I’m Feeling Thankful

SugarloafMelisseusFood

I tell you, life can be so good if you allow it to be.    Yesterday, I allowed that to be.

I grew up in Montgomery County, Maryland and I’m here at least several times a month visiting friends and family.  There may have been a time or two where I visited Sugarloaf Mountain, went on a trail, and that was it.  And it’s sadly possible I never did that.  This goes back to grade school.   Otherwise I haven’t been in this vicinity in over two decades.

But something told me yesterday it was time to make a return.  Maybe not necessarily the mountain, but a serendipitous situation led me to Sugarloaf  Mountain Vineyard.

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There are situations that have come up in my life that have motivated to actually stop and smell the roses, or in this instance, taste the wine.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve not stopped to relax, do something new, and experience something that well, maybe at the time wasn’t meant to be.  Now those situations may come up again but life is all about doing the most with what you have, and doing the most that makes you feel good.

As we approach Thanksgiving, those feeling are amplified.

The holidays are a beautiful time for us, a rough time for many others, and a mix of emotions for everyone in between.  I would say I’m a combination of all of the above.

SugarloafTastingRoom

One of many blessings is the fact that the vineyard is open seven days a week from 12-6 daily.  Many vineyards have limited hours, some that are restricted to weekends.  When I looked up the hours my day was made.  And subconsciously I may have been trying to talk myself out of visiting, and just decide to back to the comforts of my own home, or my home town.  No, none of that today…

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I got there literally at opening, and was greeted by Michelle and Charlie immediately.  They were my wine pourers for the day.  And what I thought would be a few minutes tuned into a beautiful afternoon…

Of course I came for the tasting, but what really caught my eye is the Melisseus.  More on that in a little while.

SugarloafWIneList

There were eight for sampling, and I want to thank Michelle for holding the wines for me so I could grab as many pictures as I could.  I did inform them of my blog and what I was hoping to do for the day.  They kindly obliged.  And I’m so thankful.  It made the tasting and the rest of my visit, that much better.

While I had all eight wines, and instead of reviewing and dissecting every wine that’s listed, I will just share my thoughts on my favorites.SugarloafSiren

I really liked the 2016 Siren.  The synopsis even mentions flavors and scents of childhood candies.  It reminds me of my Middle Eastern candies I’ve shared with family and friends, not only growing up, but even in present time.   And while it’s not a wine I’ll actively seek out, when it’s around, I’m happy to sip.

SugarloafRose

The 2016 Rosé is perfect for Thanksgiving.  And I especially mean this Rosé.  Some are perfect for warmer climates, but the tint and body on this one goes well with a lavish holiday meal, or two, or three, ha.  This blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon is first class all the way. The tannins are low so you can truly appreciate  anything and everything about this one.  The aromas of cinnamon, spices, and everything nice under the sun will win even non wine lovers over. I tasted strawberry.  And while I would have purchased this wine (In hindsight I wish I did), I went with the my old reliable.

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And old reliable, is meant with the highest praise.  As much as my palate has evolved and expanded to appreciate different grapes, scents, tastes, and all the other intricacies of fine wines such as these, I went with the 2015 Cabernet Franc.  This was $26 (most of their wines are in the $20+ range), and I wanted to treat myself.

As a dear friend told me, this is my kind of wine.  The taste of peppers and cranberries is what makes this medium bodied wine an absolute gem.  I’ve had many Cabernet Francs and they’re all somewhat similar in taste, but this just a little more pep (ha) in its step.  I can’t say it’s the best Cab Franc I’ve ever had, because that’s not a fair comparison to all the others, and to this.   The notes mention black cherries and grape tannins.  This is everything I want in a wine.  There’s so many things that we discover in wine, that makes the combinations of flavors and scents unlimited.  But this is is unpretentious, welcoming, and makes me want to open this bottle now, then saving for later.

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But I’ll save it for later.

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However, the Melissius is for now.  This is what I came for.  And while they only usually serve it on weekends (I hope I don’t get anyone in trouble for this), Charlie made me up of this warm holiday tasting masterpiece, and my day just got made.

