Sometimes, you’re just in the mood for something different.
Before I say more, I should note that I am a creature of habit, almost to a fault. I eat the same salad every day for lunch. I do the laundry on Mondays and Fridays. I drink Irish Breakfast Tea at least once a day. I read every night before I go to sleep. When these things don’t happen, I get a little…anxious. Graham would say hard to deal with, but I’m giving myself a break.
I’m not quite so particular about wine. I like trying different varietals from different places, and I don’t really have a wine-drinking schedule (does anyone?). But I do have a level of comfort with the grapes that are commonly used at Virginia vineyards and wineries. I’m all about a peppery Virginia Cabernet Franc. I love the way smoky Virginia soil brings out the minerality in a Viognier.
But sometimes, like I said, you’re just in the mood for something different. Which is why Graham and I found ourselves at Otium Cellars last weekend.
You can probably tell, but this place is picturesque. Otium is a Latin word for leisure, peace, rest, and tranquility, and it fits the setting. Rolling hills, silos, mature trees, and even horses, because, you know, Loudoun County. It’s conveniently located right outside of the town of Purcellville, and a fun side trip on the way is a quick drive through the historic village of Lincoln, a little gem in the Loudoun County countryside.
We wanted to try Otium Cellars because of their reputation for German varietals, and particularly German reds. Uncommon in Virginia, and executed very, very well at Otium. Their tasting is well worth the cost, as it’s pretty extensive and the tasting room is a comfortable spot to relax on a weekend afternoon. There wasn’t a single wine on the menu we wouldn’t have bought. We ended up bringing home bottles of 2014 Blaufränkisch, 2014 Dornfelder (both reds), and 2015 Grüner Veltliner (a white).
We opened the Grüner Veltliner tonight. We figured this would be one of the last 90 degrees days of the year (please, oh please, let it be so!), and so a cold white wine seemed like the most logical choice.
I’d never tried this varietal before. This grape is grown primarily in Austria, and the grapes for this particular bottle were grown in Washington State. It’s robust, for such a crisp wine – a light, bright nose of citrus, with hints of apples and stone fruits (and I think just a touch of honey), light acidity and a bit of spiciness on the palette, and a delicate finish of white pepper. Lovely, and absolutely perfect for a hot day like today.
I’ll feature the two reds that we bought a little later in the year. I’m excited to pair them with some classic fall flavors (sage, cinnamon, cloves…how long until Thanksgiving?). For now, I’ll enjoy my cold white wine, dream of cooler days and changing leaves, and heartily recommend a visit to Otium Cellars.
*If you’d like to check out Otium Cellars, here’s their website: Otium Cellars