In a Pinch…

Pretty cool!  I’ll bet if you’re a Boy Scout in Napa Valley you can earn a “Wine” badge.  I’d argue that it’s a skill every bit as important as being able to start a fire without matches.  🙂  Must try this the next time I open an inexpensive bottle!  🙂

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Maryland Grape Growers Report 2010 Best Harvest in Years – The

Hanging grapesWe have more than warm weather to look forward to this spring! The first releases of the 2010 vintage — wines with quality that should surpass even the amazing 2007 vintage!

Despite extreme weather throughout the growing season, 2010 is proving to have been one of the best harvests on record. Reports from around the state indicate that that 2010 vintage will be stellar—perhaps the best in a decade.

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Tasting with Riedel Glasses

Riedel StemwareOK, I’ve been a stemware skeptic for many years. The glass was always just a means of getting the wine from the bottle to my mouth without causing people to shake their heads in pity and quickly distance themselves.

I knew that a wine glass was better than a paper cup. I also knew that a bigger bowl was better than a smaller one because the larger space and surface area allowed more effective swirling and helped the wine release more of its aromatics.

But just a few months ago I finally had the chance to go through a formal tasting of several wines each poured into four different Riedel glasses. Now I’m Continue reading

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New Year-round Farmers Market Now Open in Brunswick

Nice! Maryland surely needs more of these!
Read the full story at:

So far, 15 vendors have signed up and Johnson is hoping for more. The vendors offer goat and dairy cheeses, honey, beeswax and other candles, baked goods, organic eggs and beef, quilts and stitched items, apple butter, herbal tinctures, maple syrup, herbs, household plants and soaps and creams.

A Better Choice Bakery and Market
16 W. Potomac St.
10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday
Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday

Read the full story at:

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Will Maryland wine drinkers get a break? – The Washington Post

Next year is the year, advocates have promised, that Maryland residents will be given permission to order wine from wineries and have it shipped directly to their homes. This is legislation that has been long stymied in the state Assembly by wholesalers.

But now attention is also focusing on Maryland’s ban on corkage.

Click through to read the full story in the Washington Post.

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This Thanksgiving, Drink Local – Bethesda, MD Patch

This excerpt from today’s BethesdaPatch includes local wine recommendations for your Thanksgiving table. Follow the link for the full article. Enjoy!!

Cork 57 has increased their selection of local wines due to growing customer interest in ‘drinking local.’  “People have been asking so we’ve stepped it up for local wines,” Brian explains.  

For local wines that go well with Thanksgiving turkey, Brian suggests a Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Circe, a Bordeaux blend, from Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard in Comus, on the border of Montgomery and Frederick counties.    The Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon from Elk Run Vineyards, in nearby Mount Airy, are other good choices.  While local wineries produce both red and white wines, Brian especially praises Maryland’s white wines.  “The Maryland whites are great right now,” says Brian.  St. Michael’s Winery, located on the Chesapeake Bay in St. Michael’s has an excellent white wine that is a blend of Seyval and Chardonnay, as well as a Merlot that would also be great to serve with Thanksgiving dinner, according to Brian.

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Sustainability playing a role in restaurants | Nation’s Restaurant News

Wine is food too, right? (Well OK, maybe not a breakfast food.) But the next time you eat in a sit-down restaurant in Maryland check their wine list. If Maryland wines aren’t offered, ask the management “Why?” Tell them that “local” matters to you and then ask them to start carrying your favorites! 

Flavor trumps all when choosing what to put on restaurant menus, but chefs across the country said they have modified their practices over the past year with sustainability in mind, according to a new survey by the James Beard Foundation.

The New York-based foundation’s “Sustainability and the Foodservice Industry” survey is based on responses from 173 member chefs.

When asked what their top sustainability concern was, 73 percent of respondents said they were “highly concerned” about food sourcing; 62 percent pointed to profitability; and 62 percent said…

See the full article at Nation’s Restaurant News

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How Sweet it is: Wine Industry Owes Sweet Wine Drinkers HUGE Apology!

Prefer off-dry and/or sweeter wines? Well it turns out that you may just have a more discriminating palate than others who prefer those drier alternatives.

