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When it comes to spirits made in Virginia there is one undisputed king – bourbon. It gets all the press. Some even argue that the sweet brown liquor was born here. But the truth is fruit brandy has a longer, and possibly grander, history in the commonwealth.

Sommelier Grayum Vickers, 34, keeps the wine lovers happy at Longoven, a popular Richmond restaurant known for innovative dishes and an impressive wine list. The Scott’s Addition hot spot recently earned Wine Spectator magazine’s prestigious Award of Excellence. We sat down with Vickers, a T…

Most amateurs pop the cork on a Champagne bottle the same way – eyes closed, bottle pointed in the other direction, grimace of anticipation on their face. Half the time they end up popping someone in the head with the cork as the drink spills out on the table.

“Raspberries?” I said, puzzling over a pour of lightly-blushed rosé at a recent wine tasting. “I get strawberries,” my friend replied, her head tilted as if letting the wine speak to her. “It’s strawberries,” the wine rep said, pointing down at his tasting sheet.

When it comes to summer, nothing hits the spot like a cold, blended drink. Whether a piña colada served in a hollowed-out pineapple or a fruit-laden daiquiri, a well-made frozen libation can transport you to a tropical paradise.

Any way you slice it, Virginia is tomato country. From the heirlooms of Hanover County – dubbed “the most delicious tomatoes in the country” by Food & Wine magazine last year – to the lucrative tomato industry on the Eastern Shore, everyone rejoices in the siren song of those vine-ripene…

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