I moved to the Washington D.C. area almost exactly 11 years ago. It was September, I remember, because my first day at my new job in Tysons Corner, VA was right around Labor Day. It wouldn’t be long before the leaves would start to change, and I would get a taste of my first mid-Atlantic Autumn; warm days, chilly nights, and beautiful breezy walks below orange and red-leaved trees. This is what I miss the most about living in Virginia (aside from the wine, of course)… the first few days when the weather finally starts to turn, and summer fades into the past. For a Florida girl, this was the most exciting new phenomenon–the changing of the seasons!
With these memories stowed tightly in the archives of my mind, I’ve moved on and moved back to the tropics, where fall is nothing but a calendar date and the annual football season. No changing of leaves, and certainly no chilly nights (we have to wait until maybe December for that). However, there are still some things that make me feel like I can be a part of a time and place lost to my history. I travel back in time through Virginia wine.
Recently, I was gifted a few bottles of Joy Ting‘s wines by her husband, who coincidently is the brother of a Miami friend. He was happy to hear of my appreciation for Virginia and her wines and was kind enough to share a few bottles.
Tonight, on the first night of fall, I’m looking out my window as a warm, sticky tropical rain falls outside. It won’t be “nice” later. In fact, it will likely be suffocating. I won’t get to wear a scarf or sit comfortably by the fire, but I can enjoy a little memory recall through a bottle of one of Joy’s wines.
I chose her 2018 Cabernet Franc “amuse” as my introduction to the new season. Virginia Cabernet Franc has always been a favorite of mine, so I figured this bottle would warm my soul on a rainy Miami evening. I was right.
Amuse has all the right things that remind me of my days bouncing around tasting all those Virginia wines for several years. It certainly has a refined elegance that comes across more like a seductive whisper as opposed to a loud yell. The pronounced aromas pull you into the glass but don’t give away all the secrets yet. Dried cranberry, ripe raspberries, nutmeg, and caramel greet you on the nose. There’s a balance between fruit and a savoriness that I long for when selecting wines. In the mouth, the red fruits linger, while the spice follows up on the way out. Medium-bodied with smooth and fine tannins, this Cabernet Franc is an easy sipper that I would pair with lightly seasoned pork or vegetable casserole, or simply enjoy on its own on a pleasant fall night. Let it open up and develop for you, as it will showcase even more of its elegant complexities as time passes.
I don’t have plans to be back in Virginia anytime soon, but if I could make it up for the leaves in October, I totally would. In the meantime, I’ll sip on Joy’s wine and be reminded of the days when I truly got to enjoy fall.