Wine-tasting in Virginia is quite pleasant, even if not all the wines are. Virginia wineries are doing pretty well, all things considered, although they’ve got a long way to go before they catch up to Australia or Chile, much less to major areas like California, Africa, and France. The best wines we found were at AmRhein Cellars. I bought four bottles from there, and two from Villa Appalachia, a specialty winery making “Italian-inspired” wines. I bought none from the uninspired and uninteresting, but very large-scale, Chateau Morrisette.
Lunch at Chateau Morrissette was reasonably good, and the winery provided a very interesting lesson. The winery’s mascot and logo is a black Labrador Retriever. When they changed their label to put a picture of the Lab on it and renamed the wine after the dog, sales doubled. When they changed another kind of wine to include the dog on the label, and in the name of the wine, and switched to a pretty blue bottle, sales multiplied by six. The wine inside the bottle didn’t change at all — at least to the degree that the average consumer could tell the difference. Witness the power of marketing.
Our B&B was really quite nice. The Wife spent a great deal of time talking with our hosts, who were exceptionally pleasant people and very generous with their hospitality. Breakfast was quite nice: a pepper mélange quiche, assorted melons, and Virginia pork sausage and farm-thick bacon. We also got some local apples from a local orchard and enjoyed the fantastically beautiful scenery. We ate at the local restaurant, around which the entire local electic mountain community seems to have ralied. All in all, we had a great time in Virginia and we look forward to returning.
And we may do so soon, with our new friends the Carcieris (that is, a renewed friendship for me and a new one for The Wife). They came over for dinner tonight and we again reached a pleasant buzz with good food, good conversation, and good wine. Maybe there is a lead for a new job there. Maybe there is a lead for a new job in California, too. So there are lots of possibilities, lots of things to think about, and lots of good wine to drink. All in all, a very good birthday weekend and a very good buzz going on.