Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sparkling New Year

This week we are thinking of ringing in the New Year, celebrating with friends and family and making those dreaded New Years resolutions. What can we change about ourselves?? What is a realistic goal that we can actually accomplish without being miserable doing so?? Well for most it is getting healthier by exercising and watching what we eat and for others it might just be getting organized. For me it would be both, but really I would like to help others enjoy wine. I believe that tasting wine and incorporating another flavor profile like an herb or spice or specific food, really makes the difference by turning that good wine into a great wine.
So as we move towards 2010, I would love if everyone would attempt to try at least one sparkling wine or a wine that you might not ever think of trying. People often think of sparkling wine as something that should be for a special occasion. And I ask, "Why?" Sparkling wines or Champagnes really go with almost everything. We were having ham the other night on Christmas Eve and I couldn't decide what wine to have so I pulled out the Rotari Sparkling Rose from Italy and it was excellent. Paired quite nicely with all the fixin's too. Want to dress up that burger and fries...why not have a Cava from Spain?? And one of the easiest, most enjoyable pairings we can all do this New Years is try potato chips with any type of bubbles!
2010 will be an exciting year here at Corcoran, we will be offering several wine education classes and the first one will be starting in January. We hope to have one or two different classes every month from wine tasting 101 to oak alternatives to sparkling wines.
We wish you and your family a very happy New Year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas

All of us at Corcoran Vineyards would like to wish our fans and friends a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mulled Wine Recipe...

Since it is that time of year when we all are getting together with friends and family and usually gathering around the dessert table. I thought it would be nice to give out our famous Mulled Wine Recipe that almost everybody enjoys. It isn't sweet, but it has lots of spice and actually does pair with most of those delicious desserts quite well. I like to use our Cabernet Franc, but have been anxious to try it with our new 2008 Malbec because this new Malbec has lots of spice already...yum!

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

We are going to try it again...

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

Holiday Open House

It is that time of year again when we open up with all the holiday cheer! We will be having mulled wine and holiday treats this Saturday, December 5th from 12:00 until 5:00pm.
This is a perfect time to stock up on all your Corcoran favorite wines. We even have a few past vintages available. Not only will we be offering Corcoran wines, but lets not forget about all those bubbles...tiny bubbles that we love. We will have a few sparkling wines from Italy, Spain and California available.
I really enjoy this time of year when we get together with friends and family. With the spirit of St. Nick in the air, who couldn't be happier?? Lets sit back and cherish our time together.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Explore the World of SPARKLING WINE!!

Come on out to Corcoran next Saturday, December 5th and enjoy five sparkling wines from around the world like a Cava from Spain or Champagne from Champagne, France and even a sparkling Shiraz from Australia.

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


Monday, November 23, 2009

Thinking Wine for Thanksgiving??

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

It's the Most Wonderful & CRAZY Time of the Year

With our busy schedules it's hard to find time to figure out what to make let alone what you want to pair with it. It can also be a daunting task as well. Any good winery or wine shop would be great at steering you in the right direction. A lot of these people are wine connoisseurs and they are out to educate people for the sheer love of wine not for their own agenda. Loudoun County has a town of wineries, wine shops, stores with excellent wine selections, etc right at our finger tips. If you didn't know, this area is growing very rapidly not only in wine production but also in wine expertise so take advantage of what's around you.... and just ask. Let us help fulfill our need for the spirit of giving....you know giving you the best bottle possible to pair with your meal.
Eat Well, Drink Well!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wine is for Wisdom!

Ok...ok...I couldn't resist putting this on my blog since I say this every weekend in the tasting room when customers ask me if they can rinse their glass with water...and I must say, "only wisdom on our bar" :)

This is interesting! And to paraphrase W.C. Fields, I don't drink water, because fish poop in it..
To my friends who enjoy a glass of wine... and those who don't...
As Ben Franklin said: In wine there is wisdom,in beer there is freedom,in water there is bacteria.
In a number of carefully controlled trials, scientists have demonstrated that if we drink 1 liter of water each day, at the end of the year we would have absorbed more than 1 kilo of Escherichia coli, (E. coli) - bacteria found in feces. In other words, we are consuming 1 kilo of poop...However, we do NOT run that risk when drinking wine & beer (or tequila, rum, whiskey or other liquor) because alcohol has to go through a purification process of boiling, filtering and/or fermenting.
Remember: Water = Poop, Wine = Health. Therefore, it's better to drink wine and talk stupid, than to drink water and be full of poop!..There is no need to thank me for this valuable information: I'm doing it as a public service!

Monday, November 16, 2009


It is that time of year again when Corcoran Vineyards will host our Annual Ladies Night!

I know, I know we need to do a Gentlemens Night with cigars and wine and we are planning that, but that will have to wait for now.

