On Friday, we visited Paradise Springs Winery in Clifton with Tom’s brother and his wife, Ryan and Jen.
I’d never been to this winery before, but it’s one of the closest to DC and has a large, loyal fan base. With traffic, it took us a little under an hour to get there. The grounds are lush and secluded, a nice change of pace after a hectic work week in the city.
We each did a tasting of seven wines for $10. Our wine educator was very sweet and entertaining, despite being slammed behind the bar. We all found the reds to be very enjoyable, from a light and fruity Cabernet Franc, to a smooth and versatile Melange and a round and an intense Meritage all of the 2013 vintage.
Paradise Springs stays open late on Fridays for Evenings in Paradise with live music on the semi-enclosed deck beyond the tasting room. We got bottles of the Cab Franc and the Melange to enjoy outside. The music was a couple of guys singing a mix of “oldies” and country, from Looking Glass to Jason Aldean, which is definitely my kind of easy listening.
Expect a crowd if the weather cooperates, but everyone is wine happy and will happily let you squeeze in on a patio chair or table. Light fare is available for purchase, but outside food is also allowed if you want something more substantial. We enjoyed a local pepperjack cheese and crackers with our wine, opting to go out for a light meal afterward.
It was an absolutely gorgeous night with the best company, which turns out to be the absolute best wine pairing of all (although the cheese wasn’t too shabby either).
Read about more of our tasty escapes to Virginia Wine Country here.