Small Bites: A Deal at The Clifton

Photo: Read McKendree Photo: Read McKendree

Such a deal!

Sometimes it’s fun to be a tourist in your own backyard. The Clifton—a top-notch boutique hotel that deftly pulls off the traditional-meets-modern thing—is offering a package that might be tempting enough to keep you close to home. Book a room on a Monday or Tuesday night through August 31, and receive a $100 food and beverage credit at the elegant 1799 Restaurant. A quick check of the clifton-inn.com shows room prices ranging from $149 to $299, and ample availability.

Seeing red

At most of our local wineries, we’re accustomed to tasting vintages that range from three years old to born yesterday. So, when the opportunity arises to sample older wines—in this case, by highly regarded winemaker Michael Shaps—it’s time to jump in the car and head out to the country. From noon to 5pm on Saturday, June 22, Michael Shaps Wineworks will pour six vintages, dating back to 2007, of Shaps’ meritage red Bordeaux blend. This is an aficionado’s wine—dry, high in tannins, and complex. Because just one variety will be poured, this is what’s known as a vertical tasting—which is also apt beause it will take place while patrons stand in the winery’s tank room. The cost of $35 per person may seem a bit steep, but six samples plus special prices on three-bottle packs add up to a pretty good deal. To register, visit virginiawineworks.com/events. 1781 Harris Creek Way, 529-6848. Corrected at 5:37 June 19 to reflect the proper number of wines to be tasted—six.

Nice packaging

This isn’t a local story—yet—but the first area brewery to catch on gets a gold star. Plastic six-pack rings—or worse, those black polyethylene harnesses found on canned beers like Basic City’s 6th Lord IPA—are not only bad for the environment and oceanic wildlife, they are either too flimsy or frustratingly rigid. Invented by a Mexico-based company, the plant-based E6PR, shorthand for Eco Six Pack Ring, falls somewhere in the middle texture-
wise, and is now in use by a handful
of breweries from Florida to Washington. While the can carrier is technically edible, the manufacturer’s CEO
advises against it (and reportedly says
it has no taste or nutritional value). Whether properly disposed of (composted) or tossed into the wilds, the E6PR breaks down in 200 days or less.
Check it out at E6PR.com, and call your local brewer!