EATS, DRINKS + CELEBRATE | Learn how to make the most of a wine tasting, just in time for the Spring Town Point Virginia Wine Festival PLUS our Spring Spritz-tini wine cocktail recipe

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The 15th Annual Spring Town Point Virginia Wine Festival returns to the Downtown Norfolk Waterfront on Saturday, May 6 and Sunday, May 7.

Spend a spring weekend at Town Point Park sampling a variety of more than 200 wines from Virginia’s premier wineries. Find out more and get tickets at 

Named one of the top food and drink festivals in the country by Business Insider, the event, hosted by Norfolk Festevents, is one of the region’s most anticipated wine festivals. 

Here more than 25 of Virginia’s top wineries pour their best vintages against the beautiful Elizabeth River.

Enjoy gourmet foods, specialty merchants, live music, and more. 
All wines presented during the festival are available for purchase by the bottle or case throughout each day.

Planning to the 15th Annual Spring Town Point Virginia Wine Festival ? Here’s some of my top tips for making the most of a wine tasting that l that I’ve developed over my quarter century experience in food and wine:


Whether you are enjoying tastings at the Town Point Virginia Fall Wine Festival or you hit the road to visit one of the many great wineries across the state, there are a few things to know to make the most before you swirl and sip. Here are our 10 Top Tips on making the most of a wine tasting:

1. Have a designated driver. 

2. Realize there are a lot of Virginia wines out there and they can’t all be tasted in a day. Hit ones you want to try and a favorite or two, then consider buying some bottles to take home for quaffing later. 

3. You can’t do a full day of tasting on an empty stomach. Plan lunch or bring a snack with you. Also, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the day. 

4. Dress comfortably and in layers so as the day changes you can remain comfortable. 

5. Don’t wear cologne; drinking wine is a sensory experience and if you load up on the perfume it could affect yours or others tasting.

6. Try the wines you know you like, but try some that you may not have had before – you could find a new favorite.

7. Really taste the wines; look at them, smell them, taste them, and take notes so you will remember your impressions of them.

8. Make use of the dump bucket if you are starting to feel the effects of drinking too much, or if there is a wine you don’t care for.

9. Also make use of the crackers or bread to clear your palate, especially between greatly varying vintages.

10. Ask lots of questions; the folks from the winery are there to help you make the most of your visit. Don’t worry about asking something that may be common knowledge to them, if you are curious, ask. 


Got that bottle of vino home and want to make a special drink to share with family and friends? Try my Spring Spritz-tini

It’s spring, and lighter, more delicate tastes are flavoring our eats and drinks.

We take a classic cocktail that fits that bill – the Aperol Spritz – and take it to another level; a level that also supports local.

Our Spring Spritz-tini is a delicious offering of Aperol, a quality Virginia sparkling wine, and vodka.

First crafted in 1919, Aperol is a vibrant orange-hued, Italian bitter crafted from rhubarb and other ingredients. 

Here’s how to make our cocktail: In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add 1-1/2 ounces Aperol and 1 ounce vodka and shake well. Strain into a martini glass and top with Virginia sparkling wine. Garnish with a thin slice of orange on the glass edge and with edible flowers floating on top. 

A note on edible flowers: many flowers that have not been sprayed with pesticides or otherwise chemically treated are edible. To be on the safe side, use flowers that are specifically marked as grown for culinary uses. Check with local florists and specialty food stores for edible flowers, or purchase online. Use flowers from your garden if you sure they are safe.

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