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This is the hot, honey spiced wine made with an Unoaked Chardonnay and all the spices that make this time of year so great, and makes this life so fun sometimes.

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The Melissius will be served every weekend from now until April, so there’s plenty of time for you to have a glass.  It’s worth the drive alone.

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Even if you’re not a wine drinker, you’re going to love this one.  My new friends in the tasting room suggested the most perfect snacks to go with my drink.   I don’t need to explain them, the pictures speak for themselves.

And this is where I officially found peace for the next hour or so.  I took my pictures and then just sat and admired these views of fall and the scenery that I’ve come to love once again these past couple of months.  But when it’s right in your face the feelings were different this time.

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While time just flies by and it’ll be 2018 before you know it, it was important to be where I was and understand time, feelings, and emotions can be fleeting, fickle, and yet so wonderful.

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I forgot where I was at times, while I sipped my Melissius.  Maybe I  was transported to a place in time of Greek Mythology, like its namesake.  But like I say, I think I was somewhere bigger than I even realize, or can fully explain.

I felt like I was the only person on Earth.  And what a feeling that is.

When I came down from that euphoria, I met a friendly couple outside, and I explained to them what I was doing, even though they had already figured it out.   They had a lovely dog with them too.    I can’t help but be overly sentimental and nostalgic of an event that took place less than 24 hours ago.

I need to come back, and I won’t ever take this long again.

As I grow up, (and I have much growing up to), the yearning for genuine peace, genuine conversation, with some great food and wine to boot, is all I need in this lifetime.  Oh and some great company too.

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This was something, and I wish I could go on forever, but I can’t.   All I can do is be thankful for the time I had here, and let everyone know that I look forward to the next time.   The next story of this chapter will be written, and I look forward to that day.

For more on Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard click here for their story, their wine list, where to find their wines in Maryland, info on the tasting room and visiting, their calendar of events, to join their wine club, and contact info.

P.S. I’m so grateful for the industry discount Sugarloaf  Mountain Vineyard bestowed upon me.  It was an early Thanksgiving and Christmas present I will never forget and it’s one of many things I shall be thankful for, not just this holiday season, but forever.

I’ll leave you with plenty of pictures from my stay.   I look forward to next time.

Happy Early Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones.

Ideen

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mount

I don’t know where the time goes. We’re only eight days away from Thanksgiving and the timing of this post could not be more picture perfect.

And speaking of pictures.   I took a lot of them for this weeks post.  The experience and views at Mount Felix were absolutely off-the-charts inspiring.

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For a couple of months I was intending to write about their Zuccato Wine. My genuine concern is that by the time I paid a visit the wine would already be gone.

I had made several trips to local wine shoppes and they said it hadn’t come in.  Which either told me they were already out or it had yet to be shipped. To my pleasant surprise, it was the latter.

Last week I made the trek to the beautiful winery to hopefully try the Zuccato along with some other tasty treats.  This was my second visit so I had some idea of what to expect.  But I was sure I was in for another day of fun and adventures.

The location is truly off the beaten path in historic Havre de Grace, MD.

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After soaking in the remarkable and breathtaking views, a visit was made to their tasting room.

Mary, whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting before, was more-than-cordial and welcoming. She gave me the go ahead to take all the snapshots spread throughout this recap.  I’m grateful for that.

The room itself is so cozy.  There’s a few stools in the room and a table in an adjacent room for sipping and relaxation.  It has a very zen quality about it.   Most tasting rooms do.  We’re all there for the same reason and the energy that resonates is synonymous with that.

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I want to keep the focus on the Zuccato.  This wine is so perfect for the holidays.  And when we think pumpkin, we might immediately think Thanksgiving.  But even before I sampled it, I had an inkling that this could just be perfect for the month of December as well.

Come to think of it, any wine is perfect for you whenever you want it.   If it makes you feel good than have it whenever you choose.

