Hiya, Visitor !   

Our warm welcome to Virginia’s sparkling wines

On Saturday we came face to face with a dozen Virginia wine bloggers for a tasting of Virginia sparkling wines, hosted by the gracious Kat Schornberg of Keswick Vineyards and her husband, talented Keswick winemaker Stephen Barnard.  We were the newbies in the crowd, and anxious not to embarrass ourselves in front of these writers with their sharp wits, huge followings, and the know-how to Photoshop us out of the group photo if they didn’t like us. When blogger Frank Morgan originally invited us to participate, I immediately tossed Rick into the ring as our designated taster.  I’m a bit of a blurter (especially when under the influence), and very accepting about wine in general—I like most anything—so I thought Rick’s more discriminating approach might serve us better.
Nancy takes a break from tweeting the event

Nancy, tasting while tweeting

I’ll let Rick tell you about the tasting, and about his mini freak-out when he saw terms like “mousse” and “perlage” on the tasting sheet.  I’m guessing it was a little like the dream where you show up to work in your underpants – exposed, unprepared, ridiculous.  We all have the same basic fears, don’t we? This got me to thinking about Virginia’s newbie wine appreciators:  the twenty-somethings who go all deer-in-the-headlights when Bud Light isn’t on the menu at the company Christmas party; the newly-marrieds in search of a day trip that’ll please the out-of-town in-laws; the retirees who suspect there’s more to wine (and life) than Sutter Home’s White Zinfandel. It's downright intimidating, that first time you have to pronounce Cabernet Sauvignon in front of a wine-loving date, or wade into a crowd at a winery’s tasting bar.    Fortunately, the Virginia wine community is filled with people like MJ of the blog Swirl, Sip, Snark, who said repeatedly during the sparkling tasting at Keswick, “The only thing that matters is if YOU like it.” And Frank Morgan, who gave his blog the encouraging name Drink What You Like
The blogger experts chat after the sparkler tasting.

Kat, Frank, John, and Paul, moving on to a dessert of Keswick Merlot after the sparkling tasting

Virginia wine country is one big welcome mat, so if you’re ready to take off the training wheels, this state’s for you.  (You may want to take take a look at our new Getting Started Guide: Virginia Wines & Wine Tasting.)  Also enlivening the tasting were Warren and Paul of Virginia Wine Time, Richard Leahy of Richard Leahy’s Wine Report, John Witherspoon of the Wine Cellar (Richmond) and Anything Wine,  John & Jean Hagarty of Hagarty On Wine, and Joel Timmins of the Virginia Wine Examiner.  Many thanks to Frank and MJ for organizing the tasting and making us feel so welcome. Here’s what the other tasters had to say about the Virginia sparkling wine tasting. Drink What You Like Virginia Wine Time Swirl, Sip, Snark (and Post Party post here) Keswick Vineyards Winemaker's Blog Richard Leahy

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