Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
We have enjoyed the year and look forward to more fun to come in 2010.Classes will be a huge focus for us this coming year as we look to educate others about oak alternatives and wine making here at Corcoran. And as spring approaches we will start our Wine & Herb classes with Sommelier, Mary Watson DeLauder and winemaker, Lori Corcoran. Again we would like to wish you a wonderful holiday season and thank you for your patronage. Cheers!
Monday, December 14, 2009
2 cups water
2 cinnamon sticks
10 whole allspice
10 whole cloves
1/2 cup sugar
Zest of 1/2 orange, plus orange slices for garnish (optional)
One bottle of Corcoran Vineyards Cabernet Franc
Combine water, spices, sugar and orange zest in 2 quart saucepan. Stir and cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Simmer over low heat for one hour. The liquid will reduce by half, and fill your home with a wonderful aroma! Strain out spices and return liquid to pan. Add one bottle of Corcoran Vineyards Cabernet Franc. Heat on low until warm (being careful not to boil). Enjoy -- Cheers!
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
So since we experienced our first measurable snowfall this past weekend, we have decided to offer our Sparkling Wine class again on Saturday, December 12th at Noon and we will have our Holiday Open House this Saturday too.Explore the World of Sparkling Wine with Mary Watson DeLauder. We have over 5 different sparkling wines to enjoy and even buy to bring home for the holidays. From Spain to France to Italy and California to even Australia. These are are different and you can taste the difference that each region has to offer...so make your reservation and come on out... http://shop.corcoranvineyards.com/
Our Holiday Open House will also be this Saturday, which means I will make a warm mulled wine using our 2007 Cabernet Franc and I have lots of holiday treats some that pair exceptionally well with our 2008 Malbec...yum! Just because it is the holidays and we are hoping for good weather this weekend...we will be bringing out our new release of the Mary's Cuvee...a red wine blend created by Mary and I which we like to call..."Two chicks having fun, blending wine and enjoying our passion." Hope to see you all this weekend.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
This is a great time to meet Sommelier, Mary Watson DeLauder and taste how different wines whether sparkling or not are different in every region from around the world.
Especially now that we are feasting on all those Thanksgiving leftovers...what could be a better pairing?? Bubbles...tiny bubbles go with quite a few foods but very well with salty foods or snacks. So turkey sandwich and a handful of potato chips should be paired with some sparkling wine....yum!!
So sign up for one of the 2 sparkling wine sessions with Mary and taste some bubbles....learn about bubbles....and get some bubbles for your next gathering.
Registration is required at http://shop.corcoranvineyards.com/
Monday, November 23, 2009
Whether you are having turkey, lamb, beef or fish remember to start with a glass of something you enjoy! Of course for me it will be bubbles, tiny bubbles because it is a great palate cleanser and I love it. In fact sparkling wine pairs with most everything so it is something to start or end every evening with. Once you have enjoyed your glass of choice, you can move onto a wine that is paired with your meal. With turkey I like Chambourcin for a red, with its light tannins and cranberry flavors it is perfect when paired with cranberry sauce and stuffing. And Viognier for a white wine with your turkey because although it is dry it has a lot of fruit flavors which will stand up to sides like sweet potatoes. A rich lamb pairs wonderfully with our Malbec. If you are thinking of having a beef roast, try a heavier red like our Meritage which is a blend of Bordeaux reds. Then for the fish lovers we have our lightly oaked Chardonnay. This Chardonnay also is a huge hit with all your leftovers!
All of us at Corcoran Vineyards wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
This is interesting! And to paraphrase W.C. Fields, I don't drink water, because fish poop in it..
Monday, November 16, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
So...as we start thinking turkey for Thanksgiving, remember that Chambourcin goes awesome with all your feathered friends; quail, duck, chicken & turkey. And of course Chardonnay is a great white wine option when you add all the fixin's of mashed potatoes and gravy.
Two options to think about this month is a light red wine like Chambourcin or Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, lightly oaked, if at all.
What do you pair with your turkey...
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Mary will also pull out some of her new Mary's Cuvee to taste. It is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Barbera and Tannat...a must have for some cold fall days ahead!
Hope to see you all at Corcoran on Halloween for some tricks or treats??
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Fall is just such a wonderful time at the wineries. The leaves are changing, the air is crisp and chilly, but the winery is warm and full of new varieties to taste.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Oktoberfest originated 1810 with a 16 day celebration in honor of a royal wedding. Since Oktoberfest started in the heart of Bavaria, beer was the drink of choice and is also the drink of choice of Germans nationwide currently. There are some phenomenal beers coming out of Germany now...breweries such as Augustiner, Hofbrau, Spaten, and Paulaner are a few of the excellent breweries you will find from this country. These breweries craft great pilsners, weisbiers (white beers) and heffeweizen. But in true stereotypical German fashion they are very committed to excellence not only in the breweries but also in the wineries.
