Monday, August 31, 2009

Maryland Wine: Better than New Jersey wine (but that's not saying much)

As mentioned in my previous post, this past weekend I took off for my annual girls' weekend. Each year we pick a different beach on the East Coast and this year it was the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I've been wanting to visit this area for quite some time and when I found out that they also had a local winery, I thought, "Even better, now I know what I'll write for my next post."

Admittedly, I was not expecting much from Maryland wines and as much as I would love to say that the St. Michael's Winery proved me wrong, the wine has a looooooooong way to go. I took a bunch of notes at the winery, but rather than bore you with all the gory details, I'll just share the key points:

-What is up with almost every one of their white wines having a nose of cat urine? Have they been hanging out with the New Zealanders (a.k.a. "Kiwis" - like the bird, not the fruit)?

-Concord grapes = Manishewitz. These grapes are wonderful to eat but they're little sugar bombs and should not be used for anything other than Manishewitz wine and White Zin drinkers who think they are wine drinkers.

-The free cheese they served us at the tasting was quite good - especially the truffled one.

-They gave away logo'ed glasses with each tasting which many of the California wineries used to do but no longer do. I wish all wineries did that because whether the wine was good or not, it's a nice memento of the visit. Plus, it's a good way to brand.

Luckily we had stocked our rental house with enough good bottles of wine that by Friday evening our wine tasting was left well in the past.

Oh, and for those who enjoy good beer, we visited the local brewery. I didn't take any notes, but if I had, I would have written: If this brewery succeeds, then there's no way that Chris*, who is a masterful home brewer, won't be successful.
*Chris is my friend, Grace's, fiance.

Thanks to Amy, Amy, Wendy, Trish, Irene, and Grace for indulging my note taking. I'm glad my "outdoor voice" proclamations about the urine nose didn't get us kicked out into the rain.

Until my next sniff, swirl, sip and quaff,

Alli M.


Grace said...

Eastern Shore Brewery . . . their website says "Craft brewed beer from the Eastern Shore of Maryland." I think it's more like "craft beer brewed with the water from the Eastern Shore" - which I did go in and which was as mucky as the beer we drank.

I'm no certified beer judge but this place gives me hope for Tubbs Brewing Company. I am of course, a bit biased.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your comments but please don't judge all Maryland wines with what you tasted at St Michaels...there are many great wines in Salisbury on the Eastern shore Bordeleau has some incredible wines that I'm sure you would have be amazed with, or a little further up 213 you could have found Cassinelli winery which also has some very nice wines I'm sure you would have been impressed with....however in MD we have various wine trails that could very easily impress many from the prime wine regions.....If you really want to spend a fantastic afternoon my advice is to visit some of the old winerys that have been in MD for 30 years or more.Boordy happens to one of the oldest in the country and there quailty I feel is 2nd to very few. Not to far from Boordy you will find Basignani and Fiore and I guarentee you those good ole Italian boys will give you a memorable wine tasting expierence.So give some other Maryland winerys a chance before you give them all a label

elliej said...

Gee, I never knew Maryland had vineyards, but that's why I read "Wineocracy" -- to learn about wines.