I’m Glad I Waited…

GreatFrogsMeritage

The amount of times I had planned to write about my visit to Great Frogs back in January, is almost embarrassing to talk about.

I’ve written about them previously in different settings (you can read about that here) with the hope that one day I would get to visit their winery.    And it finally happened.

Good things come to those who wait, and before I discuss this exquisite visit, here is their FAQ, more about this wonderful winery, visitor information, info on purchasing their wines/shipping info, and where you can find their wines near you.

If you don’t live or aren’t planning to visiting the Annapolis area, your only chance is to have their wines shipped to you.   These wines are on the pricier side, and are outside of my price range.  But every once in a while, I feel it’s right to treat myself.  It’s right to treat yourself, as much as you want, for as much as you want.

It’s my life, it’s your life, and we only get one of those, as who we are in this lifetime.

A few years back when I first about this winery, I had these images of exclusivity, and this place being a secret club that only the highest of society are welcome or dare try to visit.  There’s this thing about assuming that you shouldn’t always do.

However, on a random day I had dropped someone off not realizing their house was literally on the other side of this immaculate looking green and shrubbery, which was Great Frogs.  I was in awe.  I put this place on even more of a pedestal.  Sometimes assuming or presuming adds to the excitement and adds to the mystique.

Needless to say, the winery wasn’t open that day and I thought maybe someday.

After attending wine festivals and having a glass at various restaurants around town, I was enamored.  Maybe it’s an Annapolis thing (my increasing list of my affinity for Annapolis can be found here) but I love their wine and I love everything about this place.

Tastings are by reservation only, and on a limited time frame Fridays and Saturdays only.  At $35 a person that may put some people off.  You can get three bottles in most places for that much.  But this is not that kind of place.  I love this place.

When I drove up, I noticed the amazing vines, the greens, the farmland, and then the barn which hosts the tastings,  I was looking for the adorable pups (Scout & Bruno) who protect the crops and vines from the outside world (wildlife), but not on this day.  That just means I’ll have to be back.  And that’s a given.

GreatFrogsVines

I won’t talk about every wine that was tried.  I don’t want to bore you.  This is not what this blog is about.  It’s about enjoying the wines, enjoying the company your worth, and enjoying your surroundings.

This was well worth the investment.  And in hindsight $35 is not that much for an experience that’s more than just a tasting.  You get 6 wines, you get snacks (which they will replenish for you), and the most incredible ambiance I can ever recall at a winery.  Being away from Downtown Annapolis and being in your own universe a few miles away added another element of wonder and fascination to this visit.  Man I loved all of this.

GreatFrogsTasting

I neglected to mention this tasting also includes a glass of your choice upon completion.  Does it get any better?  This tasting room decor is incredible.   I want to thank Ben who helped with the tasting, and could not have been friendlier.

This is family affair as I also got to meet the owners, Nathathanael & Andrea, who could not have been friendlier.

GreatFrogsMeritage

The wines that stood out to me were the 2015 Estate Meritage, the 2015 Cold Blooded (their newest release at the time), and the Chardonnay.    I went with the former as my glass mainly because the spices, the cedar taste, the berries, and the chocolate made this perfect for the winter time.   Full bodied wines are what’s going to work here, and this worked alright.    This is a $50 bottle, and if you’re feeling ambitious, go for it.   This is a tremendous wine, as most of their wines are.

GreatFrogsColdBlooded

The Cold Blooded is a blend with every grape under the sun, and at $55, this was heavily pushed for a celebration they had the day after Thanksgiving, that was originally to be my first visit.  That didn’t happen for reasons I can’t remember, other than it wasn’t meant to be.

GreatFrogsSign

This visit was meant to be.   This was more than a wine tasting, this was art.  It’s Great Frogs, it’s Annapolis, it’s happiness, this is living.

I can’t wait to do it again.

Thank you so much.

Ideen

 

Shining Star

StarboroughWithFood

After last weeks stirring post on Sauvignon Blanc, I figure I’ll get as much mileage as I can, and while the weather cooperates.  No I’m not hitting the panic button yet.  We’ve got plenty of Summer to go.   And I’m going to enjoy squeeze every drop out of it I can.   Well, at least I’l enjoy some great vino in the process.

I’m working in reverse order here.  The meal and wine for this week actually took place before the 4th of July Holiday, which was written about a week ago to rave reviews.  Or maybe that’s all in my head, oops.  Well anyhoo, here we go!

A dear friend of mine, who has hosted dinner parties in the past, was preparing a decadent meal of chicken stir fry.   This always leads to great adventures in wine pairing.  After a brief discussion we both instinctively and in unison Sauvignon Blanc would complement this dish to its fullest.

Because a lot of green and vegetables were going to be used, the Blanc was the correct choice.   I did a bit of research as to why, which confirmed what we were thinking.  You want the wine to contain at least some of the herbs, greens, and potentially even some fruits that were being used in the dish.  This is simple enough and a user-friendy aspect of wine and food pairing.

StarboroughBottle

And to keep the simple theme going, the first bottle I spotted was an old reliable, the Starborough Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.  Try saying that a few times without getting tongue tied.  Admittedly, that label drew me in the first time I grabbed this bottle, going on 5+ years ago.

StarboroughWine

The 2015 version tasted the same as I remember.  It’s smooth, easy to drink, and I tend to forget or not care about what might be in it.   But as my knowledge and curiosity gradually expands, I want to learn more.  At the time of our meal I didn’t care.   However, I did sense some grapefruit and to my pleasant surprise, I was right.   Summer fruits such as kiwi, guava, and passion fruit are mentioned but, I was hard pressed to detect those as I was sipping.  Maybe next time or maybe in the next life.  But fresh cut grass?  I got to sip on this again.

StarboroughOpened

As we had our dinner, I wasn’t doing any research.  That would be poor form and lacking in manners.  I did snag a few pictures before I ate just to get that out of that way.

StarboroughWithFood2

The meal was stellar as usual.

The wine pairing was spot on but it was almost too easy to drink.  It’s a discrepancy I’ll get into briefly.   I paid $13.99 for this bottle at a local wine shoppe.   I think it drinks for no more than a $10.00.  Why do I say that?  Because I’m so used to standard labels that you find in many stores, that cost $9.99 or less.  It’s just an observation and a few dollars in the grand scheme things is not the end of the world.  But it’s the principle.  I think that makes sense.

What makes absolute sense was the great company and great food prepared by my pal.   It’s the simple times with good people and good conversation that make this life worthwhile.  And it makes this one of the easier posts to do.

If you’re interesting in purchasing this wine, this link will be your friend.  The lower the price, the better.

More to come.

Best,

Ideen