Friday, November 20th starting at 7:00pm we will be pairing holiday foods with Corcoran wines. This time it will be at our new Wine Tasting Barn, Hunters Run which is located right on Route 9, exactly four miles East from the Route 9 & Route 287 traffic light. It will be dark, but the weather folks are calling for a nice evening, so we will have the outdoor fire on! This is a not to be missed event of the year. Our 2008 Malbec has arrived and it is nice and spicy...yum! We'll also have my favorite sparkling CAVA to start the evening and lots more.

Reservations are required at http://shop.corcoranvineyards.com/

Hope to see you all then.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Extra Special Holiday Girls Night Out

Corcoran Vineyards and Celebrations Catering has teamed up to offer a spectacular evening at the Dandelion Patch in Reston next Tuesday, November 17th at 7pm.
We will be rolling out the red carpet this evening and offering tastings of our new Mary's Cuvee, a red wine blend of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Barbera and Tannat. This wine really should be called "Two chicks blending wine and havin' fun" because that is what Mary Watson and I did. It took us two full days to put this blend together and we are proud. Mary Watson will be at the Dandelion Patch with me pouring her wine.
If you would like to attend please RSVP to Reston@thedandelionpatch.com

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fall Pairings

The leaves are almost gone and the air is getting crisp, so usually that means we start to think about drinking more red wine than white. The safe bet for all is that white wine goes with white meat and red wine with red meats. Correct?? Yes and no. It really depends on what seasonings and/or herbs you are putting with that meat.

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

Book Signing at Corcoran at Hunters Run Wine Tasting Barn, Saturday!

Come to Corcoran at Hunters Run this Saturday, November 7th and meet Walker Elliott Rowe, author of the book, The History of Virginia Wines from Grapes to Glass. He will be signing his new book from 1:00pm-5:00pm at our new Wine Tasting Barn on Route 9.

"Go beyond the bottle and step inside the minds-and vines-of Virginia's burgeoning wine industry in this groundbreaking volume. Join grape grower and industry insider Walker Elliott Rowe as he guides you through some of the top vineyards and wineries in the Old Dominion. Rowe explores the minds of pioneering winemakers and vineyard owners, stitches together an account of the wine industry's foundation in Virginia, from Jamestown to Jefferson to Barboursville, and uncovers the fascinating mission chapter in Virginia wine history..."

After meeting the author, you can admire the breathtaking fall colors, while it still lasts. Sit by the fire inside or out enjoying a glass of Corcoran wine.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Trick or Treat??

Have you ever wanted to know what gummy worms, chocolate kisses or even a carmel would pair with when you are drinking wine?? How can we make that Halloween candy be more than just candy, but actually paired with some Corcoran Wine to make a nice dessert? Come visit Sommelier, Mary Watson DeLauder and Winemaker, Lori Corcoran at Corcoran Vineyards this Saturday, October 31st and taste some Halloween treats paired with our wine.

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

Wine & Herb Sessions with Mary...

Sommelier, Mary Watson DeLauder is coming back to Corcoran Vineyards to offer her Wine & Herb tasting experience. Come taste how one leaf can change your whole palate and the flavors of the wine. Mary will offer two sessions on Saturday, October 24th at 1:00pm and at 4:00pm as well as Sunday, October 25th at 1:00pm and 4:00pm. Seating is limited and it will occur rain or shine. Reserve your seat now at http://shop.corcoranvineyards.com/. So come out to this last chance offering before the frost, taste the tarragon and our new Chardonnay, is that the right pairing??

Mary and I recently were interviewed by Dave McIntyre of the Washington Post and you can see us here on youTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LJPOImi92E explaining the power of herbs. Thank goodness Mary got to do most of the talking...I just enjoyed doing the tasting :)

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

Virginia Wine Month is Here!

October is Virginia Wine Month. Lots of happenings all around the state at many wineries and on all the wine trails. Of course Corcoran is no exception. We are currently fermenting our new Rose, Chardonnay, Riesling, Traminette and Chambourcin and our Malbec and Cabernet Franc are still ripening on the vine. 2009 seems to be a great year for grapes.

October 3rd, Corcoran is opening a new Wine Tasting Barn at Hunters Run which is on Route 9. Look for all the fall decor and come on into this beautiful barn to taste some of Corcoran favorites. We will be open every Friday from 3:00pm til 7:00pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 12noon til 6:00pm.

Friday, October 9th come to Lansdowne and Rendezvous with Jack Diamond, Host of The Jack Diamond Morning Show on MIX 107.3 in Washington, DC. Join us as we savor the Chesapeake featuring Corcoran Wines and dance to the music of The Jack Diamond- Jim Steed Band along the way. Call 888.541.7946 and tell them you are a Corcoran fan, give the promo code JMEN to receive a discount!

