Maryland Has Some Great Ones

This is part two of my recap of the events at the Great Grapes Wine & Food Festival. For all the fun of part one you can click on this link.

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Whenever I come to a Maryland Wine event, Bordelau, is one of the first wineries I immediately look for.   They have always been the most approachable, prolific, and endearing wineries at these events.

I was first introduced to them three years ago, at this exact event.  When I was inquiring about something very smokey, very be full, and very dry.  And I was introduced to their Chambourcin.  This was the Lot 5 from 2006, which is exactly what I was looking for.  Even on a hot day, it went down easy.  Because of the climate, it felt fuller than it probably was.  But that doesn’t diminish how amazing this bottle was.

From that point forward, I’ve been hooked. I’m disappointed that I had not heard of them or this grape before.  But this is the lifelong journey of a wine lover.

I’ve had different variations.  And that’s what so great about it.  It can be used to make all kinds of great tasting gems. Many have been dry, but also the sweet and rose variations of it.   It’s a relatively new grape at barely over 50 years.  What I love the most about it, is that it’s prolific in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast parts of the United States.   And I’ve had some great ones from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

My favorite and in my opinion, the standard-bearer still this one.     So how did this years tasting turn out?

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The Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 6 tasted like any good Cab should.  It was medium to full and it was the bottle I almost bought. But since I had the 2007 still at home, I was looking to purchase something else this time.

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The Malbec was perfect for this event.  It tasted lighter than what I was expecting. But for this weather, it was perfect.  The finish was so clean and if not too tannic. For an outdoor event, it wasn’t necessary. I got a whole bottle to share with friends but now wish I took one home for a future celebratory occasion.

The Petit Verdot was not as memorable.  It was good but it didn’t linger with me.  Now its a wine that seems that could get better with time.  But that could be said for all of their selections.

Getting better with time is exactly right for the final two that we sampled.

The much-anticipated Chambourcin Lot 6 and Meritage, tasted very clean and went down as easy as anything I’ve had.  But that means they both need time to marinate, flourish, and become the amazing tasting wines they’ve been known for.

I’m a massive fan of the Meritage blends as well.  A future post on that grape is forthcoming.  The Merlot was sold out at the time.  And I really wanted to try that too.  My love for them has grown exponentially.

We never got a chance to taste the whites. This just means that a visit is long overdue. And I’ve been saying this to myself for a couple of years now.  A visit needs to happen.  I love their wines and the folks behind it have been nothing but friendly.

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For more on all their wines, and for purchasing click here and here.

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We enjoyed our Malbec rather quickly with some salty snacks.  We enjoyed ourselves. The pictures above are a tribute to an alma mater.

Lastly, I’ve included some more photos from the sites of the festival.   The third and final post from this event comes next week!

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Have a great one.

Best,

Ideen

Bodegas Is Brilliant

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I’ve been to a decent amount of wine festivals in Maryland and I always enjoy myself.  I mean how can you not?   There’s great wines to sample, great food, great company, and the weather is usually cooperative.  The Great Grapes Wine & Food Festival was no exception.

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When we go to our local county or winery event, we do get a lot of repeat visitors, which leads to tasting many of the same wines year after year or month after month.  But that doesn’t mean it’s boring or repetitive.  Many local wineries have new vintages, new years, and even new grapes altogether.   But for my first of three posts at this years event, I am excited to a write about a debut of a new winery!  And it was in my opinion the best experience of this years festival.

The great people at Bodegas Gonzalez Ruggiero or BGR short were some of the friendliest I’ve seen at these sorts of functions.

They were energetic, passionate, accommodating, and willing to answer any question posed to them.  They took their time with each person at their booth. When there’s a new winery in the area, there will be plenty of curiosity seekers. This is a young, family winery run by youth and exuberance.

From talking to the winemakers, they mentioned this was their first major event and seemed appreciative and honored to be there.  Their energy rubbed off on the crowd.  With all the other wineries, food, and vendor booths in the vicinity, they come off unassuming, approachable, and endearing all at the same time.   In middle of all the heavy hitters in Maryland, they really were a breath of fresh air.

They proclaim a fusion of American, Italian, and Spanish ways to create wine and the results were masterful.  They have three bottles and all three were a joy to taste and sample.

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Tempranillo, Rose, and Albariño is what was being sampled.  These are the three they currently make and they were all phenomenal.   Since they’re so new, I don’t have much to research and interpret of what other elements may be included in these offerings.  So I will just say they were all a pleasure to sip and they went down smooth.  They tasted approachable and down to earth like the folks that made the wine.  You can tell there is a genuine soul behind what was made.

I’ve really grown to like Rose’s recently and this was something to be savored. Albariño is not a wine I’ve had much experience with, but this was fun too.  As the days get hotter and brighter, these are more of the types of bottles I will be seeking out.

The Tempranillo was my favorite.   We loved it so much, we bought our own bottle.  It didn’t taste as full as many I’ve had before, but on a hot day like today, this was perfect.  And at under $20.00, this was a bargain.  It was worth that and more.

I am happy to support local wineries that feel passionate about what they’re doing and make awesome wines at the same time.

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We enjoyed our wine with some yummy crackers, chips, dips, hummus, roasted pecans, nuts, and other fun foodies.

