The Charlottesville 29

If there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29?

Happy Birthday Jake Busching Wines


Jake Busching celebrates two birthdays today. First, the longtime Virginia winemaker who has worked at Michael Shaps Wineworks, Grace Estate Winery, Pollak Vineyards, and Keswick Vineyards turns 47 today. Second, it is also the birthday of his brand new wine label, Jake Busching Wines, making Busching one of very few Virginia winemakers to have their own name on a label.

Busching’s first release, a 2015 Viognier, is available exclusively through his website.  It’s only natural that a Virginia winemaker would start with Viognier, as some say it has become our Commonwealth’s signature grape. Circumstances and good wine-making conspired to make Busching’s flagship wine a particular success. A dry 2015 summer and a hurricane free autumn allowed the grapes to stay on the vine until “perfectly ripe,” says Busching, who sourced the grapes from Honah Lee Vineyard, near Gordonsville. Slow, cold fermentation preserved the grape’s intensity while also capturing its acidity, while four months on Chardonnay lees yielded a full mouth feel.

Busching will also be releasing a 2015 Cabernet Franc, and a blend of Petit Verdot and Tannat called F8 (pronounced fate).  To learn more about the story behind Busching’s new wines, check out this great post by Virginia wine writer Frank Morgan, who raves about the Viognier: “A beautifully balanced wine; rich mouthfeel; offering notes of peach, white flower, and beeswax. Great texture! Texture without the oily mouth feel found in many Viogniers. Exceptional mid-palate and lengthy stone fruit finish.”

Happy Birthday to Busching and Jake Busching Wines. Get some here.


Five Finds on Friday: Patrick McClure


Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Patrick McClure, General Manager of Tavern & Grocery, which this week won 2017’s Best New Restaurant. McClure also manages and co-owns the restaurant’s downstairs bar Lost Saint. McClure’s picks:

1) Iced Coffee from Splendora’s Gelato. “I hope PK will forgive me for hipping more people to this, but the iced coffee from her shop is absolutely the best I’ve ever had. I’m a regular to the extent that most of the folks behind the counter will start pouring mine as I’m coming through the door. A simple recipe and the cold Toddy method of brewing produce a rich but mellow brew with low bitterness and a mild nuttiness. I drink it black, and try to start every work day with one. Their gelato is pretty amazing as well.”

2) Magical Mystery Tour Pizza from Mellow Mushroom. “I know, I know, everybody loves Lampo. Me too! Luckily for me, my favorite pizzas are like apples and oranges, and I don’t have to compare them. The wonderfully spongy and heavily parmesan-dusted crust Mellow consistently delivers is my style, and the combination of pesto, mushrooms, jalapenos, spinach, feta and mozzarella cheeses is perfect. I sometimes add bacon to this vegetarian pie.”

3) Malt Whiskey from Spirit Lab Distilling. “Charlottesville’s oldest distillery is the one you probably haven’t heard of yet, and Ivar Aass is producing some great distillate. He’s patched together a solera-style barrel aging system that has produced (only) 94 bottles to date of handmade single malt that is rich in toffee and vanilla notes with a smoky backbone that I can’t wait to enjoy again.”

4) Ham Biscuit from JM Stock Provisions. “I have only had this twice. The early risers usually buy all of them before I can get to JM Stock, especially since I think pre-noon is early morning. The perfect biscuit, tender tasso ham, honey and just enough hot sauce to wake you up are worth setting my alarm for.”

5) Cocktails from my Favorite Charlottesville Bars: Oakhart Social, Tavola Cicchetti Bar, and The Alley Light. “My peers around town (and my teammates at Lost Saint) are producing cocktails on the level of the great cocktail bars in the country, and I’m excited for more people to find this out. Go see Albee or Brendan at Oakhart Social, Steve at Cicchetti, Micah at The Alley Light or Carrie and Colin here at Lost Saint, and you’ll be treated to excellent service and a bevy of delicious and balanced flavor combinations that will open your eyes to the great American history of cocktail culture.”


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