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Boordy Bottles

This past Friday, Boordy once again held their quarterly Landmark Club party.  I am proud to say that I’m a member.

The wines you see above are a beautiful sight aren’t they?  I am a three-bottle member.  Per the synopsis you can have up to 6 to 12 (2 of each or 3 of each respectively), if you really want to add to your collection.

I did a recap of several of these wines earlier this year, and you can read about that here.

Events like this are more about a thank you and a time to enjoy the season.  With this being Summer, the event moved outdoors, which was what I was expecting and grateful about.

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Many of the pictures will reflect that.  And the weather couldn’t be any more perfect.

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When it’s been chillier, the party has been indoors in their second floor lounge area.

So how were the three bottles this time around?   Well for one, I have written about their Landmark Reserve previously and loved it.  I’m still holding onto that for something special.

I found the 2014 Pinot Grigio to be very easy to drink. They’re traditionally light to medium-bodied and this one fits the mold. I have really been into whites while the weather has been cooperative.  I may open this within the next month.  I found it refreshing and it’s fitting for a great for an evening involving a healthy meal of proteins and veggies.

Then we get to the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon.   I am thankful this was in the package.  This wasn’t even available to be tasted by the time I arrived.  I was informed they have so few cases left, that they are going to be holding off on it for now. Luckily, a friend of mine had a bottle for me to try some.  This was also in the package back in February.  So I have two bottles sitting and aging gracefully.  It may be a while before I open either one.   And you can see on their list of Landmark Wines, it’s nowhere to be found.

And speaking of nowhere to be found, their 2012 Cabernet Franc, (which I have raved about many versions of in the past) will soon be joining that list.  As of Friday night, there were only 28 bottles left per a conversation with the staff.  I knocked that down to 27.    This was also part of the package in the Winter.   I will be holding onto the two I have for a while.

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I know wine is meant to be enjoyed, for the moment as well, but sometimes the sentimentality and realizing certain wines are scarce or now near non-existent, and you have a bottle of it or two in your possession, is an exciting feeling.  There’s something to be said for that.

And speaking of that, the Chardonnay Reserve for 2013 is now sold out.  I will be holding onto that from January as well.  But the 2014 version in the first picture, had such an amazing finish, that the aftertaste really resonated with me.  It’s a wine I will look to purchase in the future, as long as it doesn’t go fast.  I suspect it will.   It had so much more power than the Chardonnay to its left.

The 2014 Dry Rose was part of the package in the Spring, and I noticed it wasn’t for sale at this past event.  Rose’s have also grown on me while the weather has been warm, even though they were never my favorite.   The same goes for the 2012 Merlot Reserve.

As far as wine goes, I’ve never loved Merlot, but the blogging and experimenting has led me to appreciate them more.   They were a part of the Winter and Spring package.  When the time is right I will open those up two.  In a sea of wonderful wines, by default they’re still near the bottom on my favorites list.

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And looking to the future… Here is a teaser of some young wines, straight from the barrel.  These will include the 2014 Landmark Reserve and 2014 Cab Francs, which I am so excited for.

I am happy to support local and support Mayland Wine.

For more on joining their Landmark Reserve Club, click here.

I will depart with some fun photos from the event.

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For more on this pizza, click here!

Have a good one!

Best,

Ideen

Happy Maryland Wine Week

My love for the wines of Maryland continues to grow exponentially.   It wasn’t always like that.  I used to think that all this great state was known for was super sweet and fruity wines.  How wrong I was and now many local bottles have become some of my favorites.

And with that I wanted to have a celebratory wine to celebrate Maryland Wine Week.

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My friends suggested we do crab cakes for dinner for a variety of seasons.  We were celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, and other milestones. And what a better way to honor this great week with a savory meal that does it justice.

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I was all set to grab a bottle at my local wine shoppe, but fortunately, circumstances led me to a wine that was right under my nose.   Happenstance, fate and serendipity were on my side again.   Or was it something else?

