Category Archives: The Good Life

Six Rules For Dining Out

I came across a great article in the May 2012 Atlantic Magazine by Tyler Cowen.  Its called Six Rules for Dining Out and I found it fascinating.  Amongst the rules are: in the fanciest restaurants, order what sounds least appetizing.  Sound nonsensical?  Read the article and see his logical explanation.  I also loved his take on Thai food.  It reinforces my concerns about Thai food that I’ve expressed here previously- do I really know what authentic Thai food tastes like?  Give it a read.  I also saw at the end of the article that this was adapted from his forthcoming book.  FCPL has it on order and I’m third in the holds line, so number one and two read quickly!

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Filed under Reading, Restaurant- misc., The Good Life

Frederick Wine Festival

Anyone at the festival?  I’d love some reports.  Post them in the comments.  I’ve never made it as this is always the crazy season for my wife so there’s a period of a week or two when I’m a single parent.

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Filed under The Good Life, Wine

Upcoming Events

There are all sorts of boozy events coming up:

Toast to Frederick wine festival- April 21st and 22nd at the Frederick fairgrounds

The Maryland Craft Beer Festival at the Frederick fairgrounds.  May 12th from noon to six.

Frederick Beer Week– May 12-19th.  Events all over the Frederick area.

Wine in The Woods– May 19 and 20th at Merriweather Post Pavillion.

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Filed under Booze, The Good Life, Wine

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yesterday I was in a foul mood.  I was a grumpy parent, a crabby spouse and a surly boss.  Not quite as bad as Kevin Spacey in Swimming With Sharks (favorite clip here) but pretty close.   I’m not sure what my deal was, by when I woke up this morning I was filled with the Thanksgiving spirit.  Truly I have so much to be grateful for on this the eve of my favorite holiday.  A day oriented towards family, food, drink and gratitude.  What’s not to like?  So happy Thanksgiving to all. Dinner for 15 at stately Fred Manor tomorrow!

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Filed under Food, The Good Life

Knob Hall Winery

This past weekend I had an opportunity to visit  Knob Hall Winery.  Located in North Western Washington County, the owner, Dick Seibert, has taken 30 acres of his 200 acre family farm and planted a number of different varieties of grape. The tasting room is situated in an 1860’s post and beam barn.   I have a thing for old barns so I loved to look at the woodwork.  However, I will have to admit it was quite rustic.  Currently they have plans to renovate and update the tasting area though.

Quite frankly I do not care what the tasting area looks like as long as the wine is good. I did get to taste all of Knob Hall Winery’s current releases.  As usual with my Maryland wine tasting adventures I am always pleasantly surprised, uncovering wines that can hold their own against others from better known areas.  My two favorites were their Chambourcin and their semi-dry rose.  The rose was only slightly sweet and had nice fruit and acidity.  The Chambourcin was full bodied and very interesting, with lots of sour red fruit and hints of earth and leather.  It is unusual to see a single varietal made from Chambourcin, a fairly obscure grape, and I was excited to try it.  Defintely worth a trip and bringing  home a bottle or two as well.

Knob Hall Winery is located at 14108 St. Paul Road in Clear Spring, Maryland.  Their phone number is 301-842-2777.

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Third Thursday in November

The third thursday in November is tomorrow and that means beaujolais nouveau.  Loyal reader(s) will know my conflicted feelings on the issue.  As usual I will sample some and let you know.  I am not aware of any special festivities planned for the Frederick area.  Anyone have any news?

Previous thoughts on this event for 2010, 2009, 2008, more 2008, and 2007.

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Filed under The Good Life, Wine

VOLT ink party

Got an email from VOLT.  They’re having a party at Harry Grove stadium next Tuesday the 18th:

Please join the Voltaggio Brothers for an action packed night at the Harry Grove Stadium
– Home of the Frederick Keys Baseball Team – Tuesday, October 18, 2011 6 -10 p.m.Two of America’s best chefs have joined together in the creation of VOLT ink, a new cookbook by Bryan and Michael Voltaggio… and we are throwing a party to celebrate!

