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Maryland wines

Selecting Thanksgiving Wines

Selecting Thanksgiving Wines

Thanksgiving holiday is quickly approaching  Its hard to believe.  It seems as if I was just writing about summer wines.  This is my favorite time of the year.  I love the fellowship, the food and the joy the season brings.  I am extremely grateful to share this time with family and friends and to reflect on the many blessings bestowed upon me.


Just as much joy the season can brinThanksgiving Winesg, it can also cause unwanted stress.   Sometimes preparing to host the Thanksgiving meal or entertaining can be stressful and cause extreme anxiety.  I want you to love this season as much as I do and reduce those feelings of anxiety. Selecting Thanksgiving wines is a series of blog articles about pairing wines with your planned meal and selecting bargain wines.


This week I am debunking the myth of “best wines for Thanksgiving“.   Selecting the Best Wines for Thanksgiving blog is a guide to assist you to select wines that pair well with your meals and your guests will enjoy.  

Selecting the Best Wines for Thanksgiving

Best Wines for Thanksgiving Regardless if you are hosting or you going to someone’s home you are probably trying to decide what wine should be paired with dinner.  People frequently ask, “What is the perfect wine to serve with Thanksgiving meal?”  Answer:  There isn’t a perfect wine.  There are so many …
Next week, we take a trip to the fine wine store and discuss how to select exceptional wines without breaking the bank.
Vino 301 Wine Concierge wishes you a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday.

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Most Popular Wines in Maryland’s Tasting Rooms

Fall’s Most Popular Wines in Maryland’s Tasting Rooms

There are new grapes names being mentioned in Maryland’s tasting rooms you should become familiar with.   Albariño, Viognier and Cabernet Franc are the most popular wines you will be tasting this fall.


Albariño is a Spanish grape that made Maryland its home.  I remember first trying Albariño four or five years ago at Serpent Ridge Vineyard.  It was the first and only place I could find it  in Maryland.  Gradually, this white wine appeared in Maryland’s tasting rooms. It is extremely popular in Frederick and Carroll Counties. It has moved its way east to Baltimore and Cecil Counties.  Boordy Vineyard’s Albariño won Best in Show in Maryland’s 2016 Governor’s Cup.

It is a white wine pale lemon color, high in acid, with lemon, orange rind, and subtle floral scents on the nose.  It has medium to high alcohol and flavors of grapefruit and almonds on the palate.  Bodegas Gonzalez-Ruggiero procedures a delightful Albariño  Bodegas Gonzalez-Ruggiero is one of Maryland’s newest vineyards located in Rising Sun.



Big Cork ViognierViognier is Virginia’s state grape.  I understand why.  It grows incredibly well in this region. Viognier is a medium- full body white wine.  It is low in acid, has floral and honeysuckle aromas, and tropical fruit the palate like kiwi and mango. It is easy to drink and brings a smile to your face with every sip.

It is not surprising that Viognier popularity has reached its way to Maryland. A select few of Maryland vintners produced Viognier previously, but it is more abundant in Maryland’s tasting rooms in the past two years.   Big Cork has joined the of parade of Maryland vineyards.  It is no coincidence Big Cork Vineyard makes Viognier. Dave Collins, Big Cork’s talent winemaker, was noteworthy winemaker in Virginia.  He brought his masterful skills to Maryland.  Big Cork’s Viognier is a beautiful slightly golden in color, full-bodied and low acidity wine.  It has traditional traits known to Viognier.  Green melon and orange blossoms flavors are most pronounced.


Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is the popular under study to Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a red grape almost black in appearance.  It is used as a blending grape.  Cabernet Franc and Merlot are used in Bordeaux style wines. Most popular wines

Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc share similar characteristics, the same level of richness and intensity.   Although Cabernet Franc has big bold flavors, it has slightly milder tannin and more red fruit flavors making it a smoother wine to enjoy. More and more Maryland winemakers have discovered this fact and are now making Cabernet Franc the star of the show.

Boordy Vineyards 2012 Cabernet Franc Landmark Series is a wonderful representation of Maryland’s Cabernet Franc.  It has a ruby red color with a jammy flavors like red berry preserves and smoky notes on the nose.  It has a long finish of earthy flavors, vanilla and cherries.


Kicking off the Season with A Festival, Tasting and More!


Most recently, Vino 301 staff attended the Wine in the Woods festival on May 17, 2015.  The Wine in the Woods festival was held on May 16 and 17 on a beautiful sunny day in Columbia, MD . The upbeat atmosphere and music allowed for the diverse crowd to enjoy each other’s company, a day well spent sipping on wine and mingling with one another.  The park was packed with all sorts of wine lovers, from novice to grand tasters. Wine in the Woods is the unofficial kick off of the Maryland Wine Festival Season.  If you have been hibernating all wine along, this is your chance to taste what is new in  Maryland .

Here are  a wineries and  wines that caught our attention.

Red Heifer Company

If you prefer sweeter wines than Red Heifer is the place for you. This winery in Smithsburg, MD specializes in making sweet wines. Although they have only been in operation for a little less than three years, their wines attracted a large crowd.

Bordeleau Winery

Bordeleau Winery is located right outside the eastern shore between Salisbury and Princess Anne. The owner, Tom Shelton, shared with us how he has recently moved away from making vintage wines because he found difficulty with keeping the flavors consistent. Since he has moved away from making vintage wines, Tom says the quality and consistency of his wines has improved.

Orchid Cellar Winery

Located in Middletown, the Orchid Cellar Winery manufactures unique honey based wines. Their honey based wine creates a thick, sweet, and rich flavor that is loved by all. The honey cinnamon wine was a big hit at Wine in the Woods this past weekend.  People flocked to Orchid Cellars tasting post because of the distinctive flavors they offer.

Wine In the Woods was a great start to a summer filled with great wine festivals.  We look forward to another summer of  delicious wine, tasty food and good music you will find at the festivals.  Make sure you look for Vino 301 Tour Ambassadors and our fantastic interns at this summer’s events.  Here is a schedule of upcoming events in Maryland 2015 Maryland Wine Festivals Schedule



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