Posts Tagged ‘Wine’

Make Mine a Barrel!

March 22, 2009

Capt. and I are going to an engagement party in New York in a couple weeks.  The friends whose wedding we’re celebrating enjoy their booze, so we’re getting them this . . .


We’re such suckers for good packaging!


Mead Me on St. Patty’s Day

March 13, 2009

Some of my St. Patrick’s Day bonanza posts are a little beer heavy . . . OK very beer heavy!  What can I say?  I’m an Irish American girl who loves herself some Smithwick’s! 

For those who don’t roll like that and prefer beverages better suited for raised pinkies, here are a few wine/mead and tea events this weekend!


What: 15th Annual ‘Medieval Mead, Irish Saints, and Entwined with the Vines”
When: March 1 – 31
Where: Berrywine Plantations/Liganore Wine Sellers, Mt. Airy, MD
Info: This March, let Linganore Winecellars help you celebrate the luck of the Irish at their 14th annual ‘Medieval Mead, Irish Saints & Entwined with the Vines’ tasting. Throughout the month, visitors will enjoy pairing more than 20 Linganore wines with distinctive Irish cheeses from Euro-USA in Sterling, Virginia and enticing desserts by local pastry chef, Linda Gourley, owner of Just Desserts in Sykesville, Maryland. Guests will also have an opportunity to use vines from the vineyard to create beautiful wreaths and cheerful decorations.  $5.00 per plate pairing fee.

What: St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
When: March 14 – 15, 11am – 6pm
Where: Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard, Dickerson, MD
Info: Join us for tastings of wine, Irish music and treats. • Free • For more information, call 301 605 0130 or visit website.

What: Celebrate St. Patty’s Day, with the Bog Band at Black Ankle Vineyards
When: March 15, 12 – 5pm
Where: Black Ankle Vineyard, Mt. Airy, MD
Info: Back by popular demand!  The Bog Band will set a lively tone for St. Patrick’s Day at Black Ankle Vineyards.  We’ll skip the green beer, but there will be plenty of festive spirit in honor of our Irish roots.  Come join us for what will be sure to be a rollicking good time!

And for the non-drinkers!  I know some of you are out there, even on St. Patty’s Day!

What: Celtic Harp Tea
Where: Crown and Thistle Tea Room, Sparks, MD
When: March 14, 3pm
Info: Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day with live Celtic music!  Let traditional Irish songs serenade you as you enjoy a relaxing afternoon tea with friends.  This is a special event tea.  Afternoon tea is $22.95 and high tea is $26.95.  Please call to make reservations.

Fond of You Fondue

February 12, 2009

Fondue is fun because it’s a polite way to play with your food.  Some people consider it romantic.  I say eh about that, but that’s just me.  BUT, as we all know, I like wine.  Wine is fun and romantic and this weekend, people in the Baltimore area can combine the two at Boordy Vineyards

I think Boordy Vineyards is pretty awesome because they always have cool sounding events going on.  In the summertime they did a dancing under the stars series, where they offered wine tasting and dancing.  They also did a good time series where they hosted speakers about various food topics and had local vendors sample food. 

This winter they’ve done a soup and wine month, a chili and wine month, and now are doing the fondue and wine month.  Capt. and I have aimed on attending at least one of each of their series, but sometimes we get lazy and forego cool events in exchange for laying in bed or hanging around bookstores.  We’re working on getting better about that.  I’ll just say that I’m saving up all my energy and dollars for their Red White and Bluegrass series in April.

The Fond of You Fondue event is running all February and they are opening up an hour earlier on Saturday, when romance is most prevelant.  In my opinion, this would be a fun and affordable (hello!  $12!) Valentine’s Day activity, regardless of whether or not you have a Capt. to take you to it!

PS – the promo mentions roasting marshmallows.  Smores are another one of my favorite desserts.  If this thing combines wine, fondue, marshmellows, and live music, it’s really kind of like a dream chalk full of happiness.  Truly.


Get more info here and get tickets here.

Yea, There’s Cupcake Wine

February 6, 2009

I think it’s obvious that I love cupcakes!  So, a while ago, when all my blogs started raving about cupcake wine, my little ears perked up and I started Googling it like a maniac.  The wine is made by Cupcake Vineyards and it does not taste like cupcakes, but it certainly has the cutest label.  So far all I have found out about Cupcake Vineyards is that they make a Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. 

