Getting the Most from Virginia Wine Month

By Matthew Fitzsimmons Getting the Most from Virginia Wine Month October is “Virginia Wine Month” for good reason. A warm, dry fall can turn a so-so vintage into a stellar one…while an early hurricane can wreak a year’s work. 2020 has been especially challenging, be it COVID-19, vineyard-wrecking May frosts, summer humidity, or late-season overcast […]

Al Fresco Dining Through the Holidays

By the Gastronomes Al Fresco Dining Through the Holidays Yes…you read the headline correctly. In order to continue to provide those of you who still aren’t ready to dine indoors – due to the virus – an opportunity to keep going out to dine, many of Alexandria’s eating establishments will continue offering al fresco dining […]

Cowboy Up

By Doug Fabbioli Cowboy Up The iconic image of a cowboy and his horse silhouetted against a setting sun, his head heavy from a long day on the range, has been used to represent so many products and thoughts over the decades that it might be worn out. I think the image still says a […]

Country Apple Tart

Let’s Eat by Charles Oppman Country Apple Tart What says autumn better than a homemade apple dessert? When the apple harvest is in it’s the perfect time to whip up everyone’s favorite dessert, an apple tart. Apple pies are fine, but here’s a treat with a twist, a one-crust tart. This dessert is not only […]

Pasta- Sicilian Style

Let’s Eat By Charles Oppman Pasta – Sicilian Style Sicily, like many other cities and areas of Italy is a wondrous place.  It is geographically in the Mediterranean Sea – part of Europe and Africa, but arguably belonging to neither.  There is much evidence of rich cultures left behind by a plethora of conquerors.  As […]

Wineries That Will Survive The Zombie Apocalypse

By Matthew Fitzsimmons Wineries That Will Survive The Zombie Apocalypse Planning for the Zombie Apocalypse has never been timelier. Not long ago, the idea that a mysterious contagion could sweep the United States and cause mass chaos seemed confined to works of fiction. But now…planning “What If” scenarios like “Where should I go when the […]

The Art of the Blend

By Doug Fabbioli The Art of the Blend One of the skills that I was fortunate to learn a number of decades ago was the process of blending wines. Blending is something that has happened in the industry for many generations: the French have their Bordeaux and Rhône blends, the Italians blend Chianti, Tuscans, and […]

Exploring Shenandoah Valley Wine

By Matt Fitzsimmons Exploring Shenandoah Valley Wine Shenandoah Valley wineries are one of Virginia’s best-kept secrets, which is surprising given the valley is famous for so many other activities. You’ve probably heard about the hiking, river tubing, and cave exploring. But most people don’t realize this is also prime real-estate for making wine. The Shenandoah […]

Dining Out….Or Not!

By the Gastronomes Dining Out….Or Not! Just like many of the other standard columns published in the OTC, this column has taken on a new personality since the pandemic hit the area. We no longer feel like we can single out any one particular restaurant to profile when they “all” need all of the extra […]

Baby It’s Hot Outside!

by Judy Eichner Baby It’s Hot Outside! While we can’t exactly do a lot of traveling these days, when traveling through North or South America, Southern Italy and/or Provence in France in the warm and hot weather you will find many restaurants with a variety of cold soups on the menu. This is especially true […]