Tag Archives: Vineyards

The Tasting Room – Wines of Washington

Wine TastingThe Tasting Room in Seattle, Washington is exactly what you need. The small wine shop, tucked away, was a hidden gem on my trip to the Pacific Northwest. The small shop’s wooden tables and mismatched chairs was warm and inviting. Passing a couple playing Bananagram, my friends and I sat at a far table removing jackets and bags, literally taking the load off.

The Tasting Room only sells wine from Washington and Oregon, allowing customers to fully immerse themselves in these types of wines.  Washington and Oregon excel in Cabernets, Syrahs, Zinfandels, Pinots and Rieslings. The concept behind The Tasting Room is very simple; it is a place to come relax, play a few games and taste wine. Tasting four wines cost just $10 and the price for a normal glass of wine between $8 – $15.

While my friends randomly found Clue and began to set up the board, I perused the wine menu to make my four choices. There we were, tasting wine and playing Clue, like a bunch of East coasters. Somehow everyone knew we were outsiders… but we were accepted.

Tasting wine can be done in so many ways, it all depends on the taster. Are you tasting to learn about new wine? Are you tasting to enjoy wine you already love? Are you tasting to drink more wine in a socially acceptable situation? All of these are legitimate. Honestly, tasting wine is entertainment. It’s fun and opinionated. You’re right, you’re wrong, it’s silly – bada-bing, bada-boom! Regardless, we enjoyed a minute out of cold, wet Seattle and stumbled into a place I’ll never forget.

Oh, and it was Professor Plum with the Baseball Bat in the Observatory.

1. Wilridge Winery – Estate Nebbiolo 2010 – Flavors of pepper and currants, full of tannin.

2. Harlequin Wine Cellars – Jester’s Red 2007 – 58% Syrah, 42% Zinfandel. Light and sweet – fruit forward with touches of honey and anise.

3. Camaraderie Cellars – Elegance 2007 – 60% Cabernet, 20% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec, 5% Petit Verdot. Chocolate nose, smooth and clean. The Malbec softened the fruit, the Petit Verdot added tannin.

4. Nota Bene Cellars – Ciel du Cheval 2009 – 59% Cabernet, 27% Cabernet Franc, 14% Merlot. Notes of vanilla, toast, currant and blueberry.

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Boordy Vineyards – Maryland

boordy grapesThere were a few things that made my trip to DC/Maryland special. For one, I was able to bike to and through the National Mall in Washington, DC. It was a beautiful hot August day and there’s nothing that makes you feel young again like the wind in your air as you race along the gravel road. Although I didn’t think it possible, the weekend got even better as my family strode through Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail. The scenery is breathtaking and if you’re daring enough to do rock-climbing over rushing water, they have that too.

Anyway, let’s get to the point, Boordy Vineyards near Towson, Maryland.

Boordy Vineyards sits tucked in the center of rolling hills filled with vines and vines of grapes. They have another area in Maryland they call the “South Mountain” where there keep even more vines and grow Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot as a few examples. The main house is a giant barn serving as a type of venue; they have an underground store with another event area in the back (you feel like you’re in the cellars). Also, an element I am very fond of, they had a seperate tasting area. This structure had many employees inside where they were able to open at least 5 windows for group tastings. We didn’t have to wait at all to get going on our tasting and some places with just a bar fill up pretty quickly.

You can choose between two series of wine: The Standard Tasting and the Landmark Tasting.  The woman told us that the Boordy WinesStandard Tasting is for those who like sweeter wine as the tasting includes many of their fruit wines, blushes, semi-sweets, Rieslings and sweet reds. This tasting is $5. The Landmark tasting was more our style, not that I don’t like sweet wine, I do, but the call of the Cabernet Franc Reserve and something called the Landmark Reserve were too much for me. We paid the $10 a piece for 10 1-ounce pours of each in the Landmark Series.

Something fun to mention, I fell in love with the art on the bottles. You can see from the picture, the Landmark Series has their rustic picteresque label showing Boordy vineyards (we are told it was taken with a disposable camera!). The Icons of Maryland Series is probably my favourite showing sketches of Maryland’s wild life beside an artsy typeface.  And if art is your thing, beware the colors and images of the Just for Fun Series – Jazz Berry makes me feel like a trip to New Orleans.

Landmark Series - Boordy Wines

Landmark Series

Icons of Maryland Series - Boordy Wines

Icons of Maryland Series

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh yea! The wine!

Pinot Grigio – Dry with a round aftertaste. Flavours of citrus splash out of the glass.

Chardonnay – Steel tank and oak mix. Hint of melon pulls out the crispness nicely.

Chardonnay Reserve 2011 – Fermented in new oak barrels resulting in a semi-sweet toasty taste on the tongue. Balanced, dry and one of the best Chardonnay’s I’ve had in a while.

Dry Rose – Only made from free-run juices, made from a mix of red grapes harvested from the South Mountain, delicate and light.

South Mountain Red – Easy drinking red for an afternoon or afterwork drink without food. Fresh cherry on the palate, a little astringent on the nose.

Cabernet Franc Reserve 2010 – A perfect Cab Franc. Less smokiness than others, yet good white pepperiness, the taste of black pepper can be strong. It’s cedar flavours and  long finish is rich. Certainly one of the favourites still.

Landmark Reserve 2010 – Boasting $40 a bottle, we hoped this had a lot to offer. It did. 69% Merlot, 19% Syrah 6% Cabernet Sauvignon 6% Petit Verdot. Close to a Bordeaux, but softer. Still full bodied with its oak aging. More dark fruits than the South Mountain Red.

Eisling – Almost a Riesling, but not. Not overly sweet, still contains the nice fruit flavours of a Riesling. Honeysuckle breaks through at the finish.

Veritas Vintage Port 2008 – The Port is 18% alcohol and 16% residual sugar. It was light and nice to drink without a dessert companion. Aged in barrels for 2 years.

Well, that’s all for Boordy! The drive up is beautiful, the vineyards have so much to offer and I hear they do parties in the summer each Friday or so. Try and make it up there, we don’t think vineyards in places other than California have anything to offer, but the east coast is full of them if you just know where to look.

Boordy VineyardsWine Tasting - Boordy Vineyards

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