Tag Archives: Wine

Alexander Valley Vineyards- Dry Rose of Sangiovese 2011

I’m secure enough in my manhood to proclaim my love of a good  rose.  Of course not the blush, white zin type of crap.  And boy did I love the rose I just had.  Alexander Valley Vineyards “Dry Rose of Sangiovese” 2011. This was a bright scarlet wine, with tons of flavors of strawberry, watermelon and a touch of tropical fruit.  Medium acidity with the barest hint of sweetness at the end.  The best rose I have had in a long, long time especially at this price.  I’m violating my rule of making sure I buy more before I post here, but I got it at the Frederick Wine House for around $12 if I recall.  I’m going to get a bunch for the summer. 100% Sangiovese, fermented in stainless steel.  13.2% ABV

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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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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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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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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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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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Direct Shipping- Crickets Chirping?

Per reports, even though Maryland’s new direct shipping law goes into effect on Friday, only eleven wineries have signed up so far.  Most of them appear to be Maryland wineries.  I wonder if more will sign up as this law becomes widely known?

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Broadbent Vinho Verde NV

Just had a kick ass new white I’d like to pass along- Broadbent Vinho Verde NV.  This non-vintage Portuguese offering comes from the noted British wine critic Michael Broadbent  along with his son Bartholomew Broadbent.  The Broadbents act as negociants- i.e. they don’t grow the grapes themselves but buy them and blend them to their satisfaction.  Their website states that they ship all of this wine in refrigerated containers to  “enable the wine to taste as fresh and spritzy as it would ever taste in Portugal.” Boy did they succeed.  Someone once coined the term ‘picnic wine’ and I think that beautifully captures the essence of this bottling.  It has biting acidity, and big flavors of lemon and lime.  Slightly effervescent it is just a superb summer wine.  It may not be complex or profound but it does what it is designed to do and does it perfectly.  Serve cold and enjoy!  Heck I wouldn’t even be adverse to dropping an ice-cube or two in it.  

  At 9% alcohol the wine is a blend of Loureiro, Trajadura and Pedernã.  I purchased it at the Frederick Wine House for $8.99 but it shouldn’t be hard to find as they make several hundred thousand cases of this a year.  Get a case and make it one of your go to whites for the summer.  Vinho Verde is meant to be drunk young.  The Broadbent is bottled as a non-vintage wine, but if you look in the upper left corner of the vinho verde stamp of authenticity on the back of the bottle you can see the year it was bottled.  Right now you should be drinking the 2010’s.


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Frederick Wine House Closes

If you are as fond as I am of this store then this headline probably gave you a heart attack, but its true.  Today after their customary Friday tasting they will shutter their doors at the 7th street location for good!  Boy am I feeling evil.  As Paul Harvey would say:  now for the rest of the story.  They are only closing to move their store for their long-planned relocation to the Wegman’s shopping center on Route 26.  Word from them is that they will reopen by next Friday (5/27).  The owner says they will have an increased selection of wines and are adding an extensive beer selection to their line up.  I can’t wait!  Loyal readers will know that this is my favorite wine store in Frederick.  You can bet I’ll post a full report as soon as I can visit.

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