Then we will be off to the Hot Air Balloon & Wine Festival at Historic Long Branch on October 16, 17, & 18. This is a wonderful event out in the country enjoying the crisp fall air and watching the beautiful balloons go up in the sky while sipping some of Virginias finest wines.

If we don't see you at one of our many events or tasting rooms this month, enjoy a glass of Virginia Wine with a friend!


Saturday, September 26, 2009

OKTOBER in September

It's the time of year where were all the little German towns in this area (and other towns as well) celebrate their local Oktoberfest and yours truly is not only a wine lover but also a beer lover (maybe it's my German heritage). So what better way to celebrate the German culture then to study both.

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

As another harvest is upon us...I say let the tasting begin.

It seems the fall is the busiest time of year to visit wineries. Everyone is out and about enjoying the autumn colors, the cool breeze, and tasting new wines.

I always like to think of Corcoran as a place to get more of an educational experience because you can taste and learn about the wines. We offer wine and herb pairings with either myself or Sommelier, Mary Watson in our aroma garden where we show how the power of herbs can influence your palate. Our Chief Tasting Officer is Kim and she is studying to become a Sommelier, so she too is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to wine.

A couple things to remember when going wine tasting this fall...

1. Eat breakfast, pack snacks/lunch and drink lots of water.

2. Swirl the wine in your glass...this will open up the wine and enhance the aromas.

3. Sniff the wine...how does it smell? Fruity? Floral? Spicy?

4. Sip...always try and make your wine sample into three sips so you can get the full flavors on your palate...remember that the first sip is usually a palate shocker so always try a second sip.

5. Savour...enjoy all those flavors of that wine on your palate from the front, to the middle and the finish.

Come out to Corcoran this fall to enjoy a day with friends and family as we hope to make your tasting experience a little better, one glass at a time.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What a Novel Idea....

Fall time in Loudoun County is extremely picturesque. The leaves have turned beautiful shades of amber, gold, and sun burnt orange and you can hear the cool breeze rustling through the rainbow colored leaves......As you can see I have been inspired not only by the weather but also reading.

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

Filtering, Bottling & Harvest

The fun times have just begun here at Corcoran...
We bottle our Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Mary's Cuvee this week. To get those wines ready to bottle, we have to sterile filter them first and that is usually a whole day event and this time we are planning on making it a 2 day event! Bottling is just a great time to see how it all happens. Watching the wine flow through the hoses and into the mobile bottling line is just amazing to see it come out as a complete package in the bottle. Please email me if you are interested in helping this Thursday, lori@corcoranvineyards.com.

Once bottling is complete, we are anticipating harvest to be just around the corner. Our Viognier is tasting sweet and yummy, the seeds are starting to become brown and crunchy, which is a good thing. And our Cabernet Franc is also becoming ripe and lush. Usually we will start with our white wines and move to the later harvest reds, but this year one never knows because of this heat we have had, all the grapes are ripening quite nicely and early...lets hope that the rain and/or hurricanes stay away until after harvest!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Recap on Summer '09

Well, it's been one busy summer. Here I am pouring for a Ladies Night at Market Salamander in Middleburg. Corcoran Vineyards has been all over the place this summer...DC Wine Country Festival, several Farmer's Markets, Redskins Park, Lansdowne and MUCH MUCH MUCH more.

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

Dog Days of Summer!

As the summer time continues, we hedge the vineyard, bottle wine currently in tanks and/or barrels then we prepare for fall to start all over again.

Corcoran is currently finalizing our 2008 red blends and getting ready to bottle on August 27th. We will be bottling our Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Mary's Cuvee and our 2008 Chardonnay. If you would like to help, we are always looking for volunteers. This truly is a great experience to see how we get the wine into the bottle. And not to mention how much fun it is.

Remember that just because it is summer, the winery work never ends. Our tasting room is open on the weekends from 12-5 pm and the wine garden is open for all your group get-togethers. Mary Watson and myself are offering the magic of wine and herbs. Please email lori@corcoranvineyards.com if you want to book the event for yourself.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Zesty Mustard Viognier Dressing

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

DC's Wine Country Food & Wine Festival 2009

This weekend we are getting in our 4th of July barbecues but what happens after all the fireworks are over? Make plans for the first annual DC's Wine Country Food & Wine Festival next weekend (July 10th -12th). Here is the website http://www.vafoodandwine.com/ But let me tell you why this is going to be the wine festival of the summer and why I am going to be there.

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

Ideas for Summer Time Fun

School is almost out so that means summer is about to begin. Everyone starts coming out of the houses and making more of an appearance outdoors. What better way to gather people together than to host a wine tasting party. There are so many themes to choose from:

By Country
By Varietal
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

"A meal without wine is like a day without sunshine."

