Winning Wine

Muse Vineyards was the big winner at the 2015 Virginia Governor’s Cup Wine Competition.

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Last night was a more boisterous night at the 2015 Virginia Governor’s Cup Wine Competition at the John Marshall than previous years, perhaps because instead of cutting off the wine once the speeches started, winemakers were allowed to continue to pour for grateful attendees.

This may have been inspired by the pivotal moment of Gov. Terry MacAuliffe’s speech when he exhorted Virginians to consume more wine in order to catch up with Texas, which at the moment is producing more liters of wine than the Commonwealth. If we all drink more, he seemed to be saying, our wineries will fill the marketplace’s need.

Gov. MacAuliffe might want to make that speech in D.C., which according to Business Insider, consumes the most wine per capita than anywhere else in the U.S. D.C. residents drink, on average, 34 bottles per year. In contrast, wine drinkers in our state demurely sip about 14 bottles per person each year.

The winner of the night was little known Shenandoah winery Muse Vineyards, which won for its 2009 Clio, a big, fat Bourdeaux-inspired blend. It retails around $65.

The wine comes from the vineyard’s first vintage. Owner, winemaker and lawyer Robert Muse began Muse Vineyards in 2009, and with a little help that year from Matthieu Finot of King Family Vineyards, blended Clio from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot grapes, a classic Virginia Meritage blend.

A quick call to a few Richmond wine shops found that the winning wine isn’t readily available, although, if you can stand the delayed gratification, it can be purchased online from Muse and shipped straight to your house.

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