Archives for posts with tag: Chateau O’Brien

Merry Christmas to one and all– and even though some of our favorite college football teams didn’t give us what we wanted under the tree, the area schools certainly supplied a few stocking stuffers of magnificent memories from 2018.  And even though they failed to beat Virginia Tech for the 15th straight year, my UVa tailgating pals Kippy & Buffy had one fun fall supporting their team as well as making new friends while enjoying pretty good wine.  They’d like to extend best wishes during the holiday season for all out there who enjoy a pregame beverage by sharing their game-by-game selections (excerpted from the award-snubbed “Presto’s Picks” on WTOP.COM.)

Richmond- One program that never changes at Scott Stadium is Kippy & Buffy’s tailgate, and the popped-collar pair are already in midseason form.  They kick off 2018 with a bottle of Moscato:  Beni di Batasiolo Moscato d’Asti Bosc dla Rei 2013.  On name value alone it impresses, but “with the palate profile packing D’Anjou pear and red apple nuances, the fizzy, fruit-forward themes run well-balanced from the semi-sweet start to fairly, full finish.”  What a way to start, indeed.

Indiana- Kippy & Buffy aren’t messing around with any short stuff at their tailgate:  Conundrum White 2015 “lures you with scents of apricot, pear and honeysuckle.”  There’s also a “hint of oak” that I think is more of a strong suggestion. I suggest a pairing with brie and crostini.

Ohio- A semi-neutral site game means a semi-neutral white wine for Kippy & Buffy;  nothing says “home away from home” better at the tailgate than Chateau O’Brien’s Northpoint White.  The 2017 Chardonnay offers “a beautiful array of creamy hazelnut and subtle butterscotch” and “shows a profound maturity, along with a balancing elegance and grace”.   Perfect with take-out from Bojangles.

Louisville- The first ACC game means Kippy & Buffy switch over from white to red wine…and there’s no better way to kick off conference play than with a bottle of A to Z Pinot Noir from Oregon.  The 2015 vintage offers “striking aromas of black cherries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries are overlaid with a cornucopia of spices. As the wine moves across the palate, ripe, dusty tannins bracketed by juicy acidity give shape and definition to the powerful fruit flavors in harmony with a mineral quality, reminiscent of slate and graphite.”  As we’re already in the Beaver State, Kippy & Buffy break out the Rogue Smokey Blue cheese on multi-grain crisps.

NC State- this is the first meeting between these two founding ACC members since that game, so Kippy & Buffy go with the Founding Father inspired “Federalist Bourbon Barrel-Aged Zinfandel“.  The 2015 vintage possesses “aromas and flavors of black fruit, smoke, caramel and vanilla”.  Despite the portrait of university founder Thomas Jefferson’s rival Alexander Hamilton on the bottle, “the finish is long and smooth making this a thoroughly enjoyable wine.”  Enjoy with aged cheddar on club crackers.

Bye Week- don’t you dare think Kippy & Buffy will be taking it easy this weekend.  Bye weeks are for shuttering up the cottage in the Outer Banks-and there’s no better way to wave goodbye to summer than by enjoying a 2010 bottle of JM Gobillard et Fils Millesime Champagne.  “Straw color, lovely aromatics (violets and strawberries), persistent perlage (meaning the bubbles are evocative of pearls), and pleasant mix of fruity and pastry-like notes.”   Break out the Black Diamond Hackleback Caviar on toast points (the lighter toasted, the better).

Miami- Just like college football’s bluebloods (Notre Dame, Alabama, Ohio State) look down their noses at Miami as “nouveau riche” (even though they’ve been a force for over 30 years), Petit Verdot is a varietal that’s been around forever (the Romans enjoyed it) but only recently getting its due as a stand-alone varietal.  Trinchero Napa Valley’s Central Park West Vineyard Petit Verdot “presents a deep, inky purple color, supported by beautiful black fruit and floral aromas reminiscent of lavender and lilac. With layered blueberry and blackberry flavors, this wine’s ripe tannins lead to a sensual, round mouthfeel.” Kippy & Buffy concur.

Duke- Kippy & Buffy prepare for facing the ultimate “bro” school by once again tailgating with Breaux Vineyards-this time they break out the Cabernet Franc.  “Redolent of dark fruits and sweet spice (cardamom) and somewhat woodsy.  Full and juicy with loads of fruit and spice on the palate.  The drying tannins accompany a long juicy finish”.  Sadly, the finish this Saturday will be somewhat sour.