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The wine chilling in the fridge is from one of my favorite Maryland wineries.  I was pleased to uncover the 2013 Vintage Vidal Blanc from Harford Winery.

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And I had researched wines that go well with crab cakes, and the fact that a Vidal Blanc is a strong suggestion and match, makes this all come together perfectly.

The cakes came from right up the street from me, via Box Hill Crabcakes or Box Hill Pizzeria depending on how you look at it.  I am thrilled to keep the Harford County theme going.  And these are to die for. I’ve had crab cakes from many restaurants and this might be my favorite.

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I can’t put into words why or how.  They just taste so great and look so full, like a real crab cake should. You get what you pay for and this is worth all of the $15 and then some.  The photography does not do that justice.  But isn’t this one of the prettiest things you’ll see all year-long?

So how was the wine?

I loved it.  I didn’t think I would.  And it’s not on the level of my current and at the time wine from them. You can read more about their Cabernet Franc here.  It was my second ever post on this blog.

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When I first sipped it, I detected something sour.  I thought maybe some golden apples or lemons.  But when I researched, it mentions hints of grapefruit which makes total sense.

Actually I didn’t need to research after I turned the bottle around and saw what the wine contained.  Whoops!   When they mention orange zest I could sense the taste but only after I read about it. Otherwise I would think there were apples or hints of flowers, which is mentioned.

Again, it’s all about your palate and what you’re feeling at the time.  The core flavors can be detected with constant sampling but everything else is open to interpretation.    There will more about this incredible winery from me in near future.

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This wine is the perfect dichotomy to eating something hearty as a crab cake.

And this is one of the best experiences I had having one and the wine had so much to do with that.  There really seemed to be an explosion of flavors I might not have gotten before.  I would usually just enjoy my meal with a glass of water or a soft drink.  This is the way to enjoy it.

I think the wine can be drank on its own since its fairly light.  But I am so happy to have paired these two.  It’s a match made in heaven.    And I like to think I added my tribute to this wonderful week.

More information about Maryland Wine Week and how we can be involved can be found here.  And information on many of the events revolving around this special occasion can be found here.

And on where to find their wines, you can follow this link.

Enjoy this wonderful week!

Best,

Ideen

Alison Road

This is the third and final installment of my recap at this years Great Grapes event.  For my previous two write ups on the goings on at Oregon Ridge, you can click here or even here.

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This weeks wine is the 2014 Alison’s Watermelon Wine from Layton’s Chance.

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It was suggested by friends to mention a less than lavish or popular grape, and show a lighter side.  In this case, it’s also a sweeter side.  Wine festivals are not always designed for the wine aficionado or connoisseur.

I’ve been to so many of these things, that it’s whatever you want these events to be. I’ve had great wines, some disgusting ones, and everything in between.  If you want high-end bottles, you will find them.  If you want the lighter and sweeter types, you will find those too. If you’re just looking to have a good time and get drunk while doing so, well you’re in luck.

At this point of the event, we were all getting into a pretty sedated state.  So any and all expert analysis – what the nose was, what fruits, herbs, and spices could be tasted, or any other terms are out the window at this point.

I said there would be no evaluation of this wine, but one thing should be mentioned. The nose or smell was horrific.  It reeked of barley and some other vileness.  I’ve smelled worse, but this was painful.

However, on a warm Sunday afternoon, it tasted so refreshingly good.  The scentl was so deceiving.  This was an enjoyable drink that we passed around with friends that we were with and ones we ran into.

That’s what this event is all about.  We were having fun and enjoying one another’s company.  It was a beautiful day.  We had good wine, good food, and good music.

And when it came to food, we had anything and everything with this wine.

This is a wine I will definitely try again in any setting.  And I would love to try some of their others when I get the good fortune to do so.   And I find great joy in visiting wineries, and I would love to make the drive to the Eastern Shore to visit this one.

For more on this winery you can click on any of the links in this sentence.   Where to buy or how to get in touch can be found here.

I’ll leave with you a couple more photos from the experience.

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See you at the next festival!

Best,

Ideen

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