Tag Archives: maryland

Odds and Ends & Validation!

Grocery stores seeking way around alcohol sales ban.  I have mixed feelings about this.  Comments anyone?  I do admit that I stop at the Leesburg Costco from time to time to get wine.

Good op-ed piece in the Sun on this issue by Adam Borden president of MBBWL.

And finally on Monday I posted about the best rose I have had in ages.  Well it seems that I am not the only one who feels this way.  In today’s wine column in the Washington Post Dave McIntyre gives the Alexander Valley Vineyards Dry Rose of Sangiovese the highest rating out of all the rose he reviewed.  Refined palate or just plebeian tastes?  I know which theory I’m going with.

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Filed under Booze, Stores, Wine

Maryland Law Changes

This past legislative session saw some changes in the laws which will be of interest to readers:

Corkage:  The practice of bringing your own bottle of wine to a restaurant to drink is commonly known as corkage.  Up until now this has been illegal in Maryland (in fact I believe that Volt got into a bit of trouble last year for allowing this).   As of July 1st,  2012 patrons of Maryland restaurants will now be permitted to bring that special bottle when they dine with a couple of conditions:  the restaurant must allow it and have a permit to do so from the local liquor board, the wine must be consumed with a meal, and the wine is not available for sale on the restaurant’s wine list.  As an aside the last condition should  be honored simply as a matter of proper etiquette law or no law.

Middletown Wine Festival:  A bill passed the legislature that allows a wine festival to be held within the municipal boundaries of the town for no more than two, one-day festivals per year.

Packing Heat:  Lastly I’m sure you will all feel better and safer that the Legislature will now allow Frederick County’s alcoholic beverage inspector(s) to carry firearms in the course of their duties.  I predict that a SWAT team will not be far behind.

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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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Filed under The Good Life, Wine

Frederick’s Beer Trail

Did you know that Frederick had beer trail?  I didn’t.  Here is the article from the Downtown Frederick Partnership.  With the exception of Roast House Pub I’ve hiked the whole trail, however I’m not sure I agree with all the listings.  Certainly Flying Dog, Barley & Hops and Brewer’s Alley deserve to be on there.  What about the others?  Does simply serving good beer warrant inclusion? Let me know.

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Maryland Wine

The Washington Post did a neat article on Maryland Wine in their food section yesterday.  They report a couple of interesting tidbits.  First that Maryland wineries are up from 15 in 2000 to 52 today, with 15 additional applications pending.  I also liked the information that Black Ankle Vineyards was the first Maryland winery  that sought out land (poor, rocky soils on relatively steep slopes) specifically for grape growing rather than planting on a previously owned farm. Exciting times and you as a Frederick County resident are living in the center of Maryland’s wine country.

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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

Direct Shipping Update

Just saw an article that nearly 300 wineries are now signed up or in the process of signing up for direct shipping in Maryland.  Check out the list, as of August 11th,  here.

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