North Carolina- Kippy & Buffy would be more than happy to tell you that the 2015 Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot also exceeds expectations, “underscored by polished tannins, the juiciness of the entry evolves into a lush, silky texture that carries the flavors to a long, generous finish marked by notes of freshly ground coffee beans with a splash of ripe, red cherry.”

Pitt- Kippy & Buffy move the chains and much more during their tailgate by going with a 2015 Chateau Ste. Michelle Cold Creek Cabernet Sauvignon:  “the aromas are bright, with notes of cherry, plum, vanilla and baking spice. The fruit flavors are plump, with plenty of barrel accents. The tannins come off as quite dry, leading to a sweet vanilla-filled finish. The oak is at the fore.” 

Liberty- The final home game at Scott Stadium has Kippy & Buffy breaking out white wine for a non-conference foe one final time, and this week it’s a bottle of 2017 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc“Tightly structured, with strong, vigorous passionfruit and lime flavors, woven with steely acidity, and obvious potential.”

Georgia Tech-  Kippy & Buffy hit the road with a bottle of Cain Five.  The 2014 vintage is 51% Cabernet Sauvignon and 26% Merlot (remaining grapes used are split between Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot).  “The aromas are discrete: fruity—floral—herbal—spicy—and pure. On the palate, the wine has a certain density, but now the tannins have melted and this wine just flows.” 

Virginia Tech- Ending a sorry streak is always a tough task, but Kippy & Buffy plan to do their part by breaking out a bottle of Chateau O’Brien 2013 Mourvèdre.  “The smell of Mourvèdre is an explosion of dark fruit, flowers like violet and herbaceous aromas of black pepper, thyme, and red meat.  The variety can be a difficult grape to grow, preferring “its face in the hot sun and its feet in the water.”

PORTIONS PREVIOUSLY APPEARING ON WTOP.COM–

Thanksgiving weekend gives college football the crescendo of arch-rivals clashing across the country.  In-state matchups like Alabama-Auburn and Clemson-South Carolina have playoff ramifications, while Michigan and Ohio State play for more than just a Big Ten East title and the usual bragging rights.  USC has spoiled Notre Dame’s National Championship hopes in the past;  this year the Trojans are fighting not just the Irish but for bowl eligibility (and relevance).  The second-tier affairs range from something tangible (Washington-Washington State is for the Pac-12 North) to something else (Ole Miss-Mississippi State I believe decides if eggs in the Magnolia State will be poached or scrambled over the next calendar year) to nothing at all (let’s not kid ourselves, Indiana and Purdue are fully focused on hoops).  But regardless of the stakes, college football’s rivalries deliver dislike and begrudging respect.

Which brings us to Maryland’s situation as a dancer without a true partner.  For years the Terps thought of themselves as Virginia’s ACC rival, and the Cavaliers thumbed their nose north by saying their true football foe was North Carolina (dubbed “the South’s Oldest Rivalry”) even though the Tar Heels laughed every time that was uttered.  Virginia Tech supplanted the Terrapins as the ACC’s northernmost rivalry before they left the league.  Which brings us to the Big Ten:  there are two schools in decent proximity of College Park. Penn State will have nothing to do with a rivalry with anyone–let alone Maryland.  And given how Rutgers has been either a dumpster or tire fire since joining the Big Ten, do you really want to use the Scarlet Knights as a measuring stick or focal point for your program?  One of the cases for lagging attendance at Maryland has been the fact that the must-win games like West Virginia, Virginia or even Clemson have disappeared off the slate.  Until they find a worthy partner, the Terps will be dancing with themselves when it matters most.

Alma Mater Update- a tradition continues on Chesnut Hill. No, I’m not trying to palm off the Syracuse-Boston College game as anything but a season-ending battle to see who gets to avoid the Pinstripe Bowl…even though banners from said bowl actually hang in the Carrier Dome to my dismay.  But for years I would travel to watch the Orange play on the road with my roommate from freshman year.  Since we left SU, we each have moved across the country and back.  We’ve carved out careers and have lived lives neither of us fully expected when we shared room #220 in Shaw.  So Saturday if you happen to stumble anywhere near Alumni Stadium, watch out for the two guys wearing orange hats and giving each other high fives when SU scores its lone touchdown against BC.  Go Orange…

Friday’s Game-

Virginia (7-4, 4-3 ACC) at Virginia Tech (4-6, 3-4), 3:30 p.m. (ABC).

