Hi everyone! We’re baaaaaaack! Just home from a nice long relaxing vacation in Florida. Just what the doctor ordered. We visited a winery and a couple of breweries while there, more to come on that in a later blog. But today we’re back to featuring things to do in good old Loudoun County, VA!
Sometimes the only problem with living in or visiting Western Loudoun is there is not a whole lot to do in the evenings on the weekend! Well and if you live in Lucketts that lovely Route 15 traffic isn’t exactly a selling point, but I digress. Luckily many of the wineries in the area have recognized our desperate situation and started staying open later on Friday and Saturday evenings. We just happened to be looking for something to do on a beautiful Friday night a couple weeks ago, so we ended up at North Gate Vineyard in Purcellville for their First Friday event in June. They had live music with the Valley Drifters, discounts on wine, and their usual lite fare menu.
We arrived around 5:30 or so, just as the musician was setting up and people were starting to stroll in. It was an absolutely gorgeous night, and we had our cutest houseguest ever, Lulu the Bernese Mountain Dog, with us so we found a spot on the patio and settled in. Oh yeah, our cousin from out-of-town aka Lulu’s human was also with us, but Lulu was definitely the star. I went inside to get a couple of bottles and order some food and ended up spending some time with my good friend Chris, North Gate’s Event Manager. We wanted to introduce Lulu around so I asked if the owner, Vicki was there. I needn’t have worried though, by the time I got back outside Vicki was already there with the pup playing in the grass. I think she smells dogs because she is on them like glue. Next thing you know, she picked Lulu up and started walking away, informing us that Lulu needed to meet uncle Mark, her husband. Lulu’s owner looked a little taken aback that his brand new baby was being abducted, but we assured him it was fine, she’s mostly harmless.
North Gate doesn’t do tastings during evening events, so of course we settled on my favorite wine ever, and got a couple of bottles of their 2015 Chambourcin. We also got a bottle of the Apple Wine for those who need some sweetness. I like to think I favor reds because I’m already sweet enough. We also ordered some cheddar, brie, and rosemary Asiago cheese and a couple baguettes to go with it. Oh, and we got the fig spread. Have you tried this stuff? It’s like if they took a spoon and got the yummy filling out of fig newtons and put it in a jar. I’m guessing they threw away the dry outside cookie part of the newton because someone figure out its thoroughly unnecessary. Anyway you put some brie on the bread, then add some fig spread to the top. Voila…delicious snack that pairs beautifully with your favorite wine! A member of the squad, we’ll call her Mama C, had stopped to pick up a ‘few little snacks’ to bring along. Apparently she doesn’t have the words ‘few’ and ‘little’ in her vocabulary when it comes to grocery shopping so we ended up with a fantastic smorgasbord of fruit and other snacks that could easily feed an army. Guess who’s in charge of the snacks from now on. Awesome.
Our group of nine had a wonderful evening sitting on the covered patio listening to the music, enjoying our wine and snacks, visiting with our North Gate friends and chatting the night away. There was a pretty decent crowd, but it was by no means crowded. Overall a nice evening sitting outside with loved ones at an awesome place. We noticed that lots of people even picked up dinner to bring along and eat while they enjoyed the wine and music. I’d be lying if I said a couple of us absolutely were not eyeing the bucket of KFC one couple brought. We were hoping they’d both walk away at the same time so we could accidentally snag a piece, but alas they guarded it like Fort Knox. It’s ok though we made do with our gigantic spread.
Visit North Gate for their First Friday in July, on Friday the 7th when they’ll be featuring the music of Nathaniel Davis and The Inside Scoop Gourmet Ice Cream Truck!!!!! Gourmet ice cream, wine, and music. WHOA! Tell them the LoCo Wine Squad sent ya!