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A conversation with the Old Dominion’s three top winemakers

Virginia’s Finest

By David White
VA Wine--3 bottles1Until 1976, few wine critics took California seriously.

That year, a British wine merchant organized a competition in Paris pitting California’s best Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon against the best wines that France had to offer. Everyone assumed that France would win. But with both the whites and the reds, California came out on top.

That competition—now known as “The Judgment of Paris”—transformed California’s wine industry. It helped accelerate vintners’ efforts to tout California’s wines as being on par with Europe’s best offerings.

Virginia’s wine industry isn’t yet on par with California’s. But wine critics everywhere are starting to pay serious attention to the state.

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The Goat Cheeses of Georges Mill Farm

The Goat Cheeses of Georges Mill Farm By Emily HilliardIMG_0198_1

Along the back roads of Loudon County, en route to Georges Mill Farm in Lovettsville, Virginia, there are signs that you’re still within striking distance of a major metropolitan area, as newer homes and development extend their reach among the rolling farms with old barns and white farmhouses.

But as you finally round the corner of Georges Farm Road and spot the Civil War–era stone house and the quaint barn-red Georges Mill Farm stand, you feel as if you’ve entered a landscape all its own, a historic haven very separate from the new growth in the county.

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Dolcezza Gelato Raises the Bar with New Venue

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By Tim Ebner

By the time late spring rolls around, Robb Duncan is salivating for summer. It’s the time of year when his business, Dolcezza Gelato, is busy whipping up frozen gelatos with fresh berries, including strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and red, black and purple raspberries.

Summer also means peak herb growing season. And, if there was a Super Bowl Sunday for gelato producers, Duncan says it would be during the last week of June.

“That one week is a big one. It’s just an amazing time for fresh gelato,” he says. “It’s the tail end of strawberry season, and it has a one-week overlap where blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are in season too.”

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This year Dolcezza is ready for that week.

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A Julep So Cool It’s Blue

By Tim Ebner

As the heat and humidity hit this summer, skip the Manhattan and order up an ice-cold mint julep. Sure, this cocktail has several centuries of history in Kentucky, and it’s the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, but it might also be the perfect remedy for a muggy D.C. afternoon.

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Nick Caruana runs a drinks site called The Straight Up, a Saveur 2014 finalist for best cocktail blog. Caruana says Kentucky Senator Henry Clay is credited with bringing the julep to our nation’s capital where he introduced the drink back in the early 1800s at the hotel where the Willard Intercontinental now stands.

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Tips on Freezing Summer Fruits

Saving Summer

by Debra Moser

It is a sure sign that spring has arrived when the first local strawberries make their appearance in farm markets—bursting with flavor, bringing vibrant color at the end of a drab winter. We dream of sun-drenched days full of delicate red raspberries, overflowing cartons of juicy blackberries and blueberries bursting with flavor.

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As spring eases into summer and fruit-filled menus intrigue us, now it is the perfect time to start thinking about next winter. Freezing our abundant fruits and berries now to later add to breakfast dishes, entrees, soup desserts and smoothies will make your recipes sparkle long after summer is just a memory.

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Mockingbird Hill Fino Garlicback

The Weirdest Thing That Actually Tastes Great

By Alison Baitz

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Mockingbird Hill bar manager and head bartender Chantal Tseng was looking for a way to incorporate pickled garlic juice into a drink. Inspired by the classic pickleback (a shot of whiskey chased with pickle juice), she dreamed up the fino garlicback, a shot of dry fino sherry followed by a small saucer of pickled garlic juice. The result is a perfect note of savory flavor, and, as Tseng boasts, a “versatile” choice, as it works perfectly as a palate cleanser—or makes a great introduction to the nuanced world of sherry itself.

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JRINK Juicery

By Alison Baitz

JRINK

Shizu Okusa and Jennifer Ngai met in 2010 when they were both working at Goldman Sachs as investment bankers. They officially launched JRINK Juicery in January 2014—with a quick in-person debut in October 2013, at Taste of DC—while both still employed full-time at the World Bank, and are now the proud owners of a brick-and-mortar juice café in Dupont Circle. In between these milestones were several months of product testing, countless flavor combination tests and every-other-day visits to the grocery store for ingredient runs.

The first incarnation of JRINK was mostly as a juice delivery service—which was first executed by Shizu and Jennifer themselves—and a brick-and-mortar retail space wasn’t necessarily the plan from the beginning.

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“Summer Vortex” Issue Press Release

DC’s metro area and Capital region has a new source for in-depth information about local food: Edible DC At the heart of the magazine is a commitment to showcasing the unique local flavors, food artisans and farmers and the people and places that make the food from the region special.

In it’s premier issue, publisher Susan Able says, “We really aim to capture what is unique and front-leading about our local food scene here and build on the national Edible brand and mission. I stand on the shoulders of giants – dedicated Edible publishers, writers and community leaders who have done so much to promote the importance of eating locally, healthily, and sustainably across the US—and we want to chronicle that momentum here in the DC foodshed area.”

The June 2014 issue, themed ”The Summer Vortex Issue” celebrates summer in the region with a feature on young chefs hosting a picnic, an interview with leaders of the VA wine industry on its future, an interview with the Italian ambassador and chef on Italian food here and in Italy, and coverage of local artisan makers, Gordy’s Pickles and Georges Mill Cheese Farm.

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