You may have heard that the Cavaliers haven’t beaten the Hokies since Tech joined the ACC in 2004.  In the fourteen game losing streak, four of the games have been one-possession affairs.  Two of those losses prevented the UVa from reaching a bowl, so as they face the weakest Virginia Tech team in over 25 years there’s a chance for sweet revenge.  These Hokies rank 11th in the ACC in scoring and in points allowed.  If a bowl-bound Virginia led by dual-threat quarterback Bryce Perkins doesn’t beat Virginia Tech this year, when will they?  Ending a sorry streak is always a tough task, but Kippy & Buffy plan to do their part by breaking out a bottle of Chateau O’Brien 2013 Mourvèdre.  “The smell of Mourvèdre is an explosion of dark fruit, flowers like violet and herbaceous aromas of black pepper, thyme, and red meat.  The variety can be a difficult grape to grow, preferring “its face in the hot sun and its feet in the water.”

Cavaliers finally get to have their faces in the hot sun, 27-16.

 

Saturday’s Games-

Navy (3-8, 2-5 AAC) at Tulane (5-6, 4-3), noon (ESPNU).

The Midshipmen’s tour of colored singular foes continues, but they’ll find the Green Wave a little tougher than the Tulsa Golden Hurricane:  Tulane has won three of four behind backup quarterback Justin McMillan.  Zach Abey is coming off of his best day (128 yards and two touchdowns rushing) since suffering a shoulder injury last season, but the Green Wave are one of the better teams at stopping the run in the conference.  Their 33 sacks are also tied for the AAC lead, but that won’t help much against the Navy option.  At the other end of the pass rush spectrum are the Mids, who are tied for last with just eight sacks on the season.  That will hurt.

Midshipmen stumble, 35-30. 

 

Maryland (5-6, 3-5 Big Ten) at #15 Penn State (8-3, 5-3), 3:30 p.m. (ABC).

One week after losing to Ohio State by one and two weeks after losing by two at Indiana, the Terps have a final shot at bowl eligibility.  The Nittany Lions are coming off an underwhelming win over Rutgers, and three of their other seven wins are one-possession affairs.  Senior quarterback Trace McSorley is having his best year as a runner and his worst season as a passer.  The Nittany Lions don’t have Saquon Barkley in their backfield this year, but junior Miles Sanders is averaging 5.7 yards per carry.  Expect freshman Anthony McFarland to continue his November to remember (525 yards rushing over three games this month) against the 10th rated defense against the run in the Big Ten, but the lack of a consistent passing game will once again torment the Terps on chilly afternoon.

Terrapins tumble, 34-22.

 

FCS Playoffs:

Towson (7-4) vs. Duquesne (8-3), 2 p.m. (ESPN3).  The Tigers make the tournament for the first time since they reached the 2013 championship game.  The team’s turnaround this fall can be traced to transfer Tom Flacco (younger brother of Ravens QB Joe) who has helped the school lead the CAA in passing yards, total offense and scoring.  Problem is, Rob Ambrose’s defense is at near the bottom of every defensive category in the conference–except against the run where they lead the league.  Good thing these Dukes bear little resemblance to their James Madison namesakes:  five of their eight wins were one-possession affairs.  It’s an early exit for the automatic-qualifying Northeast Conference champs.

Towson triumphs, 33-25.

James Madison (8-3) vs. Delaware (7-4), 3 p.m. (ESPN3).  A rare first round game between fellow conference members was made possible because the Dukes and Blue Hens did not play during the regular season;  if we go by the old NFL tiebreaker of “common opponents” JMU has the 5-2 to 4-3 edge.  They also have the edge on third down:  coach Mike Houston’s team ranks first in the CAA at moving the chains while his defense is fourth best at getting off the field on the money down.  Delaware-not so much.  Although we’ve seen Danny Rocco-coached teams come out of Harrisonburg with upsets in the past,  the Blue Hens enter this postseason with two straight losses.  The Dukes will likely make it three.

Dukes defeat Delaware, 31-16.

 

Last Week: 5-3.

Overall: 61-39.

One finally saw the sun Thursday afternoon during a gloomy Washington week that had more than its share of clouds.  But make no mistake, this break is precisely that.  Hurricane Florence has already made its mark;  either canceling (Virginia Tech-East Carolina), postponing (Howard-Savannah State), shifting (James Madison-Robert Morris from Saturday to Thursday) or transporting (Virginia-Ohio from Charlottesville to Nashville) week three area action.

First and foremost, during a bad weather weekend that could escalate into something disastrous, be safe.  There’s a Washington DC traffic reporter who tweets “#TurnAroundDontDrown”…and along with it being a catchy rhyme “TADD” should serve as a message to those who think they can drive their low-to-the-ground-axle Honda Civic through a miniature pond in the middle of an intersection where there’s little chance of regular drainage.  Don’t.

