Category Archives: Wine

October is Virginia Wine Month

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We hope to add even more wine tastings with Virginia Wineries to our tasting schedule in October, but you can go ahead and count on these!



Fincastle Vineyard & Winery

Nestled in the Great Valley of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Fincastle Vineyard & Winery produces wines using traditional Bordeaux small scale techniques. From the vines of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Chardonnay come wines pressed gently and aged in oak. After 10 years in the planning, David, Georgia, and their son, Richard opened Botetourt County’s first farm winery in 2003 with a special emphasis on quality and not quantity. According to the Virginia Wine Guide “Fincastle’s 2001 reds are beautifully handcrafted blockbuster wines, dark, lush and intensely flavored.”

Built into the hillside by our farmhouse, the winery is a gravity-fed operation, thus insuring the completely natural handling of the wine. The unique construction of the winery utilizes top-level in-ground primary fermentation storage, below which are three levels of barrel storage, providing for the downward flow of wine during racking.

The vineyard can be seen from the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 100. A simple desire to “do something with the land” has blossomed into a thriving vineyard where once there were only cows and hay.

AmRhein’s Wine Cellars

All 2014 Wines are ESTATE-GROWN!! AmRhein’s Wine Cellars is a multi-award winning winery with a multitude of White and Red grape varietals produced!

CrossKeys Vineyards

CrossKeys Vineyards is a beautiful 125 acre Estate situated in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley. Here we produce a wide array of award winning, estate, grown, produced, and bottled wines. Surrounded by the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains, CrossKeys Vineyards is the perfect setting for a relaxing day trip, romantic dinner, grand wedding, and everything in between.


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Vinho Verde on SALE through Labor Day!

Vinho Verde is a grape varietal, grown in the “Vinho Verde” region of Portugal. Other wines can come from this region in Portugal, such as Tempranillo, Touriga Nacional and even wonderful blended Roses. But most commonly, this region is known for their production of Vinho Verde, white wine. Vinho Verdes are known for having lower alcohol by volume (8-9% ABV), making them easier to drink in the Summer Heat. Vinho Verdes are also known for having a slight bit of effervescence and vibrant acidity. Maybe not technically speaking, but for Americans, Labor Day is the perfect time to enjoy Vinho Verde!


Conveniently, On Sale Now

for your enjoyment! 

Save $1.00 off all Vinho Verde through Labor Day (or while supplies last).

Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar will be OPEN LABOR DAY 11am-3pm

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Wine and Chocolate Pairing | August 15. 2014

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Puppie McCloskey, of International Wine Cellars

will pour wine samples and pair with Baylee’s Best Chocolates!


The Wine Lineup-

  • Serrus Viura – A dry white wine from Spain. Has the oomph to stand up the chocolate and make your taste buds happy! 
  • Albardiales Tempranillo – from La Mancha. Fresh, intense blackberry flavor just waiting to grab a chocolate accompaniment. 
  • Pocas Tawny Port- Its simply a classic port-chocolate match up you must try!


baylees choc valentines




About Baylee’s Best Chocolates-

Baylee’s is Roanoke’s own Chocolatier! We make our chocolates, confections and custom molded bars right here in our shop at West Village of Roanoke, Virginia. To make our confections, along with the finest European chocolate, I use real fruit, fresh figs and nuts, quality flavorings and the best vanilla and cream. The result is chocolates with thin shells and creamy fillings. You can taste the difference!


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Meet The Winemaker: Michael Shaps

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Michael has been making wine in central Virginia since 1995.  He previously worked with two highly regarded central Virginia wineries – Jefferson Vineyards, and King Family Vineyards.  He currently works as a consultant to wineries in several states and has been involved in the startup of more  than ten wineries.  He was the winner of the Virginia Governor’s Cup Wine Competition in 2004 and has been mentioned in numerous wine publications such as Saveur, Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Wine Advocate, Washingtonian, and The Washington Post.  Michael is also a partner in Maison Shaps & Roucher-Sarrazin in Meursault, France. Michael oversees all Virginia Wineworks operations and works with partner Philip Stafford on strategic planning for the winery. He holds a BPA (Brevet Professionnel Agricole) in Enology and Viticulture from Lycée Viticole de Beaune, France.  In addition, he has a B.S. in Business  Administration with a  concentration in Marketing from Skidmore College.


