Posts Tagged Total Wine

Two Brews for Oktoberfest and Halloween

On a recent visit to the Reston Total Wine store, I asked for some recommendations for pumpkin spiced brews.

There were lots of those…and I like pumpkin ale. But he steered me to two “Marzen” beers, instead. Marzen beers are called “March” beers because that is when they were brewed in the days before refrigeration. Then they are released for Oktoberfest. They are typically only available during the fall.

The salesperson recommended Great Lakes “Oktoberfest” ($10/6 pack), a highly rated, award-winning Marzen-stlye lager from Ohio. The color of an autumn leaf, this malty beer is smooth, light and toasty, with caramel and pine notes.

He also recommended a beer from nearby Ashburn, Virginia that would go great with bratwurst and pretzels. Lost Rhino Brewing Company’s autumn seasonal “Rhin o’Fest” ($11.99/6 pack/cans) is the traditional, malty, smooth Marzen lager drunk during Oktoberfest. Washington Post named it a beer of the week back in 2016.

I’ll go back and try these… but I went home with The DogFather ($8.99), an ebony, bourbon barrel aged stout from Idaho Laughing Dog brewery. I’ve never tasted an American stout before and it came highly recommended. First time for everything!

The folks at Total Wine are great. Go by and see them if you are looking for something different to try.

, , ,

Leave a comment

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.

 

, ,

Leave a comment