Archives for posts with tag: Wine Enthusiast

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.”


It’s been one of those autumns in the area.  Actually, fall is a more appropriate word.  Three months ago Virginia Tech, Maryland and Virginia each had high hopes for 2015.  Well, maybe not exactly high–but Coastal Division Titles in Blacksburg, Bowl eligibility in College Park and not losing to Boise State by 42 in Charlottesville shouldn’t be out of the question.  Instead, one coach is fired and another is retired while the third is patenting his “twisting in the wind” moves.  Three seasons hitting the ground like sacks of wet cement.  Oh, the humanity…


Alma Mater Update- another lost season for the Orange comes to a close.  SU tries to end an 8-game losing streak (the last four losses by double digits) as they welcome a Boston College team that played well against Notre Dame but hasn’t won since September.   Neither team is going to win “strength of schedule” arguments:  the Orange boast Rhode Island, Wake Forest and Central Michigan as their victims while BC can claim Maine, Howard and Northern Illinois. November.  Eagle fans/boosters/alumni live in the best of both worlds:  they whoop it up when they beat your school but when they lose are quick to tell you about the “lofty academic standards” their college has that keeps them from being a perennial contender–as if Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Northwestern,Virginia and the military academies don’t exist.  Of course, what annoys BC fans about the Cuse is that often when confronted about how bad football is, we point to SU hoops.  By the way, I think they’re 5-0 after winning the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament.  Bring on the wings…


Maryland (2-9, 0-7 Big Ten) at Rutgers- you could say the seeds to this season were planted last year in the Terps’ loss to the Scarlet Knights…a game where CJ Brown and company led 35-10 before collapsing.  Unlike snakebitten Indiana, Rutgers isn’t your most impressive 4-win team: Norfolk State, Kansas, Army West Point and Indiana are a combined 11-33.  But they boast electric wide receiver in Leonte Caroo- the senior averages almost 20 yards a catch and has TD grabs of 55, 56 & 58 yards this year.  Not encouraging when one thinks of the Terps’ soft secondary.  The Terps  rank 14th in the Big Ten in passing efficiency…and both quarterbacks Perry Hills (mono) and Caleb Rowe (concussion) are question marks for Saturday.  Door #3 remains former fullback Shane Cockerille.  Terrapins tumble, 36-30.


Virginia Tech (5-6, 3-4 ACC) at Virginia (4-7, 3-4)- unfortunately on WTOP’S “Ask the Governor” this week with Mark Lewis & Debbie Feinstein, neither asked Terry McAuliffe which team he thought would win the Commonwealth Cup (evidently improving the highways and creating jobs takes precedence).  The Hokies clinch bowl eligibility with a victory…while the Cavaliers are staring at an 11-game losing streak to their in-state rivals.  UVa allows the most points in the ACC-but the Cavaliers are also unbeaten at home in conference play.  Never mind those wins came against Syracuse, Georgia Tech and Duke (combined 5-17 in the league).  Coach Frank Beamer makes his final visit to Charlottesville (for the record, Beamer’s 19-9 against UVa, 9-5 at Scott Stadium).  Kippy & Buffy wrap up their tailgating by toasting coach Beamer with a King Family 2012 Meritage:  “concentrated on the nose, with a mélange of red and black berries, red plum and fern…a black pepper note rings on the finish” (Wine Enthusiast’s Alexander Peartree*).  Perfect with Abbot’s Gold cheese on Bath Oliver crackers…although I’d sub in a smoked turkey leg for old time’s sake.  Hokies make it happen, 28-21.


Friday: 0-1.  Tough loss for Navy-but at least they have an easy commute for their bowl game.

Last Week: 5-2.

Overall: 76-20.

*Of course Andrew Peartree is the Wine Enthusiast reviewer Kippy & Buffy refer to.