I was fortunate to try it chilled as well as well as warm.  I’m not sure which one I liked more.  It was a warmer day for the tasting so the chilled version was light and refreshing.   When heated up it reminded me of Christmas. And that gives me the warm and fuzzies.  There’s nothing too sweet or overpowering about this wine.  The pumpkin, apple, and spices complement each other well.  It’s a wine to be shared with friends or enjoyed in solitude.  Whatever your pleasure.

I immediately bought a bottle on the spot.   In hindsight I wish I bought more.   Luckily, I still can.  But you know this will go fast.  As you can see, these treasures are all ready to go out and will be extinct for the season in no time!

MountFelixZucatoToGo

Mary mentioned that last year this wine was gone by late August.  How crazy is that?  But that signifies how great this wine truly is.  And how much people love their favorites and like to get a jump on all the seasonal stuff as soon as it’s released.

Here we are in almost mid-November and they were just released and ready to be shipped out to local wine retailers.  The timing and the everything happens for a reason analogy does apply here.   I had intended to come several times back in September and October, and either kept putting it off or got side-tracked.   Fate and destiny were on my side.

So what took nearly three months later than last year for the wine to be ready?  Mary mentioned they had an issue with the bottler which is something that is often beyond anyones control.   Things happen for a reason.  I believe this was worth the wait.  Actually I know it is.

I will be enjoying this wine more than once over during the next couple of months.  I cannot wait. I greatly anticipate indulging in more of their wines in the future.

There’s a beautiful patio area to relax and enjoy live music, along with other fun events too!

If you’re interested in learning more, here is their contact information.

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I’ll part ways with some photos, including some new animal friends we made, which always makes any experience infinitely better!

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Here is Romero, their mascot!  The Neopolitan Mastiff may look intimidating but he’s anything but.  He was happy to make some new pals! And we were too!

Happy Holiday!

Best,

Ideen

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Paradise

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I had all the intentions of writing about pumpkin wine this week.  I knew the name of the winery, the name of the wine itself, and had some bullet points I was all ready to research.  That will be put on hold a week or two.

I stopped by my one of my favorite wine shoppes, Wine World of Abingdon, MD.  The store is minutes from me and has been mentioned several times in previous posts.   The wine I was searching for was surprisingly not available.   However, there was no need to be sad or I may have never discovered this gem that was about to presented to me.

It went over my head that they also have beer (and now wine) on tap.  It’s hidden in plain sight near the back of the store.  I’ve walked by there so many times and overlooked what gems may be coming from these pours.

The very friendly staff member they’ve only recently started doing this since August of this year, so maybe I’m not completely clueless to what’s going on.

They had two wines to two try on tap. First was the Not Your Mother’s Merlot, which is a Root Beer Merlot.  I thought it was ok but root beer has never been a favorite of mine.   I think a lot of people will love it.  And it’s fitting for the fall season.

The other sample was their exclusive Pumpkin Spice.   With 12.0% alcohol content is deceptively light and easy to drink.  The sample was glorious and I gladly purchased a growler to go.  The wine itself was barely over $10.00 and there’s a small one-time fee of under $5.00 to purchase said growler.  And it can be re-used to buy future wines on tap at no extra cost, except for the wine itself.  I love the  deal and I adore the concept.

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The tint of the wine is picturesque.

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The wines on tap phenomenon is growing and I’m seeing the increase in popularity at many restaurants and wine bars.   That’s a post or two at a later date.

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The pumpkin spice wine was a hit at home too.  We had a wonderful dinner planned that included pumpkin ravioli and fresh-baked rolls.  This felt like a triumph.  This seems like such an obvious pairing but it worked.   It may seem like overkill but we’re in the season and the wine and pasta really complemented one another well.

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An important fact that my friends and I did agree on is, too much of this wine may not be a good thing.  An overdoing could lead to a headache.  If that’s what you’re looking for then by all means indulge!

This is meant to be drank slowly and reveled in a relaxed pace.   This is something that can be paired with so many autumn meals and sweet treats.  And we know that time is quickly approaching.   Nevertheless, the wine was very enjoyable and is recommended for any fall feast or party.

Upon finishing this bottle I could easily see a replenishing in the offing.

Thanks so much.

Best,

Ideen