Second, why limit your store runs to “milk, bread and toilet paper”?  Stock up on juices you don’t need to refrigerate immediately like grapefruit and cranberry (they actually make a good blend).  Get some cereal (recommending Cinnamon Quaker Oatmeal Squares)  while grabbing a book or two (my fiction for the summer was “After Anatevka”, about what happened to the middle daughter after the events of “Fiddler on the Roof”) to keep you occupied if the cable goes out.

Lastly, if you’re not going to be in College Park or Annapolis, set up your alternate viewing for the day:  Hawaii-Army kicks off at noon (it’s going to feel like 6 a.m. to the Rainbow Warriors), Auburn-LSU begins at 3:30 p.m. (nothing like the SEC West undercard) and Ohio State-TCU start at 8 p.m. (the Buckeyes may miss Urban Meyer more against the Horned Frogs than they did against Rutgers).  Stay safe…

 

Alma Mater Update- Syracuse entertains a struggling Florida State as the Orange attempt to start 3-0 for the second time since…1991?  That season saw a week three win at home against a highly-rated Florida…so if Dino Babers calls a reverse on the opening kickoff you’ll know what he was thinking.

 

Maryland (2-0) vs. Temple (0-2), noon (Big Ten Network).  The Owls have lost home games to FCS Villanova and Buffalo (not the Bills, although it should be said the Bulls have had much better quarterbacking than their NFL counterparts).  So naturally Terps interim head coach Matt Canada said in his Tuesday press conference that the Owls have a “great tradition”.  Temple may have won ten games twice this decade, but the school’s “tradition” includes losing by 40+ points to Penn State and having to join the Mid-American Conference because the old Big East didn’t want them.  While the Owls are a scrappy team that has a defensive and special teams touchdown to its credit this month, the Terps just have too much talent on both sides of the ball to get caught off-guard.  Terrapins triumph, 30-14.

 

Navy (1-1) vs Lehigh (1-1), 3:30 p.m (CBS Sports Network). The Midshipmen are coming off of a season-salvaging win against Memphis;  not only did they beat the preseason AAC West favorites but coach Ken Niumatalolo’s team held possession for 38 minutes.  While one win doesn’t deliver the division, at least the Mids can think of themselves as a team that can win the West if they continue to improve.  Lehigh did make the FCS Playoffs last year as Patriot League champ and boasts a three-time 1,000-yard rusher in senior Dominic Bragalone, but they’ll be hard-pressed to match the Midshipmen’s clock and yardage grinding offense.  Side note:  my uncle Jimmy Watson and two of his kids attended Lehigh, but when the team’s nickname was the Engineers.  Now they’re the “Mountain Hawks”.  Midshipmen manhandle the Mountain Hawks, 37-13.

 

Virginia (1-1) vs. Ohio (1-0), 4:30 p.m. (ACC Network).  The Cavaliers and Bobcats moved the game from Charlottesville to Nashville.  While UVA naturally would have liked to have kept the home game, the Bobcats are thankful they don’t have a bye for the second straight week.  They needed a bye week in between Howard and Virginia?  Perhaps–Ohio trailed the Bison at the half while playing at home.  A semi-neutral site game means a semi-neutral white wine for Kippy & Buffy;  nothing says “home away from home” better at the tailgate than Chateau O’Brien’s Northpoint White.  The 2017 Chardonnay offers “a beautiful array of creamy hazelnut and subtle butterscotch” and “shows a profound maturity, along with a balancing elegance and grace”.   Perfect with take-out from Bojangles.  The Cavaliers show maturity along with balance in a 28-17 win.

Georgetown falls to Dartmouth, Towson falls at Villanova.

Last Week: 7-2. Overall: 12-6.

PORTIONS PREVIOUSLY APPEARING ON WTOP.COM–

Thanksgiving was my favorite holiday growing up…where to this day even the bad ones are better than most.  As college football’s regular season winds down, the local table is bountiful:  James Madison’s unbeaten season is the turkey at the center of the table.  The Dukes have gone 11-0 as defending FCS champs and begin their tournament run next weekend as the number one seed.  The dressing/stuffing (I believe one is elected, the other is appointed) is Navy and Virginia Tech being pleasantly surprised with the success of first year quarterbacks Zach Abey and Josh Jackson.  Maryland’s injury issues are the mashed potatoes that no matter how much you eat, there’s still more on your plate.  Virginia’s best season since 2011 is the pumpkin pie with whipped cream after the Cavaliers have been stuck with mincemeat for the last few Novembers (which in the right hands is awesome, and in the wrong ones tastes like cigarrette ash and shoelaces).

