What Pairs With Eggnog?

V-NO Pinot

I must be joking right?  Well not entirely.  Fells Point Main Street held their 12th annual Old Thyme Christmas event this past Saturday.  And it was a rousing success!

Part of the festivities including an eggnog contest with various bars, restaurants, and retail shoppes participating.   All it required was a small donation and a little stamina to drink something so dense and so thick.

My pals and I nearly hit all of them.  And that’s an unofficial count of 20. I feel bloated as I elaborate on it.

A lot of water to cleanse the palate and the soul was necessary.  But as always, wine serves that same purpose.

Tradition dictates that we head to V-NO.  I’ve been coming here for a numbers of years now and have always had pleasant service, a treasured experience, and lots of great vino.  This was no exception.

V-No Menu

Unless we wanted to be ushered out on a forklift, a lighter varietal was in order.   So without hesitation and in unison we went with the 2014 Domaine Brunet Pinot Noir.  Good choice.

After intaking lots of dairy it may have been a challenge to appreciate the simplicity of a solid and peaceful glass of anything.    And any flavors that we could have detected might have been marginalized but I still think it turned out fine.

After a cup of water our palates were reset.   Wine is a forever learning process and while there are flavors present, our interpretations and our minds are going to process a lot of different things.  That’s the fun of this. Fortunately when you can detect black cherry off the bat then it’s going to be an easier uphill battle when nailing other components.

The one link I posted above and again here mentions notes of vanilla and then another review discovers dark chocolate, so who knows who’s entirely right.  Maybe they both are.

V-No Reverse

The back of the label mentions blueberry notes and another one will say blackberry.  Who is right?   If you’re just having fun then no need to analyze every detail like I am now.  But it’s fun to think about and discuss.

It’s just a great wine that doesn’t always need to be scrutinized or dissected just to get a few fruits and tastes right.

If I could find this wine in a store I would gladly buy it again.  I have never seen or noticed it in my shopping experiences but I will surely be on the lookout now.  Fortunately the friendly folks at V-No sell a multitude of wines to go, including the one we delighted in.

For our friends in Baltimore and in the Fells Point neighborhood there’s no need to sell you on how charming this place is.  We already know.

There’s an intimate bar on the inside and plenty of outdoor dining outside.  Yes it’s December and the weather was still conducive to relaxing on the patio.  It doesn’t get any better.   Not very Christmas-like but no one’s complaining on this end.


I’ve had plenty of inspiring meats, cheese, and other joyous treats in previous visits.

The bottle (with corking fee) came to a little over $20 and it was well worth it.  The estimated price of this bottle in shoppes will be a little over $10 and that’s nothing for what you will be getting.

During the holidays we’re going to over-indulge, even when we go with the lighter stuff.   A glass of this, or anything light for that matter, is a good way to step back and relax for a second.

It’s easy to get carried away these next few weeks, but there’s more than a place to take it easy and simply relax.    If we allow it, it’s going to be a hectic time for all of us or we can take it easy and appreciate all the things that make this holiday great.  Life is meant to be great.  An experience like this, that we had at V-NO, is a reminder of such.

Not to mention that awesome 80’s music that was blasting.  That doesn’t hurt.

Happy Holidays.





A Great Weekend

Following last week the universe wanted me to keep the Mead discussion going.

The Fells Point Fun Festival concluded this past weekend and it was such an enjoyable time.  It was one of the better festivals I can remember and I’ve been going since 2002.

Since drinking in the streets with those charming cups was put in place two years ago, it encourages myself and others to appreciate the outdoor vendors and local businesses. Many set up shop on Broadway and Thames.

This year, more than most, I really took my time noticing what so many of these hardworking and dedicated stand-alone and independent businesses have to offer.  I did my part and purchased a few things to commemorate this special weekend.


A couple of friends who knew about this blog and read last weeks post directed me to the Charm City Meadworks tent.  They thought I might find something to expound upon.   They were right.

