Yeah So Far, It’s Alright…


My favorite experiences involving wine or just about anything are the ones that were never planned.    There are a plethora of those experiences we only document in our minds, unless we keep a diary, journal, blog, or something similar.

But for the most part the great majority of those memories are the ones you share later and hopefully when they come up they’re done in an organic fashion as close to the experience itself.

National Wine Day was on May 25th.  I’m all for any excuse to drink wine but do you really need one?  I’m not sure how official, organic, or inviting (yes it’s very inviting) this holiday is but I will honor it just the same.

A random meeting with some close friends back way back in April, led to me trying a wine I ordinarily wouldn’t try.  Well that’s not necessarily true.   I’ll try anything.  But I’m also guilty of falling into comfort zones.  But on this day I went in a different direction.


The location was Mezze Restaurant in historic Fells Point, Baltimore, MD and the wine per our awesome server’s suggestion was the 2016 Tetramythos Malagousia from Tetramythos Wines of Greece.

I don’t pretend to know a thing about grapes or wines from Greece.  This link should be able to help you on all counts.


What I found was I drank this a little too quickly.  And I mean much quicker than I intended or truly realized.  I think outdoor seating is a dynamic that correlates into food, beverage, and the entire experience being that much better.

With good people means good conversation, and everything just coming together perfectly.  Something about this wine just vibed well with the day.  It was sweet but not too sweet.  It had hints of tropical fruits but it didn’t overpower the grape and the wine itself.

Along with that it had some intangibles that might be too good for words.  Ok let me not too be too overly dramatic or philosophical.  It’s a great white wine from a winery I’ve never heard of, doing a grape that I’ve been introduced to for this first time, all the justice in the world.

To be fair I have no frame of reference for how other comparable wine well, compare.

But I even made the statement to my friends that this is one of the quickest sips of a wine I’ve ever had the pleasure in partaking in.  When I caught myself in the act I decided to take it down a notch.

After the initial sample, I was set on only getting a glass, but we went with a bottle.  And the bottle never stood a chance.  That’s a compliment by the way.  It was done in no time.

I’ve never seen this wine sold in stores.  I’ve never seen in sold in a restaurant, until this day.  Now I’m going to keep my eye on this brand, this wine, and other Greek wines when I visit Mediterranean restaurants such as Mezze.

However, if you’re looking for this or similar wines, Dionysos Imports out of the Nothern Virginia area might be able to steer you in the right direction.  I make no promises, I just post what I see on the back of the label.


Speaking of which, I was enamored with the label.  It has a certain understated yet charming look about it that just draws you in.  The wine itself accomplished the same thing.  It’s a great change of pace from the whites you and I might usually have, when the weather is nice and the sun is shining.

Oh the sun was shining on this day.   Because this gathering of gurus was so exhilarating it may have earned a second post for next week.  We may also explore to the food of Mezze as well.


For now I will appreciate all the joys of this wine and look forward to next week, and hopefully the next time I’m at Mezze maybe trying another rousing and stirring varietal.

Have a blessed one,






By this time all it’s likely someone close to you has either graduated or is about to graduate.  It’s a beautiful thing in so many respects.  It’s the beginning, the end, and culmination of everything.  You worked hard for this, your family worked hard for this, friends, and everyone in between.  Now it’s time to celebrate!

This is a congratulations to my cousin on graduating.  And I don’t mean just graduating. It’s of the highest level possible.  What that entails is important but it’s one of those things that’s still so personal, so beautiful, and warms the heart that it’s just too remarkable to expound correctly.

But I’m going to do my best when it comes to the celebration and to the party.

You may find that a momentous and monumental celebration might lead you to overthink what to bring to a party, whether it’s wine, food, or a dessert.

Now I’ve been to parties that my family has either held or attended and they always do it nice.  They go above and beyond, spare no expense, and want to make everyone invited feel like family in the process.  That’s what life is all about. So that may add to the pressure.

I didn’t know it ahead of time but the masterful and incredible food spread may have had a hand in what I brought.

Luckily, there were options for wine, red and white, and other alcoholic beverages that if myself or any other guest may have made a misstep, it wouldn’t have been noticed.

Regardless of that, you still want to bring a wine that everyone will enjoy, that others will sip, so you get that sense of validation and satisfaction when your bottle is completed. It’s a glorious feeling and a little ego boost.


