebbiolo Reserve
ENO Wine Bar: 2810 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, DC; www.enowinerooms.com