Archive for October 19th, 2019

Halloween wines

“I never drink…wine.” — Count Dracula

That’s okay, Count, more for us!

I visited Total Wine in Reston (Plaza America location) in a quest for Halloween wines and they did not disappoint. I was provided with two recommendations.

Witching Hour ($6.99) is a California red blend. This is the wine to bring to a Halloween party or enjoy at home. I was suspicious because of its low price, so I bought a bottle. I liked it!

I recommend that you decant and let it breathe for an hour or so (although that’s not always possible at parties). Swirling this red wine in the glass should also help. I noticed an improvement in taste when I let it breathe an hour and a half.

This wine is medium-bodied with a dark cherry flavor. I had a glass with some Cabot Vermont Sharp cheddar and Pepperidge Farm wheat crackers. Yum! I’ll drink this tomorrow with my dinner of mushroom stew. This would also pair well with a good steak or hearty pasta dish.

Mascota Vineyards Unaminé Gran Vino Tinto ($25). an Argentinian red blend, is more expensive but highly rated.

The lovely label has a border of bats. The bat mascot is a reference to the chief winemaker’s childhood memory of being sent to fetch wine from his family’s cellar where bats resided.

It is a full-bodied blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Malbec that has notes of blackberry and chocolate.

Decant this wine and allow it to breathe before drinking for best taste results.


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Prepare to be amazed by these Halloween displays

You know, at Christmas, who doesn’t love driving around and looking at Christmas lights? But it wasn’t until my son was little that we started driving around to look at the “spooky houses,” as he called them. Now, it’s driving around and looking at the best Halloween decorations is part of our Halloween tradition.

There are two places I highly recommend you visit to get in the Halloween spirit this year, if you haven’t yet already! Both are in Northern Virginia, both are free, and both display the tremendous creativity of their residents.

Enchanted sculptures at The Haunted Half Acre

In Falls Church City (510 East Broad Street, near Seven Corners and across from Dulin Church), art sculptor John Lanouette (@enchantedsculpt) erects the “Haunted Half-Acre” at his family’s home every October. Visitors are welcome to check out his amazing soft sculptures all October long during the day or evening. While there is no parking on Broad Street (Route 7), there is street parking in the neighborhood. This is a lovely place for walk, as well, and the trick or treating in the neighborhood is top notch!

Fantasy Pumpkins: the most amazing jack o’lanterns you’ll ever see!

If you want to see Noel Dickover’s (@NoelDickover) stupendous, carved jack o’lanterns, you’ll have to visit on Halloween night between 7 p.m and 9:30 p.m. I think you’ll be glad you did! You might have seen these spectacular jack o’lanterns featured on the news.

We made the trek to the front lawn of his home in Centreville (14223 Hartwood Court) last year, and it made our Halloween! Last year, we saw Game of Thrones, Star Wars, Star Trek, Washington Capitals, and other themed jack o’lanterns.




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