Germany's government is highly involved in the quality of wine that comes out of there. They are producing EXCELLENT Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris & Muscat and as for reds Pinot Noirs are up and coming. With every wine that is created in Germany 2 bottles must be sent to the overseeing organization of wine called easily abbreviated to VdP. One is ALWAYS left corked in a wine vault and the other one is kept so that if their is every a dispute of someone misrepresenting a wine they can test it against the one given to the VdP.
Okay, I'm sure some of you are like "enough with the history lesson, Kim" but I think in order to understand what it is we are drinking we have to know the care that goes behind it. And for those of you who don't know last weekend we just released or 2008 Riesling so during the month of "Oktober" come drink like the Germans do at Corcoran Vineyards.
Eat Well! Drink Well!
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
A great way to spend one of your weekend days is to head out to a new winery or one of your favorites but don't forget to bring a book. This last Sunday I spent the afternoon out on a patio of one of our local wineries, did a tasting, and then chose a bottle to pair nicely with my novel.
It was extremely relaxing and a great way for me to get engrossed into my book without being interrupted by phone calls, kids crying, making a snack, etc. All those things that really stop us from turning our thoughts into creative images of what our book is reading to us.
We all deal with stresses in our lives and fortunately we have a little piece of color, peace & libations just in our backyards.
Eat Well & Drink Well!
Monday, August 24, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Shew, each year the summers just seem to fly by faster and faster. I can't believe fall time and the school year is coming up again so soon. Fall time is also very busy with more wine festivals so once you get the kids situated with the beginning of the school year, make sure you make time for yourself. There are some fun events coming up
Sept 19 & 20th -Bluemont Fair (Bluemont, VA)
Sept 19 & 20th - VA Wine Festival (Bull Run Park, Centerville, VA)
Oct 16th, 17th & 18th - Balloon Festival (Millwood, VA)
Eat Well & Drink Well!
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
We attended the DC's Wine Country Food & Wine Festival this past weekend and what a weekend it was. I was fortunate to only have to work two days of the event and enjoy one day. While I was out tasting some fabulous Loudoun County wines, I came across Endless Summer Harvest, offering salad samples with an awesome dressing made with our Viognier. So...Mary Watson and myself got a glass of Corcoran Viognier, a plate of salad and did the food & wine pairing. All I can say is YUM!! So when pairing foods, including veges, it is nice to add some wine to your favorite recipe.
We also found some wild Wine Berries growing on the property at Whitehall, picked some and did a wine & berry pairing. It went very well with our Cabernet Franc, which has hints of raspberry. What I realized is that you don't have to think steak, chicken or pasta when doing your wine & food pairings...you can use simple herbs, fruit or veges to enhance the flavor profiles of a wine.
I thought everyone should try this pairing so here is the recipe...
Zesty Mustard Viognier Dressing
1 c. Mayonnaise
1/4 c. Dijon Mustard
1/4 c. Viognier Wine
1 Tbsp. Sugar
1 tsp. Honey
1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
1/4 tsp. Kosher Salt
Yeild: Approximately 1.5 Cups
Wisk all ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Not only is it being held at the historic Whitehall Manor in Bluemont, VA with 20 local wineries doing tastings, but never in this area has there been such a social wine appreciation event (how wine should be celebrated!) I am so excited that Mary Watson (a well known DC Sommelier) will be there showcasing her ingenious take on simplistic wine pairings in which she takes only herbs and pairs them with a particular wine. There will also be exotic hand blown wine glasses, scrumptious handmade chocolates and a book signing by Ellen Crosby who is very popular with her Wine Mysteries such as The Merlot Murders, The Chardonnay Charade, The Bordeaux Betrayal, and others. You have to check out the website to be able to see ALL the things that are going on. I would be typing for pages if you let me.
Remember when you go online to purchase tickets to type in the word corcoran as it will give you $5 your ticket price. Hope to see you there!
Eat Well & Drink Well (at the DC's Wine Country Wine & Food Festival!)
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
By a Letter in the Alphabet
Most of us are still not made of money so a neat idea is to have someone bring a dish their pairs with the wine they are bringing or if selecting wine by a country then have them make a dish whose origins are derived from that particular country. Also, there are TONS of trivia wine games that are fairly inexpensive and really break the ice.
In any case, wine is meant to be shared socially, so invite your neighbors, friends, and family and start a trend. The number of wine lovers are growing so you are bound to find that a passion for wine is something that most people will enjoy.
Drink Well! Eat Well!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Here are some of my favorite Corcoran wine pairings...
Viognier...with lots of fruit flavors, our 2008 is crisp so I pair it with my favorite; crab cakes or shrimp with old bay seasoning, but it will go nicely with most fish, tropical salsas or a wide range of lightly spicy foods.
