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In the Spirit: Sippin’ into Summer.

Finally, Spring has sprung and Summer is right around the corner!  Getting in the spirit can be a lot of fun this time of year and a lot easier to do.  Whether it be a Mother’s Day Mimosa or a Memorial Day Weekend ice-cold brew, there is always something refreshing and exciting to be had.

Booming over the past few years and becoming more than a trend, Rosé has become a year-round enjoyment.  It is the warmer parts of the year that this wine really finds it niche.  There is something about sitting on the patio after a long day in the sun or after work, that is impossible to not enjoy.  Le Crema, celebrating 40 years this year, has a wonderful Rosé of Pinot Noir from Monterey.  This wine delivers big aromas of mandarin oranges and pink grapefruit, following up with a juicy palate of strawberry and a hint of watermelon.  This wine fits the profile of a term used in the industry of a “Patio Pounder” because it can be difficult to put down.  Make sure to have a partner with you when cracking one of these open.

Another little trend that has steadily claimed its stake in the mainstream is Cider. I’m not referring to the jug found at the grocery store in the produce aisle, I’m talking about Hard Cider.  West Virginia’s first cidery, Hawk Knob, is leading the way in traditional dry ciders, not just here in WV but all over.  The level of quality and precision they bring to the industry can be attributed to their care and use of truly traditional methods.  The dry styles of cider created at Hawk Knob are fantastic, refreshing, and can pack a punch.  Aside from the Traditional Ciders, Hawk Knob also makes one infused with Elderberries. Taking on a rosé look this cider is full of fruit with a touch of the elderberry, screaming Appalachia!  Taking a little trip up Blue Sulphur Pike right outside of Lewisburg to the tasting room at Hawk Knob makes for a fun weekend afternoon.

Moonshine is no longer a memory of the past, where moonshine runners raced around the south dodging the law.  Now legally made, while maybe not the strength of your Uncle’s, you’ll find it just about anywhere.  There are all sorts, ranging from corn moonshine to blueberry, apple and peach to name a few.  Virginia made Belle Isle Moonshine is a 100% corn, premium made shine that won’t disappoint.  Aside from the two non-flavored bottlings they created a couple cool infusions including blood orange, honey habanero, coffee, and ruby red grapefruit.  Mixing these into your cocktails in place of vodka is always an exciting way to shake things up.  A great example would be to make a cosmopolitan with the blood orange infused Belle Isle, the citrus flavors will jump out of the glass and certainly go down a little easier.

With Memorial Day Weekend quickly approaching, we here at The Greenbrier thought it would be a memorable experience to hold an event allowing guests to taste a small slice of our local beverages.  On May 26th from 1pm to 4pm our aptly named “Sippin’ into Summer” event will be held with our friends from Hawk Knob, Belle Isle, Smooth Ambler, Jackson Family Wines, and more.  Come on out and enjoy a good time with a few sips and some Chef inspired snacks.  More details on this event can be found on our website at

Sometimes it takes a little nerve to commit to something new and starting with some of our local flavors is a good place to start.  There are plenty of options out there and there is always something new.  However you choose to start your summer off, make sure it’s done responsibly.

– Ron Magliochetti Dir. Of Wine and Fine Dining at the Greenbrier. HashtagWV #113 May 2019.

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HashtagWV Art & Entertainment is a high-quality print and digital multimedia platform for all things West Virginia and the greater Appalachian region. The editorial focus is local music, unique shopping, the arts, events, theatre, and food and drinks.