Henrico County VA
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Swirl and sip

Virginia Wine Festival returns
Whether you’re an oenophile, a Hokie fan or just looking for fun, the Central Virginia Wine Festival is the place to be.

The annual event will be held May 12 at the SnagAJob Pavilion at Innsbrook.

“It’s a fantastic, fun atmosphere,” said Michael Eck, founder and chairman of the event.

This year’s event will showcase 15 wineries from around the Commonwealth, feature live music, food and arts and crafts vendors. And, of course, there will be plenty of Virginia wine (and also beer).

The event benefits the Virginia Tech Alumni Association - Richmond Chapter. “This is our only fundraiser of the year,” said Eck. “It supports scholarships for Richmond area Virginia Tech students.” The festival raises $15,000 to $30,000.

Many of the 14,000 area Hokie alumni will attend, but admission certainly isn’t limited to them, said Eck, a 1998 graduate. “We get a broad group of people.”

Are U.Va. fans welcome?

“Of course,” he said. “Anybody – as long as they’re not wearing West Virginia University gear. No, on second thought, we’d love to have them, too.”

The first festival was founded in 2005. Its most successful year, not surprisingly, was 2007, in the wake of the shootings at Tech. Organizers have moved the event up from June to have cooler weather.

And though there’s plenty of excellent wine to taste, Eck stressed that there also is beer available, as well as non-alcoholic beverages and a family-friendly atmosphere.

“We’ve been there every year since the beginning and it’s one of our favorite festivals of the year,” said Max Abrams, a co-owner of Grayhaven Winery. “It’s a lot of fun for us – and we have some Hokies in the family.”

Musical entertainment includes The Escorts from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., 44 Diesel from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Big Enough from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Wineries represented include: Belle Mount Vineyards, Warsaw; Byrd Cellars, Goochland; DelFosse Vineyards, Faber; Grayhaven Winery, Gum Spring; Horton Wine, Gordonsville; Huntington Creek Vineyards, Trailclover; Lake Anna Winery, Spotsylvania; Lazy Days Winery, Amherst; Peaks of Otter Winery, Bedford; Rebec Winery, Amherst; Sans Soucy, Brookneal; Saude Creek, Lanexa; Stone Mountain Vineyards, Dyke; Veritas Vineyard, Afton; Well Hung Vineyard, Charlottesville.

Virginia wines have become respected throughout the world in recent years and there currently are about 200 wineries in the state producing about one million gallons per year.

How to taste wine
Impress your date and taste wine like an expert with these simple steps:

• Be sure to check the temperature of the wine before opening. After opening, let the wine breathe (for red wines, aerate in a carafe, if desired).

• Pour a small amount of wine into the glass, and hold the glass towards the light to note the clarity of the wine and the depth of color.

• Gently swirl to release the bouquet. Sniff the wine (the smell of wine is called the nose) with your mouth open.

• Take a small sip of wine, allowing it to coat the tongue. Swirl in your mouth for a few seconds.

• Swallow, if you wish, or spit out (there will be a bucket or other receptacle for this). Observe the finish of the wine, or the time it takes to dissolve in your mouth.

If you go
What: The Central Virginia Wine Festival

When: Saturday, May 12, noon- 6 p.m.

Where: SnagAJob Pavilion at Innsbrook, 4901 Lake Brook Drive, Glen Allen, 23060

Cost: Tasting tickets $20 in advance, $25 at the gate; general admission tickets $8 in advance, $10 at the gate. Advance tickets on sale through May 11 at Martin’s or by calling (804) 794-6700

Details: http://www.centralvirginiawinefestival.com
Community

Celebrating 106 years

Former Sandston resident Mildred Taylor celebrated her 106th birthday Aug. 9. Taylor, who now lives in Powhatan, is still a member of Sandston Baptist Church. She was visited the day after her birthday by several members of the church, who played for her a recording of the entire church membership singing happy birthday to her during worship. > Read more.

YMCA breaks ground for aquatic center

YMCA officials gathered last week to break ground on the new Tommy J. West Aquatic Center at the Shady Grove Family YMCA on Nuckols Road. The center, which will featured 7,600 square feet of competitive and recreational space, including water slides, play areas for children and warmer water for those with physical limitations, is the fourth phase of a $4 million expansion at the facility. West was president and CEO of Capital Interior Contractors and a founding member of the Central Virginia Region of the Virginia Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors. > Read more.

Rotary donates to ‘Bright Beginnings’

The Sandston Rotary Club recently donated $1,000 to the Sandston YMCA for its Bright Beginnings program, which helps provide children in need with school supplies for the new school year. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Journey to mediocrity

‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ fails to capitalize on tasty concept
The Hundred-Foot Journey is a curious little Romeo and Juliet of a film. A family, forced out of their native India, begins a trek across Europe.

The family’s sole mode of transportation sputters and dies in a sleepy little French town, but the town’s food culture is high, and that’s a perfect place for a family of restaurateurs to settle down. There’s only one problem – the family’s rustic “Maison Mumbai” is right across the street (a hundred feet away, if the title didn’t clue you in) from a prestigious French bistro with a Michelin star, run with an iron fist by the dreaded Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren, pictured).

It’s here that a particular Romeo and Juliet story begins to develop, with Hassan (Manish Dayal) on the Indian side and Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) on the French side. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


Enjoy the final days of summer with comedian Guy Torry, the Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour or mystery writer Mary Miley Theobald at Twin Hickory Library. Another great way to welcome the beginning of fall is to check out the UR Spider Football season opener with man’s best friend. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Bottoms up

Short Pump brewery offers more than just beer
I am still (happily) thinking about my entire experience at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery last week. Knowing nothing about this new brewery out of Denver, I was leery of brew-pub in the heart of Short Pump Town Center – this is not what I’d usually think of as a perfect fit, and yet, it was.

The restaurant and craft brewery opened in early June and features 10 beers made by female brewmaster Becky Hammond (pictured). This is the restaurant’s second location in Virginia; the first is in Arlington. Behind glass walls, customers watched the beer brewing in massive steel barrels. For our up-and-coming beer region, it makes sense that Short Pump would jump on board.

As I walked up to the back of the mall near the comedy club, I was taken aback by what I saw: at the top of the stairs was an overflowing restaurant with outdoor seating, large umbrellas and dangling outdoor lights. > Read more.

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