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Crow Vineyard

4 Red Wines to Enjoy This Summer

Vino 301’s  2017 Red Wines Picks


Red wine can be enjoyed year-round. People who love red wines LOVE red wine.  They would never consider switching to white wine because it is summer.  Red wine lovers just switch to a lighter red during the summer.  If you are a serious red wine drinker or thinking about trying a summer red, here are Vino 301’s recommendations for summer red wines.


Summer Sipping

Red wine does not evoke images of sipping a cool glass of wine on the deck or rocking on the porch swing with a glass of wine.  We have a red wine that will forever, change your mind.

2015 Chambourcin Melot, Boordy Vineyard

The Chambourcin Merlot blend is a pleasant sipping wine that can be served chilled.  We recommend chilling it an hour before serving.  It has aromas of fresh raspberries.  The residual sweetness from the grapes is a welcomed surprise to the palate.  It is a semi-dry wine.


Grilled and Smoked Meats

Grilled hamburgers, steaks, lamb, ribs or smoked brisket generally warrant medium to full bodied red wines.  These red wines have the muscle to stand up to these rich, layered meats.  Full bodied reds have as much flavor as the food.


2013 Cabernet Franc Blend, Chateau Bu-De

The Cabernet Franc is a blend of 78.6% Cabernet Franc, 16.1% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5.4% Merlot. Big bold fruit flavors like cherries, raspberries are on the nose.  Peppery notes, like black pepper, linger on the palate.   This medium body wine is perfect with steak and lamb.

red wines


White wine with white meat is the guide most people use to pair their food with wine.  This is a safe rule to use for the most part, but there are times you can break the rules.  Today we are breaking the rules.  Grilled chicken on the bone or a fatty pork chops can be enjoyed with a red wine.


2013 Barbera, Crow Vineyard

Do not let the Barbera’s dark color fool you. It’s color is synonymous with full body red wines, but is composition is really a medium body wine.  Bright cherries, and strawberries are on the nose. Green pepper and cinnamon is on the palate.  Medium tannins, high acid and a medium finish describe the wine.   It will complete fatter white meat dishes without stealing the spotlight.



We are breaking the rules again and pairing red wine with white meat. Light red whites do well with big flavor fish.  Salmon, tuna, swordfish and other fatty, meaty fish can hold its own when it is enjoyed with a light red wine.


Sangiovese, Running Hare Vineyard

Running Hare’s Sangiovese is a light body red wine.  Sour cherries and currants on the palate and nose.  It has minerality and medium tannins.  The wine’s medium acidity is why it does not over power the fish’s flavors.


You can purchase the wines online, just visit their websites.  You can contact the vineyards to locate where you can purchase the wines at local wine stores or restaurants.

Pop the Cork on New Year’s Eve … Guide to Champagne and Sparkling Wine

Guide to Champagne and Sparkling Wine

Champagne, Sparkling Wine
The other day a friend and me were talking about New Year’s Eve.  She said, “Should I serve Champagne or sparkling wine”?  My immediate response was, “Champagne is a form of sparkling wine. It all depends upon what you like.”  She gave me a puzzled look, and said “oh ok.”  Thinking about my response I should have provided a better explanation.  I realized she did not know Champagne is among the sparkling wine family.  She thought Champagne is different from sparkling wine.  Champagne has become the brand name for requesting sparkling wine. It is like when you ask someone to hand you a Kleenex®.  You are really asking for a tissue and not the brand Kleenex®.  The brand name has been ingrained in everyday vernacular. 

Champagne has very distinctive characteristics, fermentation methods, and regional restrictions. Here is the Reader’s Digest® version about Champagne.  Champagne is made from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay.  There is a double fermentation method known as Methode Champenoise.  Lastly,and most importantly to the French and legally,  only sparkling wine produced in the La Champagne region can be called Champagne (except for a few California vineyards.  That is another blog).



Now you know, what do you serve? You have a variety of sparkling wines to select. In addition to Champagne,  there are other sparkling wines styles like Cava and Prosecco. Cava is from Spain. Prosecco is from Italy. Each of these regions have unique grapes that make up the composition of these wines.   



Regardless of the country, there are common descriptions you will see on the label.  Here are the most common:

  • Blanc de Blancs: made from white grapes, like a Chardonnay.  
  • Blanc de Noirs: made from black grapes, like a Pinot Noir. The sparkling will be white in color.  
  • Rose: pink in color.  Semi-dry to sweet to the taste.
  • Doux: very sweet wine.
  • Dry: slightly sweet wine.  
  • Brut: very little sugar, dry and most popular sparkling wine



Your sparkling wine does not have to be international. When you are in your local wine store ask for Maryland sparkling wine.  It is not too late for the wine shop to order it from the vineyard.   
Crow Farm and Vineyard (Kent County, MD) has a delightful 2013 Vidal Sparkling. It is a Guide to Champagne and Sparkling Winesingle varietal wine. Vidal Blanc grape is used, very popular in Maryland.  Vidal Blanc is known for its honeysuckle favor and those with a sweeter palate enjoy this grape.  Do not let this dissuade the traditional drier palate drinkers. The Vidal Sparkling is a dry sparkling wine.  Effervescent, pale golden color, and hints of stone fruit and apple best describes this wine.  The Vidal is made in the Methode Champenoise style sparkling goes through primary fermentation in stainless steel, followed by a secondary fermentation in bottle. Aged for 13 months before being hand disgorged in small lots, then hand corked, caged and labeled.  
Hopefully, this will make your shopping experience a little easier. Cheers to you and Happy New Year!


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