Mead (And Wine) & Merriment Part 2

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After a year off, my pals and I made our triumphant return to the Maryland Renaissance Festival a couple of weeks back.   Here is my inaugural post from October of 2015.

The event has gotten so big that if you don’t get there early, or by your tickets in advance, you’re going to be shut out.    Nevertheless, social media and all kinds of media have made this event so big.  But more importantly, this event is just that great.  If you’ve been I don’t need to explain why.

And even if you’ve been a multitude of times before, it never gets old and never gets tiring.  Well a lot of walking and that merriment (booze!) can get you tired fast.  It’s a big day drinking, unhealthy food noshing, and celebration of all that is and was awesome from yesteryear, and today.

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In my previous recap of this celebration of coolness, I spoke about the actual mead was being served.  It’s not an easy one to drink, and like I stated, it’s an acquired taste, it’s a grower (or not), and it’s not for everyone.

This year, while my friends enjoyed a few lagers, brewskis, cold ones, spirits, or whatever you fancy yourself to calling the, I discovered a gem of wines.

I don’t particularly seek out beer myself, but I actually was all set to have some, until mixed in with all the beers and all the taps, was the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon from Ravage Wines.

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If you look at the label, it’s one that belongs at an event such as this.  That horse, that darkness, that imagery is fitting of everything that was going on around us.  And maybe I’m just reading too much into this, and perhaps the demand for wine has led them to supply more vino along with all the other libations.  No matter the reason, it’s my kind of wine.

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And I’m so grateful to my friends who have said that this is the kind of wine I like.  One of my dearest friends had a sip, and even mentioned it to me there.  She said to me, that it’s ‘your kind of wine’, that made me feel good.

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So what is exactly a ‘me’, kind of wine?  Well it’s also one you might enjoy too.  The synopsis says it all, with dark berries, dark fruits, vanilla, mocha, and toasted in French Oak.  With your fuller bodied reds, the right kind of oak can make all the difference between a great wine and one you rather forget.  But I’m going to be aware if vanilla and mocha are a common theme in some of my favorite wines going forward.  Dark cherries and berries have always been synonymous with the wines I love.  And this wine is no exception.  This is exactly what I needed and what I’ve been missing for a while.

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While the weather has been warm, a wine like this might only work with a healthy dinner indoors.    In the hotter climates it may be a chore to sip, and might take you away from all the great whites, rosés, and lighter reds that work perfectly in the Summer months.

We’re into October and it might have even been too soon to have this wine, but the heck with it.  This is a world class bottle, that tastes like a $20+ wine, that is around the $11-$13 mark.  Another reason to adore this bottle and seek it out if you get the opportunity.

The notes mention having a lot of structure and depth. That might sound like fluff to many, but think about it, (or not haha), this Cabernet Sauvignon embodies all that’s good about vino.   Wines with lots of structure, character, that challenge your palate, and are on a level like this is why I adore wine.  My goodness do I adore this wine.

What makes this all the more amazing is my first experience having this was at the Renaissance Festival.  This makes me so happy, more than I even realized at the time, and I’m not quite sure I can convey into words.  Well I’m writing about it here so I’m doing alright…

And it’s pretty much available at every bar there with a cheesy name.  Aren’t they all cheesy?  That’s what makes it so great…

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I upgraded my goblet, chalice, mug, or whatever you call it to one that fits more with the festival.  It made this experience all the more merrier.  Having good friends (and some sugary mixed nuts helps too) to share this experience makes it that much more special.

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My pals and I have been doing this for a number of years.  It’s a tradition I’m grateful to be a part of.  I’m grateful for my friends, the beautiful weather, this incredible yearly gathering, and now this wine.

Each year tells a different story.  I love that I got to share this one with you.

To find Ravage Wines near you click here,  for more about them click here,  here’s info on the Dark Red Blend (which I would love to try as well), and their contact info.

As of this post, the final weekend of the Renaissance Festival of Maryland (10/21-1022) is approaching.  And it’s always the most festive, exciting, bittersweet, and so many other emotions.

If you plan on going, advanced tickets are highly recommended, and here is all the other information you need.

I’m so happy that this happened.  I don’t know what else there it to say.  I loved everything about this day, and if you go this weekend I hope you get to say the same.

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Have a ye olde good time!

Ideen

 

 

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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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!

Cheers,

Ideen

Mead & Merriment

My fellow ladies and gentleman, along with thyself, attended the iconic and legendary Maryland Renaissance Festival this past Sunday.   After going for nearly a decade now I still find myself immersed and transformed in all the splendor and all the pageantry that  comes with said event. And all the food and booze too

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There’s two distinct wines that are served at this wonderful party.   The Mead is the official wine of the RenFest.   I love honey and in the many forms that it’s produced.   And I love when honey is added to many of my foods, for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

However, when it comes to this, it’s an acquired taste.   It’s a bit sweeter than most of the fruity wines I’ve tried over the years,  and at least for me, it takes some time to complete.  In a way I do like that.  It’s to be savored and not engulfed at a rapid pace.   I know many a peer and pal that love the mead.

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When served with various foods that we had, it went down easier.    I enjoyed mine with some mixed of cinnamon walnuts and cashews.   I think they complemented one another well.  I believe this would go well with spicier or heartier meals to counter-balance each others flavors. But the sweet nuts did just fine.

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The color of the wine is very distinct and aesthetically pleasing to ones eye.

Whenever I am at this legendary bash I feel compelled to at least order one, even it’s not a favorite of mine. I appreciate the tradition and the sentiment.

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Then there’s the raspberry.   This one looks beautiful to the eye.  That color cannot be mistaken for any other.  You know what you’re getting.  Well unless you mistakenly pick up this cup that was next to your cup of fruit punch.   Then you might think something went awry.

Once again, this is not a preferred flavor of mine.  But in the context of this event, it’s perfect.   A friend and me shared this cup for a while as it’s also to be taken slowly and not chugged, or headaches will immediately follow thereafter.

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If you’re curious to try these wines, they can be ordered from the wonderful Linganore Winecellars.   Links to both wines and purchasing can found here and over yonder.

For more RenFest fun click here.  And for my previous post on Linganore, click here!

I will leave with some photos from the event, and will add more as time goes on!

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There’s only one weekend left of the Renaissance Festival, and if you are able to go, enjoy yourself!  It’s worthy of all the praise!

Hip Hip Huzzah!

Best,

Ideen