Visiting wineries in Virginia is usually fun and lovely but not always especially palate-pleasing or affordable.
The state does two things well: Cabernet Franc and Voignier, so if you don’t like the tobacco-y red or sweet-floral white, you’re usually out of luck. Plus, prices usually hover around $20 a bottle, which is too high for so-so wine.
So, I was pleasantly surprised to find a fine, Meritage at Blenheim Vineyards for just $10. A touch of oak and tannins with nice hints of cherry and plum. Not bad at all. In fact, pretty darn good. Continue reading
Discover the next bluegrass and roots-rock stars in this music-loving college town.
WHERE TO STAY
To be within a quick walk to live-music venues, book accommodations in downtown Charlottesville.
The outdoor “Downtown Mall” is chock-o-block with venues. To be near the action, stay at the three-story Victorian 200 South Street Inn, right, (from $160). Request room 18 on the second floor, which is insulated from downtown’s rumbling trains. Fuel your night of living like a rock star at Asian-tapas restaurant Bang!, across the street (213 Second St. SW, 434-984-BANG).
Rub elbows with performers at the Omni Hotel (from $169), a three-star high-rise, popular with headliners at the state-of-the-art John Paul Jones Arena — named after a donor, not the bassist. If Keith Urban, Phil Lesh and Bruce Springsteen sightings are nil (they’re all playing the arena this spring/summer), take solace in the indoor and outdoor pools, seven pillows on the beds, and the unparalleled location on the Mall.
For easy access to the University of Virginia’s nightlife strip, “The Corner,” check into the Dinsmore House Inn (from $119), an exquisitely preserved bricked colonial. If you plan on finding an afterparty, request the Veranda Room for its private entrance.
Three blocks away on Elliewood Avenue restaurants such as Coupe DeVille’s and the Buddhist Biker Bar, above, let the party spill outside, at the latter on a generous fenced front lawn, with live reggae, blues or rock most nights.
WHERE TO EAT
Posted in Music, Travel
Tagged 200 South Street Inn, Bang!, Best of What's Around, Blackrock Summit, Blenheim Vineyards, Charlottesville, Charlottesville Pavillion, City Guides, Coran Capshaw, Corey Harris, Dave Matthews Band, Dinsmore House Inn, Gravity Lounge, John Paul Jones Arena, Mas, Mono Loco, Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive, Spudnut Shop, The Hackensaw Boys, The White Spot, Thompson D'Earth, Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar, Va.