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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Winter Wining Tips from the Wine Dogs

No need to let the cold weather put a chill on plans to explore Virginia wine country -- just named one of the top 10 travel destinations for 2012 by Wine Enthusiast magazine! Munchkin and Pomeroy share their winter wining tips.

Snuggle up in front of a warm fireplace. So what if you don't have a warm fur coat like Pomeroy's. Grab a bottle of red and curl up in front of a crackling fire. The Wine Dogs especially enjoy the blaze at Philip Carter's Cleave Hall (above) and love the homey atmosphere at Aspen Dale Winery at the Barn. A truly impressive fireplace can be found at Barrel Oak Winery , as well as generous arrangement of firepits outside (throw on your own logs) -- Munchkin and Pomeroy enjoyed both, along with a bottle of 2009 CabFranc, last weekend.

Enjoy winter comfort foods with your Virginia vino. Several wineries have winter specials. The grandfather of them all is Naked Mountain's "Lasagna Lunch." The wonderful pasta sensation (sausage or vegetarian), layered with cheese and topped with a savory sauce, is prepared by Chef Eric and offered from January thru March. Pomeroy could hardly resist long enough to pose for the picture. The Wine Dogs give two paws up to new owners Randy and Megan Morgan for continuing this tradition. Pair with Naked's 2007 Cabernet Franc or 2006 Merlot.

Also on the winter menu are Souper Sundays at Pearmund Cellars and Chili and Wine Time at Philip Carter. If you're a true Chili Dog, you won't want to miss the Chili Cook-Off Wine Trail Weekend, January 28-29, where you can sample chili at each of the four wineries along the Heart of Virginia Wine Trail (Cooper, Grayhaven, James River Cellars and Lake Anna)and vote for your fav.

That's Entertainment! Live entertainment continues at Virginia wineries throughout the winter. Take in some of the more unique offerings next weekend with Three Fox's Cabernet Caberet (sing along with winemaker/pianist "Giovanni" and special guests on the winterized patio, 1/22) and the Laugh Sip and Smile... Saturday Night Live comedy night (1/21) at Bogati's Bodega. Many other wineries feature local musicians, such as Friday Evening in Paradise (Springs) as well as the winery's Live Music Saturdays. And of course, Munchkin's favorite wine trubador Robbie Limon is making the circuit at North Mountain (1/28, 2/12), Veramar (2/11), and Narmada (2/25).

Virginia wineries are open - what are you waiting for?

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