We love having guest stars on the blog, and for the next several posts, we had Paul’s little brother, Michael, and Michael’s friend, Katie, along for the ride. SOMEHOW, in her 30-whatever years of life, Katie had never been wine tasting before. Katie, we’re honored that you chose us for your first time, and we’re proud that you lasted 4+ rounds.
On to Aspen Dale Winery at the Barn! Aspen Dale has been open since 2009, and the current owners bought the winery in 2012. Their wines are made from all Virginia grapes, and they have an offsite vineyard. The tasting room itself is cute, but the bar area is pretty small. I don’t know how crowded they get, but with our party of four and another party of two, things were just shy of crowded. That being said, there was quite a bit of seating, so if you want to stick around for a bottle after your tasting, you should be fine.
The wines were pretty good, but the best part is that they served a tasting plate with a small food accompaniment for each of the wines. We’ve been to wineries that had samples to go with a few wines, but I don’t think we’ve been to one that had a food pairing for each wine on the tasting menu. In addition to the six wines on the regular tasting menu, you could add a hard cider (unsweetened, uncarbonated, and aged in red wine barrels) for $1, and they served a surprised ending of rosé sangria. (I had to point out to Michael that it was a surprise ending, not a happy ending. Our poor servers that day. We just went downhill from here.)
We didn’t know it beforehand, but several of the Fauquier County wineries were participating in a holiday wine trail for the last half-ish of November through the end of December. If you bought the special wine glass, you would get half price tastings and 10% off bottles at the other participating wineries. Since we were planning on hitting at least three wineries that day and the list of participating wineries included some of the ones we wanted to visit, we decided it was definitely worth the extra $6 each for the glasses.
Rating: Green (We’ll totally come back!)
Tasting: $10 for 6, $1 extra for hard cider
Price: About average (mid-$20s – $45)
Kid Friendly: Yes
Highlights: Food pairings for each wine
Time Since Lacy Last Ate: ~1.5 hours
Strangers Invited to Dinner: 0