 

Alma Mater Update- the Orange wrap up the 2017 campaign with a game against Boston College.  The completely rational fans who wanted to lock up Dino Babers with a 50-year contract now want to fire the coach pronto.  Year two of the rebuild went as much as one would expect…as SU now moves on completely to hoops.  Wasn’t it cool to see Jimmy Boeheim hit a three for Cornell earlier this month?  I hear his dad had a special nose-pick prepared just for the moment.  The fact that Tommy DeVito was able to redshirt makes this fall a winning one.  No pressure, kid.  Just the hopes and dreams of Central New York plus Jersey Boys and Goodfellas fans looking for a college football outlet.

 

Friday-

Navy (6-4, 4-3 AAC) at Houston (6-4, 4-3), noon (ESPN).  The two previous West Division winners battle for second place in the division after recent stumbles (Mids began the year 5-0 while the Cougars started 4-1).  Zach Abey leads the conference’s best ground game (360.5 yards per game) into the teeth of the second best run defense in the AAC.  Houston’s played multiple quarterbacks this fall- sophomore D’Eriq King looked great against East Carolina and so-so against Tulane.  The second worst-kept secret in the conference is that the Cougars allow a ton of yards through the air.  The worst-kept secret is that Navy passes the ball just over nine times per game.  Midshipmen fall, 34-23.

 

Virginia Tech (8-3, 4-3 ACC) at Virginia (6-5, 3-4), 8 p.m. (ESPN).  It may have been mentioned once or twice this fall that the Cavaliers haven’t beaten the Hokies since 2003.  That means that not only has no “fourth-year” student (because they don’t have “seniors” at Virginia because one is always learning) at UVa seen the Cavs beat Virginia Tech, nobody they went to school with went to school with anyone who went to school with anyone who was a student when Al Groh’s team topped Frank Beamer’s bunch 35-21.  That Hokie team ended the season with five losses in seven games…and this year’s edition has struggled in the final month of the season with two defeats and a near-disaster against Pitt.  Cavaliers QB Kurt Benkert is coming off of his highest rated game of the season, but the Hokies are the best in the ACC at getting off of the field on third down. Kippy & Buffy wrap up their regular season of tailgating with a Chateau O’Brien 2012 Limited Harvest Tannat:  “full bodied, dense & concentrated – with black fruit flavors & a silky smooth finish”Cavaliers finish their first winning season in seven years with a silky-smooth 27-23 victory.

 

Saturday-

Maryland (4-7, 2-6 Big Ten) vs #10 Penn State (9-2, 6-2), 3:30 (Big Ten Network).  The Terps wrap up a season that began with the bang of an upset win at Texas by looking to send their seniors out in style.  Unlike the last three Novembers, they won’t be finishing the season against Rutgers–instead it’s longtime nemesis Penn State.  Forget the 2014 win in Happy Valley–the Nittany Lions are 37-2-1 in the series and last lost in College Park when JFK was President.  Can a Terrapins defense that ranks 12th in the Big Ten against the run and 13th against the pass contain the one-two punch of dual threat quarterback Trace McSorley and dual threat runningback Saquon Barkley?  Offensively the focus will be DJ Moore early and often (he has 72 of the team’s 154 receptions)…and that might not be enough to keep pace.  Terrapins tumble, 45-17.

 

Last Week: 8-1.

Overall: 72-24.

PORTIONS PREVIOUSLY APPEARING ON WTOP.COM–

The college football season kicks off this weekend in Sydney (#14 Stanford playing Rice in Australia), San Jose (#19 South Florida facing San Jose State) and closer to home, Sam Houston State (#7 in FCS Richmond is on the road against the Bearkats).  The fact that Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Navy plus most of the local FCS schools don’t kick until Labor Day weekend means that area college football fans have one more Saturday and one final Sunday to check out local wineries in the Commonwealth.

That’s where my friends from the University of Virginia Kippy & Buffy come in:   while the Cavaliers have tasted postseason play just once this decade, NOBODY tailgates like the fine folks at Scott Stadium.  They also are all about hitting up local wineries in the offseason.  If you see a couple wearing popped collared golf shirts with orange shorts, give them polite nod for me.

Ladies and gentlemen, we recap last year’s tailgating tour, with cheese & cracker pairings:

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.

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.

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 vying for a spot in 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.   Cavaliers come up short, 30-19.

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.