No-Bake Kitchen: National White Wine Day is a time to count the blessings | To eat

Thursday is National White Wine Day, and your first question may be who determines when such occasions fall on the calendar and why. Let’s face it: it’s too hot right now for questions that boil brain cells like that. This year, let your question be simple: Dry or sweet?

Central Virginia is blessed with high-quality, award-winning vineyards, and each has selections to make your palate sing. We are really spoiled here with natural and human resources. Inviting out-of-town guests to local wineries to show off the quality of local vintages is as easy this time of year as showcasing local wines as holiday gifts will be when winter returns. And one of the best ways to avoid cooking in the heat of summer is to escape to a local winery – or two, or three – and find out what your server and winemaker will recommend you savor with it. this intriguing and refreshing white.

Wait until the weekend if you must, but make plans and reservations now to treat yourself to a small tasting and day trip in honor of National White Wine Day. Take a few minutes online at monticellowinetrail.com to learn more about the member vineyards of our very own Monticello Wine Route. All 40 of them are within 25 miles of Charlottesville, which means you won’t be consuming that other precious elixir – gasoline – to get there.

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By nature, No-Cook Cooking cooks are open to fresh and innovative ideas, as we are curious about food and presentation, and will do almost anything to stay out of the kitchen whenever we can. If you like to have fun and hang out with your friends, visiting a winery – or a local winery’s booth at a festival or concert – is a great way to do some quiet recon to figure out what to serve who. goes well with different wines.

Ask, ask, ask. Wine lovers are delighted to share suggestions of the most complementary fruits, main dishes, sides, desserts and cheeses to pair with the bottles you take home. Your server, winemaker, sommelier and chef can make recommendations that will make you look like the hostess of the year. It’s good advice to follow wherever you go where you might be tempted to buy too much of something heavenly and then scramble to put it to best use – think orchards, farmers markets and wherever the handmade chocolate is sold – and it makes you educate yourself all the more delicious.

Ask your white wine-loving friends where they land on the dry-sweet continuum. If you discover polarizing opinions, you have just discovered the official reason for your next date together.

To keep it fair, let your sweet wine lover choose where to show off the picks they like so everyone in your party can honestly try them. And then plan an event where your dry wine lover chooses the venue and the vino. You can go in with an open mind and look like a hero to host summer fun with an educational twist and lasting learning. Think of it as an elevated stay with purpose and taste.

Always tip your servers well and find a creative way to reward your designated driver. Apple cider donuts? Dark chocolate delights from the estate’s bakery? Have everyone contribute to cover the driver’s share of the tab? You still have time to choose something special to show your appreciation. Safety is its own reward, of course, but treat your designated driver like the queen she is or the king he is.

You might come home full of ideas for creating your own cheese plates, charcuterie boards, or dessert platters to showcase the wines you’ll end up bringing home. Recipes for marinades, dressings and other moments of culinary genius are as close as the websites of your favorite wineries, so start there whenever you’re stumped and dinner refuses to remake.

If you plan to drive further or meet friends from DC or North Carolina halfway, first visit virginiawine.org to learn more about Commonwealth wineries.

While you’re at the table or bar, raise a glass to toast Virginia viticulture, small businesses, family businesses, farm-to-table chemistry, working families that have come together through thick and thin, the gods and goddesses of restoration. and the ancient brotherhood of people united by breaking bread and loving the earth. To your health and lasting happiness.