Michael Shaps wines are produced in small lots from leased vineyards that are grown under the supervision of Michael Shaps and Philip Stafford. Michael has established a reputation for high quality that ranks on an 
international scale with some of the best wines in the world.  For the past ten vintages Michael has created wines with careful attention to the details of fine wine production.  The wines are produced in a traditional old-world style.  The whites focus on varietal intensity and the retention of natural acidity.  The reds are highly extracted and crafted to be age worthy and require cellaring.
 Michael strongly believes in choosing grape varieties that represent the potential of Virginia viticulture.  Michael’s wines prove that Virginia can produce wines that compete head to head with some of the finest wines from the best regions in the wine world.
In addition to wining the prestigious Governor’s Cup wine competition, Michael Shaps wines have earned gold medals in several competitions and have been written up in publications such as Saveur, Wine Spectator, Wine Advocate, Washingtonian, The Washington Post and many others.


Virginia Wineworks wines have been created to meet the need for value-oriented wines.  We realized the most ideal and cost effective packaging are the bag in boxes.  These  have long been used in Italy and France with great success.  We are the first Virginia Winery to produce These wines are made from 100% Virginia grapes.  We work with quality grape growers throughout the state to find the best possible fruit to make fun, approachable wines.  We work to create wines that maintain high standards of quality at reasonable prices.

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Please join us on Friday, April 18 (5-7p) for a special tasting and

Meet The Winemaker with Michael Shaps!

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A little for the Sauce, A little for the Chef

Over the years, Mr. Bill has worked hard to educate people about the wine industry. Here’s an article written by Bill himself that we hope will enlighten you about cooking with wine.

A little for the Sauce, A little for the Chef

With over 37 years of experience in the Wine Industry, Mr. Bill specializes in wine sales, customer service, wine education, training, and event planning.


We know we should drink a little wine, but what about cooking with it? Grab a glass of fine Virginia wine while we discuss wine in the kitchen.

The first rule is to not use the stuff labeled “cooking wine”, which you will find in many stores. It’s terrible plunk and has salt added to it. Add your own salt, if any, to the recipe. The next rule is to use a wine that you would also drink. Two things happen with really cheap wine. Any off flavors in the wine will likely magnify as it reduces. Also, cheaper wines are usually thinner in flavor taking more wine to reach the richness you might desire. Using a really great or expensive bottle of wine is overkill and a waste.

There are several reasons for cooking with wine. Perhaps the most popular use is to deglaze a pan, and wine is wonderful for this. It adds so much more flavor than water would. Use a wine that matches the dish. Dark, rich sauces would call for a red wine. A lighter sauce would likely need a white wine. Think it out a step further. Does the sauce have some berry fruit in it? Perhaps a Zinfandel would help accentuate those flavors. Sauvignon Blanc for a herb based sauce. Chardonnay would work well in a butter sauce.

Don’t forget the fortified wines, such as Port, Sherry, and Vermouth. They are rather intense in flavor, and are usually added towards the end of cooking so there is less reduction and intensifying, which could make them too strong.

You have probably heard that the alcohol cooks off. Some does, but it does not necessarily all disappear. It depends on how long the wine is cooked. Still, in most recipes there would not be a major amount that you would need to worry about.

I need to mention box wine. If you cook with wine a lot, you may want to keep a box of better quality wine in the kitchen. Since the box keeps air from the wine it will last longer. Usually the 3 liter boxes are of better quality, while the 5 liter boxes are less desirable. However, the best wine to cook with is also the best to drink; Virginia wine, don’t ya know. What time is dinner?


Mr. Bill

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