Chardonnay...goes with a wide range of cuisine but I personally like it with popcorn on movie night, but of course the typical pairings would be cheeses, chicken, light pasta, or just enjoying sip by sip by the pool.
Chambourcin...with lots of cranberry and cherry flavors, try this wine with turkey, smoked salmon, BBQ hot dogs, or the acidity of a tomato like in pizza or spaghetti.
Cabernet Franc...this wine has a hint of black pepper and goes excellent with grilled red meats...a must have for your Dad's day BBQ's.
Malbec...my absolute favorite to pair because it goes the best with dark chocolate or desserts with chocolate and coffee like tiramisu...yum!
All you have to do is taste the wine to get it on your palette, try some of the food to be paired, then try the wine again...how was it?
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Wines can be a FANTASTIC source to marinate your meats in. Chambourcin, which is a popularly grown grape in Northern Virginia, is an excellent choice for marinating. It doesn't have a pungent amount of tannins and can give your meat a nice touch of cranberry. Also don't forget to catch the drippings from your meats while cooking them. All that left over loveliness can easily be simmered down with a cup or 2 of wine, then add some rue of flour or cornstarch to thicken and it will be better than any sauce you could by from the store.
Don't forget that wine can be the beverage of choice at a cookout too. Any neutral oak Viognier or stainless steel Chardonnay would be as refreshing as your typical American pilsner. And if you are a red drinker then go back to the one mentioned above and have a glass of Chambourcin.
Just remember one thing when you cook, only use wine you would drink just on it's own. So break out one of your bottles, use a cup or 2 of it and the use the rest of it to pair with your meal. It's an easy way to make sure your wine pairs well.
Eat Well, Drink Well
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
While we were there my friend and I visited about 18 wineries all over the place. In Sonoma we were in the Alexander Valley, the Dry Creek Valley, and the Russian River Valley. In Napa we tried wines in Napa proper, Yountville, Rutherford, Calistoga, and St. Helena. The California climate can specialize in varietals that Virginia can't even touch (the big one being Cabernet Sauvignon). But where I think Virginia has California beat by a mile is the exquisiteness of our Viognier. I only had one Viognier in California that I thought could rival Virginia's.
My assessment as we were leaving is that Virginia can easily rival in the white wine world. I absolutely loved the concentrated Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel which California does very well but I was very happy to return back home to the warmer weather that we have been having and open up a delicious bottle of white wine.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
ACIDITY: The presences of natural fruit acids that lend a tart, crisp
taste to the wine.
AROMA: Smells in wine that originates from the grape.
BOUQUET: Smells from winemaking, aging and bottle age.
BUTTERY: Rich, creamy flavor associated with barrel fermentation.
CHEWY: Wine that has a very deep, textured and mouth-filling sensation.
CORKED: Wine that has been tainted with moldy smells or other obvious flaws from a bad cork.
DRY: No sugar or sweetness remaining and a fruity wine can be dry.
EARTHY: Flavors and aromas of mushroom, soil and mineral.
FIRM: Texture and structure of a young, tannic red.
LEGS: Teardrop impressions of alcohol weightiness that are visible on the inside edges of a wine glass.
MALOLACTIC: Conversion of hard, malic acid, which is green apple flavors, in wine to soft, lactic acid, like rich butter flavors.
TANNIN: A drying, astringent sensation on the palate that is generally associated with heavier red wines.
TERROIR: French word reflecting the expression of soil, topography and climate in a wine.
VELVETY: Smooth-textured with deep, rich aromas and flavors.
VINTAGE: Year that grapes were harvested and fermented to make a wine.
Enjoy the holiday weekend.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Also, in order to be a responsible wine taster, there are a ton of B&B's in the area which are very popular with the locals and a lot of them specialize in winery tours or know who to put you in contact with. With Loudoun having some of the most beautiful landscape in Northern Virginia, you can't go wrong with the hospitality, views & relaxing atmospheres.
You also can't miss all the must see (or taste) "non-chain" restaurants that Loudoun has. If you want to eat at the start of your tour or the end of your tour then Leesburg is the place to be. Market Station, which is a wooden 2 story "strip mall" in downtown Leesburg is a great place to find a unique place to eat. Also in downtown Leesburg if you walk up and down either Loudoun St or King St you are bound to see a quaint place that will offer what you want. Purcellville is a good town to visit if you want to eat in the middle of your winery visits. Places like Magnolia's at the Mill, the Grill, and tons of other "mom & pop" places are there as well. Another unique place is a restaurant out past Hillsboro called Grandale Farm Restaurant. This place is out in the "middle of nowhere" as it has been described but once you go there the trip is worth it.
