By Sabra Coe Young

Sabra Coe Young here after 8 years away from Taste I’m back and thrilled be one of the voices at TASTE giving you perspectives on “The Good Life” as we share behind the scenes looks at the specialty food scene, our favorite foods of the moment and a look at the world of food and wine around town. My father, Peter Coe, started Taste Unlimited in 1973 and I’m honored to continue his tradition of sharing the joy of food and wine and the stories that bring it to life.

Jumping in I’ve got to let you know that I love fall and everything that comes with it. Sitting outside on our porch with a glass of wine facing Seashore State Park (ok it’s now called First Landing) I get to enjoy the slight chill in the air, the changing colors of the leaves and to top it off it’s my birthday month.

As much as I love my porch, the leaves are clearly at their best in Charlottesville. My husband Bill and I are heading west this weekend to visit his dear old UVA and enjoy the crazy good food and wine scene. While I attended Hollins College (now University) in Roanoke I must admit that Charlottesville is a step above with great restaurants, shops and vineyards. One of my favorite specialty food shops is Feast! on Main Street and in honor of Virginia Wine Month, they are hosting Blenheim Vineyards for a series of events in a pop up garden on their rooftop. Feast! is a destination for any serious foodie visiting Charlottesville and I can’t wait to share our experiences with you next month. Blenheim not only makes some great wines but as a bonus the vineyard is owned by Dave Matthews. Yes, that Dave Matthews.

28 years ago, I was in college, the Dave Matthews Band was just coming into existence and a group of wine lovers decided that it was time to recognize the importance of locally made wines by creating Virginia Wine Month. Admittedly the importance was more of a hope than a reality. My dad sat on the tasting committee to recognize a few great wines and they literally tasted hundreds to find a few suitable for your table and for the shelves of Taste Unlimited. Flash forward 28 years later and we’ve come a long way. Dave Matthews gigs in fraternity houses have been replaced with packed arenas, Virginia Wines are recognized around the world for their quality and are well represented on Taste’s shelves and, while maybe I haven’t achieved international acclaim, I’ve come a long way myself.

You can save yourself the drive on 64 and enjoy four of the Blenheim Vineyard Wines carried here at Taste. Painted Red and Painted White are part of a series of wines with labels painted by Dave Matthews himself. I’m a sucker for a pretty label but it’s what’s inside that counts. These don’t disappoint. If you haven’t tried a Viognier before, now is your chance. As Oregon is known for its Pinot Noir, Virginia is becoming known for its Viogniers. The Blenheim Viognier stands out. If you like grassy, fresh New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs like I do, you’ll love this wine. Dry and clean with some great fruit undertones. And last but not least the Blenheim Claim House Red is what I like to call a juicy red, lots of yummy berry flavors making it a great red in my book. All perfect for the Virginia Fall.

I started back at Taste a week ago and like any middle aged person I posted a picture on Facebook to mark the occasion. The most frequent comment after “Congratulations” was “Welcome Back.” It’s great to be back with the Taste family.


PS, I’d love to hear from you about your favorite foods, wines and foodie places. Drop me a note at sabra@taste.online or if you see me in a store don’t hesitate to say hello. I can’t wait to meet you/see you again and to hear your stories.