How my wine turned out I truly don’t know.  And for big picture reasons, it really doesn’t matter.  But the 2015 Lion Hound Red from Ridgeback Wines, of South Africa (for more on the winery click here) is a grower.  For more on these wines you can also find more information from the importer Cape Starz Wine.


The unique flavors are hard to describe.  And once again, none of that is truly important when you’re in a celebration to remember.

I brought it as a gift, with no intention (well, maybe) in the back of my mind that this was going to make this blog.  And I mean that with all the respect in the world.  I was just as well let this marinate with all the other wines and have the hosts open it in their own time.

Well it felt like time.

I’m a huge animal lover and the Rhodesian Ridgeback is not a dog I see everyday.  But it’s one I’ve had a few encounters with and thought they were the most beautiful of creatures.  That has no bearing on why I bought this bottle.  Cute or artistic depictions of animals on a label would never draw anyone in.  Not your truly either.  No, never.   ‘Hehe’.

The $9 price tag didn’t hurt either.

But this truly hard to describe.  It’s a mix of so many grapes and 10 months of aging in French Oak which leads to a blend that I can only explain and sweet, spicy, dry, and impression lasting.  I kind of invented that last term.

The synopsis of the 2013 vintage mentions dark cherries, plum, licorice, with hints of cigar box and wood spice.   Yes you read that correctly.  Your palates and guesses are as good as mine.

This is a full bodied wine that may taste like a medium wine to some but this one has got some potency to it.   There’s lots of grapes to love (Shiraz, Grenache, Merlot, Mourvedre, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Viognier) which make this so intense and full of life.  Literally full of life.

I left before the wine was kicked.  So I can’t tell you other people’s impressions or thoughts, but there was a lot of wine, a lot of food, and a lot of excitement that I’m more than grateful just to have been a part of this awesome coronation and event based on love and of celebrating the end of a journey, but the creation and continuation of others.



More importantly, so was this party.  There was and is so much to be grateful for.  Not only is a celebration of family success, but it’s also a celebration of family.  Any chance to hang out with family, needs to excuse or explanation.  Sometimes the best reason is no reason, but sometimes the best reason is also of celebration.

I love my family and I’m so grateful to have been a part of this.  And I’m so grateful that I’ve already spent time with family since this celebration last weekend.

It’s a beautiful near conclusion to Spring and a hopeful and inspirational sign of things to come for the summer and beyond.


I’ll leave with just an image or two of the amazing food spread but not much.  Some memories are meant to be kept internal.


This is one to be cherished forever.



Preakness Special


All of a sudden we arrive at Preakness Week.   It’s been two years since a Triple Crown winner was crowned and I still think about those amazing races.  I’ll watch clips of them, not just during this time of year, but at opportune times where I feel I need some inspiration and something to lift me up and make my day a little better.

I’ve sporadically written about wines related to horse racing season but not specifically for a wine created for this upcoming weekend’s race at Pimlico.


The Racetrack Red from Fiore Winery & Distillery is just the right wine to celebrate the occasion, and before and after isn’t so bad either.

For my taste, it’s not the kind of wine I tend to go after regularly, but the semi sweetness works for the usually warm weather, the celebration, and I think many a wine drinker and even non-wine drinker will be able to appreciate what it has to offer.

The touch of Muscato doesn’t necessarily wow me but I think folks are going to love it. I’m also not a fan of Muscato to begin with, so that’s a personal thing.

And it’s easy to drink.  Chambourcin is a grape synonymous with Maryland.  It can be used to make medium to fuller reds to the sweeter variety that we have today. Regardless, the cherry flavor is hard to ignore as well as the high level of tannins, acidity, and thick skin.  It’s a wine that’s not to be sipped quickly.  Certain ones actually may take thicker skin to finish.  That’s not a joke or a pun.

At only $12.99 this is a wine that is also inviting on the price.   But how about that label and the notes?  If this isn’t a Maryland, and more specifically, Baltimore type of wine, then I give up.  This is one where you buy, not only for the label as a keepsake and souvenir, but to celebrate what a beautiful week this is for the the city and the state.

If you’re having a Preakness Party or pre-party what better way to celebrate than with this approachable and accommodating varietal.  And it goes with simple foods like you may be eating at a party such as pizza.  And pizza is fun.


