By: Laurie Wallin
Capital Cooking Contributor
Georgetown’s newest wine bar, ENO, began their ENOversity series on Tuesday, December 10. ENOversity is a monthly, informal educational opportunity for customers to meet and talk with featured wine producers, taste their wines, and learn about their craft in an informal, welcoming environment. ENOversity in Georgetown launched featuring Lovingston Winery, a primarily family-run winery, along with head winemaker Riaan Roussow, located in Monticello, VA.
ENO’s environment is a cozy, inviting one for customers. With its exposed brick walls and wood floors, the rustic, warm space is the perfect gathering spot for grabbing a glass of wine and a bite after work, hosting a business meeting, or for date night. ENO specializes in wine flights, allowing customers to explore its extensive wine menu. In addition, each wine flight ordered comes with a card, which describes each wine featured in the flight. On the evening of ENOversity, I chose the Lovingston flight in order to learn more about the featured winery.
The informal structure of ENOversity allowed the opportunity to have an in-depth conversation with Lovingston head winemaker Riaan Roussow. One thing that particularly struck me during the conversation was how Lovingston is choosing to be very experimental and daring in their winemaking, evidenced by their production of a Pinotage, which was my favorite wine of the evening but not one often produced, especially in Virginia. It was fascinating to hear Riaan discuss the challenges of winemaking in Virginia, due to the soil and microclimates, and learn about his commitment to a quality wine, evidenced by the three Lovingston wines I tasted that evening – the 2012 Pinotage “Gilbert’s Vineyard”, a 2009 Merlot, and 2009 “Josie’s Knoll” – a Bourdeaux-style red blend, primarily Merlot with hints of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The wines that Riaan is creating for Lovingston are a great reflection of his passion for winemaking and proud family heritage in the wine industry.
Wanting to explore more of the menu, I paired my wine flight with a cheese and charcuterie plate, which featured three meats and three cheeses, all sourced locally. ENO is very committed to featuring local wines and foods, which is one of the main reasons why they decided to feature four Virginia wineries for the first four sessions of ENOversity (to follow will be Tarara Winery, Barboursville Winery, and Paradise Springs Winery). Even their chocolates are locally sourced, from Fleurir Hand Grown Chocolates, also located in Georgetown.
ENOversity is an excellent opportunity to meet wine producers and winemakers in a welcoming, unpretentious environment, learn more about the craft of wine and winemaking, and taste some terrific wines. There is no admission fee or reservations required – just show up to learn and taste! The next session of ENOversity will be held on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 and will feature Tarara Winery. For more information, please visit http://www.enowinerooms.com/enoversity/events.