They are not yet open to the public, but when they are, I’ll be sure to take a drive to their winery in Rising Sun and report on hopefully another wonderful experience there.

In the meantime, for information on where you can buy their wines, click here. And I look forward to attending future events in the coming months, and this is where you can find them.

If you’d like to know more about Maryland Wines, this is the site to go to.

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People like this is why I love wine and love talking about wine.  They make this thing so easy, so fun, and so enjoyable.  I appreciate all of it.

For now, I am craving another bottle of theirs and wish I had gotten more.   This was some of the friendliest bunch of people I’ve ever encountered at an event such as this.  They were genuine, unpretentious, and willing to go to extra mile to answer any questions.  That to me is just as important to wine tasting experience, as the wine itself. This is one of those experiences that was so positive, that it will resonate with me for a lifetime.

Cheers!

Best,

Ideen

Catching The Butterfly

We had a nice a celebration earlier this week.  I was enjoying my birthday and a dear friend was celebrating a raise at their job!   And it’s good to honor and commemorate feeling good and being happy!   So I wanted to get a wine that had an appealing label and hopefully one that tasted good. And we were in the mood for Cab!  I’m happy to have succeeded on both counts.

I was having lunch with some family nearby and I found myself at a World Market in Chevy Chase, MD. If you’ve been, you know how the place can draw you in and has a wonderful aura about it.  If you haven’t, I would strongly recommend checking them out.

But, I honestly had no idea they had an exciting wine section!

I’m a massive fan of labels with animals or nature on them.  So after some relaxed canvassing of their wonderful bottles, one of my purchases was The Archivist Cabernet Sauvignon.

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This was so smooth and easy to drink!  And it had the right amount of oak in it.  And I am a big proponent of oak in my red wine. It tasted more like a medium bodied red as opposed to the fuller ones I’ve had.  But I’m not complaining.

The synopsis reads that blackberry, cassis, and raspberry are found, along with vanilla and dried herbs.  I honestly didn’t detect much fruit.  I may have tasted some herbs, but that also could be the fact that the wine went great with our pizzas.

I’ve seen the wine listed anywhere from $11 to $17 online.   I signed up to be an Explorer, so I got mine on the lower end. And I’d be happy spending any amount within those parameters for this great wine.

I forgot to mention we also celebrated by making our own homemade pies!   You can see some of the ingredients we used below!  No, wine was not used in the pie! But that might have been something.

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And here are some of the pies we created.

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This was a successful wine and pizza party! And I’m happy to have used a great bottle from an awesome store.  I can’t wait to go back and get enthralled in all the beauty of World Market.

I’ll have much to say on this awesome store in the future.

Thanks so much!

Best,

Ideen

The Bulgarian Beaut

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It was suggested to me that I start talking about the whites.  With a few exceptions, my posts have revolved around the reds, and many of them of the full-bodied variety.

As the temperatures increase, you better believe more of these are going to be discussed.  I’ve stated before that I love lots of oak in reds.   The opposite could not be more true with whites. It’s an important detail going forward.

So it brings me great pleasure to be talking about the Sauvignon Blanc From Bulgariana Wines.  And it’s a pleasure.

I stopped into my local Total Wine in Towson, MD, knowing they had a massive selection of every grape imaginable, and was immediately helped by a very friendly staff member.  I wish I had gotten her name.   I mentioned I was looking for a white, specifically a Sauv Blanc, for a blog I was doing, and she gave me a few wonderful suggestions.

I settled on the Bulgariana as it had the most appealing label, and even more exciting, in the synopsis there was a mention of pineapple!  How awesome is that?  I’ve never knowingly had the pleasure of sampling a wine that had pineapple or a similar exotic fruit in it.  So I had to try.  This is part of the fun.   There will be so many unknowns in wine tasting, and that’s one of the best part of a wine tasters journey.

I couldn’t wait to take this home and chill it in the fridge for a few hours.  When I finally opened it, the exciting aromas just hit my heart.  It’s just one of those indescribable feelings.  It might be too good for words.   But I’m going to try.  It’s that moment right when the bottle is about to be uncorked, and you just know something amazing is about to happen.  That’s a wonderful high.  And this is one of those beautiful moments.  I can’t tell you what every scent or flavor it, but it was heavenly.  Oh my goodness.  And even the back of the label mentions exotic fruits, but doesn’t say exactly which ones. Maybe I’m not meant to know. Or maybe I will know in time!

The suggestions are to enjoy this with a salad, fish dishes, pizza, and pasta.  Now the Sauvignon Blanc’s are always a welcome pairing with lighter fish entrees since most of the Blanc’s are light to medium themselves.  Pretty simple!

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As you can see, I chose to savor this alone.  But this is a wine that deserves a wonderful food pairing.   It’s light enough to be drank with friends, but it’s worthy of a delicious meal to go with it.

I have never seeked out whites and they’ve never been my first choice.  But this bottle was something else.   It’s a great way bottle to enjoy during the warm weather months.     I also look forward to trying more of Bulgariana’s wines in the near future.  In the meantime, this one will be celebrated in all her glory.   And at only $10.99, I got more than my money’s worth.

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Enjoy the spring.

Kindest,

Ideen