There’s no other way to put it. Dogs are one of the greatest entities this universe has ever created. The fact that they’re on this planet and they want to love us for the sake of just wanting to love us is a remarkable gift.
And when you can combine the love of dogs, create beautiful labels, and place them on wine bottles, well that’s just icing on the top. Little Ashby of Easton, MD has merged both into one of the most memorable tasting experiences I’ve ever had.
The setting is back at The Maryland Wine Festival and this was one of the wineries I was looking forward to visit the most. I’ve never had the privilege of sampling their bottles until now. I’ve been to a multitude of festivals and events, and either never got a chance or they were not in attendance. This was well worth the wait.
Because the visuals of happy dogs are all ubiquitous, I was hoping these wines would taste better than usual. At worst, I was hoping they would at least taste good. They succeeded and then some.
For me, at least, when I’m in a happy place, beverages tend to go down smoother and food tastes that much better. This was arguably the happiest I was at the festival. So how were the wines?
In short but sweet fashion, I got to taste 4. And with all the commotion of the festival, it’s plausible that was the perfect amount for any of the visiting wineries.
I’ll go in order of the descriptions.
The 2013 Chardonnay was so easy to drink. It was very light and deceptively going down to quickly. I had to be careful as this event was a marathon, not a sprint. It was a beautiful day so drinking this was even that much smoother. And at $15, that’s a more than reasonable price for this bottle. I wouldn’t actively seek it out, but then again look at that label!
The 2011 Ashby Red was something special. I have sung the praises of Cab Franc. And I’ll continue to do so until the end of the time. You merge that with Merlot and you have something very special. The synopsis describes this was earthy. That actually does apply here. For me, earthy has usually tasted like pine trees or green grass. I did get some of that here.
Maybe I let my imagination run wild. It’s a flavor many don’t care for but I love it. A fantastic finish to a fantastic wine.
I would pay $22 for this. Licorice? Didn’t catch that. Oh and how about that adorable looking pup on the front? Yay!
Merlot is becoming more and more apart of my regular wine tastings and at home. A year or so ago I would avoid this grape like the plague. Now I appreciate it and it’s grown on me. This one definitely had the scents and flavors of berries and chocolate.
This will be perfect for the fall and as we approach those holidays that are too soon to talk about. $20 seems justified for this selection.
This 2011 bottle and the Ashby Red are definitely special occasion wines. And the label had a labrador retriever on it. How can you go wrong with that? They’re my favorite breed of dog!
I went crazy and spent an extra $1 for the Super Talbot. This is a homegrown Maryland special. This one had some power to it, for a medium-bodied wine.
I tend to overreact when I find a wine I love. I make this cheesy look and I tend to sway. I may fall forward too. But I also get this grin on my face, feeling my day has been made. I could say that about this wine, along with the Merlot and Ashby Red.
Maybe it’s the sentimentality of seeing mans best bud on the front. How can you go wrong?
They’re the first licensed winery on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and production began in the year 2000. So they’re relatively new but doing everything right.
The staff was so nice and so attentive. The only thing left is to make a visit, which is by appointment only.
I was in Easton around December of last year and completely snoozed on visiting them. This is just extra motivation.
They don’t have a website or any way to be contacted via social media, which is actually adding to the intrigue and mystique. I like it.
More from the MD Wine Festival is coming, but this visit along with last weeks post are going to be hard to top.
More to come!