Virginia is for lovers…and winos!

Did you know that Virginia is for lovers… and winos?! Here in Virginia we have plenty of wine trails to choose from throughout the state.  With over 250 wineries and scenic views, a day at the wineries is a popular social event. To celebrate National Drink Wine Day, I have rounded up my top 5 wineries in Virginia:

  • Blue Valley Vineyard: This winery is located just off I-66 in Delaplane, Virgina.  They just built a beautiful new tasting room with a gorgeous view out of floor to ceiling windows. This winery feels like you are sitting in someone’s home, very warm and cozy. Great place to hang out and socialize for a few hours or also for a private party.
  • Stone Tower Winery: As you drive up the mountain, on a windy gravel road you start to think you went the wrong way.  However, once you arrive at the top of the mountain, you realize you are in the right place as you are greeted by a huge vineyard and scenic views.  My favorite part of this Leesburg winery is the massive amount of outdoor seating that is available.  It would accommodate large groups nicely.  Great winery to bring a picnic lunch, sit outside and take in the scenery on a nice day. Also plenty of green space for pets and children to run around.
  • Boxwood Winery: This modern winery is located in Middleburg, VA. The vineyard’s contemporary decor stands out compared to other area wineries. Sophisticated tasting room as well as shaded outdoor seating make this a unique stop on a Northern Virginia wine tour.
  • Tarara Winery: This classic Loudoun County vineyard is located on over 450 acres of manicured grounds. The winery is located in the basement of a large estate.  Beautiful property and outdoor seating.  They offer a summer concert series on the grounds which would make a fantastic date night!
  • Quattro Goomba Winery: I always like to make Quattro Goomba the last stop on my winery days.  This winery is located in an old auto garage in Aldie, VA.  It doesn’t have a fancy tasting room like other wineries, but it has a killer atmosphere!  They have wine slushies, live music on the weekends and outdoor seating.  They recently opened a brewery on the property which is a nice alternative if you had enough wine for the day.  My favorite part of this winery is the amazing pizza they serve. Hence why I prefer it as my last stop, who doesn’t like to cap off a day of wine drinking with a delicious pizza?! This is definitely the “it” winery for atmosphere and fun!
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Must-Have Kitchen Ingredients

I hear from friends all the time that they don’t mess with cooking because it is too complicated/expensive to purchase all the ingredients one recipe calls for.  (Hence why people tend to steer towards fewer ingredient recipes.)  A typical recipe will call for a teaspoon of this or a tablespoon of that.  To make a trip to the grocery store to buy a $5 ingredient that accounts for only one teaspoon in your dinner recipe seems rather frustrating, no?

Today I want to share my most commonly used ingredients with you. These ingredients are usually only once a year purchases but items you will probably find yourself using a few times each month.  This is a great list of ingredients for new cooks to stock up on.  Trust me, it is a really good feeling when you are recipe browsing and you realize you have all the ingredients a recipe calls for! (Hey, it’s the little things in life;) The possibilities are endless if you have the right ingredients on hand. Below is my list of must-haves, feel free to comment your must-have ingredients as well!

  • Olive Oil
  • Honey
  • Chicken Broth
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Lemon Juice
  • Lime Juice
  • Sriracha
  • Sesame Oil
  • Soy Sauce
  • Maple Syrup
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Corn Starch
  • Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce
  • Minced Garlic
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