It was likely risking my life, but I drove out to Delaplane, Virginia this evening for a wine dinner at the RdV Vineyards. A risk because I kept switching radio stations between the Redskins and the Nationals, though - honestly - gave up on Redskins after RGIII's unfortunate concussion. Also, friends were texting me with updates on both games. I can assure you that since I was doing 70 on 66, I ignored the texts, but I knew what they were about: bad news/good news.
I'm not going to write a lot about the dinner here, because I wrote all about the details of the dinner on washingtonian.com. That's why I was out there, with photographer Jeff Martin. We have so much fun on these kinds of assignments. Jeff loves to photograph food, he likes the company of food industry people and foodies, and I love to write about events that combine great food and wine with social interaction...especially when they are different from the routine, and this was different. Eric Ziebold of CityZen, and his team, did the food, and winery owner Rutger de Vink was a magnanimous host. Outside it was a misty chilly October twilight, but inside was all warm and cozy and with incredible smells of good food and wine-making, and a roaring fire.
This week amounts to the play-offs not only of baseball but also of the fall social season. Practically every night has an A-list event. It will be a parade of the usual suspects but not without merit (here and there). Jeff and I have another cool dinner mid-week. You'll read about it, yes, on washingtonian.com. Wouldn't you know that's the same night as our first home playoff game for the Nationals. Once again I'll be tuned to the radio as I drive 30 miles out of town. But this particular dinner will be worth missing a night at Nats Park.
COOKING AN ERIC ZIEBOLD DINNER ON AN OUTDOOR GRILL
Due to my driving responsibilities I couldn't seriously indulge in all the wines that were offered at the dinner. Probably for the better. I did have a few sips, though, and I must say ... they were yummy. I'd been out to Linden Vineyards before on a story and it was good to see winemaker Jim Law again. The Riesling was one of his two contributions to the dinner. He doesn't consider it his most important wine, but he also makes one of the best roses I've ever tasted, and I'm a fiend for rose and I'm picky.
My colleague Todd Kliman, the restaurant critic for Washingtonian, wrote a good profile of de Vink. Do give it a read.
Here's a parting view of the lovely light and clouds that graced the Blue Ridge Mountains, as viewed from RdV Vineyards.