Pagoda Party

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There are moments in time and in life where everything just feels right.  No forced plans or arbitrary feelings of having to show up take place. You want to be with people, you want to do something fun, and you want to do something that’s real.

This is what happened with the Pagoda Lighting a couple of Sundays ago, (December 3rd to be exact) in Patterson Park, a part of Baltimore I adore.

A conversation with some friends to meet up for it happened the night before.  And you know how that goes, sometimes you get inspired when talking about future plans, and when you’re in the moment, it feels amazing, feels like a guarantee, and feels like nothing else matters in the world.  It’s a natural high that sounds preposterous as I write this out, but it just feels so real and so good in that moment.

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It’s great to have things to look forward to, and that’s amplified during the holidays.  No one wants to be alone on the holidays.  Sometimes it’s a choice, sometimes things just can’t be helped.

Thankfully the two friends I was to meet up with (based on the aforementioned conversation two paragraphs ago) came  to fruition, and life was good.  Life is good, and this event was amazing.

With a tree (or in this instance an actual pagoda) lighting, that means plenty of festivities beforehand.  There were free treats, snacks, hot cocoa, among other things that were available for enjoyment.   Of course the food trucks you’re likely now accustomed to were in attendance, but folks got to eat!

And folks go to drink wine!  But we were smart.  We brought our own wine, our own cheese, meats, crackers, and all of that good stuff.   Our cost to us was minimal but the experience was invaluable, and you can’t put a price tag on memories.

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The wine I brought to our charming picnic was the 2015 Boatman from Brack Mountain Wine Company.

Tech notes can be found here.

I’ll be honest, and one of my friends concurred, this wine was nothing special.    It was about $13 at one of my local wine shoppes, so it wasn’t a major splurge, but it wasn’t a major anything.

One thing that does stand out is how purple this wine is in comparison to other red wines you would have.  It’s a red blend (46% Alicante Bouschet  and 54% Malbec) so anything can happen.  Alicante Bouschet is a new one for me, as far as I know.  I’ll have to explore this some more.

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There’s lots of dark fruits, and cherries, but the notes mention violets and charcuterie, that’s interesting.   Rhubarb, blackberry, and crushed peppercorns on the nose?  I’m fascinated.  I got none of this, but this is not an expert analysis on wine.    It’s not the crowd pleaser I had hoped.  It wasn’t the easy to drink wine you want at an event like this, or when you want something that agrees with everyone’s palate.

Quite simply, did I enjoy this wine?  No, but it was fine enough to drink, and when it comes to most, if not all situations, that’s all that matters.  It wasn’t a chore or a struggle, and when you’re with good people it’s never a struggle.

When the energy is good, everything still tastes better.  The conversations are heightened, the air tends to feel fresher, and ones overall state of being is going to rub off on everyone else.  That’s what I got from this night out.

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I’m grateful I took a before and after picture of the Pagoda itself.  It captures how beautiful this event, this lighting, and how amazing Christmas and the  holidays can truly be.  And when you spend celebrations with kind-hearted and genuine people, that’s a recipe for a winning holiday season.  It’s a recipe for any season and anything period.

Nearly a year ago, I wrote about another one of Brack Mountain’s Wines, and it was fantastic.  You can click on this entire paragraph to read it.  And I bet the setting had much to do with that as well.

The wine may not have been the best, but it really doesn’t matter.  They’re not all going to be winners, but this night was a winner for sure.

I’ve done this all three years and it’s a tradition I hope to be a part of for many to come.

Happy Holidays and May Peace Be Always With You.

Ideen

 

 

This One’s For The Girls

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And for the guys too.  Yet you may recognize this title from somewhere.   This is also meant to be uplifting, and more than just a wine review.  That’s the perpetual intention of what I’ve been doing here, since the onset.

The location brings us back to BistroRX and half-priced wine night on Tuesdays.  Yes, if you’re reading this on the day of posting, this bottle is from yesterday evening. Their wine list can be overwhelming, if you let it.  And can lead to indecision which has happened to me in many a restaurant or shopping excursion.

However, I’m learning to relax and agonize less over the simplest of things.  Going out to wine and dine is meant to be an enjoyable experience.  Work should be left to work.  And that shouldn’t be so daunting either if you think about it.

As opposed to going off the menu, in our previous visit, I spotted a name I liked and didn’t think twice.  Well maybe not.   I just can’t help myself.  I’m always looking for signs, for names, and for some sort of inspiration.  It’s not always outside myself. It can be from within.  So this leads us to..

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There’s so much to like about the 2014 Flygirl White from Airfield Estates.  Here is a more elaborate synopsis if you’re so inclined.

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The name drew me in.  I’m almost positive I’ve seen this label before.  Maybe it’s just the pretty girl.  But everything about this label is an artistic joy.  The vintage shown within the star is the kind of detail that’ll keep me coming back for more.   And I haven’t even touched upon the wine yet.

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I smelled some pear right away.  Any tropical and/or citrus fruits that may be there would have me guessing. I’m happy to swing and miss.  I’m also happy that it’s hot enough and sunny enough to be outside.   The view of Patterson Park and the streets of Baltimore make  this experience all the better.

My friend and I agreed the wine was smooth, easy to drink, and then even easier to drink. Pinot Gris and Viognier have never been favorite grapes of mine. Yet as a blend this is solid. Gewurztraminer will likely be revisited during the, umm, I won’t say it yet. No it’s not the best wine I’ve ever had, but as a whole package I would recommend this to anyone, girls along with guys.  I think the beauty of the design works on so many approachable and endearing levels.  And at around $15 retail price, I’m sold.

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The flatbread pizza that we paired with our wine,tasted just as magnificent as it looks. Bistro’s food has never disappointed.  You can read more about this pizza here.

To purchase vino from Airfield Estates, click here.  And here is their contact info.  I imagine their winery would be welcoming and then some.  Finally, here is their full wine list.  I’d love to try some more. Oh wait, one more finally, here is their list of distributors by locator.  This will hopefully lead you to finding their wines in your area.

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And thanks as always to BistroRx.  Visit them if you get the chance.