PHOTOPHILE- Chasing chills: Chili cook-off vanquishes the cold

What's the perfect food for a cold day? Some might say soup, some might say beef bourguignon, some might say chicken pot pie. All those are possibilities– but First Colony Winery says one word: chili! 

The Fireman's Chili Cook-off held annually at the Winery is not only an excuse to sample chili and drink wine, it also benefits the Scottsville Fire Department.

Three contestants vied for cook-off honors: Randy McElroy and his McElroy's Mean Chili, Richmond's Cruzers with Cruzers' Red Oak Chili, and Bo Saunders and his sausage and venison concoction cooked in an antique slave cauldron recovered from Ampthill Plantation.  

Also on offer was First Colony's version of a Port, released just a few days before the cook-off.  The sweet aperitif held its own against the spicy main dish.

If you weren't able to stop by this year, mark your calendar now for a trip to the Winery for next year's extravaganza– you'll get chili to keep you from being chilly.

Shirley and Wally Koerbel from Powhatan dig into the chili

Leone Ciporin (left) and Debbie Marshall enjoy some fine wine

First Colony's new release

Randy McElroy shows off his chili

General manager Wendy Wilson and vineyard manager Joseph Paille

Beverly and Bo Saunders keep warm in front of their kettle