Hi everyone! We’re back after a whirlwind but exciting trip to California, where we celebrated Stephen’s grandpa’s 90th birthday and also took my sister to Hollywood’s Magic Castle to ring in her 21st. I’m busy getting caught up and back in the swing of things, so before I start the trip recaps, I want to first share a recent weekend outing that combined two of my favorite things – good food and wine.
Though visiting the famed Napa and Sonoma wineries is always a treat whenever we’re in Northern Cal, since moving to the DC area, we've also grown to love to the laid-back and down-home feel of Virginia’s own growing wine country, home to our East Coast favorite, Vintage Ridge.
Along with serving truly tasty wines, Vintage Ridge delightfully mixes things up by offering food pairings with each tasting, including party platters, gourmet cheeses and other delectable goodies for those who want to enjoy a refreshing glass or two while relaxing on the sunlit patio. As you can imagine, we have a rack full of vintages from this place and also jumped at the chance to join the vineyard’s wine club a couple years ago.
|Two glasses of wine & one tasty party platter, ready to be enjoyed.|
Among other fun features, the wine club membership gets us a seat at the vineyard’s members-only fall harvest BBQ kick-off party each year. This season’s party was held in early September, and while the weather wasn’t quite fall-like just yet, the warm breeze ended up being a perfect last hurrah for lazy summer evenings.
|A summer's evening on the patio.|
|Rolling hills and gorgeous countryside.|
Though not quite as impressive as last year, when the staff cooked up a truly hearty and delicious meal of steaks, portabellas and baked potatoes, this year’s menu of barbecued kabobs, pearled couscous and veggies, along with an amazing blueberry, peach, cherry tomato, cucumber and basil salad, still made for a fantastic dinner. (And a much healthier one, at that!) Throw in a glass of Syrah and dessert trays of cookies and brownies, and we were good to go! I can’t wait to head back again for another visit once the fall season really kicks into high gear.
|Tasty and healthy eats.|
Do you have a favorite vineyard or wine, and what’s your favorite way to kick off the fall harvest season?