Charm City Meadworks or CCMW for short has never been on my radar but it will be now.   The staff was so friendly, personable, and approachable to everyone in the 10 or so minutes I was surveying the situation.  I got to snap some pictures too.

Free samples of any beverage were made available.  And you know freebies always bring in a crowd, no matter what it is.

As we approach November, mead is the perfect thing to have and talk about as many of us may opt for more seasonal and flavorful wines.  If you don’t like the heavier reds than I feel these are a viable alternative.

With some intriguing options to choose from, which one did I go with?



I chose the Cinnamon Still Mead and I took my time sipping this one.  The intent is for this to be savored and not chugged.  At first it wasn’t to my liking but it improved as the minutes went by.  This is an acquired taste that may take some getting used to.  But I am all for new things.


To that point, I am grateful that this tent was available and was allowed to be a part of the street drinking experience.   I am not really a beer drinker and sometimes red wine during the day can exhaust me.   These all day events are a marathon and not a race.   This was the perfect drink to sip, relax, and take a step back to appreciate what a fantastic weekend this was.   And for $5 a cup this was a tremendous deal.


The perfect beverage in your hand only enhances that experience.   I look forward to writing  more about this awesome group of folks again and that hopefully involves a visit to their taproom.

If you’re interested in finding out more, click here.   The first meadery in Baltimore is doing it right and doing it with class.

Can’t wait for the next awesome event!



What’s in the Box?


I was “looking” for inspiration for what to write about this week.   As soon as I stopped looking and thinking, it found me.

As I’m taking a leisurely stroll around the beautiful Fells Point neighborhood in Baltimore, I see my friends working but also enjoying life at The Frame Room in the heart of the community.


When you’re your own boss and your own entity, you can be open and available whenever you want to be. And that also means you can enjoy the fruits of your labor.

I walk in and the first thing I see my pals doing is drinking some vino out of cups! Seems like my kind of party.  So what was the drink of choice?

Black Box Wine is something almost all of us of drinking age have had at one time or another.   You tend to see it at many parties over the course of the calendar year.   I’ve probably had it over all four seasons and likely each month in some way, shape, or form.  I’ve seen it served at outdoor parties and barbecues when it was nearly 100 degrees, holiday parties when the weather is perfect for it, and everything in between.

And for further verification on how it’s awesome all year round, here is their Seasonal Enjoyment Guide.  I’m loving them even more as I write this.

This wine is not for the snobs and for the so-called experts.  It’s a wine to enjoy with friends for any occasion you want.  It’s to relax, enjoy life, eat some good food, and enjoy good company with.  Actually that can be said for all wine.

But this has also been a wine of choice for my friends who otherwise wouldn’t drink wine.  And that’s great. I’ve had a couple of my friends tell me that Black Box led them to try other wines and now they can appreciate where they started from, even more. That sounds wonderful!

But the wine is so much better than that.  It has won many an award because there is a strong soul and spirit behind their varietals. I’ve had many of their grapes and thoroughly enjoyed them all.

The drink of choice was the Cabernet Sauvignon and it got the job done.  It tasted as medium-to-full as a Cab should. Tasting notes can be found here.   The oak was present and I’ve always sung the praises of oak. The more oak, the merrier. No fancy glasses today.  Cups will do just fine.


You get the equivalent of four bottles of this, for the cost of one.  I’ve seen them priced anywhere from $10-$15. How can you beat that?  It’s a deal on top of deal!


And I took many pictures in and out of the shop itself for your viewing pleasure.   It’s always important to local businesses, especially new ones.  It’s this sense of community that has kept neighborhoods like Fells Point thriving.  They even have a blog if you want to learn more about framing.


There’s great people behind the operation, so if you’re in the neighborhood or even living in the city, I would highly recommend them for your custom framing needs. Their specials can be found here and Contact information can be found here, as well as their location.


For more on where to find Black Box, you can click here.

Have a great one!