Merry Christmas to all Virginia wine lovers, Virginia winemakers and anyone and everyone else who may read this.
Whether or not you are looking to serve good wine during the holidays because it is a special occasion, or if you are entertaining relatives and in-laws and need a bit more bang for your buck, there are thousands of choices for both approaches. And Virginia wineries can help in both ways.
For quality Virginia wines to serve for the holidays, I am a fan of Fabbioli Cellars' Cabernet Franc and Paradise Springs' Chardonnay. Both are great wines that will please your wine-loving and wine-phobic guests alike.
Fabbioli Cellars' Cabernet Franc is a nice, medium-bodied red. It has a touch of sweetness reminiscent of raspberries and dark chocolate. It is not, however, a sweet wine. Rather, the sweetness gives way to an interesting complexity of pepper and nutmeg on the finish. The sweetness and spiciness work well together to give this medium-bodied wine a very well-balanced and enjoyable flavor.
I have sung the praises of Virginia Cabernet Franc in the past, and Fabbioli's is one of the best you can find. Plus, at $19, the wine is a great value for the quality.
As for white wine, if you haven't tried Paradise Springs' Chardonnay yet, you should definitely make it a priority. Not only did it win the 2010 Governor's Cup for white wine, but it is a robust, well-made white that would be a great addition to any meal regardless of official accolades. With crisp pear, green apple and brie flavors throughout, this wine would be a perfect accompaniment for appetizers or to serve at a holiday party.
Although I have been more impressed with Virginia Viogniers in the past, Paradise Springs' Chardonnay has convinced me that Chardonnay can do well in the state as well. At $29 the Chardonnay is a bit pricey, especially when compared to other chardonnays at the same price-point, but it is worth trying and sharing with guests.
This past year has been a good one for the Virginia wine industry, despite the sluggish economy. There are many options out there for very good Virginia wines that you can serve during the holidays.
Whatever you drink and serve this holiday season, have a safe and merry Christmas.