No black-eyed Susans but I hope these flowers will do.


Moving along I want to mention that Fiore has some of my favorite local wines period. I’ve been to their winery and I’m grateful that’s in a short drive from me.  Also by realizing I just said that, I don’t go there enough.  I’ve been to tastings and events at the venue and find it cozy like any good winery should.  The vibe and the energy feels like home.  Well it’s near home, but you know what I’m saying.

This is the first time I’ve written about Fiore and it won’t even be close to the last.  As I alluded to earlier, their Chambourcin and Cabernet Sauvignon are two favorites of mine that I like to use for special times of celebration with friends, family, and other awesome people in my life.  And at around $20, the price is well worth splurging here and there when it feels right.


To purchase the Racetrack Red or any of their wines click here.  The link to find a store carrying it near you is there as well.

Yet I have something even more exciting to talk about.  If that wasn’t enough, I have posted this link that I found per a conversation I had yesterday.   This is the wine and this is the grape that also is synonymous with the northeast, the southeast, Maryland, and home.   It may not be next week but I look forward to talking about this special wine soon.  I’ve yet to try it myself but if the verdict is unanimous than there’s got to be something special about it right?   I believe we’re all in for a treat.

Enjoy Preakness, Enoy this wine, and enjoy each other.

This is really an awesome week to be in Maryland and in Baltimore, so enjoy…


Celebrating Mom


When it comes to suggesting a wine for Mother’s Day there can be no debate.  It’s Rosé and only Rosé.  Actually it can be anything you want, but when it comes to traditions and suggestions, this is is one I’m a ardent supporter of.

For as long as this blog continues, this will be a tradition. This is why I’m a bit sad that I skipped last year for no good reason at all.  Maybe I was busy.  But you or I should never be too busy to celebrate a member of your family, whether it’s a parent, sibling, child, grandparent, aunt, cousin, and of course pet.

Here is my Mother’s Day post from two years ago.  Where did the time go?  Oh wait it’s over here!

I love this time of year.  The days are getting longer.  The days are going to continue to get longer.  And those smells.  I love the smell of freshly cut grass, flowers, roses, and Rosé.  Yes, Rosé has a distinct smell that is unforgettable.  I can’t explain it.

Actually yes I can, but it would take too long and take the fun out of the celebration.


The 2016 Vine Select Rosé from Noble Vines is one of those vintages that reminds me of why I love wine drinking in the first place.


I’ve had the privilege over the past few years to sample their creative and endearing wines without looking into the what the numeric significance these wine entailed.  After reading the back of the label I’m even more grateful to have chosen this wine as a celebration of Mother’s and motherly figures in general.


At only $12, the price is another reason to celebrate.  It’s a wine the has that distinct Rosé aroma with that iconic salmon color.


But going back to the label… If more wineries explained themselves in an even more accessible fashion I would be supporting them without hesitation.  The notes mention that they call this their 515 Blend because that’s the time they open their wine at home. What’s even more endearing is they say they enjoy their flavors with any type of food.


Now I’m all for suggestions and the power of suggestion but I love when nothing else needs to be said.  Most wines can be paired with a wide variety of foods.  Just because a few obscure and sometimes over-the-top meals are suggested with wines doesn’t make that final.

There are some exceptions.  Some foods bring out the cheapness of a wine and I’ve had wines that had no business being paired with certain meals.  But a lot of this is common sense, and trial and error.  Many Rosé wines are created to be celebrated with all kinds of fun meals.


They’re more importantly created to be celebrated with all kinds of wonderful people.

This is one of those wines that when shared with people, great conversation, and great energy that’s going to get better with time and with each sip.  It has that likability and sustainability.  Even though I had it on my own, I could see this becoming better when around great source energy.  The same can be said for many wines, but this certainly applies here.

To find Noble Wines in your area, this link should be of great assistance.

Adding to the theme of being approachable and accessible, their website is simple, to the point, and information is easily attainable.

I want to toast all the amazing mother’s, including mine.  And then I want to thank the motherly figures who are currently in my life and those who had a profound effect on me just once or twice.

You’re thought about and thanked about more than you know.   Whether you’re a mother to some kids, to some pets, or to something else glorious in this universe, it all matters. It’s all relevant and it’s all to be celebrated and appreciated.  Thank you so much.