While I was doing a wine delivery at the Leesburg Vintner in downtown Leesburg. At the register hung this nice wine picture with the saying "A meal without wine is like a day without sunshine" by Anthelme Brillat Savarin. It really got me thinking about how true that is. Whether with an appetizer, meal or dessert, one must make sure that we have the right wine with each food. Wine and food are meant to go together and when paired right...it is a pure delight!

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

Barbequing (Think outside of the box and into a wine bottle)

By now we have all dusted off our grills and had our Memorial Day cookout but you know that with summer coming there are many more to come. No need to stick with the same ole same ole...think outside of the box and think more into a wine bottle.

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

Corcoran Vineyards in London

Corcoran Vineyards had the pleasure of being part of the Virginia booth at the London International Wine Fair this week. We were one of two Loudoun County, DC's Wine Country wineries present, the other was Breaux Vineyards. Corcoran was offering two wines to taste, the Viognier and Cabernet Franc...both of which are considered to be Virginia grapes and that was the buz at the show.
People were "pleastantly surprised" at how good the Virginia wines were, especially the Viognier.
It is hard to believe that there are so many people out there that still don't even know that Virginia makes wine, not to mention good wine. So this leads us to continue on our mission to make the best wine we know how and hope the world enjoys it as much as we do making it.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Start of Sangria Season

What better time to start off the Sangria Season then on Cinco de Mayo! In year's past we have always kicked off Cinco de Mayo with putting limes in our Seyval Blanc to give it that margarita flare. This year our 2007 Seyval Blanc actually does better combined with our 2007 Chambourcin. It's so easy...1 bottle of Seyval Blanc to 1 bottle of Chambourcin makes an excellent size Sangria pitcher, throw some frozen fruit in there to act as your ice cubes and wha-la, it's a Sangria Sensation. The staff at Corcoran Vineyards always as their certain wine that they gravitate towards and recently I can say I've been gravitating towards this combo.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Napa Vs.Virginia Wine

I recently was able to go on vacation visiting Napa and Sonoma counties in California. As I introduced myself to the tasting room staff and told them I was from Virginia I believe they were quite taken aback with my amount of knowledge and that I wasn't an aficionado of "fruity" wine. I think it's still somewhat the stereotype in the west that us east coasters are still finding our way in the wine world.

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

Wine Terminology

As we begin the busy wine tasting season I thought it would be fun to go over some of the Wine Terminology that you will be hearing in the tasting rooms or at any of the upcoming wine festivals. Some will be told that the wine is Buttery, Chewy, Firm, or even Velvety, but what does that really mean? Here are a few definitions I think are very helpful…

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

Local Spring Break Ideas

Many of us have had to put all those vacations to the exotic places on hold for Spring Break but that doesn't mean you can't get creative in your own backyard. Loudoun County is now DC's Wine Country. We have 23 wineries and more are popping up all the time. Each winery has its own personal touch so that each one you go to is a brand new world. Several are located near to one another making it convenient to experience all of these "worlds" in one day.

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!
Corcoran Vineyards

Thursday, March 26, 2009

"What is the definition of good wine? ... "

“What is the definition of good wine? It should start and end with a smile” quote by William Sokolin.

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

Trying to decide between a red or a white wine with this weird weather?

This weather is throwing us wine lovers for a loop, especially those that enjoy both red and white wine. So what's the solution? How can we cope until the weather truly turns to spring? Last month Punxsutawney Phil said that we are looking at more winter. Our wood loving creature may actually be a good start for ideas. How about a full bodied Chardonnay? A Chardonnay from the Mersault region of Burgundy would (wood :) ) be full bodied and give you the heavy mouth feel of oak you are looking for during the cold days but also can be served a little colder. Speaking of Burgundy...how about Pinot Noir from the Cote d'Beaune. These Pinots are much more delicate and feminine than those from the Cote d'Nuit so this would be another excellent decision for bridging the gap. Come to Corcoran's class on March 28th and we can have so much fun covering and discussing these neat little nuances of the wine world. Wine Sensations & the Art of Taste

Corcoran Vineyards

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Spring has Sprung!

I feel as if spring is already here with all this warm weather!
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

Corcoran's Wine Classes March 28th

Well I have now finished my 1st half of my Sommelier class and boy is my head swimming with information. I thought it would be fun to do some classes at Corcoran for all those people wanting to hone in a little more on the aspect of tasting wine, become comfortable with verbally expressing themselves, learn a little history and just meet other wine loving people.

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.

Kim Smith
Corcoran Vineyards

Monday, February 23, 2009

We're Back!!

It has been a very busy winter.
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.