PORTIONS PREVIOUSLY APPEARING ON WTOP.COM–

Happy holidays! As 2016 comes to a close, one looks back at the college football season that was…and wasn’t. While Maryland, Virginia Tech and Navy are all going bowling and James Madison is headed to the FCS title game, Virginia is home for the holidays. But that didn’t mean the Cavaliers 2-10 campaign wasn’t a little memorable: my favorite tailgating tandem Kippy & Buffy enjoyed themselves before every game in high fashion. There are a lot of great wines made in Virginia…and some are even listed here. Special thanks to my agent on the inside, special consultant “Winesnob Marcel“…

Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado-your personal tailgating tour of 2016:

Richmond, September 3rd: Even in an autumn of change, the tradition of my Scott Stadium tailgating pals Kippy & Buffy endures. They’re kicking off 2016 with a Chateau O’Brien Petit Manseng“full-bodied white wine, erupting with crisp yet concentrated fruit expression, and offering a lingering yet clean finish“. Start enjoying with brie on Carr’s Table Water Crackers.

At Oregon, September 10: Kippy & Buffy are proud to announce they will be following the Cavaliers on the road this year…and instead of enjoying a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir (let the record show Ponzi changed my life a decade ago), they’ve shipped cross-country a few bottles of the 2015 Pippin Hill Farm Chardonnay: “bright aromas of pear, apple and hints of toasted brioche that extend to the palate”. Perfect with selles-sur-cher on Onesto sea salt crackers.

At Connecticut, September 17: Kippy & Buffy make the trip to Hartford with the Nutmeg State in mind, enjoying the Cooper Vineyards 2014 Coopertage Blanc: “elegant and refined, 40% Viognier and 60% Chardonnay fermented and aged in French oak barrels. Hedonistic with honey tones and lingering finish of nuts and toasted oak.” Best enjoyed with Roquefort cheese on Triscuits.

Central Michigan, September 24: Kippy & Buffy wrap up their non-conference slate of white wines with Linden Vineyards 2015 Riesling Vidal: “floral, lavender and lemon zest aromas. Palate is dry and dense with good length.” Go deep on a pass pattern of Colby cheese on Club Crackers.

At Duke, October 1: ACC play means Kippy & Buffy move on to reds, and Virginia has some very interesting choices. This week they open a bottle of Ankida Ridge 2014 Pinot Noir: “a luscious, round mouthfeel lingers with a long-lasting finish of floral notes and white peppercorn”. Break out the Cantal cheese with Ritz crackers.

Bye Week, October 8: This year Kippy & Buffy toast another great summer by enjoying a bottle of Veritas Vineyard & Winery Scintilla: “Characteristically the wine is made in a Brut style (less than 12g/L). Fresh bubbles of Meyer lemon fill the palate with a delicate mousse that fades into a lasting finish”. Cheers…

Pitt, October 15: Kippy & Buffy return to tailgating with renewed vigor after the bye week, enjoying a Rappahannock Cellars Petit Verdot: “aromas of dark plum, butterscotch, and cedar with flavors of coffee, clove and chocolate”. Best enjoyed with Stilton cheese on Captain’s Wafers.

North Carolina, October 22: Kippy & Buffy continue their tour through Virginia reds with a Keswick Vineyards Cabernet Franc: “With a few minutes of aeration the secondary aromas of black raspberries, spices and black pepper come to the party”. Also coming to the party? Gorgonzola cheese on sesame Bremner Wafers.

Louisville, October 29: Good thing Kippy & Buffy will be tailgating with multiple bottles of Pollak Vineyards 2012 Merlot: “aromas of fresh, ripe cherries and blueberries burst forth…aged in new and neutral French oak barrels”. Break out the smoked cheddar and Urban Oven Crackers (try the olive oil flavor).

At Wake Forest, November 5: Kippy & Buffy celebrate their trip to Winston-Salem by enjoying a bottle of Breaux Vineyards Meritage (I know what you’re thinking-this should have been used for the Duke tailgate as the Blue Devils are the ultimate “Bro” school). Tasting notes: “flavors of blackberry cobbler and plum skins while cedar shavings mix with some earthy, forest floor and roasted coffee notes”. Who’s ready for Manchego cheese with Wheat Thins?

Miami, November 12: Kippy & Buffy plan to pass their tailgating time with a bottle of Barboursville Sangiovese Reserve: “generously forthcoming plum and luscious red berry fruit offer firm body and elegant texture”. Try a glass with Caciocavallo cheese on crispbread.

At Georgia Tech, November 19: It also takes a certain skill to tailgate with a quality Cabernet Sauvignon, as Kippy & Buffy will tell you if given the chance. The 2010 Barrel Oak is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes aged 15 months in French and American oak: “Aromas of plum and dark berries, lusciously smooth and velvety taste of stewed fruit with a lingering finish of gentle spice.” This Cab rides more like a limo. Also along for the ride? Aged Gouda on TUC crackers (special from Belgium).

At Virginia Tech, November 26: At the end of another season where the wins were rare but the great Virginia wine was plentiful, Kippy & Buffy go out in style: enjoying a Chateau O’Brien 2011 Limited Reserve Tannat: “full bodied, dense & concentrated – with black fruit flavors & a silky smooth finish.” Break out the garlic dill jack on club crackers.

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