Loudoun Wineries are a fun place to visit but just remember a few things before you head out: have a designated driver, if coming with a group of 6 or more you will want to call ahead or make an appointment to make your visit more enjoyable, check the hours of the winery as they all aren't the same and some may be closed on Easter Sunday.
Happy Spring Break & Easter!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
That is truly why I am in the wine business…to smile all the time. Not only the people I have met by being in the wine business, but the wine I have had the opportunity to taste just makes me want to smile. I recently took a wine tour to Charlottesville with some wine enthusiasts; the wine we tasted from the barrels with the winemakers and owners was phenomenal. We just smiled the entire weekend.
Corcoran is starting to hop into spring with lots of activities planned for the month of April. First we will be bottling on April 16th, which is always a very exciting event to help with. We even get to enjoy the ever famous “bucket wine” at the end of the day.
Then on Sunday, April 19th we will have our first annual Summer Sizzle Picnic Pairing at Corky’s Pond. Not only will we pair wines with Hot Dogs, Crab Cakes, Chicken BBQ, Slaw & S’mores, but we will have an introduction to the “Power of Herbs with Wines” by sommelier Mary Watson-DeLauder. This will be a fun event, not to be missed. Reservations are required; please check our website for more information.
Finally we will be starting the festival season. On April 24th & 25th, Corcoran will be off to Winchester to be at Apple Blossom and then on the 25th & 26th we are at James River Wine Festival. The fun is just beginning so if you have ever wanted to volunteer for a festival, please send me an email and I will get you on the list.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I see green coming up out of the ground as my daffodils and tulips are the first to emerge from the winter season. Trees and bushes have full buds, which means our vines are right behind. Pruning the vineyard needs to be finished up within the next week. And then we need to prepare the soil to help keep the vineyard healthy.
I am now preparing for bottling on April 16th (volunteers are always needed!). We will be bottling our whites and possibly our Barbera, which is new to Corcoran. It is a red Italian varietal that, as of 2000, was the 3rd most-planted red grape in Italy. It has low tannins and high levels of acid, but we will put a small blend with it to help balance the acid, alcohol and fruit. I am looking forward to continuing on with this grape.
We have lots of fun events scheduled now that the day is longer and the weather is warmer…
First on the list is March 28th, we are having two wine courses being offered by Kim Smith, CTO at Corcoran. 11:00am-1:00pm will be Wine Sensations & the Art of Taste, which is the story of the Grape, the Crush and the Swirl. Then from 2:00-4:00pm we will be having a second wine course, Varietal Characteristics of Wine. Both classes are $35, reservations required and will include lunch with wine.
Then we move into April which will be a fun-filled month for all Corcoran Wine Lovers. April 19th we are having our first annual Summer Sizzle Picnic Pairing at Corky’s Pond from 2-5pm. Space is limited so make your reservations early.
Monday, March 2, 2009
I plan to do 2 classes that day each about 2 hours long. The 1st class I plan on doing will be a broad spectrum on the history of wine and wine making along with touching on basic food pairings in which we take 6 wines and compare them all to salt, sugar, lemon, a soft cheese & a hard cheese.
The 2nd class will go into more detail about the most popular red and white varietals. We'll talk about the history of that particular grape, different areas of the world it's made, what makes it different, the typical flavors associated with it, etc.
This should be a lot of fun, the class will be small with about 10-12 people so we can bounce ideas, thoughts, etc off of one another, and of course we will be tasting plenty of wine (with the option of spitting if one wants) but we just want people to come out, have fun, and feel like they walked away with some solid knowledge.
You can go to our website at http://www.corcoranvineyards.com/events.htm and register.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Where do I start?
Before the holidays we had the sad news of “Corky”, my father-in-law, having suffered a severe stroke…he was one of our most enthusiastic & vibrant tasting room staff…he is doing GREAT now and we hope to have him back in the tasting room some day.
The wine is doing great…we feel that 2008 turned out to be a pretty decent year here in Virginia. Looking forward to bottling soon since we are currently sold out of our 2007 Viognier…yikes!!
We are ready to be back open both Saturday and Sunday from 12-5 pm as the spring is fast approaching. With all the sunshine heading our way means that we are closer to opening our herb garden. This will be a once a month experience not to be missed. Tasting the herbs and then tasting wine and seeing how they enhance one another, is awesome. So starting next weekend, February 28th and March 1st, Corcoran Vineyards will be open 12-5pm. Check our website for the opening of the herb/aroma garden soon.
We also have a couple of very exciting events this month…Thursday, February 26th Corcoran has teamed up with Magnolias at the Mill in Purcellville, VA to offer a wine dinner. Check the Events page for the menu…yum!
On Saturday, February 28th, Mary Watson DeLauder comes to Corcoran Vineyards to offer a first and only tasting of her Mary’s Cuvee. It’s a red wine blend made exclusively for Mary in a very limited production. This is a must have for your cellar.