Category Archives: Wine

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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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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Local Wineries Odds and Ends

Great article about Black Ankle vineyards here.  It’s only part one.  I look forward to the second part and to see how she answers the question a lot of us, including me, have asked:  are Black Ankle wines worth the price?

Also  someone (or someones) else liked the Knob Hall Chambourcin as much as I did.  It won  the top award at the American Wine Society’s Annual  National Conference in a competition of the top varieties and wines of the Maryland and New Jersey region.  Article here.

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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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Alcohol To Save The Postal Service?

The Senate’s bipartisan plan to shore up the postal service’s shaky finances includes a provision to allow the USPS to ship wine and beer.  Currently only UPS and FedEx do so.  Sen. Lieberman is quoted as saying  the plan would pull the mail service  “back from the brink of bankruptcy.”  Alcohol has certainly saved me from the brink a few times so why not the mail?

Full article here.

Is this the future of the USPS?

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The Wine Kitchen

Wherein I break my own rule and review a chain restaurant.  I know this does not really fit my criteria of a chain:  there is one Wine Kitchen in Leesburg and they opened one in Frederick last month.  If you have been paying attention to my twitter feed you would know this review was coming.  First impressions were very good:  the space is  tastefully decorated in what I’d call  semi-modern style with lots of wood and metal.  Plenty of tables overlook Carroll Creek and in the other direction the open kitchen.  There also was a private room which looked like it could easily seat twenty or so.  When I was there is was still under construction.

The food was very good.  I started with the  butternut squash soup which turned out to be the highlight of my meal.  Rich creamy soup with fried goat cheese balls and a drizzle of olive oil.   I came close to licking the bowl on that one.  I also sampled the sheep’s milk agnilotti, the heritage pork belly and the Border Springs Farm lamb flatbread.  All three of which were delicious.  I cannot stand overcooked pasta and I am happy to report that the agnilotti was cooked perfectly.  The pork belly had a nicely crisped exterior and a juicy inside.   The menu is not huge, but there is plenty to choose from.

Of course, like the name implies this place is about wine.  The best way to enjoy this is get one of their flights.  These are groupings of three wines, thematically tied together.  They come in high quality glassware and each flight was accompanied by a little set of cards explaining the three different wines.  I ordered the Italian Renaissance, which was the only flight that had both white and red wine.  I had the white (Fuso Verdicchio) with the soup, which made for a terrific pairing.  The other two were reds.  The only down note was that I felt like the last wine of the flight, the Marabino Noto Nero D’Avola, was a little old and flat tasting.  I always have a little bit of a concern about freshness in places that have a lot of wine by the glass available on the menu, yet just keep the partially full bottles out on the counter with the corks  stuffed in them.  On the plus side there are lots of interesting flights to try:  Pinot Evil and a flight of three bubblies caught my eye.

The service was good and the lunch with appetizer, entrée and a flight of wine each came to about $40 each including tip.  All of us agreed that it is well worth a return trip.  On the way out we noticed a nice set of leather sofa surrounding a fireplace.  That would be the spot to while away some time while sampling their wines!!

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