Thursday was one of those days at work that I was thankful that I had a lot to do; otherwise, I would have spent the day thinking about my evening plans. My neighbor invited me to a wine happy hour, but this wasn’t just any happy hour. Not only had the group I was joining been together for a while, but also several of them are regular “A Glass After Work” readers. Meeting readers in person is always exciting, but it also can be a little nerve-wracking because there are expectations that are sometimes hard to live up to.
Clearly, I had nothing to be worried about. This group, which originally coalesced while putting together a back-to-school school supply donation program, is affectionately known as the Winers. They’ve been gathering on the rooftops of DC for wine happy hours for a while, but they welcome newbies (like myself) as if we’ve always been part of the group. As one of the original Winers described it, it’s an evening where a “group of strangers become friends with the magic of a glass (ok, two) of wine.” I definitely had more than two glasses, and there is no question that I also made some new friends.
I spent most of the evening talking with Doug, Jeff, and Judy—all three of whom are regular Winers—as well as with Susan and Richard, neither of whom are part the original group, but are fellow wine lovers. In fact, Richard does some work with Vienna Vintner when he’s not at his day job.
The evening started with a refreshing rosé, which was contributed by Jeff. I’m embarrassed to admit that I missed all of the details on this wine, but it was a good way to start the evening.
After that, there were a number of Virginia wines, which Doug kindly brought. Unfortunately, I only tasted the 2005 Chrysalis Rubiana (winery), and I was not a fan. I know they are a popular Virginia winery, but I am regularly underwhelmed by their wines.
I do want to try Rappahannock Winery’s Viognier and Meritage wines (winery). There was a bottle of each at the happy hour and a number of people mentioned enjoying them, so it’s clearly time for me to revisit Rappahannock. I’m sorry I missed the chance on Thursday.
Judy brought a bottle of the 2006 Château Croque-Michotte (winery) back from her recent visit to France. There is something particularly exciting about opening a bottle that was carried back from Europe, and I’m thrilled she wanted to share. Admittedly, the wine was a little light on the fruit and a bit high in acidity, but it would probably pair well with food. Several of us were thinking lamb.
The winner of the night for me, though, was the 2005 Les Crêtes Coteau La Tour (winery), which Jeff brought. This wine was 100% Syrah grapes and was beautifully balanced. It had a nice mixture of ripe fruits, sweet spices, and a hint of smokiness. It may be difficult to find the wine and it looks like it costs around $40, but even at that price, if you see a bottle, it’s worth grabbing. The wine was delicious!
I definitely feel like I was invited to be one of the “cool kids,” and I hope I have a chance to drink with the Winers again. The view was magnificent, the wine was fantastic, and the company was outstanding. What more could a social, wine-lover want? Thanks for including me!