Sweet Wine – Yum!

NAPA, Calif., Oct. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A consumer study released today shows that physiology plays a major role in determining wine preferences and that White Zinfandel drinkers are often the most sensitive tasters shattering the myth about sweet wine consumers.

The study was conducted in conjunction with the Consumer Wine Awards at Lodi. Tim Hanni, Master of Wine and originator of the study, says, “We have uncovered a glaring error and misunderstandings by the wine industry that has led to the disenfranchisement of millions of consumers and a significant loss of market share to other beverages.”

The study reveals a major disparity between expert and industry opinions about wine quality and wine consumers. According to Dr. Virginia Utermohlen, M.D., Associate Professor at Cornell University, individual differences in taste and smell sensitivity relate to a number of different aspects of personality, personal preferences and behaviors – including wine choices. Utermohlen teamed up with Hanni and they developed a means of segmenting the wine market into four basic phenotypes based on physiological and behavioral criteria.

“My passion is…

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16 farms participating in Frederick County’s ‘Family Festival @ the Farm’ this weekend

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Family Festival at the Farm

The Frederick County Office of Economic Development and the Agriculture Business Council’s Public Relations Committee would like to invite the general public to participate in the 2010 Family Festival @ the Farm. This free weekend event, scheduled for October 16th and 17th, will provide the general public in Frederick County and around the region an opportunity to learn about Frederick County’s diverse agriculture industry. Rain dates have been set for October 23rd and 24th.

The Family Festival@ the Farm will provide hands-on activities for families that would like to spend a day of fun on the farm. The public will have an opportunity to visit any of 16 participating farms. Find out more about the participating farms and download a printable map and directions to the farms by going to the Family Festival @ the Farm website at The 2010 Farm Guide (a printed guide that includes a map and description of what participants will experience at each farm) is available as well.

There will be a host of activities that people of all ages will be able to experience during this fun filled weekend. People will have an opportunity to pick pumpkins out of the field, pet an alpaca, take hayrides around the farm, take beautiful photos of the fall landscape and vineyards and enjoy all the different amenities on the farm.

The 16 farms included in this weekend event are: Black Ankle Vineyards, Brookfield Pumpkins, Carrollton Manor Farm, Catoctin Mountain Orchard, Gaver Tree Farm, Jumbo’s Pumpkin Patch, Lawyer’s Moonlight Maze, Lilypons Water Gardens, M & W Nursery, Mayne’s Tree Farm, Nick’s Organic Farm, Scenic View Orchards, South Mountain Creamery, Sycamore Spring Farm, Thanksgiving Farms and Whispering Meadows Alpaca.

For more information, contact the Frederick County Office of Economic Development at 301-600-1058, or visit the website at:

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Lucie Morton, a vineyard expert worth her salt – The Washington Post – 10/13/2010

Lucie Morton is one more reason why Maryland wines just keep getting better year after year. Here’s a quick bio and a little info on what she’s been up to lately in neighborhood.  Cool lady! 🙂


Lots of people would be dismayed to find a fungus growing in their refrigerator. Lucie Morton actually likes having them in hers.

“These are my experiments,” she said recently, grabbing three plastic bags filled with grapevine cuttings from the crisper drawer of the fridge in her Charlottesville home. “I like to practice my fungal identification skills.”

And there’s always a chance she will discover something new: “I’m quite sure some of these little dudes are causing problems,” she said, scrutinizing a sample inside a bag.

Talk with Morton, 59, about her work as an ampelographer, and you will quickly learn that not only does she call fungi “dudes” but she has a fungus named for her.

Phaeoacremonium Mortoniae was christened in 2001 after she helped identify another fungus responsible for “black goo,” her name for a disease that afflicts American grapevine rootstocks and causes young vines to wither and die. Morton was instrumental in establishing that nurseries were selling vines infected with the fungus.

While that established her fame among fungus enthusiasts, Morton’s influence skyrocketed in recent years with the initial success of three high-profile Washington area clients: Black Ankle Vineyards and Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard in Maryland, and Boxwood Winery in Northern Virginia. She also consults for…

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