Sunrise Sunset

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When I got the opportunity to meet Fred Wilson of Elk Run Winery, I knew I was in for a laid back and relaxed tasting experience.  I suspect when I explained to the volunteer that I wrote about wine that she thought I was more serious then I actually let on.  She introduced me to Fred and we had a nice rapport right away.  I didn’t have anything too over-the-top or high brow to ask. We’re at a wine festival.  And the weather is beautiful. Life isn’t that serious.  And that leads me to my final post from Great Grapes.

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At this point in the afternoon it was rapid-fire.  I wanted to sample as much as I could while still being objective and appreciating what I was sipping.  Without further adieu I got to try two of of Elk Run’s wines, despite all the bottled in that photo above, as the area was packed elbow-to-elbow.  And I’m not exaggerating here.  Room was at a premium.

In many ways, the two I got to try could not be more opposite and makes this all come full circle.

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First, was the Cabernet Franc.  I don’t see it listed under their reds on their site, so I’m glad I was able to get a snapshot at the tasting table itself.  This is lighter than similar wine with the same grape that I’m used to.  It doesn’t mean I didn’t like it and with the weather being what it was, and us being outdoors I h ad no problem getting a more medium bodied helping for this day.  It wasn’t one of my favorites.  And at almost $30, that may be a bit steep for me budget.

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However, the Annapolis Sunset is what this festival and what this season is all about.  First impressions can be misleading, but how can you not fall in love with that label?   I was certain that this wine was automatically based on this artwork and the feeling associated with the wine. I’ve repeatedly stated in my writing and with friends how much I love Annapolis.  This one really hits home.

Funny how I’ve sung the praises of this wine without even getting a taste.   This is as simple and approachable a wine as I’ve tasted.  It’s what I would be raving about when I started to segue from the sweeter wines and an evolving into the more dryer wines.  This is a mix of Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Grigio, according to the tasting sheet.  At $16 this seems like a reasonable buy.

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Yet if you look on the site it lists the aforementioned Cab and Viognier.  The funny thing is I hope it’s the latter, or do I?  I’ve had a hard time adjusting to Pinot Gris.  I prefer Viognier for the fuller bodied wines that come from the grape.  That’s not to knock the Pinot Grigio. It’s just never clicked with me.  So if it’s the former, then my palates have expanded some more.   And that makes this journey takes some twists and tuns I hadn’t planned for.  And that’s the point of this thing.

I wanted to thank Fred for taking a few minutes to chat with me.  I promised him I’d be as nice as possible, and I hope I’ve succeeded.

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As I’ve intimated in the past, Elk Run is another winery I’d love to visit in person, to get a more up-close-and-personal feel that you may not always get a festival.

If you’re interested in purchasing bottles you can go here, for where to buy locally you can click here.

Their list of events look exciting too!  I’m digging everything about this place and I’ve yet to even set foot at the winery itself.

For all of my recent and posts from the Great Grapes Festival, click here.

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More to come this Summer!  Enjoy all the sunrises and sunsets you can. We’re in the midst of some of the longest days of the year. I intend to make the most of ’em.

All The Best,

Ideen

Bordeleau’s Brightest

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Nearly one year to the day when I first wrote about Bordelau Winery, it’s with great honor that I get to write about them again.  And as an added bonus I helped volunteer to pour wine at their booth at the most recent Great Grapes Festival.   This was a joy.

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I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Tom at various festivals, including this very one, a year ago. He’s always been so laid back and easy to dialogue with on all matters vino.   Through mutual people and a little assertiveness, I got in touch with his wife Lisa, and after a few light-hearted  e-mail (and other electronic means) exchanges I find myself on the other side of the tables on that Sunday.

It’s a different animal but one I’ve fully embraced.  On many occasions I’ve been a patron and taken advantage of all the tastings and samples I could get my hands on.  It’s a slippery slope. And after a while the appreciation of what I’m drinking goes out the window.  All the crackers and water to cleanse your palate either fall by the wayside, or we forget to even partake in that necessary ritual.  Both of these scenarios are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

What I failed to see is the supposedly not so glamorous side of these festivals.   Nothing could be further from the truth.

This felt genuine, sincere, and I could be more myself.   I like to talk to folks and see what makes them feel good.  The wine is the catalyst but it also become the backdrop.  While I got the occasional pretentious question, most folks just  want to sample and have a pleasant conversation.  Nearly 100% was the latter.  That’s a good number.

Another full circle and serendipitous moment came to light.  I wrote about their reds last year, and even made mentioned of how I never got around to the whites.  So what table did I end up stationed at?  Well I’ll be…

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I’ll get the ones I didn’t love out of the way.   The Sauvignon Blanc, 2013 Pinot Grigio, and the Wicomico Blush are still not my speed.  They’re not as dry as I’d like.  The latter is nowhere  near on my radar of wines I’d prefer.   I’ve included links to all three for your edification. Many of the attendees loves these three and that’s what makes these events great.  If we liked all the same wines that would significantly take the fun out of this event.

The journey is about seeing what we like and appreciating how our palates evolve over time.  I can see it first hand with me.   And speaking of which…

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I never loved Chardonnay but that’s the progression.  The 4 Chardonnay Barrel Fermented was the winner for me.  I may have shown just a little more enthusiasm while pouring this one versus the others.  Yes the vanilla and apple on the back end is a bonus but that oak.  Oh my goodness I could drink bottles of this.  Well not while volunteering and obviously not too much or the savoring goes out the window.  But I think you get the gist.  At $15.00 this is a steal.

One thing I learned is that this Chardonnay is not meant to be too cold or it will lose the flavors and the nose that we deserve to observer.   That’s an art I would like to perfect with time.  So there were times I took this bottle off of the ice.  Temperature is everything.

The rain came down and and we had to move things around rather swiftly, to protect everything from the storm.  I noticed as we were packing this bottle was placed on ice for a while.  And I just had to try it again.  Something was lost.  Maybe it was the elements of the outside world, maybe it was the colder than appropriate temperature, or maybe the universe threw everything off kilter.  It could be everything or nothing.   But yes, temperature is so key when it comes to wine.

Man this was fun.  I will be doing this again.

For more on Bordelau, here is some info on their winery, where you can find their wines in Maryland, contact, and online shopping info.   I think I’ve dissected their website enough.

The next time I talk up this fantastic winery will hopefully be on location.  I referenced this a year ago and I have to own this one.   I can’t plan this too much.  I just have to get there.

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More from Great Grapes very soon.

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