And what Mother’s Day would be complete without some sort of floral arrangement. Luckily, the displays found me, and I didn’t have to go far to find some beautiful ones.

You’re all beautiful ones.







Wild, Wild Horses


It only took me two years, but I’m back giving all the support to 14 Hands Winery.  Why I forgot to write about them last year as we approach the heart of horse racing season is something I can’t explain.  Maybe it wasn’t meant to be.  But why that is I don’t know.  But here is my post from approximately this time two years ago, raving about two of my favorite wines, that I still drink when I feel like looking at artistic renditions of beautiful horses, and in the mood to sip affordable and pleasing to the palate wine.


That Kentucky Derby Wine is just as awesome as ever, however, this time I wanted to turn my attention to a wine that I got at a bargain price of around $9 at one of those dollar over cost events a couple of months back.  Yes I said $9.  The 2014 Stampede Red Blend is one of those wines you’re going to want to drink, not just during race season, but it’s the perfect everyday wine to share with friends over some healthy (or unhealthy) appetizers, snacks, finger foods and anything else you want to call it.

I was fortunate enough to share this with friends on a gorgeous spring afternoon, with said yummy appetizers.  First and most important of all is what’s so amazing about this wine?  Well like many, I’m a lover of labels.  Even more paramount is a love for animals. Horses are one of those creatures that evokes feelings of love, caring, bonding, and friendship.  The way I wrote that would usually be reserved for the family dog or cat, but the love stays the same.  Any chance for me to promote how awesome animals are, in this, or any universe, is a welcome opportunity.


For me the wine on its own was awesome.  It had a slight hint of oak which on this day was needed.  As the weather gets nice too much oak in a red may not fare well for some. This was just right.  And I for sure tasted a little cocoa or something resembling coffee within certain sips.    Their tasting notes mention cherry and cola, so I was kind of on the same wavelength as the experts.  But who knows.


This wine paired well with some succulent and inspiring bacon wrapped scallops and good conversation.  My pals and I saw outside for a long while talking about nothing and everything all at once.  Well mostly important things.  Good wine leads to better conversations, especially with ones you care about the most.  And when the sun is shining and the weekend is only just getting going, everything aligned perfectly.


This is a wine that went down smooth and went down easy.  Maybe too easy. It was gorgeous. I’d love a bottle right now actually.


The blend of Syrah, Merlot, Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Mourvèdre is so incredible I almost forgot to write about what an incredible blend of grapes this is.  With a combination such as that you’d expect this to be bolder and heavier. Nothing could be more opposite this fell more on the lighter medium side.  But everyone’s palate and interpretation might be different.


What I want to note is that every 14 Hands Wine I’ve sampled has meant more to me than just being a table or everyday wine.  They’ve all had a distinct presence and aura that justifies the beauty of the wine, their labels, and most important to many, the price.

I’ve seen their wines listed anywhere from $9-$15 in many a wine store I’ve visited.  And I’ll tell you as wonderful as that bargain is, I would be justified in spending upwards of $20+ on their wines.  I think what they’re charging is incredibly generous.  Their wines taste like a $20 and over to me, and I’m honored that these wines came into my life.  I don’t know remember the first time I had the privilege of sipping their wine but each time it’s created a new memory and a new reason to celebrate this journey of wine drinking.

Maybe two years was too long but this is how this thing works.  All these incredible wine’s from these equally incredible wineries always find their way of coming back into my life, usually when I’m not always looking.   If that’s the case I should relax and let ti come to me.  But however I really want to review a few more of their vintages much sooner than the alternative.  We shall see how it goes.

And for those of you wondering, their wines are easily available in wine shoppes all around my area and in different parts of the country.  To see if their inspiring and off-the-charts wines are in your area, this link should serve you well.  You can also make purchases online.  They make it so easy, here is their contact info.   Their website is so user-friendly.  My love for them continues to grow.

For more about the incredible winery itself, click here.  If I ever find myself in the state of Washington, this is a place that would be a can’t miss and I would want to visit right away.

This is an exciting time.  Races start this weekend and this is the perfect wine to add to this, and any celebration you choose.   Whatever you do, I hope your weekend and month of May and beyond is enjoyable.


Happy May to you.