When I saw that they sold the Chardonnay at World Market and they had a store near my dad’s work, I got him in on the hunt!  Being the sweet man he is, he went immediately to World Market and couldn’t find it.  I was devastated!  But being the good daughter I am, I patted my dad on the head and told him “Nice try, better luck next time Buck-o!”  And I then moved onto other things.

Last weekend, my beau and I ended up at a local tavern’s liquor store to buy beer for the Super Bowl.  The Gods shined down on me and sitting right by the entrance of the liquor store was a bottle of Cupcake Vineyards Cabernet.  I let out a little squeal . . . maybe not so little because my beau immediately turned around and asked me what happened.  With a wild look in my eyes and a Cheshire Cat-like smile on my face, I revealed to him the bottle of wine that was now cradled in my arms.  He told me we could get it and well, that was that.

The next day, my mom and I sat down to watch “Mamma Mia” and try the wine out. 

Our verdict?  Mom liked it enough, especially because it was only about $10.00.  I didn’t care for it too much.  It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t a good wine.  There was nothing particularly exciting or interesting about it.  But, we drank it, sang along with the movie, and eventually killed the bottle.  I also decided that I still would like to try the Chardonnay.  So, we’ll see.

And for that bottle?  It now sits on my dresser and waits to be put on display in a real cupcake kitchen.


For my baker friends, here’s a recipe!  You should bake them and mail them to me.  It’ll be a nice Valentine’s Day present.

Blackberry Cabernet Cupcakes
1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 Tbsp Hershey Special Dark cocoa powder
125 mL (1/2 cup) cabernet sauvignon + 2 Tbsp
Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, mix butter sugar and eggs until smooth and creamy; add the vanilla and mix well.
In a small bowl, mix baking powder and flour; add to creamed mixture.
Add red wine and mix well, but be carefull not to overmix. Add cocoa powder.
Scoop batter into prepared muffin tins and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool completely on wire racks.

Brush all of the cupcakes with cabernet. (Uses about 2 Tbsp total)

1 cup blackberries
about 1/2 cup Cabernet
1/2 cup butter
3 cups powdered sugar

Place blackberries and cabernet in small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Reduce until blackberries mash easily and wine is syrupy. Strain, pressing on seeds to extract all the liquid. Blackberry Cabernet sauce should equal a little less than a quarter cup.

Beat butter in mixer until creamy. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk until a semi thick spreading consistency is reached. Add Blackberry Cabernet sauce. The frosting should be a little on the soft side.

Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with the Blackberry Cabernet frosting. Place one firm blackberry in the center of each cupcake. Sift some Hershey Special Dark cocoa onto the cupcakes.

Would you Like Some Cheese to go Along with that Wine?

January 26, 2009

marthawine11Martha also had a pretty decent article in her newest Martha Stewart Living issue that focuses on navigating your way through a wine store.  I know that figuring out what kind of wine you want can be made overwhelming when you first need to find out how the wine is organized.  In the article, Martha explains how wine stores are generally set-up and recommends a few inexpensive wines.

How do I choose the wine I drink?  First we try to avoid going to the liquor store by ordering wine through a restaurant located in Columbia, MD called the Iron Bridge Wine Company.  Each month the Iron Bridge Wine Company offers wine bargains – 12 wines for $12.00 or less with a 20% discount for every case (mixed or just one kind of wine) that you want.  My parents and I chip in together and get a mixed case of wine about every other month or so, we drink what we want and save the rest for later.  We have found that the Iron Bridge Wine Company’s recommendations are solid and they have excellent customer service.

I have also found a few of my affordable wine staples from the Wine Company’s monthly bargains.  A favorite red wine of mine is Smoking Loon Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.  I’m a bit of a sucker for packaging — usually if I don’t know what I want, I pick up whatever has a label that I think looks fun — and the bright red and yellow label for Smoking Loon certainly does it for me.  Smoking Loon also has an easy and smooth flavor.  Not overpowering and doesn’t have the sickingly sweet taste that can sometimes accompany cheap wine. 

Where it’s not the best Cabernet I’ve ever had, I think it’s solid for a night where you want to curl up on the couch with that someone you love, eat some chinese food, and watch a movie (can you tell that that’s what I usually do with my Smoking Loon?)!