I am a self-professed wino. I am not alone. There are hundreds probably millions of people who are equally passionate about wine if not more. Another beverage would not compare. When offered a beer or whiskey, we politely turn up our nose.
So why am I writing about adding a Maryland distillery to your wine travels? No, I have not been sitting in the sun too long. Spirits tasting is very similar to wine tasting. Adding a whiskey or rum tasting along your wine travels will be a pleasant surprise.
Here are three reasons why you should try to visit a Maryland distillery.
- Spirits and wine are more alike than you think
Wines share the same characteristics as spirits. For example, Nebbiolo or Barolo are full-bodied Italian reds that have a wide range of aromas and flavors. You will find those similar aromas and flavors in many whiskeys. Compare for yourself at Cassinelli Winery and Distillery (Chestertown, MD). Sample Cassinelli’s 2010 Barbera Reserve and its Corn Whiskey and see if you detect the same flavor notes. Sauvignon Blanc has similar botanical notes like gin. Tell the tasting room host what characteristics you enjoy in wine, this will help them serve you a rum, whiskey or gin with those similar notes.
- Spirits can be sweet or dry
Just like wine…spirits can be produced to be sweet or dry. Gin, specifically, has this versatility. Adding flavor agents can achieve complexity, and entirely unique flavor profile. Springfield Winery & Distillery (Thurmont, MD) uses these techniques to enhance the tasting experience. Springfield’s vodka and gin are infused with lavender. The lavender is subtle distraction from gin’s traditional juniper flavor.
- Spirits tasting is available at your traditional wine tasting
If you do not want to choose between wine or spirits, you do not have to. You can do both at Fiore Winery & Distillery (Pylesville, MD). Fiore is the quintessential Italian winery (in Maryland). Mike and Rose Fiore, owners and winemakers, have been making wine for over 30 years. Visiting Fiore Winery and Distillery is like taking a trip to a Tuscan countryside. After your wine tasting you are treated to Limoncello or Grappa. Both are liqueurs served as an after dinner drink. You experience traditions of Italy along your entire visit to this Maryland distillery.
Give it a try and visit a Maryland distillery. Email me or post your comments and let me know about your experience. Will you add local spirits to your wine travels?