Rockin’ Down the Highway

     Just off Exit 146 of the Pennsylvania Turnpike at the foot of the Allegheny mountains lays the little town of Bedford. Nothing along the quaint business district in the center of town would give you any clue that something extraordinary is happening at 107 E. Pitt Street. That is the address of the tasting room for Briar Valley Vineyard & Winery, one of the best wineries in Pennsylvania. You might think that’s only my opinion of their classic European-style vinifera wines but I have a second opinion from someone with creditability greater than my own, Mr. James Suckling! Yes, you heard right, that James Suckling the world-famous wine critic.

     At a recent tasting of more than 800 non-West Coast wines Mr. Suckling gave Briar Valley Chardonnay 2016

Briar Valley Vineyard & Winery Chardonnay 2016

a score of 92 points calling it “Concentrated and fresh, this is an elegant cool-climate Chardonnay with bright lemon and herbal notes. Very long mineral finish.” Quite a coup for Tod & Jean Manspeaker owners/wine makers at B.V. Mr. Suckling went on to award B.V. Lemberger 2016 an 89 point score and B.V. Cabernet Franc 2016 87 points. These two Reds are among my favorite Pennsylvania wines. It is easy to see why Tod & Jean have recently expanded their winery with a new production facility because when you make wine this good you will need extra capacity.

You can find these wines and all the other quality wines that Briar Valley offers at their tasting room in Bedford, Pa, online at http://briarvalleywinery.com or at many fine dining restaurants around the state.

Jimmy Buffett’s Wine List

Wine List at Frank & Lola Love Pensacola Cafe
Wine List at Frank & Lola Love Pensacola Cafe

If you aren’t a Jimmy Buffett fan (A.K.A. Parrothead) you probably don’t know that Jimmy is a wine lover.  During a recent trip to Pensacola, Florida my wife and I had the pleasure to stay at his Margaritaville Hotel on Pensacola Beach. When I say on Pensacola Beach I mean ON Pensacola Beach.  A strong storm came through and the ocean flooded the 1st floor of the parking garage with 4 feet of salt water.  Luckily we had parked on the second floor after returning from a Blue Wahoo game earlier that evening.  You can enlarge the photo to see what wines Jimmy offers and their prices.  The Frank and Lola Café has great fresh fish just ask your server what has just come in off the boats.