Concession food courtesy of the Voltaggios take on ballpark food. Beverages by Flying Dog Brewery and Brewers Alley.  FACKA Double Header (Frederick Adult Co-ed Kickball Association) featuring one regular game and a second All Star Game with the brothers playing on the East
Coast vs the West Coast team.  Concert provided by the Regal Beagles Yacht Club Band and the Blatant 80’s.  Kids Fun Zone for oodles of fun for the kids.

Entry tickets $8 for adults and free for children 12 and under. Children will need a ticket for entry.

Early release of the book will be on sale for $40 and the brothers will be on hand for signatures.

I’m going to keep an eye on the forecast for Tuesday, but right now it looks decent. You can get tickets by calling 301-815-9939 or clicking here.

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Filed under Food, Restaurant- misc., The Good Life

Flying Dog Brewery Tour- The Best $5 You Can Spend!

This past summer the Flying Dog Brewery restarted their brewery tour which had been on hiatus for something like 18 months. Rumor had it that the brewery had run afoul (or come close to running afoul of) the old law which limited the size of the samples that a brewery could give on a tour to only six (6!?!) ounces.  During the hiatus Flying Dog worked with legislators and other interested parties to get the law changed to six 3 ounce samples.  This new law went into effect July 1st and the tours resumed that day.  Signing up for a tour is easy.  Click here to make your reservation, pay your $5 per person and show up.  It’s absolutely the best $5 you can spend in Frederick.

The tour starts in their tasting room.  You are given six wooden tokens, each one good for one three ounce sample of their beer, and let loose in the bar area.

Hard decisions to make with only six tokens!

They have pretty much everything they make on draft including all the specials and seasonals.  Two knowledgable servers were pouring and on hand to answer all your questions.  Following a good while in the tasting room the tour began.  I wont bore you with a blow by blow- just go.  The people I went with ranged from home brewing beer geeks (yours truly) to casual drinkers and everyone loved it.  We saw the mash areas, the fermentation vats, the labs, the bottling line (which was running full tilt and very impressive) and finally the warehouse, which was like a Stonehenge of beer.  Interspersed we learned about the founder and how Ralph Steadman got involved.

The warehouse. Can you lock me in for a night?

All questions were welcomed and the guide was knowledgeable and friendly.  We learned some interesting trivia.  For example: all the sample packs have to be made up by hand so there is some poor schlub who spends all day mixing the bottles and placing them in the boxes.  Think of that next time you buy one!  At the end we went back to the tasting room where you could ‘spend’ any unused tokens.  There is also a Flying Dog gift shop where you can purchase their beer and other merchandise.  As a lovely parting gift you get to keep the tasting glass.  I plan to go back until I have a complete set!

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Filed under Booze, The Good Life

Beer- Breckenridge Brewery

Had a Breckenridge Brewery  Vanilla Porter this weekend.  I thought it was awesome.  Not really a food beer, too distinctive in its flavor, and probably too heavy for the weather we are having around here now, but in front of a campfire in the highlands of West Virginia it was magical.  I think during the cooler months it will become a regular in my rotation.  Anyone know where I can get this in Frederick?

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Filed under Booze, The Good Life

Voltaggio, Flying Dog & New Restaurant?

Excellent front page article in today’s Frederick News Post.  Talks about Bryan Voltaggio’s collaboration on a new brew with Flying Dog Brewery:  Backyard Ale.  The beer is designed to go with “smoked and barbecued foods.”  Downside is that FNP says it goes for $5 for a 12 ounce bottle.  Ouch- seems pricey for a regularly brewed beer.

Also in a sidebar the article talks about Voltaggio’s new TV show that he’s working on that might air on PBS in the fall.  Equally interesting is the tidbit that he is now considering the old Carmack Jay’s property for his new second restaurant.

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Filed under Booze, Restaurant- misc., The Good Life